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After updating to macOS 11, aka Big Sur, my Mac has kept crashing every ~2 hours. Here's the kernel panic log from one recent panic Here is another panic log.

I initially thought the issue was related to a Dell DisplayLink docking station I had connected to, but I have uninstalled the driver and I have also experienced crashes without any peripherals attached.

Any help reading and understanding a kernel panic log would be much appreciated.

I should note that the install process of big sur was a bit strange with several reboots and clicking "update" again. Not sure if that means anything.

I'm on a 2017 15" MacBook Pro with touchpad, i7 and intel graphics.

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  • Just for info: I did a clean install of Big Sur also on a 15" 2017 MBP without errors using a USB drive. No unexpected behavior during installation and now using it. – X_841 Nov 26 '20 at 8:57
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    If you run Apple Hardware Diagnostics, does it show any issues? – negacao Nov 26 '20 at 16:29
  • looks like you have a USB virtual serial port driver loaded USB.CDC.ACM it was the last kernel extension used in both logs. Are you sing a USB to Serial adaptor? – AndrewC Dec 6 '20 at 15:57
  • I'm also having multiple causes of panics, all appear to be sleep related: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/408916/… so-far disabling (for battery control panel) "optimize battery charging" after updating to 11.1 (from 11.0.1) which may have fixed other issues. This is on a new M1 Air (apple-silicon) so it's very likely entirely a software issue. And this is generally consistent with all major software releases from Apple the past several years. Frankly they absolutely suck at software. Just look at autocomplete. – jimmont Dec 18 '20 at 10:33
  • @negacao thanks, very useful comment, I did the hardware check and everything reports as fine and all good; based on various observations over the past several weeks (this is a daily recurrence, often multiple times a day) I believe it is entirely due to bugs in Big Sur and occurring with specific software running somehow, if I limit the running software when stepping away things are fine, I just haven't figured out what specifically causes a problem, more what doesn't or isn't as often – jimmont Jan 8 at 0:59
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Your panics repeatedly occur in IOAcceleratorFamily, which is the graphics driver. Panics with this specific signature are overwhelmingly the result of a bug in macOS, not anything that you’re doing wrong. Debugging this fully requires Apple internal tools and engineering expertise, not to mention access to the code. You won’t be able to fix this yourself (although you might stumble upon a workaround, such as a full erase-install) because this isn’t the user’s fault.

Your best bet is to file a bug report and provide Apple with detailed information to help reproduce and root-cause your issue. This will include collecting a sysdiagnose immediately after you reboot from a crash ($ sysdiagnose in Terminal or CommandOptionControlShift. from any app). Then you can file the bug via the Apple Developer bug reporter if you have a developer account or through Feedback Assistant if you don’t. If you file a good report, you will either work indirectly with an Apple engineer if this is a novel bug or have your data be added to the pool of existing reports for this same issue. Apple will then work to make a fix and roll it into the earliest software update that it can.

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  • Wow, this is incredibly useful! I almost feel like learning how to read a kernel panic report to be better equipped. In the meantime, my computer was re-installed with Catalina and I have not had a single kernel panic since. – Superpronker Feb 4 at 8:00
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Currently this is a game of whack-a-mole with Big Sur. I've been seeing repeated kernel panics 2 days into 11.2 and the previous 11.1. I've now largely adjusted my workflow to accommodate regular crashing to manage work loss and expect this to remain true for at least several point releases (11.x) given the slow progress--just my guess. Hardware checks reveal no issues and report all good.

As with notable software updates from Apple the past several years this reveals a significant systemic weakness of the company. LinkedIn was recently hiring for head of software and Google Project Zero is revealing related security issues and improvements, so both directly and indirectly seeing that simply adapting to the shortcomings is the norm with Apple products moving forward.

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  • IMO, I wouldn't expect 11.2 until early 2021, as 11.1 just got released and we're coming up to the Christmas period. I suspect it is more likely a faulty peripheral/hardware fault than a software issue, as they often tend to be. I haven't heard so many complaints with Big Sur personally, and I'm writing this on the oldest supported MacBook Pro (late 2013), which (surprisingly) feels much smoother than Mojave (I skipped Catalina altogether). – AVelj Dec 18 '20 at 11:29
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Apple has an excellent guide to starting to resolve or at least narrow what causes panics.

When a panic is induced by a device injecting bad data, you may have to triage while troubleshooting. Is it a cable, a controller board on a display, a hubs that increases the frequency. Eventually, Apple may patch the system to catch the error condition before it’s acted on by the kernel - but that presumes their engineers analyze the sysdiagnose logs for your specific crash (or one fundamentally similar to yours).

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  • Not sure I'd call that excellent. "Reinstall Mac OS" ... that's not even the last option. Gimme a break – WallyGee Feb 4 at 0:15
  • Good thing there’s a space here to do better than I can with your own answer @WallyGee - you can show me up and show Apple up. Just because I find the article very useful, I get no answer or article can be to everyone’s taste. – bmike Feb 4 at 3:01
  • Anyone can have a break by outsourcing their work to another. Tracing a kernel panic is a science and you can capture all the detail needed to determine the cause - it just takes time and training and hardware. – bmike Feb 14 at 13:32

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