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July 9, 2005 7:36 AM   Subscribe

my powerbook seems to have developed narcolepsy.

i'll be typing away or watching a movie, and all of a sudden it grinds to a halt and the sleep indicator starts pulsing. pressing a key wakes it back up. i'd appreciate any help.
posted by Silky Slim to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try resetting the power management unit.
posted by Rothko at 7:40 AM on July 9, 2005

Click on the Battery menu item. Is the "Better Battery Life" option checked? If it is, then you can click on "Open Energy Saver" and click on "Show Details" in the dialog that comes up. I've got mine set for 1 minute when not plugged in and it can be jarring.

You may notice that pressing a key does not spin up the hard drive like closing and opening the lid does.
posted by bbrown at 9:00 AM on July 9, 2005

Good suggestions above. If resetting the PMU and checking Energy Saver settings doesn't solve your woes, it may be a problem with the PowerBook's internal thermostat. If the PowerBook thinks it's overheating, it will go to sleep immediately. Sometimes the thermostat can get out of whack such that the computer thinks it's hotter than it really is. The result: narcolepsy.

Here's one way to check whether a faulty thermostat is your problem. Try this procedure the next time your PowerBook spontaneously sleeps.

1. Wake it up (natch).
2. Open the Console application. (Applications > Utilities > Console)
3. In the File menu, select the "Open System Log" command.

If you find a recent entry in the system log along the lines of "Power management emergency overtemp signal. Going to sleep," then your PowerBook went to sleep because it thought it was overheating.

Unless your laptop is getting extraordinarily hot on a regular basis, this is a malfunction. You'll have to get it repaired by Apple or an Apple-authorized service center etc. etc., but if you can tell them exactly what the problem is, you will expedite repairs considerably.
posted by TPIRman at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2005

TPIR man, thanks, I've been having some bizarre sleep of death issues that I think are related to may not solve them, but it certainly gave me somewhere new to look.
posted by filmgeek at 11:48 AM on July 9, 2005

Response by poster: thanks a lot all. sounds like great advice. haven't had time to try anything yet, just replying before this thread gets swallowed up by the great green oblivion. thanks!
posted by Silky Slim at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2005

It's a rogue suggestion, but since you're on a PowerBook:

I have occasionally found with some PowerBooks that, while typing, merely having the thumb hover over the trackpad can result in moving the cursor. If you have one corner defined as "go to sleep/screensaver", you may have inadvertently moved the cursor there just by typing along.

So if none of the above suggestions do the trick for you, perhaps try going to the "Desktop & Screen Saver" System Preference and make sure no corners are set to make the PowerBook go to sleep.
posted by McIntaggart at 1:48 PM on July 9, 2005

Response by poster: thanks mcintaggart.
that's definitely not it, as my corners are set up to do other things... but very sharp of you!
posted by Silky Slim at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2005

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