Mac OS X Kernel Panic FAQ
Spinning beachballs which some people may confuse for kernel panics are rarely related to kernel panics! Resolving kernel panics may take steps which require you have a backup in place first. If you don't have a backup, look over backup FAQ before proceeding!
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The kernel panic FAQ is divided into the following sections:
Varieties of kernel panics and their causes:
1. Migrating PowerPC to Intel Macs
3. Drivers and Preference Panels
5. Data corruption
7. RAM and motherboards
8. Other resources for diagnosing kernel panics
9. Hands Off software and 10.6.8
For more on things which may cause the system to become sluggish enough to have a spinning beachball cursor read this FAQ unless one of these other clear signs of a kernel panic is happening.