Hi guys...I have been experiencing this problem on my 2009 iMac since the release just before Lion. At the same time, Parallels had an upgrade and for a while, I thought that was the issue.
I have done just about everything aside from selling the computer and buying a new one. My husband has a late 2008 iMac and has had no problems. We have two MacBook Pros and they are fine.
I have replaced both the memory and the hard drive even though the hardware test showed both were fine. I have installed the scm Fan Control and that seemed to help at first, but does not totally prevent the crashes. I not only replaced the hard drive, but totally reinstalled all of the software.
I changed to boot in 32-bit mode, but that didn't make much difference to me. An interesting thing...I have been bringing my laptop to work, since I could not count on the iMac and I have only been using the iMac to listen to iTunes. It has not crashed all week...but it's an expensive music player. :-)
The crashes I have seem to revolve around Safari and YouTube. This has been going on for most of a year now. I am frustrated, but don't want to buy a new computer and don't want to sell a messed up one to someone else.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I, too, think it is a software glitch with the graphics driver, but doubt that we will see much in the way of an update.
Hi There David,
Hello to the Community..
First of all I want to thank you that you brought up this phenomenum.....
I am very desperate now, I keep getting the same Freezing Problems since switching to Lion a couple of month ago.
I even had my Computer at a local Mac Retailer in order to get it fixed. They changed the Harddisk due to bad Smart Values and a diagnoses HD Error.
But the original Problem remained.
Even after switching into 32Bit Mode the problem remains, the Computer will crash after 30 Minutes.
As far as I could see in this thread the Problem originates out of a faulty Graphic Card Driver Software. The question is this:
What options do I have to get the Problem fixed ? Is there an official Statement coming from Apple that a Driver Update is coming ? Can I get a revised Driver Software myself ?
I Live in Germany and actually right now I dont know what i can do to solve this problem any suggestions or Ideas ?
Thank you very much for your Help....
another imac 9,1 GT120 with 10.6.8 - same problems - plagueing me since january or february iirc. called apple support before my warranty expired and they tried resetting SMC, and clearing a few caches... seemed to last a week or so but may have been total coincidence as my gut was telling me the same things many of you have observed - that it is tied to heavy video useage. Happened alot with eyetv running, but also seemed to happen randomly (& frequently) when my screensaver (which was selecting random photos) would run but also sometimes just using a web browser. I changed my screen saver from pics to flurry and it seems to happen much less now..
i'll try the smcfancontrol too...
Replacing the graphics card would fix the issue because they would likely use a different card with a different driver. I don't want to spend that kind of money when I am pretty sure the issue is software related. But, Apple is not likely to correct anything since the systems are so old and are coming out of warranty.
My problems started happening last year on the last release of Snow Leopard prior to Lion. I know it is not Lion. At the same time, Parallels came out with a new release and I upgraded that program as well.
I reasoned that if the graphic card was bad, it would totally crash soon and then I would get it replaced. Since August 2011, I have tried replacing the memory, hard drive and re-installing ALL of my software. I use the computer daily and it has panics almost daily. I can still use it to listen to music...lol.
I am thinking of just putting Snow Leopard back on it and trading it in...waiting for the new models to come out. :-)
Exactly same problem here: iMac from 2009, GeForce 130 on snow leopard 10.6.8 and it kernel panics everytime I do some heavy photo processing on aperture... it used to be fine and I believe it only started going wrong after the OS update to 10.6.8. I was thinking of upgrading to Lion to get access to Aperture 3.3 hoping it would fix my issue, but, based on what you guys are saying, it will potentially only make things worse
Apple needs to fix the video card driver
I have upgraded to Lion and I do have Aperture 3.3. Neither of those things helped. Are you running Parallels? That's the one thing that I thought might be causing the problem. It may have been a bios upgrade and I don't think you can undo those. That's why going back to Snow Leopard doesn't fix my problem. I even tried that when I replaced the hard drive. :-(
Good to know - I don't run parallels.
From the core dumps I had and the different replies to this thread, I definitely believe it comes from the video card driver that is not good enough and provokes overheating of the GPU which then provokes the kernel panic.
The big question is: will apple fix the driver for this OS?
I think I've found a better workaround for this problem. Perhaps is still soon to be 100% sure of that, but I've set the fans to the normal rate again and I've been 2 days without any crash in lion, so it looks promising (it used to crash in half an hour or less).
What I've done is to install the CUDA Mac driver from Nvidia (this is just for Nvidia graphic cards owners, of course), that you can find here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/mac-driver-archive.html
Once installed and after a reboot, you will see a new item in System Preferences called CUDA, which is used just to check for upgrades of such driver and install them (just in case, do check you have installed the latest version). I've still seen very few graphic "artifacts" sporadically, but the system has never crashed since this installation.
As I said before, it is still soon to be 100% sure the system won't crash again, but you can not imagine how good I feel just thinking this nightmare could be close to be over...