8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 4, 2010 6:31 PM by mattn
mattn Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
Today I told my MacBook to shut down, and it seemed to do so. Then I disconnected the power cord. But later I discovered that it was in fact in a weird dark state. The screen was dark and I couldn't get the computer to respond to keypresses etc., so it seemed to be off. But when I closed the lid, the light glowed white, thus proving that it was actually on. Plus, the battery had drained a lot in the few hours it was in this state. So it wasn't even actually asleep; it was using power as if it were on.

The funny thing is that I seem to remember having seen it do this a couple of times on previous occasions. Just wondering whether anyone else has seen this or has ideas about it. (I'm not having an active problem - I was able to power down the computer for real by holding down the power button, and then it started up just fine.)

white MacBook 13-inch mid 2007, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    +Just wondering whether anyone else has seen this...+

    Yes, but only once or twice, since I seldom shut down. For me, it's more related to forcing sleep - closing lid before MacBook has completed its housekeeping tasks. (Sleep is similar to shut down, as it cuts main power.)

    Mac desktops shut down the same way - on occasion they linger as they complete housekeeping.

    Seems to occur for me only after simply closing the lid too quickly after quitting all apps. Does not happen as long as I wait that extra second or two prior to closing lid.

    Used to happen frequently (daily) when I closed lid with apps open, very rarely since I stopped doing that.
  • mattn Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    Now it just did the same thing when I tried to get it to sleep. I told the computer to sleep, and the screen went dark, but it wasn't really asleep - it was in some kind of fugue state. I could hear the disk still spinning, but the computer was unresponsive to keypress, mouse click, plugging things into the USB ports, etc. In the end I had to do another hard powerdown.
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    +In the end I had to do another hard powerdown.+

    Yep, that's also my only option when it happens to mine - hard shutdown. I'd call this a system lockup, only it's never happened to me under normal operating conditions (with the lid open).

    I'm not expecting another one to happen this month, as it happens much more rarely now that I'm careful to be in less of a hurry. I used to just flip the lid shut, get up and go, but not anymore.

    I hope after each one you're getting out the OS X Install Disc for the version of OS X you're running - then booting from it and using Disk Utility/First Aid to verify or repair the hard disk. I must admit this doesn't appear to do anything to prevent another, as I once had this happen three days in a row despite each time doing disk repair, as well as permissions repairs by the system's version of Disk Utility. (Note: permissions shouldn't be repaired by the Install Disc's version of Disk Utility.)

    Speaking of the Install Disc, have you run the Apple Hardware Test (located on the original grey-labeled Install Disc) and seen anything unusual?

    The other thing I'd do - verify that you don't have an app or driver installed that isn't fully compatible with your OS X version. Possibly there's something left over from the old Tiger install or third party apps, if you've upgraded OS X since the original system was installed. The other thing I'd clear out would be any trial software.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful with this. Good luck with it:)
  • mattn Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    I zapped PRAM and reset the SMC (and also ran DiskWarrior, though I doubt that's relevant; since it's evidently a power management issue, PRAM and SMC are reasonable things to try). Hasn't happened again lately, but one can't prove a negative...
  • xtech Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    ok me friend .. then try this ... listen up

    Hold in your power button as you restart your computer .. everything should be back to normal
    after you hear the long tone and it restarts. ~ xtech
  • odyssey_ofthemind Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    my macbook did the same thing yours is doing and i tried these steps too and it did worked, but only for a few days. After that it shutdown completely and did not responded, so i went to the genus bar and they told me it needed repair of the back-lightscreen wasn't working, and a new battery and i had to pay nothing beacuse i'm still covered by the insurance.
    But today i received and e-mail from the apple technicians telling me that they found that the logic board was damaged by some kind of liquid and that the insurance does not cover that, so the repair cost is $755 plus tax!!!
    I have never dropped any liquid on my computer i'm not that stupid!
    Many people have had probelms with this and the battery acting up, and they blame this on misuse! I'm outraged!!!
  • myhighway Level 5 Level 5 (7,270 points)
    +I zapped PRAM and reset the SMC+...

    Ok, I got to wondering what I've been waiting for, since I know it'll happen again eventually. Just a matter of when - but for sure it happens within a couple of months. It hasn't been that big a deal for me, so I wasn't in hot pursuit on resolving it.

    So I also just did the SMC reset. If it ever re-occurs, then that's not the solution, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. After reading Apple's SMC reset article, the SMC reset theoretically should be the solution for mine and yours. It could be something more complicated, but one lesson learned from reading many Discussions threads is that problems are usually caused by the most likely thing, not the least likely thing. Good luck.

  • mattn Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)
    Shortly afterwards, began to have trouble starting it up. Took it in for repair, and, as I suspected from other indications, it was the hard drive. Hard drive replaced free under AppleCare. May have had something to do with the problem I cited at the start of the thread... Oh, they also replaced my battery, though I was unaware of any problem with that, so perhaps that had something to do with it too.