November 2007
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Day November 5, 2007

More Leopard Woes: Kernel Panics in Time Machine

This weekend I started experiencing kernel panics in Leopard. I’d gotten a brand-new 500GB external drive for Time Machine, and turned it loose backing up my Macbook Pro. This worked fine for a day or so, until last night when I started getting kernel panics every time I connected the external drive to the laptop. I can attach it before boot, and it panics during the boot cycle. Boot without the drive, attach it after the machine is up and running, and it panics within a few seconds.

The grey window-shade of doom is starting to really bug me, I gotta say.

It’s a known issue, at least to some Leopard users. Apple has not answered the thread yet, or produced a fix or even diagnosis. It’s early days, but I return to my opinion from a previous post: this operating system wasn’t done baking yet, and Apple took it out of the oven too early. Like a cheesecake that hasn’t set, it’s wobbly and collapsing.

Naturally, everyone says the fix is to turn Disk Utility loose on the external drive, but my attempts to do so thus far have failed because the system panics before I can do so, even if I start Disk Utility running and then attach the drive. Tonight I’m going to boot from the install DVD and run Disk Utility, and see if I can get further. Nevertheless, it seems like unless it’s a simple problem, the solutions here are: (1) Don’t trust Time Machine yet, and (2) Reformat my Time Machine drive and start over.

I seriously hope Apple is burning the midnight oil bugfixing and getting a 10.5.1 ready, because if they think Mac users will be happy to regress back to customers-as-beta-testers mode like most Windows releases, they’re in for a shock. There’s some nice stuff in Leopard, but not nearly enough to live with kernel panics, spinning beach balls, and other weirdness.