Almost immediately after the installation reboot, and seconds after the apple logo appears the following error shows up;

panic(cpu 0 caller 0xffffff8017d263a6) : "zone_init;kmem_suballoc failed"@/Library/Caches/com.apple.xbs/Sources/xnu/xnu-3247.1.106/osfmkkern/zall oc.c:2199

This is a 2010 iMac running the latest Yosemite with all updates installed.

Any guesses for the cause?

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac11,3
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 12 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s

2 Answers 2


This is really basic memory allocation that's failing (zalloc.c) - and even if your install was completely trashed by outside forces, I'd expect a panic just about anywhere else in the system. This is a pretty low level failure.

If you can't get a recovery install to work, your next step is to call support, because this looks very much like a hardware problem.

  • Thanks for such a quick response. I"m actually typing from that same computer running Yosemite successfully. I was able to CMD-R my way back to yosemite. If the hardware is failing for El Capitan, why wouldn't it fail with Yosemite? on a side note, I DO have some non-Apple RAM installed on the machine. Could that the hardware that is incompatible?
    – Jeff
    Oct 4, 2015 at 21:32
  • Good to see :) - It doesn't make much intuitive sense, but I've seen fresh OS installs "perturb" a system with marginal or failing memory into outright failure where they worked before (usually as a result of the memory causing file errors during the install process). Brand of your memory shouldn't matter, but if you're paranoid, i'd suggest running memtest86 on it overnight to see if anything shows up. memtest86.com/download.htm
    – Mikey T.K.
    Oct 5, 2015 at 4:00

It's possible that you have a corrupted installer. I would suggest downloading it again and following instructions to make a bootable drive using the create install media tool provided in terminal.


I would not agree that there was a hardware problem due to the fact that you were able to use the computer after reinstalling 10.10 there is also a 3rd party app called disk maker X if you would prefer to not use Terminal


I have had this happen to me before,when an installer was bad. It didn't load the OS correctly and it was just the installer.

  • 3
    All vital components of OS X are cryptographically signed. A corrupted installer would just not install.
    – bot47
    Jul 3, 2016 at 15:09

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