kernel panic "unlocking an unlocked mutex or spinlock"

i have a client who is currently getting kernel panics fairly frequently.

i'm wondering if anyone can tell me whats causing them and how i can fix them. i've done a bit of googling but i haven't come up with any fixes.

here's the log:

Interval Since Last Panic Report:  224743 sec
Panics Since Last Report:          1
Anonymous UUID:                    187EF0D1-6A5C-4C6C-81B0-CB58DA1B9996

Thu Sep  9 14:07:56 2010
panic(cpu 0 caller 0x2269f0): "thread_invoke: preemption_level -1, possible cause: unlocking an unlocked mutex or spinlock"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-1504.7.4/osfmk/kern/sched_prim.c:1476
Backtrace (CPU 0), Frame : Return Address (4 potential args on stack)
0x5bb4bd68 : 0x21b455 (0x5cf328 0x5bb4bd9c 0x2238b1 0x0)
0x5bb4bdb8 : 0x2269f0 (0x58712c 0xffffffff 0x5870c4 0x2265d1)
0x5bb4be38 : 0x2270f6 (0xe686b98 0x0 0x5bb4be78 0xffffffff)
0x5bb4bea8 : 0x227184 (0x210c2f 0x0 0x0 0xe686b7c)
0x5bb4bec8 : 0x211a9c (0x210c2f 0x7000006 0x800 0x0)
0x5bb4bef8 : 0x216d1e (0xaf48c08 0x7000006 0x800 0x0)
0x5bb4bf78 : 0x293eb4 (0xaf35648 0x0 0x0 0x0)
0x5bb4bfc8 : 0x29f48d (0xaf35644 0x0 0x10 0x937d524)

BSD process name corresponding to current thread: Mail

Mac OS version:

Kernel version:
Darwin Kernel Version 10.4.0: Fri Apr 23 18:28:53 PDT 2010; root:xnu-1504.7.4~1/RELEASE_I386
System model name: MacBookPro6,2 (Mac-F22586C8)

System uptime in nanoseconds: 197170206517858
unloaded kexts:
com.smarttech.iokit.SMARTBoard      9.7 (addr 0x54dfb000, size 0x8192) - last unloaded 177898435982507
loaded kexts:      2.0.1      1.6.2 - last loaded 177888866999542      51.2      1.9.3d0      2.1.0      1.2.0      100.12.12      1.8.7f1      1.8.7f1      3.3.2      1.4      6.1.6      6.1.6      3.0.0d4      4.1.2b1      1.5.0d3      7.0.0      1.1.2      6.1.6      2.8.63      1.4.12      1.8.1b1      1.8.1b1      303.8      2.5.4      31      1.0.0d1      2.6.5      1.6.2      4.0.0      4.7.1      425.16.2      2.3.8b2      1.3.0      160.0.0      4.0.2      4.0.2      2.1.2      1.3.2      1.3.1      1.5      1.6      1.3.2      1.4      105.10.0      0      0      2.1.11      105.10.0      2.3.3f8      204.13      1.8.7f1      17      10      14      10      10      20      1.0.8d0      4.1.2b1      74.0      2.3.3f8      10.0.3      3.0.1d2      1.7.6fc2      1.3      41      1.8.7f1      1.8.7f1      1.0.8d0      6.1.6      6.1.6      2.1      2.1      2.0.3      2.3.3f8      2.3.3f8      2.3.3f8      204.13      4.0.2      2.6.5      2.6.1      4.0.0      3.9.0      2.6.5      1.6      1.6      1.6      402.1      1.2.4      2.6.5      4.0.0      4.2.6      311.1      1.9      4.0.2      2.0.4      1.3.0      1.6.4      1.1      1.0.0d1      6      283      1.6.1      1.3.2      2.6      1.3.0
Model: MacBookPro6,2, BootROM MBP61.0057.B0A, 2 processors, Intel Core i7, 2.66 GHz, 4 GB, SMC 1.58f16
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M, PCIe, 512 MB
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics, Intel HD Graphics, Built-In, 288 MB
Memory Module: global_name
AirPort: spairport_wireless_card_type_airport_extreme (0x14E4, 0x93), Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (
Bluetooth: Version 2.3.3f8, 2 service, 19 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
Network Service: Ethernet, Ethernet, en0
Network Service: AirPort, AirPort, en1
Serial ATA Device: ST9500420ASG, 465.76 GB
Serial ATA Device: MATSHITADVD-R   UJ-898
USB Device: Hub, 0x0424  (SMSC), 0x2514, 0xfd100000
USB Device: IR Receiver, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x8242, 0xfd120000
USB Device: Built-in iSight, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x8507, 0xfd110000
USB Device: Hub, 0x0424  (SMSC), 0x2514, 0xfa100000
USB Device: Internal Memory Card Reader, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x8403, 0xfa130000
USB Device: Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x0236, 0xfa120000
USB Device: BRCM2070 Hub, 0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.), 0x4500, 0xfa110000
USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, 0x05ac  (Apple Inc.), 0x8218, 0xfa113000

it's a macbook pro mid 2010 15". everything is stock and from apple. software is up to date, 10.6.4

thanks for any help.
Who is Participating?
strungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This link suggests the problem may be the CISCO VPN client:  See the post Posted:                     Sep 18, 2009 4:28 AM at the top of page 2 by jotheman.
It could be memory (infact i suspect it is - problems or this nature generally are in my experience) - i'd suggest you run a extended hardware test loop for a few hours to identify whats amiss.

insert Mac OS X Install disc 1 that came with your Mac to your Mac, and hold letter D at boot. This will load it to the hardware test. After language selection, use ctrl-L keyboard combination to get it to loop mode, and select extended test, and let it run at least for a few hours. You can end the test with the same keyboard combo, or it will stop if it finds an error.

Let us know how it goes ?
Sounds like it was Mail that caused the crash.

Are you using any mail plug-ins? Growl, or a spam filter maybe?
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Sounds like it was Mail that caused the crash.

Are you using any mail plug-ins? Growl, or a spam filter maybe?
Here is an interesting thread:

Also a good general troubleshooting guide for kernel panics:
Kernel panics are VERY rarely  caused by a application - it wouldnt in itself have the level of exposure to the kernel needed to panic it.. the other suggestions on the article are valid - i'd still suggest the hardware test as a starting point.
Looks like you have two non-apple drivers:

com.smarttech.iokit.SMARTBoard      9.7 (addr 0x54dfb000, size 0x8192) - last unloaded 177898435982507
loaded kexts:      2.0.1

Any idea what these are? I wonder if they are the problem. Can you update them (or remove them if not needed)?
theknaveofheartsAuthor Commented:
thanks for all the posts guys. i'm going to try the hardware diagnosing tonight if possible. then i'm going to uninstall cisco's client and see how that goes. until then i'm going to be going over what you guys have said and all the links you have posted.

thanks again guys, i will let you know how the hardware tests go.
Uninstall the smarttech SMARTBoard software as well.

It installed a kext that it might leave behind but if the associated hardware is not used then the kext
shouldn't load.
theknaveofheartsAuthor Commented:
the apple hardware tests didn't come up with anything and i just got a phone called that her kernel paniced again so i'm going to uninstall the smartboard software then if he kernel panics again the cisco.

i'll report back in a few days how things go.

thanks guys!
The best approach is to uninstall anything kernel level that you can, i.e any kext addons and then add one by one. Obviously in a business environment this may be limiting so you need to strip as much as possible. Its a process of elimination at this stage.
you can do a "sudo kmodstat" to see whats loaded at a particular time. It might be worth setting up a cron job ( ) to run ever 5 minutes (or more often) and output the kmodstat command to a file - that way if the user knows the time their machine crashed you can see exactly what was loaded at the time.
theknaveofheartsAuthor Commented:
just a small update, I just uninstalled all of the smart board stuff. so we'll see if it was causing the panics or not.
Furthering woolnoir's suggestion, you can verify what's still loaded, via

sudo kextstat

kmodstat is absent as of 10.4, 10.5 & 10.6 (with Developer tools installed in each case).
theknaveofheartsAuthor Commented:
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