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The Mac Pro is an Intel Xeon-based workstation computer manufactured by Apple Inc. The Mac Pro, in most configurations, is the fastest computer that Apple offers, and is one of three desktop computers in the current Macintosh lineup.

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Kernel Panic at boot screen

Hey there everyone, I've got a KP problem. I've seen a lot of posts about this already but it was recommended that I do a new post, so here goes.

When I boot the machine, I get the chime and the apple logo on screen with the spinning wheel, and then it KP's me. Screen goes grey and tells me I need to restart my computer in 5 different languages.

Things Tried

I have checked the RAM in the machine manually, and it all seems fine

I've done the Apple Hardware test and it says everything is fine (extended)

Can't boot to CD - Just sends me to Kernel Panic screen.

Can get to root via *cmd-s* and have done a fcsk, and it said everything was fine.

I have done a verbose boot, and it hangs after:


NTFS driver 2.1 [Flags: R/0].

NTFS volume name , version 3.1.


This seems pretty strange to me, as I thought NTFS was just a windows file system but I could be wrong, need more knowledgable people to tell me what's up!

I have a bootcamp setup, and I can get to my XP OS just fine, (Holding option at startup and selecting the drive) although the graphics is very shoddy, and just looks odd (Kinda like windows safe mode)

This makes me think it's a Graphics Card problem, but it works. Not well, but it works. Would the graphics card cause some sort of fault so that I can't load up the OSX?

Not sure how the problem came about. Was using the computer fine earlier in the afternoon, and when I came back later that night it had frozen with some graphics glitches. When I restarted, it kp'd me, so i shut it down and let it cool off. When i turned it on, it loaded the os Fine. I went to disk manager and verified/fixed the permissions on the drive, and was just logging into my Time Machine to see if I could load up a previous backup, but died on me. Screen flickered on and off, had some mouse movement, but then it halted altogether.

Since then, doesn't matter how long it's off for it KP's me

To me, if feels like a hardware fault and more specifically the graphics card. I just don't understand how it can work, and not work at the same time.


Verbose Mode

Starting in Verbose mode, I've noted a few lines that I think might be of some importance.

"localhot DirectoryService [11] WARNING - dsTouch: file was asked to be opened </var/run/.DSRunningSP1>: (File exists)"


"mds[57]: (/.Spotlight-v100/Store-V1/Stores/747D63f******)(Error) IndexCI in ContentIndexOpenBulk: No index*

Single User mode

When starting in single user mode and after typing "exit" while in root, I get these errors

"mds[60]: (/)(Error) IndexSDB in si_consistencyCheck: Starting internal consistency check for //

"' : Finished internal consistency check for //. Check: 0 Missing:0 Inconsistent:0 Leaked:0

It hangs there.

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Right.. How about this, then...

I removed the power to the graphics card and started up my machine.. It chimed, as normal, and "sounded" like it was loading and doing all that guff.. After a while I tried my volume keys, and i heard the beeps go up and down.. Then i typed in my login password hoping that I was at the right screen, waiting a while, then took a screenshot - and I heard it take.

Usually when the computer hung, I couldn't eject the CD drive and the keyboard didn't work at all..

Surely this is pretty much absolute proof that it was the graphics card at fault?

Now when i put the gfx card back in and connect the power, the fan spins up to it's max, stays like that, I don't hear a chime and it just sits there with a blank screen..

So, GFX card it seems


It helps if we know the machine you're talking about. This information can be found after removing the panel door and looking at the bottom of the opening on the G5 models and most Intel machines. Sometimes on a plate located on the back.


It's a Mac Pro.. Quad Core Xeon, 4g Ram.. Leopard.. early 2008 if it helps


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Hi Rick, what version of OS X are you running?

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Hey Lambda, I'm on Leopard. Not sure sure of the build though. I'd hazard a guess at 10.6 or something but that might be misleading! It's the one before the Snow Leopard update, of that I'm sure :)


Hi Rick,

Sounds like you may indeed be having video card issues. If it's working fine for a little bit from a cool tempurature and going berzerk when it heats up, then there may be a problem with the video card's fan, or something on the card itself may be damaged.

Try removing the video card and completely inspecting it for any popped capacitors or burnt chips. Blast the fan with some canned air to get rid of any built-up dust. If you have a spare video card on hand, try swapping cards and seeing if the spare shows similar issues.

If this doesn't solve the issue, come back and we'll try something else.


Thanks for your input Lambda. I don't have a spare graphics card at hand, no, so I would have to fork out some money to check if that's the problem. It's an expensive machine so it would be justified, obviously, but I'd like to try any other suggestion you may have before I get my wallet out :)

As for checking the card itself for burns or popped components, I'll definately give it a look. Its' a Nvidia 8800GT if you're interested. If something was blown on the card, though, wouldn't it stop the graphics working altogether?

Cheers dudes


Yes, normally a popped component, especially a chip, would cause the card to not work at all. Things like capacitors cause leaks, which can cause shorts and thus screwy behavior like you had. I've read cases of old Mac SE/30s with leaked capacitors that caused crazy things to happen, like odd patterns on the CRT or random boots and shutdowns. Usually cleaning the motherboards off completely and replacing the broken capacitors brought them back to life.

But in this case, have you at least blasted some compressed air onto the card's fan to get dust out? Also, try smelling the card; see if anything smells burned. Cheers!


Got your message Lambda, I'll do as you suggested and report back soon. Thanks again


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This sounds like something's wrong with the video card. I've had to deal with a similar issue on a Mac Pro for a client, and swapping cards solved the issue entirely.

What happened here sounds like a component on the video card went out; specifically, the fan and heatsink covering the GPU. This is the same as what I experienced. The card would start to overheat quickly and cause the OS to go AWOL. After swapping the card for a new one (same nVidia make/model card as before) and inspecting the old card, my suspicions were true: the old card had some mild burn marks on a couple of chips, which meant that the card had started overheating and frying itself. One good solution to prevent this is to take the card out of the Mac Pro and blast every crevice and the fan with compressed air to prevent dust and dirt buildup and keeping it running smoothly.

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When I had this problem it had nothing to do with the GPU, in the end the file directory on the HDD was corrupted verified via Apple. It required a fresh OS reinstall, luckily I keep frequent backups, thankfully I haven’t experienced any problems since.


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