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Help me fix my Mac!
April 25, 2014 10:51 AM   Subscribe

My Mac won't wake up after going to sleep -- what's going on?

I've had my Mac for about 2 1/2 years, and in the last 2 or 3 months this has become an issue. When it falls asleep, it often doesn't wake up. It doesn't happen every time I shut the screen, but once every day or two it will sleep and no amount of button pushing, trackpad clicking or even shutting my computer down and starting it up again will awaken it. I took it to the Genius bar today and they ran a diagnostic test and couldn't find anything wrong with it; they told me to just make sure I shut it down once every two days (which I already do).

I already upgraded my software about a week ago hoping it would fix the issue and reset the SMC. No luck. Sometimes it takes up to 20 mins of continuously shutting down and turning it on again before it will come on, and when it does finally wake up I have no idea what finally did it. My boyfriend's Mac (same model) has the same issue sometimes but it seems to be not as frequently or persistently as mine.

Anyone had the same problem? I am going to try shutting it down every night and maybe just never allowing it to sleep, but if it keeps happening I'll take it to a private repair shop - I'd just rather avoid that cost.

posted by queens86 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
they told me to just make sure I shut it down once every two days (which I already do)

This is suuuuuch a horseshit answer on their part, ugh. I don't reboot my macs unless there's an update that forces me to, or i manage to completely screw something up with glitchy beta third party software. This amounts to... once a month? at most.

What's in the system log right after it's frozen in sleep like this? Is it blank for a few minutes before it slept, does it mention having trouble doing something?

Every single time i've seen sleep issues like this on a mac it showed up there. The only time i haven't gotten useful log info was when a system was freezing up fully powered on.

This could be anything from some weird little tiny piece of software like f.lux or caffeine interacting with something in a weird way, to something stupid that runs all the time like spotify crapping things up, to some sort of corrupted OSX files or even a hardware issue. But you won't know until you see the logs.

Oh, boot in to recovery(option at bootup, connect to wifi network and do that if that's an option, otherwise boot from the included DVD/flash drive if your system came with that) and do repair permissions AND repair disk in disk utility. It's normal for some permissions stuff to come up on almost every system, but did disk utility repair anything?

I could probably think of some more stuff, but getting a look at the logs is really the start of it being more than just spitballing.
posted by emptythought at 10:58 AM on April 25

Does it happen to be a 2011 Macbook Pro? While the linked article specifies early 2011s, it's also being reported in mid- and late- 2011s. I personally experienced it in a late 2011 MBP. The early stages of failure are video glitches but mine were not as dramatic as shown in the link, instead mine had a few tiling/checkerboards and went straight to dead.

The cure was to have my logic board replaced, under AppleCare.
posted by jamaro at 10:59 AM on April 25

A faulty power cable and a broken wall socket were the culprits for me when this happened with two of my iMacs. Were those possibilities checked out by the Genius Bar?
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:02 AM on April 25

I tried to check the logs a week or so ago, but it's kind of hard because I'm not sure what I'm looking for. One thing that does keep coming up is a message about an error with MS Word, that says "This is a serious error. This application, or a library it uses, is using an invalid context and is thereby contributing to an overall degradation of system stability and reliability. This notice is a courtesy: please fix this problem. It will become a fatal error in an upcoming update." Which sounds ... bad. But when I told the Genius I was seeing errors related to Word she said that wouldn't be causing sleep problems. She didn't look at the system log.

There's also an update from this morning around the time I was trying to wake it up that says "SMC: smcreadykeyaction ERROR smcReadData8 failed for key LsNM (kSMCKeyNoteFound)" and a few other errors that start with SMC. Admittedly, this is all gibberish to me... but it does sound like something is going wrong to me.

Yes, it is a 2011 Macbook Pro.
posted by queens86 at 11:13 AM on April 25

I have an early 2011 MBP and while I have had a lot of problems with it waking up over the years, they've mostly stopped since I upgraded to Mavericks. I also upgraded my hard drive recently and instead of transferring everything, started with a clean install. That's made a world of difference for me and I've had zero wakeup problems since then. (I also missed my Applecare window for a logic board fix on this machine.)

I don't have Word on my MBP, though. You definitely have a problem there, but it may be a different one.
posted by immlass at 11:30 AM on April 25

I tried to check the logs a week or so ago, but it's kind of hard because I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

Specifically, the next time you put it to sleep, check the system time before you close the lid. Then, after it is awake, dig out all the log entries starting from (just before) that timestamp to maybe a minute or two after it is awake. What do you get? Pasting here would be helpful.

(If you're not using a Terminal window, Applications -> Utilities -> System -> Software -> Logs is useful, but I recommend just "less /var/log/system.log" and looking for the right time range. Also maybe "sudo dmesg" in a Terminal window.)

Unfortunately, it's probably a hardware problem... (I agree that it is very unlikely to be a Word issue.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:53 PM on April 25

Our iMac used to be similar; if we put it to sleep using the Apple menu, more often than not it would not wake up. We discovered that if we put it to sleep using the power button, we avoided the issue. I'm not familiar with MacBooks... Is there an alternate way to sleep it, or would it then wake up when you close the lid?

Our iMac's problem was inadvertently fixed when the hard drive died and we got it replaced. No sleep issues with the new hard drive. No idea if that means that it's not a software problem, or if something about a fresh install could solve things...
posted by Kriesa at 2:11 PM on April 25

It's hard to tell what exactly is happening when I put it to sleep, because it only does this sometimes and I never know when it will happen. I just closed it for a minute and this is the log:
4/25/14 6:55:45.695 PM loginwindow[41]: CoreAnimation: warning, deleted thread with uncommitted CATransaction; set CA_DEBUG_TRANSACTIONS=1 in environment to log backtraces.
4/25/14 6:55:46.126 PM apsd[61]: Unrecognized leaf certificate
4/25/14 6:55:48.093 PM xpcproxy[3250]: assertion failed: 13C1021: xpcproxy + 3438 [D559FC96-E6B1-363A-B850-C7AC9734F210]: 0x2
4/25/14 6:55:54.271 PM AirPlayUIAgent[207]: 2014-04-25 06:55:54.270084 PM [AirPlayUIAgent] Changed PIN pairing: no
4/25/14 6:56:18.388 PM Console[3258]: setPresentationOptions called with NSApplicationPresentationFullScreen when there is no visible fullscreen window; this call will be ignored.

Unfortunately I called another computer repair shop after going to the Apple store, and they told me this is a known issue with my model and probably not much can be done about it :( So unfortunately Apple may have been right .. but thanks for your help!
posted by queens86 at 3:59 PM on April 25

(I'm assuming you have AppleCare.) You may want to go back to the Genius Bar (and hopefully get helped by a different person this time.) We took my wife's MacBook in once for some system wide issues. They replaced the wireless card. Problems continued. We took it back in. It seemed like bringing it in a second time got them to escalate the attention they gave to the problem, and they basically rebuilt the entire computer (logic board replacement, but they also put in new RAM, replaced the keyboard since some of the keys were worn, replaced the bezel, wrist rest and trackpad because of normal wear.) If all else fails call Apple and try to talk to someone higher up. You spent a lot of money on this computer. Part of that premium you paid means you should expect that they handle problems while under warranty.
posted by azpenguin at 8:12 AM on April 26

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