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MacBook Pro crashing

By MetalX
Feb 27, 2013
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  1. Hey everyone,

    My late 2011 15" MacBook Pro (i7 2nd Gen, 4 GB, 750 GB, HD6770) started crashing last Friday. I have upgraded the RAM to 8 GB, removed the internal optical drive, replaced the 750 GB hard drive with a 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, and moved the 750 GB hard drive to the optical drive bay. I had OSX installed on the Vertex 3, a ~200 GB Bootcamp Windows 7 partition on the 750 GB drive, and the remaining space on the 750 GB was given over to the original factory Mac partition which I kept for data storage (it still had OSX installed on it, but I never actually used the partition as a boot drive, my SSD OSX installation was my main one).

    Last Friday morning, while I was in class, my MacBook suddenly did something I'd never seen before. While I was browsing the internet in Chrome, a message came up saying that the MacBook must shut down immediately. The background behind the message was darkened and the system was totally unresponsive until it eventually restarted. A bit of searching online revealed this issue to be something called a "kernel panic". It always happens within a few minutes of booting back up into the Vertex 3 installation of OSX, but the timing is different every time; sometimes I don't have time to even open an app up after booting up, but other times it lasts up to five minutes before crashing. Since this issue started happening, my Windows partition (on the 750 GB hard drive) will not boot either: it says that it needs to perform startup repair. If I perform the startup repair, it will give me a blue screen of death shortly after the loading screen for repair appears. If I do not perform the startup repair, the system will simply crash and restart. In addition, the original factory installation of OSX on the 750 GB hard drive (which I normally do not use) will not boot at all, and gives me a sort of "black screen of death" with error text when I attempt to boot from it. Prior to the kernel panic issue appearing, this OSX installation was bootable, and I had booted into it by accident about a week beforehand.

    So now neither OS installed on the 750 GB drive will boot, but the OS on the SSD will, however it crashes soon after. I hypothesized therefore that the 750 GB drive had failed or was corrupt since there are quite a few apps (several dozen GB at least) that are stored on the 750 GB drive but installed under the SSD OS, so I thought perhaps it is these apps starting up after the OS boots from the SSD that were causing the kernel panic, and a bad drive would explain why neither OS on the drive boots properly. However, upon plugging the 750 GB drive into a spare SATA port on my desktop, all partitions appear and are reported as "Healthy" under Disk Management in Windows 7, and the files on the Bootcamp partition are visible and seem intact and functional from my preliminary testing. I am currently in the process of scanning the disk for errors with HD Tune Pro 5.00, but it appears to be totally fine according to that scan so far, so I'm not sure it's the hard drive any more.

    I was able to recover two of the kernel panic reports upon rebooting the system after the crash, but the system crashed too quickly in most cases to have a chance to save the other reports. I have attached these reports to this thread. I was unable to recover dump files from the Windows 7 BSODs because they occured during the attempt to load startup repair, and the OS was not properly loaded so it appears that the dump files were not saved properly because they did not appear in the specified folder that they should have gone to.

    I had originally thought the hard drive was the problem and I purchased a 750 GB Scorpio Black to replace it, but I'm not so sure now. Could the RAM or something else possibly be causing this type of issue? I'm really stumped here guys, any help of comments would be beautiful, thanks in advance.

    Very long post, I know, so heres the TL;DR: MacBook Pro with SSD + 750 GB drives started kernel panicking 0-5min after boot into OSX on the SSD, OSX and Win 7 on the 750 GB both no longer boot. I thought the 750 had failed, but connecting to another PC showed all partitions as healthy and disk scan is showing no errors so far. What could it be?
     
  2. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    I would maybe return the SSD to OCZ and ask for a replacement
     
  3. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    Thanks for the suggestion and I'm going to test the OCZ drive next for drive errors and the like, but I don't understand how a bad SSD could cause not one, but two OS installations on a DIFFERENT drive to fail to boot. While I haven't ruled the Vertex 3 as a problem yet, I don't see how it could be causing this issue, because the SSD boots; I can get into OSX on it, if only for a short time. Admittedly, it crashes relatively quickly when I boot onto the OCZ drive, but could a bad SSD be itself bootable yet cause the 750 GB drive to not boot? It just doesn't seem likely :(
     
  4. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    I am not a mac person, but I have one that I use occasionally. Try repairing disk permissions, or you cant even boot up?
     
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    In the past, not sure about now, Apple systems were very picky on RAM. Was this RAM upgrade at the same time as the other upgrades? If so, boot up from a memtest cd and see if your RAM passes.
     
  6. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    [​IMG]Thanks for the suggestions guys, I happened to try Memtest86 first because the hard disks are currently unplugged for testing, and here's an image of what happened. I'm guessing this means that something is wrong with my memory? I upgraded the RAM to 2 Centon 4 GB DDR3 sticks that claimed Mac compatibility at the same time as I got the SSD, which was months and months ago now, must have been around September 2012. If it is the RAM that's causing the problem, could you link me to a quality 8 GB DDR3 kit for Mac?
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    Do you still have your old RAM? Put that in for the time being and make sure it doesn't fail memtest.

    I have owned 3 Macs that I've upgraded the RAM in since 2006 (1 PowerPC, 2 Intels) and I've always used Crucial RAM, never had any problems. I've got 8GB of Crucial 1333 MHz DDR3 in my Mid 2009 13" MBP right now, but unfortunately that is all the details I have on it without pulling off the bottom cover and looking.

    Actually, just looked it up on Crucial's site. Here you go: http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=FD0CDC3CA5CA7304
     
  8. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    Yeah Crucial is like the only mac memory I use
     
  9. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    Unfortunately, I don't have the original RAM anymore, or any other RAM to test with really, so looks like I'll have to pick up another 8 GB kit. Thanks for the link SNGX, I know Macs can be really picky with RAM so I think I'll order the one you linked. I'll post again later with results once it comes in.
     
  10. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    After some unexpected bills came up, I had to hold off buying the new RAM for the moment. However, I did open the MacBook back up and swapped out one of the 4 GB sticks for a 2 GB stick from my other laptop. OSX now appears to function correctly without any crashes at all, but since swapping the RAM stick, now whenever I boot into Windows 7, it will blue screen within about 5 minutes of getting to the desktop. Its really almost the exact same problem that was happening to OSX prior to swapping the RAM sticks. At least I can get INTO Windows now, but it still doesn't appear to be working. I ran memtest after swapping the 2 GB stick in, and it didn't report an error immediately, as it had before swapping the stick, but I haven't yet given it a chance to run fully. I'll post back with the results when I do. If memtest comes up all good, what else could be causing these random blue screens? I have dump files available to upload if necessary.

    UPDATE (2:31PM EDT): I have found that Windows will BSOD as soon as a full screen 3D applicaton is launched. Not sure if this is relevant, but its the only thing I've found that consistently produces a problem. The blue screen shows the error: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, when this happens, although I have also seen other errors on previous blue screens on the MacBook.
     
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    Could be graphics driver then since it is reproducible with a 3D launch. Your MBP uses ATi graphics right? Get this tool to remove - http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/catalyst-uninstall-utility.aspx and then install the latest after a reboot.

    Memtest should really complete at least 1 full pass before calling the RAM good. 3 is better, 7 used to be mentioned in the past but I think that is quite excessive. If yours passes memtest, and updating the drivers don't fix your Windows problem AND your OS X problem is gone, then I guess it may be time to re-install Windows. Thats a lot of "ifs" though so I think we shouldn't spend a lot of time on those other possibilities until you get more information (memtest, driver change, if it occurs in OS X).
     
     
  12. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    Will this uninstall utility work on an Apple modified GPU?
     
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    I don't know for sure, but I imagine so, its just going to look for the files associated with the driver.

    With the information we have at hand now, it sounds like a video driver issue in Windows. I think that catalyst uninstall utility will work at least as good as just removing them from Windows by device manager or the Programs control panel. The current Catalyst drivers should then work fine, regardless of it being inside an Apple machine. At least that is my understanding.
     
  14. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    I'll give your uninstall utility a shot either tonight or tomorrow when I've got a chance SNGX, thanks. I have previously tried to remove the default video driver that was installed with boot camp, but no other driver would ever install successfully except the original boot camp driver, which is from 2011. However, I don't believe I have ever tried using an uninstall utility to remove the old driver, I had only removed it by uninstalling it in Windows.

    From a quick bit of google and forums searching, it seems that somehow the HD 6770M used in Macbooks is different than the 6770M used in regular laptops, and cannot use the same drivers at the regular ones, even under Windows. I'm not 100% sure that this is the case with the video card, but I found a few forum posts talking about it. I'll link them when I manage to find them again; I'm currently at school so it'll have to be later.

    Also, I'll make sure to give memtest a few passes to see if the memory is the problem. Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  15. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    I dont think they will be effective under OSX, but I am wondering how this could cure the crashing in OSX :confused: :eek:? You are just attending to the windows part of the issue right?
     
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    UNKNOWN9122 OS X isn't crashing anymore, that stopped when he changed RAM.

    [quote="MetalX, post: 1286518, member: 65508]"From a quick bit of google and forums searching, it seems that somehow the HD 6770M used in Macbooks is different than the 6770M used in regular laptops, and cannot use the same drivers at the regular ones, even under Windows. I'm not 100% sure that this is the case with the video card, but I found a few forum posts talking about it.[/quote]

    As far as I can tell, the current ones work in MacBook Pros.
    64bit: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonaiw_vista64.aspx
    32bit: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonaiw_vista32.aspx

    Edit: can't seem to fix the quotes, sorry if you got 47 alerts from me trying to fix this.
     
  17. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    Oh man, I didnt read that, my bad.
     
  18. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    I'm really stumped now. The original problem from the first post (random crashes after boot in OSX, and Windows BSODs on boot and/or fails to boot) came back, without me changing anything whatsoever hardware wise, and all I did software wise was install Internet Explorer 5 for Mac on OSX. Seeing that all configurations of the RAM I currently owned were giving the "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" error on memtest86, I went out and bought 2x4 GB of Centon dual channel DDR3, which was specified as being made specifically for Macs, and said guaranteed compatibility on the packaging. Upon installing this RAM (which I now cannot return since it's been opened :( ), I have seen no change whatsoever in the symptoms. Even memtest86 is still giving the same error "Unexpected Interrupt - Halting" that I've been seeing since the first time I ran it after your suggestion SNGX. Both hard drives checked out when I checked them, and the RAM is fine :S This has really got me baffled guys.
     
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    Hate to say it, but maybe it is a bad 'logic board'...

    You might try doing the Apple Hardware Test. I linked that because I don't know how you get there on your MBP, and apparently they don't either, but there are some things to try on that. Not sure if that has a dvd drive in it, but if it shipped with a DVD or USB stick, boot off of that, the hardware test will be there.
     
  20. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    Sorry for the late response, I've been busy lately playing SimCity a little bit too much ;)

    Anyway, I tried the hardware test SNGX, and it hangs every single time right away within 1 minute of starting the test, always while testing the memory, even though I just replaced the memory with two brand new Mac compatible 4 GB DDR3 sticks, which have been tested and work just fine in my HP laptop. It seems to me that it's pretty much got to be the motherboard at this point. I'm really hoping Apple will replace it under warranty since I paid $2600 for this machine only 15 months ago...

    Thank you for all your help so far though. I think I'm going to bring it in to the Apple store and see what they can do about it.
     
  21. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    only 8GB for $2600 lol
     
  22. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    It only came with 4 GB, I had to upgrade it to 8 GB, thats the sad part.
     
  23. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    The only reason I would buy a Mac is for the looks and bragging rights lol. The hardware is a bust. OS X is meh, I hope 11 is amazing.
     
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,690   +334

    If the Apple store you take it to can't do anything, just keep your cool and ask a couple more times. If it still doesn't work out, go to another Apple store. Often times if they have the stock onhand, they'll replace out of warranty for free.

    JC713 - eh. You hit on a significant portion with the looks. The hardware and the looks/weight is something very difficult to achieve, so you pay for that. Even the 'PC' manufacturers are charging a lot when you get into the same specs/weight categories. I think the OS is fine. I run OS X on a MBP as my main laptop, 7 starter on a netbook. Then I ran 8 on my main PC (which gets about 70% of my total computer usage) for the last couple months, and I've ran 7 for years before that. I don't have any problems with Macs, I don't have any problems with Windows (well I do have a problem with 8 now, after serious retail use). But I disagree that the hardware is a bust and OS X isn't anything great. Anyway, just needed to say that, this isn't really the place to debate that, so unless you really say something that sets me off, I probably won't address that stuff anymore in this thread.
     
    JC713 likes this.
  25. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    Haha I understand bud, I was just trying to state my honest opinion about them. I can agree with you in that OS X is pretty good (but I prefer Windows since it is easier to multitask multiple windows). I feel MBPs are very refined. I love that part. I really hope the next release of MBPs is all an all retina lineup. The 5400RPM HDDs are very slow with OS X, and I am not an expert with Macs, so I wouldnt want to put an SSD in. All opinions aside mate, I really appreciate your rebuttal, I agree for the most part ;).
     
    MetalX likes this.


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