Tech Talk

Mac Format - - MAC SOS - by Luis Vil­la­zon Luis Vil­la­zon al­lows his Macs to break ex­actly once per month so he can write about it in Tech Talk.

I do most of my writ­ing on a Late 2012 Mac mini that I try to keep rel­a­tively sand­boxed from all of the blithe ex­per­i­men­ta­tion that goes on with my other de­vices. Con­se­quently, er­ror mes­sages are a very rare sight on my Thun­der­bolt Dis­play. So, I was a bit sur­prised by the ker­nel panic that occurred im­me­di­ately af­ter I up­graded to El Cap­i­tan, and even more so that it hap­pened ev­ery sin­gle day af­ter that.

When shut­ting down, the Mac mini re­li­ably threw a ker­nel panic (where you see a mes­sage box in the mid­dle of the screen and the same sen­tence in lots of dif­fer­ent lan­guages). Af­ter an

I was sur­prised by the ker­nel panic that occurred im­me­di­ately af­ter I up­graded to El Cap­i­tan

au­to­matic restart, shut­ting down again im­me­di­ately from the lo­gin win­dow works nor­mally, but not if I log in first.

OS X gen­er­ates a crash log when it restarts af­ter a ker­nel panic and of­fers to send it to Ap­ple. The first couple of times I just sent it, un­think­ingly, and got on with my day. But as the prob­lem per­sisted, I be­gan adding back­ground info in the com­ment field. Even­tu­ally, I both­ered to read the de­tails in the log it­self. The process that was crash­ing was al­ways re­lated to IOUSB Fam­ily, so I de­cided to un­plug my USB de­vices. As it turns out, I only have one – an old five-port hub. The mo­ment I un­plugged it, the Mac mini crashed. So case closed, I guess. Time for a new USB hub.

Moral: The crash log does ac­tu­ally con­tain use­ful clues.

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