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MBA 13 Mid 2013 crash Black screen

45416 Views 314 Replies Latest reply: Apr 3, 2014 1:45 PM by Ricklsanders RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Sarguin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 24, 2013 4:36 AM

Has anyone else encountered an issue where they are using their Mid-2013 MacBook Air (13in) on battery when the machine suddenly goes to sleep or appears to, but it has actually crashed. The screen is dark, keyboard and trackpad are not responsive and the keyboard backlight is on. You have to force it off to restart by pressing and holding the power button? It is completely random, not a kernel panic, and nothing I can see in any logs. After the recent firmware update the symptoms changed such that the display is still active since the Apple logo is lighted. I've never had it happen when I'm on a/c power. Unfortunately its random and infrequent too. The recent firmware indicated it helped with battery issues, etc. didn't fix mine apparently.

MacBook Air, OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • David Lin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 24, 2013 6:59 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    Me too (MBA mid-2013 13") -- happened to me a few times since upgrading to 10.9 yesterday.  Only happens on battery, with the exact same symptoms.  You can still toggle caps lock but the only way to get out of it is to do a hard shutdown by holding the power button.

  • Tristan Collins Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Oct 24, 2013 7:48 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    Me too - see final video here:



    I have other issues concerning waking with a Thunderbolt Display, but that's for another post...



  • HHBel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 25, 2013 6:19 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    Just had similar problem - working on battery power and suddenly (MBA 13"-2013) shuts down completely... working in Mavericks..., one positive  -since shutdown, battery indicator reset and indicates more correct time than before...

  • Yann Martinez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 27, 2013 12:14 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    Hey all,


    MBA 11" i7 8GB 512GB

    OSX Mavericks


    Bought in June.

    Start having the problem since 21.10.13 under 10.8.5.

    Upgrade to 10.9, still the problem.

    Clean install 10.9 from USB + iCloud restore, still the problem.

    Clean install 10.9 from USB, still the problem.

    Clean install 10.9 from restore partition + iCloud restore, still the problem.

    Clean install 10.9 from restore partition, still the problem.


    The problem, mainly when it's on battery (2-3 times on power cord plugged), the screen goes black, even when nothing is launched except Finder, and I have to press 5 seconds on power button to turn MBA off, turn MBA back on re-log and restore open applications (if they were some).


    Appointment is planned tomorrow morning (Monday) at 10:20 at Genius Bar.


    Will keep the post updated.


    Have a great day.

  • Math_Geek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 29, 2013 5:10 PM (in response to Sarguin)

    Yes, I was sitting here on MagSafe power with Safari opened and the screen went black.  Apple logo was off, keyboard backlight was on and the machine was totally unresponsiveI had to do a "hard" reboot of the system to get it working.


    My 13" Air was bought new in September and has been flawless until now.  It should be noted that I have installed OSX Mavericks.  I really hope that Apple finds a remedy for this.  This is my first Mac computer ever.  I bought this to be a lightweight supplement to a Lenovo ThinkPad T420 that has never glitched like this! 


    Overall I really like the MB Air.  It is built very well, has a pretty good screen, is lightweight and has awesome battery life!

  • Bwana_Chris Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 29, 2013 6:45 PM (in response to Sarguin)

    Same same, I have this issue

  • tlovejr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 30, 2013 4:10 AM (in response to Tristan Collins)

    I think this is my issue as well.  I posted separately a few days ago but noone has responded:


    I think its interesting that you specifically mentioned about the Thunderbolt display.  Have you come up with anymore information about that?


    I'm having to hard reboot my MBA 2013 on a daily basis now.  Its horrible.  This AM when I tried to wake it, the display came on bright green.  Yesterday it was blue.  Usually its just black.

  • Tristan Collins Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Oct 30, 2013 5:23 AM (in response to tlovejr)

    I've had my TB display and laptop looked at and 'repaired'. The TB display had its logic board and all-in-one cable replaced, and the laptop had its I/O board replaced.


    After all that, and some rigorous fault finding by myself, I think I found the source of the problem:


    The MagSafe to Magsafe2 converter...


    I have two of these. One for display and one for an older power pack I use. Both seemingly are faulty (what are the odds?) meaning a large portion of the time the laptop isn't actually charging / being powered. All my dealings with Apple on this have resulted in software being blamed, so this was a bit annoying.

    The behaviour I'm seeing is then consistent with what is meant to happen. If the laptop loses power, the TB display switches 'off' and the laptop appears to sleep. In clamshell mode this means waking isn't possible as the only display can't be operated on battery power alone. Even if the LED on the magsafe indicates power/charging, erroneously. It seems the laptop stopped using the power when put to sleep as there was a fault, so I couldn't wake it properly... As is meant to happen.


    Getting a couple of new Magsafe -> magsafe2 converters has resolved this. Perhaps try this? Or even use the power adaptor that came with the laptop instead of the all-in-one cable to see if this helps?


    However, I still have experienced the issue mentioned above resulting in a hard reboot, albeit only when on battery. I think I have had two issues and confused them for one.


    After all this, I am only left with the awful sound issue - when the audio circuitry switches on there is a click and an audible hiss until the circuitry switches off again with another click... But that's for another post.

  • yoganinja Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Oct 31, 2013 6:46 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    I have the same problem, and I think I can faithfully reproduce the behavior. This has only happened three times so far, but I've only had my mid-2013 MBA, 11" with 8GB, 256GB, i7 for a month. The first time it happened was on Mountain Lion, the second and third times were on Mavericks.


    After the second time (last night), I realized that both times it had happened, the screen dimmed as if going to sleep, then to full black, but not wanting it to sleep yet, I swiped the trackpad immediately to wake it back up if I could. I needed a hard boot to recover. The backlight was on, but the keyboard/trackpad were unresponsive. This morning, I noticed it going dim, so I waited for full black to immediately swipe the trackpad again to see if it would hang, and it did. So far, every time I have watched it go to sleep and just let it rest, it has come back by tapping the spacebar as expected. I'm going to try a few more times to verify...

  • yoganinja Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Oct 31, 2013 7:44 AM (in response to Sarguin)



    I just tested this a few more times (after setting a one-minute display turn-off). When the display turns off, it goes through three stages: 1. the screen dims, 2. the screen goes black, 3. the keyboard backlight turns off. Tapping the spacebar or swiping the trackpad anytime during stage 1 will reset the timer. Tapping the keyboard or swiping the trackpad during stage 2 will freeze the black screen with the keyboard lit up. Waiting until stage three to tap the spacebar will wake up the display and everything is fine.


    There is less than a one-second window between stages 2 and 3 while the screen is black but the keyboard is still fading that touching the input devices will hang the machine.


    Can anybody else reliably reproduce this?

  • John_de Calculating status...
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    Oct 31, 2013 7:59 AM (in response to yoganinja)

    >>Can anybody else reliably reproduce this?


    Yes, I've tried it several times on my system and it seems to happen exactly as you describe.  Makes me feel better because others have suggested that it may be a hardware issue, now we know it's definitely a software issue and (at least in theory) can be fixed without too much hassle.


    In the meantime I'll have to train myself not to hit a key or swipe the trackpad immediately after the screen goes black, which is easier said than done.



  • yoganinja Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2013 6:10 AM (in response to Sarguin)

    I have an appointment at the Apple store tomorrow. I plan to demonstrate the issue on their demo machines to show it is a universal problem. Wish me luck!

  • John_de Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2013 7:30 AM (in response to yoganinja)

    Good luck!  Let us know how it goes......



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