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Kernel Task??? OMG MAKE IT STOP!!!

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by GypsyGraphics, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    Can any MAC users offer advice on "Kernel Tasking" ...i'm sooooo not a hardware person. I have a first generation MacBook Air and have never had a single problem with it in 4 years... until the past couple of months. This issue started after a FireFox update, but that might just be coincidental, because the problem seems to occur no matter what browser i use.

    What happens is, my system gets bogged down, starts running like it's been dropped in quicksand and then starts to heat up. I know the bogging down isn't a result of overheated, because the temp doesn't rise till AFTER the bog-down.

    Ever time this happens, checking the activity monitor, i can see the problem is Kernel_Task! I can watch it go from taking up 5% of my CPU to.... GET THIS... 175% of the CPU!!!! 175% how is that even possible?

    All the information i've found has been too techie for me. While i'd like dumbed- down answer to:
    do i even need Kernel Task?
    if not, can i somehow trash it?
    is it causing damage to my system? (or just my temperment)
    and 175% what's up with that? (some kinda fuzzy math)

    But all i really need to know is, HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?

    this screen shot may not tell you anymore than what i've already mentioned, but just in case, here it is.

  2. Mike F

    Mike F Active Member

    May 11, 2011
    -The kernel is basically the brain of any OS, so you do need it.

    -No, you can't trash it.

    -If it gets too hot it could damage your hardware.

    -Not sure about the 175% part.

    Googled around a bit and this seems to be a pretty common problem, couldn't find any clear cut causes or fixes though.
  3. genericname

    genericname Active Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Not a Mac guy, but I'll throw my computer nerd hat into the ring.

    Most common cause for something like that would be one of two things:

    a. Malware designed to eat up primary system resources.

    b. Heat-syncs have become detached from the CPU, and need re-seating/re-pasting.

    Had the latter happen to me just last month. Laptop got crazy hot doing the simplest of things, and the whole system would grind to a halt. Opened it up, and sure enough, a bloody screw had come loose somehow, and the heat-sync for the CPU wasn't making solid contact anymore.
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Alicia has a Macbook Air and as far as I know she hasn't had that issue, so I don't know it could be.
  5. round man

    round man Active Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    the answer is in this link http://tech.superhappykittymeow.com/?p=258
    all ya have to do is search "first genereration macbook air kernel task problem" and you will get about 47k entries and many forum responses with solutions if you can understand them,it seems this is a common issue with that particular model ,no snide comments about toilet habits here tho,....
  6. npcsignworx

    npcsignworx New Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    well done!
  7. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    :U Rock:

    thanks round man! :thumb:
    your link is one that i hadn't come across yet and one i can actually understand!!!! :clapping:

    i had found a lot of information and had tried several, that i could understand.
    most were totally ineffective. one suggestion seemed to work for a few hours but then i was back to square one.

    the nice thing about what you found is, it's more of a step by step, minus the confusing technical stuff.

    a little artsy fartsy humor would have lightened the mood of this stressful process... but i'm ok with straight up info too. :Big Laugh
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  8. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    my last post was actually written a few hours before i posted it. i was interrupted just before hitting submit.

    if anyone else has this problem, i thought i'd mention, the one from round man's link, that i'm testing right now,
    the step by step posted by chuck, but stoping at step #3 as suggest in franks comment.

    removing: IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext

    so here i am, 2 hours later and so far so good!!!!! :popcorn:
  9. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    175% of cpu is because there are multiple cpus (well, multiple cores). Just like you can have 400% ink coverage on a 4-color printer.
  10. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    see now THAT makes perfect sense to me!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  11. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    just thought i'd mention....

    oooomg...:clapping:... it stopped!

    what finally made this an easy fix is one guy's input that simply said...
    find ____ on your system and delete it.

    the step by step stuff is great, until one step isn't the same across the board for all. it's like trying to explain to a client, what kind of file you need from them... you can spend half an hour trying to educate them, expalining resolution and image quality, vector vs bitmap and what the different extension are.... and then they say something like "can't you just get the logo off my website."

    i tell clients...
    search your files for these extensions, EPS, AI, PSD, PDF AND JPG, and give me the largest file size you have of each.

    it's like playing fetched... you can tell when they leave, if they saw the bone and the direction you threw it. but if you pitch it in a state of confusion... they're probably coming back with a stick or a dead bird.
    maybe you can still play with a stick, but a dead bird... ewwww i'm not even touching that. game over

    Thanks to all, for you help and input! :loveya:

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