Kernel Panics are a rare thing on your Mac. A Kernel Panic is a problem which is so big and serious they they rattle the core of the system and it needs to shut down to protect itself. The problem is when they happen it can cause your day to be ruined as you know something serious has happened. When they do happen you can do a little bit of investigating to see where the problem is.
Investigating A Kernel Panic
If a Kernel Panic happens once and never appears again you can be confident that it was a blip in the system, computers as with everything else do have troubled days. However, if you get it regularly you can usually pin it down. Not every Kernel Panic can be solved in this way but it is usually a good start.
It find the source of the panic we are going to look at the logs, a log file is created every time your Mac goes into panic mode. To find the log file open Console in Applications > Utilities.
Within the sidebar you need to select /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports and select the latest kernel panic report. Not that this is not located within ~/Library.
Kernel Extensions in Backtrace
The report has a lot of text. There is a little piece of text you need to note. Within the log there is a list named Kernel Extensions In Backtrace. This is usually a short list of the source for the Kernel Panics.
For example if you see
com.apple.driver.AppleIntelHD4000Graphics you can be narrow down the problem to the graphics card. Have a look through the list and see if it matches up with something you know. If this appears a lot in multiple panics or you were using the application at the time of the panic, you can be use that there is a link.
This backtrace doesn’t work every time, however it is a good start,
Solving Kernel Panics
You can solve kernel panics with some basic tips for example you can:
- Update Firmware,
- Update Software,
- Run disk check in Disk Utilities,
- Check RAM with memtest,
- Check peripherals are behaving, unplug them and see if the error appears.
- Update to the latest version of Mac OS X, this solves a few problems.
Kernel Panics are a rare thing, however you need to read into them to see what the problem is.
If you have any tips, please leave a comment.