Published on Feb 18, 2011

Resolving Kernel Panic on MacOSX

After installing Mac OS X on non-apple hardware, it’s a very common issue that many people face is the kernel panic which ultimately hangs on the system. Whether you are installing from a retail original DVD into an intel based non apple system or upgrading your existing leopard to the latest 10.6.6 or installing from any OSX86 hackintosh distribution, kernel panic is very common and sometimes very agitating depending on your hardware configuration. Sometimes it’s too much of pain making you believe that life on earth would be much easier if you could invest enough money to buy your own Macbook :-P

Well, I think if that could be the solution for you, then you might not be interested in reading this article either :) So whether you are installing a new hackintosh or upgrading an existing one to the latest snow leopard 10.6.6 or has just crossed your fingers after installing a new .kext kernel extension, then I hope this article might help you to resolve the problems you may be going to face.

A Typical Kernel Panic screen on Mac OS X

A Typical Kernel Panic screen on Mac OS X

If you see something like the above on system start up, then to resolve this you need to first try booting with kernel flag -v which tells the kernel to show what’s happening during the boot process and this will provide you with a clue why the system did stop with a kernel panic. In most cases it’s a faulty kernel extension that do not suite with your system hardware. So what you need to do is identify which kernel extension is causing the problem.

Sometimes one kernel extension might also crash due to conflict with another one. For example the voodoo HDA driver may conflict with the Apple HDA in some cases and then you might see the voodoo driver to crash. But you may need to remove the Apple HDA to make things work on your non Apple hardware.

Well now say you’ve identified the extension that’s causing the problem. Now you need to remove that and to do so you may try starting up the system in safe mode by pressing and holding the “Shift” key at start-up. Then just remove the kernel extension from the path /System/Library/Extensions/ in your installation. If you can’t login in safe mode, then try using the single user mode by booting with kernel parameter -s and then delete the .kext file in concern. After deleting the file restart your system and then boot using kernel flags -v -f (-v is for verbose mode that shows what’s happening and -f instructs the kernel to reload all kext and dump the boot configuration cache).

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