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ARgh: MacOS Big Sur Kernel Panics continue

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OK, I bit the bullet and wiped the hard drive and started all over with, but problems continue. I’m getting Kernel Panics when I’m plugged into the CalDigit docking station and a no name dongle. The panics are typically, “Freed zone element element has been modified” which seems like a driver problem. As an aside, although the documentation says you can look in Console at the Crash Reports to see what is going on, I’ve not found anything that corresponds to the System Report that is being made. You get a little icon that says this.

At first I thought it was bad operating system software (I have not built the machine clean since I’ve had it!), but that’s the not problem. Then I thought it might be the MacBook hardware failing itself, but it works fine undocked. The crash happens very frequently with Zoom, but even a simple reboot particularly when plugged into the docking station will cause a panic operating system crash. So it sure feels like something is wrong with the hub drivers.

Most of the sites talk about problems with non-standard operating system drivers, but with a complete reinstall it is hard to see how that could happen. So it sure looks like a USB hub issue as it happens both for the Caldigit which translates USB 3 to Thunderbolt 3 and the other one, the video camera is directly attached and the hub has the video that is HDMI to Thunderbolt.

So the diagnostic steps are:

  1. Reset the PRAM. Hold the Command-Option and then the P and R keys.
  2. Reset the SMC. Hold the Ctrl-Option-Command on the left on startup.
  3. Run in Safe mode and see it if still happens as this knocks out some drivers. Hold the Shift key on Startup.

And then we can see if the crashes still happen.

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