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nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

About a month ago my 2009 iMac (OS X 10.6.8) started exhibiting an odd behavior: when I put the computer to sleep it immediately wakes back up again. Sometimes I have to put it to sleep several times (most recently more than a dozen) before it will finally stay that way. The computer has otherwise been problem-free, and it does not do this all the time; it seems unpredictable when it will happen. On a couple of occasions this was accompanied by the sudden appearance of “Bluetooth Setup Assistant” which was very puzzling as I use a wired mouse and keyboard and do not do anything with Bluetooth (the problem still happens if I turn it off). I don’t know whether that is related to the waking problem.

I had thought this might be related to an external hard drive I’ve been using for a while, but the problem is still going on after disconnecting that device.

Any thoughts about what might be causing this, and what to do about it?

iMac 24, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    Use > Mac OS X: Why your Mac might not sleep or stay in sleep mode to help you troubleshoot the problem.

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thank you for this suggestion. The support document is helpful, but I did not see anything in it which I can determine is the culprit for this problem. What is puzzling is its sporadic nature and its seeming spontaneous emergence about a month ago. The only thing notable that preceded it was an incident where an audio CD would not mount properly or eject and the computer had to be restarted a couple of times. Perhaps I should do some disk/hardware checking.. Any other thoughts?


  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    After it happens, go to: Applications > Utilities > open Console > select All Messages and check to see what caused System Wake.


    In this example, you can see where I slept my Mac at 11:01 PM last night and then used my USB mouse to wake it at 3:45 PM this afternoon.


    Screen shot 2012-09-25 at 3.55.20 PM.jpg

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    OK, thank you, this is very helpful. What I am seeing is repeated messages like this:


    9/25/12 5:39:25 PM          kernel          System Sleep

    9/25/12 5:39:28 PM          kernel          Wake reason = EHC1

    9/25/12 5:39:28 PM          kernel          System Wake

    9/25/12 5:39:28 PM          kernel          Previous Sleep Cause: 5

    9/25/12 5:39:28 PM          kernel          The USB device Keyboard Hub (Port 1 of Hub at 0x24000000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (2)

    9/25/12 5:39:28 PM          kernel          The USB device Apple Keyboard (Port 2 of Hub at 0x24100000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (3)


    Now, I don't understand this: my keyboard seems fine, and I'm not doing anything on it to cause a wake. However, my USB mouse is plugged into the keyboard, so maybe the mouse is causing the problem?

    Do you have another interpretation of the messages?


  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    Looks kind of like the keyboard or keyboard cable, but I wouldn't rule out the mouse or another USB device just yet.


    Try the following troubleshooting steps in stages, sleep and re-check the Log at each stage until you figure out which device keeps waking the system without your input. Also please unplug all other USB devices, so that we can get a good clean picture of what's happening with the keyboard and mouse.


    1. Unplug the mouse from the keyboard.

    2. Plug the mouse into the back of the computer instead of the keyboard.

    3. Unplug the keyboard and leave the mouse plugged into the computer.

    4. Plug the Keyboard back into the computer.

    5. Move the mouse back to the keyboard.

    6. Plug your other USB devices in one at a time.


    To further complicate the test, you might also try using different USB ports on the back of the iMac and the other port on the keyboard.

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thanks, I'll do these tests. I also have another mouse so I may try that too. I should mention one other thing that may be relevant: I have two USB cables plugged into the computer that are usually just dangling loose except when I use them to connect their respective devices: 1) for my iPhone and 2) for my camera. This has been the setup for a long time and I was told it should not cause any problems (I do it this way because it is a nuisance to have to fish around behind the computer screen to plug in USB cables there every time I want to connect phone or camera). I do frequently use the iPhone cable to charge/sync the phone, and I'm always careful to eject the phone before disconnecting.

    Anyway, as I said, these cables have been there for many months and the waking problem is new.

    Actually, there is a third cable dangling now, from the external HD which I unplugged a couple of days ago when I thought it was the source of the problem.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    Same here, for fun I use a 7 port Belkin (4 ports on the back 2 on top and 1 in front) so I can leave 2 different camera cables, iPad/iPod cable, an External Disc Drive and still have places to plug in portable Hard Drives, Flash Drives, Card Reader and anything else that comes my way. To get really serious, I use FireWire Drives for Cloning, Booting, and my main Backups.

  • Varnagandr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    den.thed wrote:


    Use > Mac OS X: Why your Mac might not sleep or stay in sleep mode to help you troubleshoot the problem.


    did this work for anybody?

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    That is a lot of ports.

    My experimentation so far has been to swap the mouse for another one, and so far I've put the computer to sleep a few times and it has stayed asleep. I'll want to test it further, but this is looking like it may be mouse-related. Perhaps one contributing factor had been wear and tear on the mouse including a few times I sort of slammed it down on the trackpad in frustration because the scroll ball was not behaving. Lesson: never vent anger with violence on your computer hardware.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (25,180 points)

    A hammer works better, only problem is cleaning up all the small pieces afterwards.

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    To clean a scroll ball use some construction paper and make a figure 8 with moderate to heavy pressure by the trackball until it stops leaving a trail of dirt.

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thank you for the cleaning tip. I'll try it. Have also had some success with a bit of iPhone screen cleaning solution on a tissue rolling the ball around.


    So far the computer is not waking back up with the new mouse.

  • nijpe Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I wanted to update this discussion. A few days ago I swapped the mouse for a different one. The waking problem stopped. After a couple of days with that setup there were no waking problems, so I then swapped back the mouse to the original one with which I was having the problem (and which I supposed above I might have damaged). After a couple more days, there are no waking problems so far. The computer has been behaving fine for almost a week. Not what I was expecting. So at this point this is sort of an undiagnosed problem. It had been sporadic before, as I mentioned, but at the moment it seems to be in remission. So thanks for advice earlier. If things get confusing again, I may be back.

  • Varnagandr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I saw many discussions like this one but nothing could help me to get my mac back to a normal auto-standby mode. After I did some research I found this article -> It's in german language but try to translate it via a online translator. My problem was a Photoshop Plugin, the samle Plugin the article describes.


    Hope this helps

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