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NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 Kernel Panics/Freezes in Lion & late Snow Leopard

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David Portela Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 9, 2012 8:29 AM

I've found some other reports of these freezes scattered about the forums, but usually other people come in and post something about unrelated video cards. So this thread is specific to NVIDIA GeForce GT 130 running OS X Lion (10.7-10.7.3), to avoid confusion and cross-polination of different issues.

 

Hardware Overview:

 

  Model Name:          iMac

  Model Identifier:          iMac9,1

  Processor Name:          Intel Core 2 Duo

  Processor Speed:          3.06 GHz

  Number of Processors:          1

  Total Number of Cores:          2

  L2 Cache:          6 MB

  Memory:          8 GB

  Bus Speed:          1.07 GHz

  Boot ROM Version:          IM91.008D.B08

  SMC Version (system):          1.37f3

 

NVIDIA GeForce GT 130:

 

  Chipset Model:          NVIDIA GeForce GT 130

  Type:          GPU

  Bus:          PCIe

  PCIe Lane Width:          x16

  VRAM (Total):          512 MB

  Vendor:          NVIDIA (0x10de)

  Device ID:          0x062e

  Revision ID:          0x00a1

  ROM Revision:          3370

 

 

Since upgrading to Lion I have had many issues with crashes and kernel panics characterized by the following symptoms, listed here in detail so that people can find them when they search:

 

  • Pixellation - colored pixels appear in different areas of the screen, in seemingly random bunches.
  • Mosaics - squares appear redrawn in the wrong part of the screen. Sometimes these squares are large, other times tiny.
  • Recovery - sometimes the system recovers once it starts doing these. Other times it just keeps going until it freezes/panics.
  • Kernel Panics - I've only had the "grey screen" appear once or twice. Usually there is a complete system lockup before this can happen, and I have to reboot the system manually.

 

Some solutions/attempts to solve:

 

  • Turn off Energy Saving - This is horrible for the monitor and can lead to burn-in, but I found that many of my crashes occured when the system was trying to recover from "screen sleep". So now I run a screen saver instead, which doesn't seem to trigger it as much.
  • Screen Saver - Sometimes I can "refresh" the system by turning on the screen saver and then coming back. Other times, this doesn't work and the pixellation/mosaic remains. Sometimes I can't even initialize the screen saver at all (in which case a total freeze usually occurs right after).
  • Rebooting - seems to clear things up for a while, but inevitably, the problem resurfaces.
  • Running Windows - Not really a solution, but I have had absolutely no issues with this behavior while running Windows 7 on this same machine (under Bootcamp).
  • Downgrading to Snow Leopard - I have not attempted this, but I've read others say that their crashes went away when they did. I would like some more concrete evidence on this if anyone has it.

 

My diagnosis so far:

 

  • OS X Lion's NVIDIA driver kernel extensions (kexts) seem to be faulty with this GPU. The Windows drivers for this GPU work better on Apple's own hardware than OS X Lion's. Anectodal evidence indicates that Snow Leopard's drivers (at least up to 10.6.3 – more confirmation needed) do not display this issue. I can confirm that this never occurred in Snow Leopard until Lion was released and I upgraded to it.

 

My request for help and information:

 

  • If you are running this GPU (GeForce GT 130) and OS X Lion, please contribute to this thread offering any solutions you may have or, at the very least, listing your hardware and GPU profile.
  • If you can, post crash logs so that we can compare common issues (NVDA Resman seems to be a huge recurring kext in the crash logs, for instance).
  • Post screen shots or pictures taken of the pixellation (colored pixels) and mosaic (squares drawn in the wrong place) phenomenon, so we can build a body of evidence regarding this issue. I will continue to update this thread with the same.

 

I feel Apple has ignored these issues for far too long, and required too many people to simply purchase new computers and new GPUs. If we can build a solid body of evidence regarding this specific issue, it will be a thread that Apple Support can be referred to.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 3.06 Ghz (Early 2009 – iMac9,1)
  • Quasimoto Calculating status...

    I have the exact same iMac9,1, only with 4gb less memory than you do, and the exact same problems. I've been trying to identify the issue but no discussion seemed to match the specific symptoms I'm seeing, until I saw your thread.

     

    I started getting the lockup when I had the pre-Lion up-to-date release of Snow Leopard, I thought it was an issue with Silverlight/Flash as it only seemed to happen when I was watching video. I installed Lion in hopes of remedying the problem, but it has made no difference. When I start seeing the mosaic/artifacts on my screen I know that a lockup is coming and I usually restart before I have to hard restart. I don't get a kernal panic screen I don't get anything, one moment the mouse is moving on the screen, the next it's not. On occasion if I am watching video, the sound will continue to play for a short time but everything else is locked down my only recourse being a hard reset. My uptime is terrible.

     

    I also have Windows 7 dual booted, and also have no issues when in the Windows environment.

     

    I just started turning off my computer whenever not in use because I was tired of it freezing up when coming out of a sleep screen.

     

    Prior to Lion's release I ran the hardware test (I believe the option was removed with Lion) and everything showed up as okay. I've verified disk and permissions, and nothing indicates a problem. I have pretty much done everything you've tried and still have the problem. I'd love to see some feedback on our problem as it is very, very aggravating and I'm not yet in a position to upgrade computers. Is this at least a problem that will be addressed by Mountain Lion?

  • Quasimoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Those are exactly the same artifacts I get. I downloaded the combo update of 10.7.4 and haven't had any problems as of this writing, but I also haven't used the computer much as I've been away. I left the computer on all night and will be working today so I should be getting something soon...

  • Quasimoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    ...and here we go. After being away from my computer for a bit I got this weird computer glitch which I screengrabbed while in mission control. While opening said picture of mission control in photoshop, after a restart I might add, I got an entirely new set of weird screen gobbeldygook, including the multicolored artifacts that you had pictured.

     

    Screen-Shot-2012-05-10-at-5.38.27-PM.jpg

  • Anke Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I get exactly all these issues on 10.7 to 10.7.4 with my 3.06Ghz NVIDIA GT130 iMac setup. The tiny patches of purple and blue pixels, the stuck blocks, the purple blocks and even the flickering described in the video above.

     

    Gah! Just waiting for the new iMacs and will send this one back to Apple for testing. I just can't do without my daily machine at this point to send it in, even after phone calls from Apple themselves.

     

    Just wanted to add to the thread to reassure people it's not just them.

  • Zahori Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm "suffering" the same issue with my iMac9,1, but mine has NVIDIA GeForce GT 120. It is really frustrating...

    Has someone tried to run lion in 32 bits mode and see if this issue happens also in that case? I've not tried yet, but perhaps it's worth a try...

  • Quasimoto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Out of curiosity were you running under 64 bit mode or 32 bit? I restarted under 32 and have seen no problems as of yet, but then again I've been on and off the computer all day.

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