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Blank screen after login

1879 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2013 7:22 AM by PaulM_FTS RSS
AA101 Calculating status...
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Jul 30, 2012 7:35 AM

I am having issues with my Macbook pro retina screen.

After login, the screen will go blank.

The hard disk and system is loaded, and the computer works (I can hear when I press on the keyboard, and alerts) but nothing is showing up.


Only when after a few restarts, the screen (after login) will go blue, and screen comes back on.

Everytime there is an issue, I will restart / login and when I see the blue screen, I know it will work.


This doesn't happen all the 3 times out of 10-12 restarts.

Thats a lot I think?


I have tried safe boot and its ok.

But haven't tested it long enough to see if its ok.

When in safe boot the computer is really slow as most animations rely on the graphics card, but it is off.
So dock moving, opening folders etc. and I cannot use it like this.


Anyway, having the computer back on as normal, deleting all the login items, there is still the same problem come up somtimes.

Again, I haven't had time to test it like this, as I need to use the software.


Can someone tell me what this issue is?

Anyway I cannot spot what is causing this, or is it a hardware issue?

I tried to google but the last time blank black screen happen was a few years ago with group of MBP when they play video etc. and not on startup after login.

I haven't seen any links on this issue for retina macbook pro.


Could it also be a mountain lion issue? I didn't have it when I first on Lion but then again I did not install as many apps either.


Thanks for reading and helping.

MacBook Pro with Retina display, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • PaulM_FTS Calculating status...
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    Aug 1, 2012 8:43 AM (in response to AA101)

    This sounds almost identical to the issue I've been ripping my hair out over for the last week (and so far you're the only other similar report I could find). Basically, ML frequently (but not always) fails to get to the login screen. The apple logo + spinnin cursor complete, but then I'm left with a blank, gray screen with a moveable (but useless) cursor.


    I've tried reinstalling multiple times (clean, different partition / disk, updating previous 10.7 system, over virgin 10.7 system) to no avail. I've also tried the following with no luck:


    - Disk Utility repair permissions & repair disk

    - PRAM reset

    - SMC reset

    - Unplugging all USB & firewire devices except keyboard & mouse

    - Replacing GTX-285 graphics card with stock GT-120

    - Removing all other PCI cards

    - Swapped monitor input from DVI-D to DVI-I, used different cable


    I captured logs of a successful and failed boot, and the biggest difference I can spot is that while the Window Server seems to be adding + removing the monitor multiple times, on the failure the last entry is a disconnect:


    7/31/12 9:16:06.058 AM WindowServer[117]: Received display connect changed for display 0x28d9b380


    Whereas on login success, the last WindowServer log message is one that seems repeated multiple times previously:


    7/31/12 9:44:10.924 AM WindowServer[102]: Display 0x28d9b380: MappedDisplay Unit 0; ColorProfile { 2, "LCD2490WUXi"}; TransferFormula (1.000000, 1.000000, 1.000000)


    I'm definitely thinking it's something to do with the display (which functions perfectly fine under Lion), but can't think what it would be. It's an NEC 2490WUXi, and I'm connecting via a single DVI output on the graphics card (either GTX-285 or GT-120).


    What display / graphics card combo are you using?

  • PaulM_FTS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 2, 2012 7:24 AM (in response to AA101)

    You might want to try rebooting several times. I'd sometimes get a run of several successful logins after a reinstall, only to have it reappear later.


    Interestinly, the console log posted by SergeLaste in this thread looks almost identical to what I've been seeing (he has the same monitor I do):



    I'm going to try turning the monitor off and on when this happens to see if it affects anything.

  • PaulM_FTS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2012 8:14 AM (in response to PaulM_FTS)

    Very interesting.


    Turning the monitor off then on after startup has already hung doesn't help. However, turning the monitor off at startup until login is finished seemed to work. I reproduced this several times; on one attempt, I turned the monitor on briefly before login started, and saw a dialog reading "You shut down the computer because of a problem" (that would auto-dismiss in 30 seconds). I quickly turned the monitor off again before login started, and waited another 30 seconds or so. When I turned the monitor on again, login had succeeded and the Mountain Lion desktop was waiting. I repeated this twice.


    I then tried rebooting with monitor left on; this worked once, but a second reboot attempt failed. Following this I re-trtied with the monitor off, and it completed.


    So for now, it seems the workaround for the login hang is to force-shutdown, start up, then turn off the monitor until login completes. I'll update this again if this fails for some reason.


    Very odd; I've been reading a lot of other issues dealing with nVidia graphics cards, so I'm still inclined to think that's the root cause rather than the monitor. However, I don't have a non-nVidia card to test with, so I'll live with this workaround for now and hope that Apple releases a ML update that addresses nvidia graphics issues.

  • PaulM_FTS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Aug 3, 2012 5:25 AM (in response to AA101)

    Yes, that would be a challenge on a laptop. I suppose you could follow the steps in the following post to disable the screen and use an external monitor: However, that kind of defeats the purpose of the Retina MBP.


    Definitely a reinstall should be tried if the other standard fixes don't help. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me (I tried five times). Turning the monitor off during boot (or having it switched to another input) was the only solution I could find. I still think the issue is something to do with Nvidia graphics card (both of the ones on the MBP Retina are Nvidia). Given the number of other reports I've seen with ML and Nvidia cards, I'm hoping Apple will release an update that might fix this (perhaps a dedicated "Graphics Update").

  • akcelia Calculating status...
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    Aug 6, 2012 1:16 AM (in response to AA101)

    My 3 day old MBP retina also goes to a gray apple screen and no further.  I an so frustrated.  Not Mountain Lion.

  • PaulM_FTS Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 1, 2013 7:22 AM (in response to AA101)

    I'm not sure, but this may have been fixed with the 10.8.3 update. I was using a DVI Detective, which was getting around the issue, but had to disconnect it to calibrate my NEC monitor using their Spectraview software (another bug fixed in 10.8.3). While doing so, I noticed that I got past the login at least twice with no issue.


    Note that this is hardly an exhaustive test. Even if it's indeed fixed, I believe I'll continue using the DVI Detective, as it handles other issues (such as the display flashing blue multiple times when awaking from sleep).


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