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Kernel_task on a new MacBook Air

239851 Views 209 Replies Latest reply: Oct 4, 2010 12:53 PM by JOMStar RSS
  • my_precious Calculating status...
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    Mar 15, 2008 9:35 AM (in response to zinch)
    ok... this issue was getting so irritating i had to search for a forum so i could rant & rave for a bit... my Air shut down about 3 times during the install of windows XP onto the parallel and once after while i was doing multi DL's (adobe illustrator / adobe photoshop & firefox on the XP os).... too much of a work load im assuming... plus the fact that the MBA was SITTING ON THE BED with the rear fans blocking "proper" ventilation could be playing a very large role here.... so the theorys of the core shutting down once they get too hot sounds like something logical... any other thoughts from apple would be best here....
    thx for reading
    MacBookAir, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • MBA in Texas Calculating status...
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    Mar 16, 2008 1:04 PM (in response to my_precious)
    You have come across a known bug in Parallels (see: for details). According to this thread, a fix has been found and will be released shortly.

    It's too late for me -- I took this problem as a long delayed opportunity to switch to VMWare Fusion, which plays much nicer with the Air.
    MacBook Air 1.8/SSD, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • naval Calculating status...
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    Mar 16, 2008 9:20 PM (in response to MBA in Texas)
    It's not just parallels. I have not installed Parallels on the Air. I can repeat it with the bed scenario though - put it on a soft surface such that it blocks the rear vents, and / or fire up a YouTube video full-screen.

    It's a heat issue - either tax the CPU or block the vents and one core shuts down, making the machine un-usable.
  • MBA in Texas Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Mar 17, 2008 9:09 AM (in response to naval)
    I can duplicate the single core shut down that you mentioned, but the other poster indicated that the Air shut it self down completely. If that's what what he really meant, the only way I can replicate that reliably is through Parallels.

    Though, I suppose that blocking the vents and playing YouTube could conceivably make the Air overheat and turn itself off, that doesn't seem to be a flaw with the Air to me. I can't make my second Air completely shut down even with an external monitor and full screen video -- though I can get a core to shut down if I push it hard by having a VMWare Fusion VM open.
    MacBook Air 1.8/SSD, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • mar.b Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 5, 2008 4:50 AM (in response to MBA in Texas)

    I'm having this problem while watching a movie: One core shuts down. (mplayer or vlc)

    The process viewer shows that the kernel_task takes about 40% and as you only have one core with 100% it makes the video playback choppy.

    I already talked to the Genius in the Apple Store London. They somewhat admitted that the MacBook Air is just a faulty design.

    I even tried to get my money back for the MBA (a notebook that can't play video for more then 10 minutes? you must be kidding me) but I had it for more then two weeks.

    If you have something like summer in your country think twice before buying this machine...

    MBA 1,6, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • nicwolff Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 10, 2008 3:33 PM (in response to zinch)
    Just checking in to say I have this too and closing and opening the Air fixes it at least temporarily. I have an external Apple display and had my iPhone plugged into the USB port.
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • zboub75 Calculating status...
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    Apr 15, 2008 2:13 AM (in response to zinch)
    I confirm I do face the same issue.
    With an external display, the usb ethernet adaptor, and the power plugged. And the lid closed too.
    But it happens as well without anything plugged, using my MBA as standalone laptop.

    Using a coolingpad kind of helps... but not on the go.
    Apple tech support is completlty useless at this point... (reflash smc, clear flash, etc..)

    Any clue ?
    MAcBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 1.8Ghz, 80GoHD
  • Alexander Maldutis Calculating status...
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    Apr 15, 2008 6:24 AM (in response to zboub75)
    Hi all,

    I get exactly the same issue with my MBA running WoW on XP. First the fan really spins up and then the machine hibernates. However I'm just using Wifi and not the ethernet dongle.

    Once slightly disturbing fact is that the MBA is sitting on a flat hard surface and not on a bed or anything, which implies that it's incapable of running at heavy load for an extended period of time.
    Windows Vista, QX6800 4gb 8800gtx Dell 30"
  • Richard from Sweden Calculating status...
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    Apr 21, 2008 6:16 AM (in response to nicwolff)
    just wanted to keep this thread alive!

    I'm also having terrible trouble with my new MBA as described in this thread.

    Restarting helps for maybe 30 minutes until the "stuttering freezes" come back again. Hence I restart my machine several times a day.

    The temperature in my office is normal, not too hot, if that would affect the CPU.
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • ineiti Calculating status...
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    Apr 23, 2008 12:20 PM (in response to zinch)
    Same problem here. It is very difficult to work, when all of a sudden the system doesn't respond at all! Did anybody try with a Linux on these machines?

    Linus in Chad, where temperatures drop seldom below 35°
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • nicwolff Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 25, 2008 12:14 PM (in response to nicwolff)
    Following up to my own post: I installed CoolBook and tuned down the CPU voltage and that seemed to work; then I uninstalled CoolBook before installing the Air-specific firmware update that showed up in Software Update this week, and haven't reinstalled it since the new firmware seems to have fixed the problem - I haven't seen a slowdown or a dropped core since. Anyone else?
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • ineiti Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 29, 2008 10:14 PM (in response to ineiti)
    I now tried the latest firmware update MBA11.00BB.B03 which brings the news that after some time (10-15 minutes), the second core jumps back in! It's not what I call ideal, but at least it looks as if it's something that could be fixed...
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • st3v3nc0lb3rt Calculating status...
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    May 8, 2008 1:25 PM (in response to zinch)
    We bought 4 Airs--2 a few months ago & 2 more very recently. The 2 older ones are basically fine. The 2 new ones have the exact same problem you describe.

    Each new Air runs an external monitor, & a powered usb hub connecting an Apple usb ethernet adapter, keyboard & mouse, & a HP usb laser printer.

    In our case, at seemingly random times the kernel task consumes all available cpu power. The Air becomes unresponsive, extremely slow, & the mouse flits about the screen when moved.

    But when we disconnect the usb hub, the kernel task returns to normal, cpu usage drops dramatically, & the Air returns to normal. This is the case for both Airs.

    We've tried 4 different usb hubs without success. Now we've eliminated the usb hub (sacrificing the printer connection) to see if the situation improves.

    That's it for now, but we're feeling your pain, too!
    Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • PittAir Calculating status...
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    May 8, 2008 7:32 PM (in response to zinch)
    Try this site and solution. I was about to reinstall OSX in my machine and I came across this site in a google search.

    It worked perfectly and the syslogd occupation of my CPU ended.
    Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
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