I recently acquired a 2010 13" MacBook Pro. When attempting to boot to a Leopard installer on a USB drive, I am greeted with a kernel panic. There is no specific error message but instead prompts me to restart.

However, I tried booting from a hard drive in my early 2008 MacBook (with clean install of Lion) and it runs. However, there is extreme lag due to the high CPU usage. Task manager indicates kernel_task is using 150%+ of the CPU. This Lion install is near clean and runs perfectly on my MacBook. Upon successfully getting into Lion, I was greeted with a "problem report for mac os x". I can't copy paste it because of the lag (and I'm using a different machine to type this question) but one of the lines in the details suggests CPU issues... panic(cpu 0 caller 0x001A9C68): Kernel trap at 0x4c76a81c, type 14=page fault, registers. The next lines detail the registers and following that is a backtrace. I don't know what register and backtrace are.

Also, the computer is quite hot and there is no load. I performed a PRAM reset because, initially, the issues booting and no audio prompted me. Audio works now when it turns on.

I'm concerned the CPU is failing on the motherboard but I'm curious about what you [the community] think. Does this involve reflowing/replacing the CPU? How can I fix this?

I took photos of the kernel panic log window and the task manager. Upon request, I can post those.

  • 1
    Kernel panics on that model? May 24, 2018 at 10:25
  • 1
    The first thing you should do is run AHT - Apple Hardware Test. Hold D while booting from a powered off state with the AC adapter attached. This way, you can get good baseline of any potential hardware issues rather than guessing.
    – Allan
    May 24, 2018 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


The line you have quoted is not an indication of CPU issues - you seem to be misinterpreting that.

The meaning of that line is that the kernel (i.e. the operating system core) failed because of a page fault. A page fault means that the operating system core tried to access a part of memory that isn't accessible to it (i.e. not mapped). This should not happen.

The causes of this are either a software bug or software incompatibility (for example if you run an operating system version earlier than the one originally supplied with the computer), or it is a hardware error. Usually the hardware error is due to defective RAM or insufficient cooling.

Page faults caused by defective CPUs are extremely rare.

  • Thanks. Where did you learn the meaning of the kernel panics? I'll run the apple hardware test as suggested in one of the other comments. Lion came after release so I doubt the OS is the issue. I'll try swapping sodimms, checking the fan, and perhaps adding new thermal paste to the heatsink.
    – www139
    May 24, 2018 at 23:58
  • I found this developer.apple.com/library/content/technotes/tn2063/…
    – www139
    May 25, 2018 at 0:01
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    @www139 Understanding kernel panics combines multiple types of learnings and experiences. In my case I have a masters degree in computer science combined with the experiences of writing parts of an commercial operating system kernel, as well as experience from commercial operation in debugging kernel panics on various types of systems.
    – jksoegaard
    May 25, 2018 at 10:49

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