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I bought a Macbook Pro computer on Sept 3rd from MacMall. As I was using it to learn Snow Leopard (this is my first Mac, I am a long time Windows developer), it would crash every one or two hours. After calling Apple support, I dropped it off at the Apple store for diagnostic testing and repair. WhenI picked up the computer from Apple, they told me that it did not crash while they had it. They suspected a software problem, so they had done a fresh install of Snow Leopard for me.

At home I went through the start up procedure with the newly installed Snow Leopard. Then I downloaded the iPhone SDK, and the computer crashed again while I was away waiting for the download to finish. I was using a USB mouse, which was the only device attached. No other software installed.

I was presented with a dump that mentions terms like "panic", Kernel trap", and "page fault". Does anyone have any idea what this problem might be? I really can not use this MacBook under these circumstances.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 14 '09 at 15:43

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
Try to ask this question on serverfault.com –  youkey Sep 14 '09 at 15:36
    
It doesn't belong on serverfault - it's not a server, even if it has a fault. –  Paul Tomblin Sep 14 '09 at 15:38
    
i think this may belong to superuser.com –  Eimantas Sep 14 '09 at 15:41

5 Answers 5

I had this problem once on my 2006 MBP - it turned out to be one stick of faulty RAM. Swapped it out and everything was good to go.

I suggest you do a memory test using Apple Hardware Test (insert your SL boot CD, restart, and hold down D) and check your RAM for errors.

See Apple's page for Hardware Test.

Alternatively, remove one stick of RAM at a time (alternate the RAM sticks) and see if your problem persists. If by removing one stick of RAM, your system stabilizes, chances are that that particular stick of RAM is faulty.

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I had the Same Problem with my Mid 2006 MBP. Faulty RAM, that's all. –  lajuette May 16 '10 at 7:45

This definitely sounds like a hardware issue. Could be a buggy driver, but a fresh reinstall should have fixed that. My mac died hard every few hours when I used a free iSCSI driver.

The mac usually leaves a crash report of some sort, that you get to see when you reboot. In my case I was able to see that it was the iSCSI driver that caused the crash. Perhaps you can find some info from that as well.

I have had USB peripherals that made any unit they were inserted into crash, so I'd start by replacing or disconnecting the USB mouse. Running diagnostics that check the RAM, HDD and video card is a good idea also.

However, since it's a brand-new Mac that you pay a hefty premium for because they "just work", I wouldn't waste much time troubleshooting it. If it crashes without any peripherals or extra drivers installed, I'd return it for a different one.

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If you include one of those reports in your question we can try and help as to why a specific program is crashing. Without a report as to which program (it sounds like a program and not the OS is crashing) is crashing we can't be much help.

If it's the computer kernel panicing (a grey screen with white text will say to restart your computer in 4 languages) then it's helpful to see the output of the panic log.

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Personally, I would just take it back under warranty - clearly sounds like a memory fault to me.

After Googling for you I found memtestosx, but I cannot recommend it as I have never used it. You really want to do a full memory test.

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I got a grey screen with a black dialog box having white text saying to restart in 5 languages. I didn't know how to get a file to save, so I got a screen shot, which I was able to copy to my Dell. You can view it here:

enter image description here

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Thanks everybody. I just got a Return Authorization from MacMall, after talking with them for several days now, so I'm returning it for a refund. –  BruceMartin Sep 14 '09 at 22:15
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For future reference, those are called kernel panics are the most prevalent causes for kernel panics is either a incompatible driver or bad hardware. The information in a kernel panic can tell you what might be wrong with it - you can actually see some details about that in this SuperUser answer: superuser.com/questions/385/… –  Chealion Sep 15 '09 at 2:16

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