in macOS edited January 2014
The last days I've had some problem with my MacBook. The machine hung 3 times - it went to a gray screen with a light gray box about 5"X3" with a light colored power switch as a background, that says "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button" (then says it in French, German, and what looks like Chinese letters maybe?)

Is this a virus? What should I do?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    rob05aurob05au Posts: 348member
    That is whats known as a Kernal Panic and is generally causesd by bad ram or other hardware problems.

    It could also be a system related issue with something corrupted within the system.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    phlakephlake Posts: 91member
    The Kernel Panic screen is basically the Mac equivalent of the Windows Blue Screen of Death, if you are more familiar with that. What applications do you have running when the error appears?
  • Reply 3 of 4
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    What rob05au said: it's almost always hardware related, and bad or loose RAM is the most likely culprit, especially in a laptop where it get moved around and bumped.

    Every so often it's a bad kernel extension (like a VPN driver), but even those are rare. It would require you installing something into /System/Library/Extensions, which you and applications should never have to do, with the exception of extremely low level items such as VPN drivers. It *can* happen from a corrupted system file, but it has to be in the deep guts to repeatedly cause a KP. It should *NEVER* happen because of a user-level application. Ever. (It can, but that is by far the most rare case - it means there is a bug deep in the kernel error checking that isn't being caught. Very, very, exceedingly rare.)

    Run Disk Utility on your drive to Verify. If it passes, it's almost certainly a RAM issue. If you're comfy doing so, pop open the laptop and reseat the RAM. Otherwise, take it to an Apple Store, tell them your guess, and have them do it for you. Make an appointment with the Genius Bar through so you don't have to wait in line as long.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    pbpb Posts: 4,255member
    In the meantime, you can post here the panic log. You will find it in the Console application (I don't remember the exact place, but the file name is panic.log).
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