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?

  • Are you able to boot in safe mode? Hold the shift key at start up. Post if you can/can't
    – Phorce
    Jan 25, 2013 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, 2013 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, 2013 at 22:57

2 Answers 2


Understanding a panic is quite easy: The core scheduler for the OS got lost in the weeds. This is a fail-safe in that the computer decides to stop running itself.

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.

You can see these files after a restart by looking in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports and especially if you have several that recur (in the same day or hour) it is sometimes useful to compare the reasons and patterns in the file.

Back to the high level - how to understand this design is that some fundamental things went so wrong in the core of the operating system, the designers have all concluded that it's almost certainly worse to keep running with this error than to halt the computer immediately.

Think of this as a fail-safe at the level where the computer decides what program or instruction gets to run next. The computer is literally out of ideas how to continue, so it dumps what it was working on (as best as it can recollect now that things are off the rails) and stops immediately.

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.

  • Could somebody update the links in this very helpful posting? The last two in particular are dead. Many thanks
    – ShyPerson
    Feb 5, 2021 at 0:27
  • 1
    Hi @ShyPerson thank you for noticing. How is it now?
    – bmike
    Feb 5, 2021 at 0:32

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


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 :)

  • Note that Poorly Written Applications ad plugins should not be able to cause Kernel panics as they should not have permissions
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 24, 2013 at 9:56

You must log in to answer this question.

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