Kernel Panic Troubleshooting

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Hey everyone,

I’m compiling a generic list of troubleshooting steps when a Mac has “an unexpected reboot” or kernel panic. No particular device, just one that would reasonably be in use now, so both for Intel & M1 Macs. Beyond this list, any other things you would recommend?

  • Reboot (duh)
  • remove any peripherals attached
  • clear PRAM (CMD+Option+P+R at boot)
  • Run Apple Diagnostics (D or CMD+D at boot)
  • boot to safe mode to try and duplicate panic
  • run disk utility first aid & repair permissions
  • look in startup items for possible problem software
  • run software updates if possible
  • boot to known good external drive (CMD+Option at boot)
  • Attempt reinstall of just OS
  • Use iStat or something similar to monitor
  • look in console logs for clues
These are not in a particular order. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Sounds like a nice project...any particular reason, or just for your own troubleshooting files?

A few others are:
  • Reset SMC
  • Replace any third-party RAM with original Apple OEM RAM
  • Run surface scan of drive
  • Use DiskWarrior to repair disk catalog
  • Try another user account/Guest user
C
 

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