5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2010 4:17 PM by Phyllis Sommers
Phyllis Sommers Level 1 (40 points)
I'm running the latest version of Snow Leopard on my mid-2009 MacBook Pro Unibody. After installing the latest Software Update, including a Firmware update for my SuperDrive, the following problem has occurred, for the very first time:
I closed the lid of my laptop for the night, as I do routinely every night, thus putting my MBP to sleep. I leave the various apps open, usually Firefox, iTunes and Entourage. The next morning my MBP felt hot and the screen remained black... it would not change. After repeatedly trying and failing to clear the black screen and bring my apps up, I held the power button down to do a complete Shut Down. My system turned off, but did not do an actual Shut Down. When I press the power button to turn it on, it comes right back into sleep mode with the screen remaining black. I cannot seem to force either a Shut Down or a Restart. I unplugged all peripherals and the power cord, let my MBP cool down completely--for a couple of hours-- and tried everything again. Still no change: I'm stuck in sleep mode with a black screen. I've also tried resetting the PRAM and the SMC, but neither works, probably because I'm not coming from a Shut Down. Is anybody else having this problem? Anyone have any suggestions? I think the problem must be somehow related to the latest update, but whatever it is, I'd like to resolve it.
Thanks in advance for any help.

17" MacBook Pro Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)
    Did you allow the update to complete prior to closing the lid? What was the software update you installed? The latest for you is not necessarily the latest for someone else so please be specific. Did you verify the the Mac was indeed in sleep mode?
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    Hi Phyllis.

    It may be a hardware problem associated with the "Hall effects" switch that puts your computer to sleep when you close the lid - see http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11070611#11070611 for a description of this.

    Beyond this, even if you haven't been able to shut down properly, and had to "force" a shutdown, using the process for resetting the SMC should still work, viz:

    +Shut down the computer.+
    +Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.+
    +On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.+
    +Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.+
    +Press the power button to turn on the computer.+ (from http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964 )

    What, if anything, happens if you attempt to boot from your OS DVD?


  • Phyllis Sommers Level 1 (40 points)
    I can't get into my system to see my update version, but I'm certain I'm running the most up-to-date version of Snow Leopard and all other latest updates applicable to my mid-2009 MBP, as I run Software Update routinely. I thoroughly completed all update installations, including the SuperDrive Firmware update, followed all instructions meticulously, including rebooting, and actually used my system for at least one full day without any problems. I'd even recently repaired all permissions. Everything was "humming" along very well. This problem came totally out of the blue. Because the screen is black, I can't actually see what's on it; however, I've put my MBP to sleep every night by closing the lid and it awakens in the morning when I raise the lid. This time the sleep light indicator is on, but nothing happens when I lift the lid, touch the track pad or a key. If I hold the power button down briefly, the sleep light goes out, but when I press the power button again, the light comes right back on. If I depress the power button for several seconds, to initiate a shutdown or restart, it simply shuts off the fan and refuses to completely shut down. This is evidenced by the fact that depressing the power button to start up brings the sleep light on very quickly. I can tell by the way the system sounds that it is on behind the blackened screen. Sorry I can't get you the update versions.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    It sounds more an more like a hardware problem with the Hall effect switch to me in that case Phyllis.

  • Phyllis Sommers Level 1 (40 points)
    Thanks for your assessment, Rod. I wasn't aware of the Hall effect issue, but was inclined to think this might be a hardware issue, particularly since I can't even Force Shutdown. The only odd thing is that, in the almost-year since I've had my MBP, it's only now acted up, after recently doing a Firmware update for my SuperDrive. Also, the fact that my system seemed hotter than usual this morning made me question whether one of the other updates might have induced the Snow Leopard problem related to heat and sleep that others have written about on these Boards. Still, I think the inability to force a shutdown is telling. I have an appointment at the Genius bar tomorrow, so I guess I'll know soon enough. Thanks for your time and responsiveness.