View Full Version : LW Dongle-Can it cause kernel panics?

06-14-2008, 12:38 AM

I have a new 8 core Mac Pro that's around 5 weeks old, and I've been getting a lot of (seven or eight) very random kernel panics the last few days. I was having a rash of kernel panics a few weeks ago, but after updating to 10.5.3 they seemed to go away, but they've returned with a vengeance the last few days during totally random tasks. Sometimes the computer's unattended, sometimes it's rendering an After Effects project, sometimes I'm just moving a window or clicking on an email. It crashed tonight on an F9 render. I restarted and was looking over the crash logs (nothing else open) and got a kernel panic. I've disabled third party startup items and have disconnected my external firewire drives and Wacom tablet. I ran both the Apple Hardware Test and Tech Tool Pro and everything came back clean. Verified and repaired permissions.

There are a few more things I can try, but I'm wondering if the LW dongle can cause kernel panics. Is there any software associated with it that could be buggy? I've got client work I have to do in LW in the next few days. Can I start modeler and layout with the dongle and then remove it to remove that variable?


Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

06-14-2008, 03:19 AM
I feel for you but the good thing is hardware problems don't usually show so readily as kernel panics... the AHT won't detect anything deeply flawed either.

ie. the Dongle is probably not a good place to start ( like when a keyboard or other USB device fails it rarely affects anything else).

Do you have Disc Warrior 4.1?


06-14-2008, 08:18 AM
Hi WShawn,

Just to make absolutely sure, you're using one of the UB versions of LightWave, right?

Most kernel panics I've seen are the result of doing things in Rosetta that the graphics card doesn't like. But I've never seen kernel panics caused by LW.

Due to the simple nature of USB devices and their drivers, it's very unlikely the dongle is the culprit.


***(and if you're in the Open Beta, you'll find that a few of the longstanding bugs you've encountered in LW in the past are fixed in 9.5) ***

06-14-2008, 11:51 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I am running the UB version of LW 9.3; I thought it was unlikely that the dongle would be causing problems, but I wanted to double check.

As I mentioned in my original post, these panics are happening all over the place, not just in LW. At one point it just spontaneously panicked when I wasn't even doing anything on the computer (except downloading from an ftp in the background). I set all energy saving functions to "Never" but that hasn't helped. Because the circumstances seemed totally random I've been trying to troubleshoot any hardware that was connected at the time.

I did the extended Apple Hardware diagnostic last night. It ran for around two hours but didn't find anything. I booted in safe mode and deleted a few kernel items and caches recommended in the Apple Discussion forums.

I was using an older G4-era keyboard, but I've swapped that with the flat aluminum keyboard that came with the Mac Pro.

If I keep having problems I'll probably create a new user account and work from that to eliminate some personalized items I might have missed. If that doesn't work then I'll do an archive and install. Unfortunately we're under multiple deadlines this week, so the timing isn't good.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

06-14-2008, 08:46 PM
You could also boot from the Install DVD and do a permissions check on the boot partition.

Are you running as Admin all the time?


06-15-2008, 02:42 PM
And to answer your question: Yes you can remove the dongle after you've started LW. It only checks on start up.

06-16-2008, 02:31 AM

Thanks for the replies; I appreciate your help. I went about a day with no problem, then got two right in a row while working in After Effects. The second happened after I'd made a new, non-administrator user account and was working in that account.

I ran a permission repair once, but I'll try it again while running from the install DVD.

In the meantime I've disconnected my menu monitor from the ATI HD 2600 card that came with this computer in case it's the video card that's causing the problems.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

06-23-2008, 06:43 PM
Well, I've been running on a single 19" CRT for a week and haven't had any kernel panics. It's been a PITA. We've just finished several big projects so I think I'll reconnect my menu monitor and see what happens.

This makes me wonder if the ATI card is physically defective or if there's some sort of driver conflict or what. Since this is a new system I've been installing tons of stuff, so it would be pretty hard to narrow down a conflict.

I'm also wondering if I'm having power supply issues. A few weeks ago I started up the Mac Pro and the lights dimmed and it blew out my APC UPS and the breaker. It broke the UPS. I hooked it up to an older, lower capacity one, and when I woke up my computer this morning after an overnight After Effects render the UPS alarm came on after a minute and kept the computer going for about 15 seconds before crapping out.

We did buy AppleCare with this system.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

06-27-2008, 02:46 PM
So after meeting a bunch of deadlines on Monday I went ahead and hooked my menu monitor back up to the second output on the ATI 2600 card that came with the system on June 24th.

On June 25th I got two kernel panics within 15 minutes of each other. The first happened while the computer was unattended, downloading files from Software Update. The second happened while I was looking at the kernel panic reports in the Console. Not much point to that, really, since it's pretty much gibberish to me.

So I disconnected that second monitor on the 25th and have had no problems since.

I've tried almost everything I can think of (short or reinstalling the OS or removing RAM), and the only correlation I can find between these panics and my hardware is that all the panics have happened when I had a second monitor hooked up; none have happened when it's disconnected. Does this seem like a plausible explanation for my troubles?

My next step will be to remove the ATI card and reseat it. If that doesn't work, I guess I could do an Archive and install on the OS.


Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

06-27-2008, 05:47 PM
all the panics have happened when I had a second monitor hooked up; none have happened when it's disconnected. Does this seem like a plausible explanation for my troubles?

This is a little vague, and probably not relevant....BUT my buddy has a PC with an ATI card of some kind in it and he tried for about a week to use monitors with it but no matter what when the second was hooked up the machine would repeatedly blue screen. He gave up.

So...different ati card, different software, heck different platforms, but throwing it out there anyway......

The only other thing I can think of to try is use a different monitor when trying the dual screen if possible. This would rule out the monitor and imo anyway point 99% to the ATI card itself.