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My MacBook Pro worked all normal when all of a sudden it went black. It tried to reboot itself but immediately produced a kernel panic.

From then on I was never able to boot again. I could only enter my password (not for logging in to Mac OS, but for booting) and then the kernel panic would happen each time.

The error log was only visible for a few seconds and then it rebooted itself again. I was able to take a photograph of the kernel error. I have no idea what actually happened, so I wonder if anyone of you can make sense of the error message or identify the reason why the system failed?

Photograph of kernel panic here.

The only thing that gives me a hint is the line about Core Storage Driver. In fact, I set up a HDD and SSD as a FusionDrive as explained in this article. I did this in november and used the MacBook every day since. Never had a problem until yesterday.

Luckily, I had a fresh backup and have been able to restore everything in the meantime. I checked both the SSD and HDD drive with disk utility for errors but everything seems fine.

Any idea what actually caused the error?

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Are you able to boot in safe mode? Hold the shift key at start up. Post if you can/can't –  Phorce Jan 25 '13 at 20:46
    
When the error happened, booting in safe mode resulted in the same issue.The problem is fixed but I am asking this question to understand what caused the problem in the first place. –  maze Jan 25 '13 at 22:27
    
I have posted an answer. Apologies, it was unclear to what you were actually asking however I hope my answer helped a little –  Phorce Jan 25 '13 at 22:57
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2 Answers 2

Understanding a panic is quite easy.

The inner most portion of the OS's control logic got derailed and the system was designed to drop all processing and leave a log file for engineering to troubleshoot further.

Basically, some fundamental things went so wrong, it's probably worse to keep running than to halt the computer immediately. Think of this as a fail-safe at the level where the computer decides what program gets to run next.

Kernel Panics are some of the hardest to debug unless you have one that you know exactly how to trigger it. In that case, it's pretty easy to keep eliminating possibilities until the source is obvious. Here is the best writeup of Mac specific information on Understanding and Debugging Kernel Panics. It is very technical, so take what you wish and move on to the steps below.

Like anything, it's best to isolate the problem to avoid chasing down thousands of potential causes. If you want to be systematic about how you isolate the cause (or worse causes) of a panic, here are the two articles with general steps for isolating software causes before investigating hardware.

In your specific case - Core Storage is either the root cause or just an innocent next bystander that "falls into the hole" that another process left behind. Good Luck if you decide to isolate this, hopefully it was a one-off error and you can just use your Mac in peace.

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I'm going to answer your question (in the comments)

what caused the problem in the first place

There can be many reasons why your Mac might have had a kernel panic. Most of them are temporary and you probably won't see them agan. The reasons usually include:

  • Poorly Written Applications,
  • Plugins
  • Add-ons
  • Drivers

....

Usually you only see a kernel panic when unusual conditions occure, these can include two (or more) specific apps running whilst our memory is still in use (the hex codes, were most likely memory locations).

Reference / Further Description: http://macs.about.com/od/usingyourmac/qt/Troubleshooting-Os-X-Kernel-Panics.htm

UPDATE:

Specific to your situation Page faults are usually caused when trying to access memory that is invalid. I have also read that people experience such erros by using hardware that is only affects certain models (SSD's for example) so I am guessing this is the same issue with you, since it does mention it. Again, this post explains a little more: https://discussions.apple.com/message/21015757#21015757

Hope this helps you :)

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Note that Poorly Written Applications ad plugins should not be able to cause Kernel panics as they should not have permissions –  Mark Jun 24 '13 at 9:56
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