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Here are some tests I have when I ran Apple Hardware Test from original Tiger install disc.

My issue is recurrent worsening inconsistent kernel panics.

The Hardware Test hangs up at 35 seconds, while "testing memory." The first time I ran it I didn't realize it had hung up till I looked over the display after 3 or 4 minutes. It showed "Detected Error" and a code, but shut down as I scrambled for a pencil to write it down. I then ran it 3 more times, but each time the system shut down sometime between 35 seconds and the appearance of the error code.

  • Can I deduce anything useful from this?
  • Can I force the Hardware Test to tell me anything more?
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Anything else we can add to help you resolve this? –  bmike Aug 25 '13 at 22:22
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Thanks @bmike for shaping my thinking on MBP panics. Problem resolved April 2013 by replacing both memory sticks (by prof tech). Apologies for any violations of site etiquette - I continue to lurk with interest! My goal is to keep this Mac running FCE 3.5 indefinitely, so I may be back... –  sharron Sussman Aug 27 '13 at 14:46
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If you want to add that as a proper answer and tick the "accepted" answer, it will help others in your situation and help feed the site with a resolved issue rather than an answer in the comments. (Which is 100% better than no answer - so thanks for returning and lurking) –  bmike Aug 27 '13 at 16:10
    
Just to add, I added lots of info to a similar question a few days ago. Breadcrumbs for anyone landing here looking for meanings to error codes... apple.stackexchange.com/questions/100038/… –  Mr Rabbit Aug 27 '13 at 21:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if there's a way to get more information out of the Hardware Test (although I would suggest taking a picture of the screen if you're not able to write all the info down in time). However the symptoms you describe suggest that there's a problem with your memory — either the sticks themselves, or the memory controller.

I would suggest taking out your memory, then trying these steps:

  • Run the AHT with one memory DIMM only. Repeat with the same DIMM in the other slot.
  • Repeat the above, but with the other DIMM.
  • If neither of those work, try a known good DIMM from another machine, or a new one.

If you find that one stick works but the other doesn't, it's likely that you have a bad stick — replacing it should solve your problem. Likewise if new RAM works but the existing doesn't.

If you find that one slot works but the other doesn't, then you likely have a logic board or memory controller issue.

Finally, if none of those combinations work, it could be a logic board or memory controller issue, or something else.

Sorry I can't be more definitive, but hopefully that will help you to narrow it down.

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I understand the approach, but don't have the right screwdriver for the job, let alone the skill set! Will pass along your post to the technician who has worked on this computer for me & let you know how it goes. Maybe it's time to take a course in computer repair... –  sharron Sussman Dec 25 '12 at 23:31
    
Replacing RAM in most Macs is pretty straightforward. Apple has nice guides on their site if you're curious. It does require a #00 Phillips screwdriver (typically found cheaply in a small jewellers set). It's pretty easy if you want to try, but having a pro do it never hurts. –  robmathers Dec 26 '12 at 0:17
    
Thanks @robmathers for shaping my thinking on MBP panics. Problem resolved April 2013 by replacing both memory sticks (by prof tech). Apologies for any violations of site etiquette - I continue to lurk with interest! My goal is to keep this Mac running FCE 3.5 indefinitely, so I may be back! –  sharron Sussman Aug 27 '13 at 14:44
    
@sharronSussman you’re welcome! If this answered your question, please click the checkmark to accept the answer. –  robmathers Aug 27 '13 at 18:58
    
I can't find a "checkmark" or an "accepted answer" symbol to click on this page in spite of direct inspection and some feeble onsite & online searching. I'm on a small-screen Win7 PC (saving the MBP for video editing) so my displays are sometimes truncated... What to do? –  sharron Sussman Aug 29 '13 at 0:21

When you can't get a hardware test to run to completion, that's a good sign you need a repair. When it sometimes logs an error and sometimes it completes without an error, things are harder to guess, but your Mac is clearly not even running well enough to finish some basic tests of functionality.


The detailed AHT result codes and triage steps are not published by Apple except to trained / authorized technicians, so the obvious thing to do would be to call one and ask for a quote.

They may want you to relay the results or they may prefer to run the tests themselves since it might take more time to pore over your results / check your work than to do an estimate by their trained techs.

When the system can't even complete a hardware test without powering off, it's most likely not the memory since you could pull all RAM and repeat the test with only one memory in one slot and perhaps try a second memory in another slot in case you feared one receptacle or one chipset was horribly damaged and bringing the entire Mac down.

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I used to own an original mid-2006 MacBook 1,1, and it did have one RAM slot go bad. If that slot was filled (even with a known good SODIMM), it would kernel panic on boot every time. It was well out of warranty, so I just got a single 2 GB SODIMM to put in the other slot, and it was still working fine by the time I sold it 2 years later. –  Warren Pena Mar 11 '13 at 18:16
    
Thanks @warrenpena for shaping my thinking on MBP panics. Problem resolved April 2013 by replacing both memory sticks (by prof tech). Apologies for any violations of site etiquette - I continue to lurk with interest! My goal is to keep this Mac running FCE 3.5 indefinitely, so I may be back! –  sharron Sussman Aug 27 '13 at 14:44
    
@sharronSussman Huzzah! I'm glad it was RAM which is cheap and more importantly you can keep using something as opposed to try to reuse something that's broken and not yet repaired. –  bmike Aug 27 '13 at 16:08

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