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Startup freeze after migrating to new i7 iMac System
Hopefully this will same someone out there some time and hair pulling. I was migrating from a 2x2 Xeon @ 3ghz to a new i7 iMac. After Migration and restarting the iMac started freezing before getting to the blue screen. Since Apple couldn't get a support call to me right away I decided to do some poking around. Using Safe Mode booting and removing start up items I found the problem.

Since my understanding of the OSX system is very limited, this took me a long time to work out. Anyone with a sense of how OSX works probably would have known what to do immediately.

The system was hanging right after the Apple logo appeared and the spinner finished its spinning long after the start up chime. Instead of going blue, then to the desktop the screen stayed white. The first time I got the curtain of gray with a 'I need to restart my computer' message in several languages every time at this point. [crarko adds: We call this a Kernel Panic in Mac land.]

The computer DID boot up in 'Safe Boot' mode (holding the Shift key down) fine. I used a USB keyboard as I didn't trust the Bluetooth setup so I can't swear that it'll work with a BT keyboard.

I suspected there were some startup items that didn't work with my new system, but what I didn't understand why is this an issue before I log in? The only startup items that I was aware of existed in the user preferences, and this hang was before any user was logged in. So I searched around for start up items and found /Library/Startupitems/Resources which had a few items in it. For whatever reason there is another Startupitems folder at /System/Library/Startupitems which is empty. I moved the items from the /Library/Startupitems/Resources folder to a temporary folder on my desktop and hit Restart.

With fingers crossed (and eyes too) I selected 'Restart' and the computer booted fine! Slowly I added items back to the folder and restarted. Now I have everything back except for all Cocktail related items, and a folder BRESINKx86Monitoring which was part of a CPU temp monitoring app I had.

Like I said, my understanding of OSX is that of a user, so I might be mistaken as to how/why this all worked. It took me a while to figure it out, but since my old system was fine and I had time there was nothing to lose. The fact that the OS has folders labelled 'startupitems' really helped. IIRC searching for 'startupitems' didn't work in safe boot, so I was looking around on my own.

[crarko adds: I post this, not because it's going to be new information for the veteran Mac user (most of us have been through things like this) but as a reminder of what the new Mac user may experience, since we have a lot of them. I'm hoping some of the more experienced members will continue to provide good advice for the beginner. I'll also put in a plug for the MacOSXhints forums as a place for new users to go with troubleshooting questions and more in-depth answers.]
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Divide and conquer
Authored by: lullabud on Apr 08, '11 08:26:41AM

This method of troubleshooting can be useful in many situations. I used to use it when I was a video editor and had a corrupt clip within a huge collection, but Avid wouldn't tell me which clip was corrupt. You remove half of whatever it is that's causing problems and try. Divide the bad half and try again until you're down to only the bad piece(s). It can be tedious, but it can sometimes be the only solution.

Great hint for general troubleshooting.

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Divide and conquer
Authored by: slb on Apr 08, '11 09:52:21AM

Nothing wrong with, and I support "more novice" tips being posted.
Not only that, but sometimes, us long-term guys get to be wise-a$$es and forget basics. :)
I can't count how many times I've gone for the most complex fix only to have missed an easy one that would have saved some time. :)

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Divide and conquer
Authored by: everkleer80 on Apr 18, '11 12:37:33PM
I can't count how many times I've gone for the most complex fix only to have missed an easy one that would have saved some time. :)
I agree with this 100%! I have come up with some crazy complex solutions to problems either because I forgot about the easier way or because I just assumed the easier way wasn't there. That's why I would never say 'this is not a hint' to anything on here!

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Startup freeze after migrating to new i7 iMac
Authored by: Marcel Bresink on Apr 09, '11 12:29:57AM
As the author of the BRESINKx86Monitoring kernel extension, I'd like to add some notes here: It is a general problem to migrate or clone old hardware drivers to new hardware models.

The Kernel Panic mentioned in this thread can only occur when a version of the BRESINKx86Monitoring driver from January 2009 or even older (this was 7 product releases ago!) is being copied to a system with Intel Core i technology. Certain specifics of Core i processors were not known in early 2009 yet, so the drivers of that time could not foresee a certain incompatibility which can lead to a Kernel Panic. This issue was immediately fixed when Apple released the first Core i systems in March 2009.

The general hint to give here is to check the system installation for hardware-specific software, and to update these software products to their latest releases before cloning. This will avoid such problems before they can occur, and the migration will run smoothly.

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Authored by: azrichg on Apr 09, '11 07:09:40PM

Just so you know, I wasn't pointing fingers at your work Marcel, I suspected the case was exactly as you described. Something new came along that could not have been anticipated. Thank you for confirming my suspicions! I appreciate your work on the temp utility.

From now on I will check the start up items before any more migrations. Most likely in 4 years since this spiffy new iMac seems pretty solid.

One funny co-incidence, I moved the old tower into another room and the display stopped working. The power indicator blinks 3 times, so it's off to Apple for service. I suspect my old system is jealous of the iMac.

I have enjoyed this site for some time, so I am hoping in a small way I'm giving back by sharing my experiences.


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