Could bad PRAM battery cause recent kernel panic?

Just prior to upgrading to 10.5 Leopard, the iMac was operating well, did have two or less kernel panics a month. Had more before power supply was replaced with a new one. Frequent kernel panics are now back after complete Leopard install. iMac rarely fully boots without kernel panic, or if it does, has kernel panic within a few minutes of any sort of usage. Disk Utility finds no problems. Disk was fully checked, repaired (with common software like Disk Utility, TechTool & others, as well as defragging and optimizing) prior to install. Received this iMac used from a far-away friend. Installed 2GB RAM, the max. Disk was also checked after install with Disk Utility, which found no problems. Did fix several permissions, but had no effect on frequent kernel panics. Zapped PRAM. Capacitors look fine. Leopard install (with further upgrades) seems complete and proper, although it hasn't stayed on for more than 20-30 minutes without a kernel panic yet.

As the iMac functions better (& boots properly) the longer it's been off, but plugged in, is it possible the PRAM battery is the culprit? It's just beyond its rated life, and never been tested. Motherboard is not worth replacing for such an old PPC iMac. But if battery has any data flowing through it with any regularity, and not just on the end of a string such as an external drive, is it possible replacing this $3 part (plus installation, as I'm not comfortable with working on tightly compacted iMacs) and maybe not the expensive logic board, might fix it? Intuitively to me at least, as it will boot and run longer the longer it's been idle, it seems like more like a recharge situation than overheating or similar issue.

Any thoughts? Is my theory possible, if not likely?

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Unplug it and let it sit for a couple of hours. Plug back in and turn on. If the date and time are incorrect, replace the battery. Next boot with just one stick of RAM at a time and see if you still get kernel panics. Does your serial number fall within this range:

Serial Number ranges:

W8435xxxxxx – W8522xxxxxx

QP435xxxxxx – QP522xxxxxx

CK435xxxxxx – CK522xxxxxx

YD435xxxxxx – YD522xxxxxx

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Will try. Serial number does begin W85222. What might that indicate?

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Those are the serial ranges of the machines with bad capacitors.

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