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So I'm writing this because these past few weeks I have experienced a heap of problems with my 2008 MacBook which have come to a head in the last couple of days culminating in me being almost completely unable to use the computer at all.

I have recently (around november) updated my 2008 MacBook (specifically, a 2,4GHz Core 2 Duo Penryn "Black" MacBook) to Snow Leopard, along with boosting the RAM from 2gb to 6gb. At first things seemed fine but I was having more and more problems with Flash player crashing Firefox, and the crashes which were at first few and far between started happening more and more frequently, and about a week and a half ago I have started getting kernel panics. At first since the two were so closely related I thought the kernel panics were due to Flash/Shockwave, which I tried to uninstall, but the problem turned out to be more serious.

I'm linking here to a topic I started in relation with the problem on the Apple support forums, which contains additional information and a lot of crash logs, including some of the kernel panic logs : https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6796922

I haven't powered up the computer since yesterday, considering that the last time I tried to boot it I lasted around 5 minutes before getting a kernel panic while having done basically nothing. I've tried a lot of things (all of which detailed in the aforementioned topic) but nothing seems to work.

I'm posting this here to maximize my chances of getting this problem solved, because that MacBook is my only computer and I'm using it for school as well as for music, and I need it to be up and running.

Thanks in advance for your answers, A.

  • I would suggest you try using Apple's hardware test (support.apple.com/en-us/HT201257). It's possible that your RAM is bad or not completely compatible. – James P Jan 28 '15 at 12:22
  • There are also some third-party memory test utilities like MemTest86 (memtest86.com) which should work on a Mac – James P Jan 28 '15 at 13:02
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Had the same issue recently, and narrowed it down to motherboard heat issues. Here's the process:

  • Unscrew the chassis
  • Clean the dust around the motherboard, especially the fans
  • Remove and re-insert the battery
  • Reseat the chassis
  • Reset the System Management Controller
  • Restart in safe mode
  • Check the Activity Monitor

References

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Had no idea that this post was still active, I thought I had closed it down but apparently not !

Turns out James was spot on (thanks James !) it indeed was the RAM. Not that it wasn't compatible (I had thoroughly checked that !) but that one of the memory modules was simply bad (the 4 gig one it turned out). The thing is that the failure state was quite far into the memory itself, which is why at first I thought it was Flash's fault, but it was only because videos use a lot of RAM and as such any video would fill it out faster and get to the sticking point easier. After I stopped it would still get over to where the problem was in the RAM, and eventually the system would try to use it and then crash itself.

After a replacement of the 4 gig module it was all fine once again. Haven't had any problems since, and the computer is still going strong !

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