iMac crashes at least weekly, thoughts?

Tom J. Davis

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My macbook pro started crashing daily while I was using it a few weeks ago. I didn't really have the patience or time to properly troubleshoot it so I switched back to using my Windows 10 desktop for work. I may try using it again and copying down my error message because I'm pretty sure it was gpu related as well and I have the 13" which just has the built in Intel graphics.

Can I retrieve the old error message from the mac somehow? Does the mac have an "event viewer" like Windows?
 

JohnRice

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Also, you most certainly could fall back to Windows 7 after installing Windows 10.
Yes, you can certainly revert back to an older OS. It's not a simple process, essentially a clean install, so it's not something most people consider. You certainly could install only the OS on another partition/volume. But there's rarely any hardware reason it can't be done. In the case of Catalina, there are actually some versions of software which are not compatible with the previous OS. It was a unusually large jump in OS, which is part of the reason it's rather buggy.
 

John Dirk

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Yes, you can certainly revert back to an older OS. It's not a simple process, essentially a clean install, so it's not something most people consider.
In a normally functioning system of course not, however, in this case it may be needed to properly isolate the issue. That would be my next step anyway after disabling the sleep function, assuming that does not fix it.
 
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DaveF

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It didn't crash last night or today, which surprised me but is good. It's not crashing every single sleep.

If it crashes when it sleeps then don’t let it sleep. The energy savings is negligible and not worth the hassle of weird things happening on wake. I don’t think I’ve used a sleep function on any computer (Mac or PC) in years.
That's an option. This weekend, I'll do another iteration of diagnostics. I guess I should disable sleep next and give it a week. That's no impact to my life and no risk (however small for me) compared to unplugging backup drives.

As for this starting with Catalina: I'm not sure if it started with Catalina itself or a later point update...or even before Catalina. Time has no meaning anymore. :)
 

Thomas Newton

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I'm joking John, OSX is based on BSD Unix, created at UC Berkeley.
Actually, a combination of the Mach micro=kernel (Carnegie Mellon) and BSD Unix.

Mach, itself, grew out of an earlier research operating system called Accent. The CMU Computer Science department was hoping to use Accent not just as a research OS – but also as a basis for the departmental computing environment. However, a lot of people were more familiar with Unix and preferred Unix. So a part of the goal for Mach was to carry forward the ideas from Accent, while supporting compatibility with Unix above the micro-kernel level.
 
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DaveF

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Disabled Sleep and reboted yesterday (i think this is the way to do it. It's like a double-negative checkbox instead of a clearer enable or disable sleep option.)

Will see how this goes.
Screen Shot 2020-09-12 at 2.39.18 PM.png
 

John Dirk

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I would think the option below that one is of greater concern. The option you've checked appears to only control whether or not the computer automatically sleeps when the display does.
 
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JohnRice

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John replied as I was typing...

I don't put drives to sleep either. I found, years ago, that it seemed to create more problems than it fixed, plus there's an argument to be made that all that spinning up and down causes more wear than it saves. I've rarely ever had a drive failure, and I use a LOT of drives.

Of course, now the questions is how does that setting influence SSDs. I don't know.
 
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John Dirk

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Of course, now the questions is how does that setting influence SSDs. I don't know.
Sleep setting are irrelevant with SSD's as they require no constant power anyway.

Storage in general has decreased in cost to the point of commodity status. I use cloud storage in conjunction with redundant local storage for critical data and standalone USB drives for my periodic overall backups. Once the backups complete I disconnect the drive and store it in a drawer, making physical deterioration extremely unlikely.
 

DaveF

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Good catch.

I've got an internal SSD and two external hard drives. I'll leave the settings for now. If I get another crash, I'll toggle that one and see what happens.
 

Cameron Yee

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Mine is still crashing every couple days from a kernel panic. Google indicated that an external monitor may be the cause, but it still did it after disconnecting it.

I'm kind of wondering if it might be related to having Dreamweaver open...
 

John Dirk

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It's been a week and no crashes. Looking like that basic sleep feature was the problem. <whew>
If the problem is truly gone now then this is fairly categorized as an OS bug and a very basic one at that. I am truly astonished Apple hasn't fixed it as they must be aware by now. Personally, I think they've become too "diverse" for their own good.
 

DaveF

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Nearly two weeks and no crashes. Installing macOS update, so I’m resetting the dats-since-crash.
 

Clinton McClure

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If the problem is truly gone now then this is fairly categorized as an OS bug and a very basic one at that. I am truly astonished Apple hasn't fixed it as they must be aware by now. Personally, I think they've become too "diverse" for their own good.
Apple does have a reputation for departments siloing themselves away from other departments who are developing for the same platform. To be fair though, my Windows PC at work crashes about half the time when resuming from the company-forced screensaver.
 

DaveF

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I spoke too soon, kinda. My iMac has seemingly crashed in the middle of the latest OS update. I’m leaving it until tomorrow. Maybe magic elves will fix it while I sleep.
 

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