Since 10.6.3, Apple has decided change the AppleIntelCPUManagement kexts, which leave me stuck with a kernel_task that pegs out at 135-185%, generating a lot of heat.

Anyway, since I doubt anyone has a fix to the above, is it possible to switch from Safe Mode to Normal (and vice-versa) without a reboot?

  • Would it be helpful to back up your Mac and then completely wipe the hard drive and install a virgin copy of Mac OS X 10.6.8 or OS X 10.7.1, without migrating over any system settings from your old system? If the behavior improves, you could then re-install only your data, without migrating over any system extensions or system settings. If the virgin system does not behave any better, you could wipe the hard drive again and restore your initial system from you backup and be back where you started. – user9290 Aug 20 '11 at 19:36
  • Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried that, however, yes. – anatinus Aug 20 '11 at 21:25


To start at the beginning, Mac OS X loads certain kernel extensions very early in the boot process. And, intrinsically, kernel extensions will only function if they are loaded at the start of the boot process.

The purpose of Safe Mode is to boot the computer without these kernel extensions.

In Normal mode, these kernel extensions are permitted to load right at the beginning of the boot.

So, by definition, the only way to have Normal mode is to load all the kernel extensions at boot time. Hence, if you are in Safe Mode, you must reboot to create Normal Mode.

  • I'm sorry, but that's just not correct. Kexts are re-loaded all the time in the system. If you don't believe me, type launchctl, and request the bootstrap list every minute or so >> file. Observe what happens when you use USB for the first time in a while, for example. Not to mention that kexts are absolutely loaded in safe mode. – anatinus Aug 20 '11 at 19:17
  • 1
    Ok, I understand your explanation, but I still believe that the only way to go from Safe Mode to a fully- functioning "normal" mode is to reboot so that each normal component can launch at the right time in the right order. Do you agree with that? – user9290 Aug 20 '11 at 19:29
  • It seems so far that I have to, as I haven't found a way to circumvent this process. I'm hopeful, but not expectant of finding an answer. – anatinus Aug 20 '11 at 21:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .