Did parallels contribute to my macbook dying?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by bdwilso2, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. bdwilso2


    I have a black macbook c2d that is about a month old. Today it died. Will not boot Mac OS from DVD, Firewire, local disk or Network (apparently the Apple store has this configured). Kernel panics on a verbose boot. Here is how it happened:

    I was installing XP in one test Parallels VM. During the installation, I decided to make a change to my nLite configuration that I was using to install the VM, so I double clicked my alias for my other Win XP vm. A second Parallels icon began to bounce in my dock, and I noticed that MenuMeters was showing that both of my CPU's were now being pegged at 99% CPU. The dock continued to bounce for about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, the 2nd vm began to load. The 2nd vm got to the point where it shows the black "Loading Windows XP" with the status bar at the bottom and my machine appeared to freeze. I sshed to my macbook from another machine, so I knew it was still alive, and just assumed that the screen had frozen. I proceeded to do a ps -auxwww and find the Parallels processes. I killed the process that was most recently started, but the screen didn't un-freeze. I then killed the remaining process; still frozen. I did attempted to do a hard reset by holding down the power button, but all boots after this episode only show the grey screen of death saying to hold down the power button to reboot.

    Apple Hardware test, extended version, said nothing was wrong. Restting power managment didn't help. Resetting PRAM didn't help. Single user mode got me to a point where I could fsck the disk; no problems there. Exiting single user mode immediately showed the kernel panic. Could not boot from a firewire clone from the previous night. The install DVD appeared to load, but only to a light blue background; nothing futher (even after leaving it for quite awhile).

    Apple store attempted netboot and swaping out my 3rd party ram for their ram and still had the same issue. They said it would be best to send in since they weren't sure what was wrong and might not order the right parts if it was a local fix, so then it would end up taking longer. Whatever... of course it's covered under warranty, but it's just a pain that it happened.

    So, I'm not sure if Parallels (v3120) contributed to my issues, but I hadn't had any issues with my macbook until today. At least it's covered under warranty. Anyone want to guess what happened?
  2. lhawkins


    There is no way for software to damage hardware unless the hardware is very poorly designed. Even if Parallels made your CPU, video card, hard drive, etc all run at full speed continuously for hours on end that would only harm a computer that was poorly designed.

    I am sure that Apple tests their machines at full load for extended periods before finalizing the design.

    I would guess that some small part (likely a capacitor) on the motherboard died at the same time you were doing the testing in Parallels. The most likely scenario is that this is a complete coincidence.
  3. bdwilso2


    Maybe in a perfect world software doesn't contribute to hardware failure, but I've seen it happen before (If you screw up xfconfig bad enough, you can kill a video card).
  4. brlittle



    I agree that you _can_ kill hardware with software, if you're working at it, but the circumstances you're outlining don't seem likely to do that. I'm with lhawkins on this one...I suspect it's an unfortunate coinkydink.
  5. aero320


    Just sent it to Apple

    Just send it in to Apple. I had a problem last week with my airport and sound in MacBook Pro. Called Apple first thing on Monday morning. DHL dropped of a special shipping box for the unit on Tuesday morning and picked it up later on Tuesday afternoon. I was informed by Apple on Wednesday that the unit had arrive for repair. I go the computer back the next day.
  6. drval


    It's highly unlikely that anyting in Paralles per se had any direct role in "breaking" your system. One thing that most users don't do is to "burn in" the electronics by running the computer for at least 72 hours continuously. Well over 90% of all manufacturing related breakdowns occur within the first 72 operational hours of the system. Runing the system continuous -- having it repeatedly doing some trivial taks or displaying a visualization program like G-Force, will likely reveal any such problems quickly. If, on the other hand, one uses the system in a more standard fashion, it can take up to a month for the failure to manifest and this is what I suspect happened in your case.
  7. spiz


    Would this be related to the problems this guy had in this thread?

    And the problems some others and me had here?

    The problems booting up OSX are identical to the ones I came across, including the install disc.
  8. bdwilso2


    Thanks for linking these. If this is a Parallels problem, I would like for the Parallels folks to address it.

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