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!

This page is part of the subscription links for Macmaps Tech Support. It gives several tools on clearing your disk space. You may either subscribe to the fulltext of this page for 30 days of your own self help, or get 30 minute intervals of e-mail or phone support. Both options are available for purchase at tech support. Once you have purchased a password for 30 days, the direct link is The kernel panic FAQ is divided into the following sections:
Varieties of kernel panics and their causes:
1. Migrating PowerPC to Intel Macs
2. Directory
3. Drivers and Preference Panels
4. Widgets
5. Data corruption
6. Permissions
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.