Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

My iMac was rock stable, right up until I installed Mountain Lion on it.  Then, at random times, it would suddenly reboot.  Fortunately, most of it seemed to happen at night – I’d get up in the morning and find my Mac had rebooted.

Weird.

So, I finally got around to investigating the problem – I had’t seen any good blog posts on it (most of them were things like take it to a Mac Genius).  Finally, I found a hint buried in an Apple forum:  the problem stems from Spotlight.  The indexes for Spotlight get corrupted, and that causes the reboot.  Ah-ha!  So the solution is pretty simple – have Spotlight dump all it’s current stuff, and build up again from new.  Of course, there’s not an obviously marked way to do this :-)

Go into System Preference, and select Spotlight.  Click on the Privacy tab.  There probably isn’t anything listed under “Prevent Spotlight from searching these locations:”  We’re going to add one. Hit the “+” at the bottom, and select your Mac’s hard drive, and click Choose.  It’s now in the list.

Close System Preferences, and reboot your Mac once.  Then, go back into System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy, and remove the drive you added.  Just click on the drive in the list, then click “-” at the bottom of the list.

After that, everything had been going great! :-)  No more random reboots for me :-)

Intel-CPU based iMac with a 27 inch 16:9 aspec...

Intel-CPU based iMac with a 27 inch 16:9 aspect ratio screen, released by Apple in October 2009. (Intel based iMac models released prior to October 2009 used screens with a 16:10 aspect ratio. PowerPC-based iMacs released 1998–2005 used screens with a 4:3 or 16:10 aspect ratio.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One additional bit:  Having Mountain Lion randomly reboot is a lot less painful than when versions older than Lion would reboot.  Most of the apps I use are state aware, so for the most part when the iMac comes back up restores all my workspaces to what it was before :-)

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