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Random, Sudden Shutdowns - A redux and other things to rule out first

21083 Views 497 Replies Latest reply: Oct 13, 2006 7:23 AM by mdevivo RSS
  • nsparnell Calculating status...
    oh gee, if I knew in order to use my $1500 computer I
    would have to close my eyes, spin around, and hum the
    Star-Spangled banner while I balanced a rabbit on my
    head then I might have not bought it.

    It is just uncalled for.



    EXACTLY!
    13" White, Mac OS X (10.4.7), 2GHz, 1GB RAM
  • devinwe Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    lol, well said.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Rob A Calculating status...
    Well my MB just began its RSD problem today. so im wiping out my files (which i thankfully saved on my external hard drive beforehand) and im reinstalling the OS X software and see if that does the trick. if it does, the firmware update is a no go for me.
    Black Macbook 1GB RAM-iMac 400 MHz 128 MB RAM 13GB HD 60GB ipod, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Unhappy with Apple Calculating status...
    Is this the same issue as random system freezes? My MacBook does not shut down, it just freezes including the mouse and nothing will unfreeze it. The only thing I can do is hold the power button until it turns off. They are going to replace the logic board, but who knows when.
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • mbackschat Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2006 12:35 PM (in response to guykuo)
    A German news site has posted an article (http://www.macnews.de/news/79194) about an IT engineer from Munich, German (my hometown! Prost!). It is stated that he has located the problem which is a result of pure physics. The phenomenon seems to be caused by the cable between the heat sensor and the CPU’s heat sink being too short.

    The heat sink expands during operation and gets into contact with the sensor cable and melts the cable’s isolation. This in turn causes a short circuit and, thus, the immediate shutdown of the Macbook. As the heat sink is cooling down, the heat sink contracts to the point that it looses its contact with the cable and breaks up the short circuit. You can now boot again. Just until the processor heats up and the heat sink and the cable have contact again…

    If this proves to be the reason then there might be a quick fix, specifically you would not have to exchange your mainboard or RAM.

    ---
    http://maba.wordpress.com/2006/08/31/macbook-shutdown-solved-at-last-hopefully/
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • fghdfgh Calculating status...
    Hi,

    now that would be a nice explanation: some MacBooks will take longer to melt through the insulation, hence a delay between 0h and 2-3 months before the problem start on any particular machine.
    Also, that would explain the complete randomness (the problem not being attributable to any software update or specific thing one does, like reseating RAM etc.), but the subtle link reported by a raising number of owners with the Core Duo temperature (some watching Quicktime movies, other using the yes command).

    But that would also imply that Apple must have know the root cause of this issue for a while now ... once the "defective" boards piled up someone must have taken a closer look at them. I am also quite confident, that the folks from Apple monitor this discussion board closely, so they must have noticed the increased view/posting traffic on the RSD threads. Since RSDed MacBooks have been going back to them for at least 8 weeks now (and from what it looks in increasing numbers) they had enough time to closely look at the returned boards.
    If all that is true, it is wierd that Apple would not post the root cause as identified on their pages though ... since it is not a major design flaw like basically defective Core Duo processors or some such ...

    Hmm - if the solution is indead the melted isolation on the cable producing a short then that is good news for all of us - it is an comparatively easy thing to fix for the affected folks as well as an easy thing to fix in ongoing manufacturing. The latter would mean though that none of the new MacBooks should exhibit the problem - unless old boards (from a pile of previously manufactured boards were being used up).

    Let us hope that this root cause turns out to be true. Would be good for all of us and Apple.

    Regards,

    Woelund
    MacBook (black, 2GB, 120GB), 4H31, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Monkeybrain Calculating status...
    But if the cause is this melted cable, how does explain those of us who are having shutdowns only when our Macbooks wake from sleep or a cold start?

    That's what mine does, if I can get it warm enough it stays on OK. Although now I find I do need a PRAM reset to get it to start up.

    Perhaps the issue is more complex than that, and this is why Apple has been so quiet, they're still not sure.
    Macbook & Mac Mini 1.5 - late 2005, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • tc14 Calculating status...
    But if the cause is this melted cable, how does explain >those of us who are having shutdowns only when our Macbooks >wake from sleep or a cold start?


    It is because what is shorting/grounding is the top case/keyboard center post and the logicboard/fan case. How did I know? I insulated it! My MacBook has the RS syndrome for almost a month now and after the insulation, no more RS fo 7 days!

    Go find and see the Apple MacBook service manual. You will see from the pictures that the temp probe wires are insulated by heatshrink tubes which will not melt unless put directly in a fire. It is also put in place by clips attached to the heatsink. So if the heatsink gets hot and expands, the clips will expand with it-- bringing with it the temp probe wires (no shorting).

    There is a large area of metal-to-metal contact between the top case center post and the logic board chassis that holds the fan assembly. This is what causes the shutdowns (at least for my unit).

    I am in no way suggesting that everyone takes apart their Macbook and the insulation themselves. Maybe what you can do is bring your unit to a service center and suggest to the technician the said insulation.

    I have tested my Macbook with the yes terminal command 3-4 times daily (for 5-10mins) since the insulation and my Mac passes it flawlessly.
    Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • danielchow Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    my macbook is 3 months old and it had randomly shut down a couple of times until this past two nights -- it has been randomly shutting down Frequently fresh from start-up, from sleep mode, while using a browser, or a graphic editor. i could not replicate the problem. my macbook just randomly shuts down.

    anyway, this reply is just my addition to the increasing list of macbook users dealing with this hardware problem. i doubt this problem is affecting just a few macbook owners, but many macbook owners. i'd like Apple to consider offering a refund. if not a refund, then at least an upgrade option.

    daniel chow
    macbook, powerbook 17" 1.33, g5 dual 2.7, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • cbriere Calculating status...
    This makes an awful lot of sense.
    This also means that eventually, all MacBooks can fail at any time, it only depends on the length of the heatshrink tubes in each machine, and a horde of other ethereal variables, like if the person who assembled that part was wearing the right glasses, if all the heatshrink tubes in the MacBooks were cut at the exact same length, the roll of heatshrink tube which the small part in your macbook comes from (bad batch?), etc..

    If it is that easy a fix, I hope they can do some sort of announcement, asking people to go to a genius bar, or send their machine in for a quick fix.

    One question remains though. Will the multicolored lines that appear on boot on most machines that are subject to RSD disappear along with the shutdowns ?
    Black MacBook (week 19) 2GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Monkeybrain Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I believe the multi-coloured lines are a result of a bug in 10.4.7, rather than anything hardware related. They appear when some setting gets corrupted I think (which seems to happen after PRAM/PMU resets, thus appears when people have the RSD problem).

    The lines never appeared in 10.4.6 remember, and I doubt anyone who has a RSD macbook on 10.4.6 has seen them.


    To add more confusion to the mix, a guy in another thread here stated Apple told him not to send his Macbook in for repair and instead wait for another firmware release that could fix the issue. I think there are various problems here, I believe my issues started after installing the firmware update, perhaps another can rectify it. I suppose there is no way of knowing without opening it up and inspecting those wires.

    Edit, ha, tc14, we even used similar language.
    Macbook & Mac Mini 1.5 - late 2005, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • tc14 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    One question remains though. Will the multicolored lines that appear on boot on most machines that are subject to RSD disappear along with the shutdowns ?


    I believe that it is an issue with 10.4.7. When the PRAM or PMU is reset, the colored vertical lines appear. You need to choose a different display setting in the preferences then revert back to your original setting to get rid of the lines during startup.
    Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • cbriere Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    @Boris & tc14

    Thanks guys, I guess I could try and revert to 10.4.6, since I am not using my MacBook on daily basis anymore (my old trusty 1GHz TiBook is my main machine again until this mess is sorted out) to see if this solves the rainbow at boot.

    Glad to see someone brought something new to the table, with a more empirical approach to solving the problem. But as always, the ball remains in Apple's camp.
    Black Macbook (week 19) 2GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Monkeybrain Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    The advice tc gave about switching your resolution should do the trick to fix the lines in 4.7 cbriere. If that doesn't work, I've heard there is another method whereby you startup with the Tiger install disk in and then choose startup disk from its menu, and you need to pick your hard drive on there. Apparently that can fix it too.
    Macbook 1.8 ~ shutting down at free will, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
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