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View Full Version : Does every apple laptop have this problem?


bug
Feb 21, 2005, 11:50 AM
I love my Apple laptops, but my g3 900 iBook, my girlfriend's g4 800 iBook and my 2 day old 1.67 g4 Powerbook have this same problem. It happens to me all the time, but my girlfriend doesn't have it happen to her often (almost never), which leads me to believe it is something in particular that I do. The only real difference between our usage is that I'm a major user of X11, and while she uses it as well, not as much.

The problem is this - if I leave the computer to do some task (like compile a big project, make a large file transfer, etc) and let it turn off the screen on its own, then sometimes (like 10% of the time I'd say) when I come back to use the computer, the screen won't turn back on. I can ssh in and all is fine on the machine, everything is running as it should be, and there is no crash, but the backlight stays off. I can even see what's on the screen if I shine a light on to it.

I've seen this problem reported on the Apple forums - seems common enough that it should be a big issue - especially since I can trigger it on every apple I touch. Is there a solution? I don't think it is a failing backlight, just because it is so tightly related to how the computer is being used, and it has happened with every version of OS X since 10.2 (using 10.3.8 right now).

It is driving me insane because I end up having to reboot the computer to get the screen back on. Brightness controls do nothing to help, and if I close the lid, the computer will not fall asleep.

Any ideas? Itís making me crazy!

mcgarry
Feb 21, 2005, 11:57 AM
odd. my 12" rev. C has not yet exhibited this behavior.

PlaceofDis
Feb 21, 2005, 12:03 PM
i haven't had this problem either on my rev a 12"

i wonder if it is the type of task that you are doing thats causing the computer to lock up like this, if anything i would play around with the power management options and see what happens when you change those things around, that seems to me to be the culprit here. maybe just dim your screen manually and turn off the monitor sleeping and see how it works, etc

good luck and lets us know if you figure it out

lasuther
Feb 21, 2005, 12:05 PM
It must be just your machines, because my iBook is fine.

lasuther

Mitthrawnuruodo
Feb 21, 2005, 12:07 PM
Never had that particular problem on my iBook G4@800.

You're sure the machine hasn't gone to sleep... then a little tap on the spacebar (or the power button) is the only thing it will react to...

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 12:12 PM
Placeofdis - it isn't really a lockup because I can ssh in and everything is running that should be. It is only that the backlight won't come back on and it won't sleep. It's like the PMU is stuck in a state trying to bring the screen back on, and can't move on until it finishes.

Lasuther - I don't think it *must* just be my machines - as I said - I have used other people's apples that have never had this problem and triggered it just by using it like I use it. Mail me yours for a month, I'll trigger it ;) I'd also think the odds of 100% of the apple computers that I've really been exposed to exhibiting this problem when they are three different machines from different generations is very unlikely since no one else here has posted that they have had the problem at all. I'm convinced it is a usage pattern that I just can't identify (and yes, I have really really tried).

rapps
Feb 21, 2005, 12:14 PM
Placeofdis - it isn't really a lockup because I can ssh in and everything is running that should be. It is only that the backlight won't come back on and it won't sleep. It's like the PMU is stuck in a state trying to bring the screen back on, and can't move on until it finishes.

Lasuther - I don't think it *must* just be my machines - as I said - I have used other people's apples that have never had this problem and triggered it just by using it like I use it. Mail me yours for a month, I'll trigger it ;) I'd also think the odds of 100% of the apple computers that I've really been exposed to exhibiting this problem when they are three different machines from different generations is very unlikely since no one else here has posted that they have had the problem at all. I'm convinced it is a usage pattern that I just can't identify (and yes, I have really really tried).


Hi,
My rev c 12" pb did this all the time and I"ve had nothing but trouble with it. I also have a horrid time restarting it. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes of reboots to get the screen to light up. I had to send it in 3X to get it fixed.

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 12:16 PM
Mitthrawnuruodo - It isn't stuck asleep (although I have had this problem happen when waking from sleep). I know to press the spacebar - I'd be afraid to meet a mac user who is ssh'ing into his machine to see how his X11 project compilation is going who doesn't know to press the spacebar when the computer falls asleep ;)

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 12:18 PM
Rapps - I don't think that is the same problem. My backlight will function again 100% upon reboot - I don't have to reboot more than once to solve the issue.

fuzzwud
Feb 21, 2005, 12:20 PM
it doesn't happen that often with my powerbook 15" but it seems to happen more often on my mom's 12" powerbook. on my powerbook, when the screen doesn't turn on, I press the return, apple, option or escape buttons. Pressing too many buttons doesn't help. Sometimes i have to wait a few seconds. If that doesn't work, I close my screen and wait until the white light on the latch comes on from sleeping. Then, I open up the screen again.

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 12:31 PM
Fuzzwudd - that sounds about right. No real solution though? I've never actually been able to get it to come back - how long do you ususally have to leave the lid closed before the white light comes on again? I've tried this for a few minutes, but maybe I should close it and wait until it finishes all the jobs I've given it and then maybe it will fall back asleep. Powerbooks are OK to use with the lid closed, correct (I know that was not a good idea with my iBook)? I could just leave it overnight and see what happens.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Feb 21, 2005, 12:39 PM
Mitthrawnuruodo - It isn't stuck asleep (although I have had this problem happen when waking from sleep). I know to press the spacebar - I'd be afraid to meet a mac user who is ssh'ing into his machine to see how his X11 project compilation is going who doesn't know to press the spacebar when the computer falls asleep ;)
Sorry about that... :o ...not always easy to know the knowledge level of posters (specially those with newbie status)... I've also met people who knows everything about *nix (and X11 and uses the Terminal in ways I never thought possible), but are stomped by the 'easiest' Finder related things... :o ;)

You've tried the usual 'bag' of advice: trashing preferences and repairing permissions, etc., etc. with no apparent changes...?

daveL
Feb 21, 2005, 12:40 PM
Doesn't happen on my TiBook, but as a work around, how about setting the Energy Saver settings so that the screen never powers off and let the screen saver kick in. At least you won't have to reboot. Just a thought.

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 01:08 PM
Mitthrawnuruodo - hehe - I suppose that is very true! =-) ...and really there have been many little simple things that have got me in my journey to Macness, so I shouldn't have considered your suggestion unreasonable :o

...and yes, I've tried the usual suspects. Deleting preferneces, ran the hardware test disk, repaired permissions, fsck - all that. No change.

daveL - Yeah - that does help. That is how my iBook has been this whole time, I was just hoping that my powerbook wouldn't have the same problem. Unfortunately it isn't a 'sure' thing as it does happen sometimes when the computer is put to sleep. I don't remember it ever happening when I have manually closed the lid and then opened it, but it has certainly happened when my babies fall asleep on their own.

One of the big ones that recudes the frequency quite a bit is to turn off 'turn off hard drives when possible'. Strangely when the problem happens, I can verify that the harddrive has spun up - but this setting seems to affect it anyway.

So - of the people who have never had it happen - do you spent much of your time in X11 or using fink? I really just can't think of anything else I do that is unusual....

WildCowboy
Feb 21, 2005, 01:25 PM
It also happens to me on my 14" iBook 1.2 GHz...

joechops
Feb 21, 2005, 01:36 PM
It also happens to me on my 14" iBook 1.2 GHz...

I've got a 14" iBook 1.0 GHz G4 and it happens to me too. I had no idea it was so prevalent in other Apple laptops... :(

virividox
Feb 21, 2005, 01:40 PM
never happened to me

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 01:58 PM
From what I've read over at the Apple support forums, people who have contacted Apple about this recently have been told that it is an issue they are working on and that a software fix will eventually be available. Unfortunately I first heard this rumor almost a year ago, so who knows how reliable it is. I'll probably give them another call now that I have free phone support (new laptop with applecare). Of course it didn't happen when my iBook was new because I wasn't using it for anything interesting. I got my iBook as a portable web/email/mp3/word processor thing and it kinda took over all my computer use over the following couple of years - so at first I didn't have the problem. Basically I'm saying that when I used it like a normal user, there were no problems. The problems came when I started using it for everything in my life and my XP machine became a glorified xbox ;)

Has anyone here actually had Apple acknowledge the issue at all? I'm kinda grasping for something here, and certainly any information I have is rumor.

goodtimes5
Feb 21, 2005, 02:03 PM
It happens to me about once every 3 months. The only way to come back from it is to reboot

stevehaslip
Feb 21, 2005, 02:05 PM
Just so you know my 1ghz powerbook doesn't do it, but I have a suggestion to try.

I'm not saying that it will work, I've never done it but I thought it might be worth suggesting.

If when you boot you hold down "r" then it will reset the powerbook/ibooks screen. As I say I have never done it but thought it may be worth a try if you haven't already done it.

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 02:15 PM
stevehaslip - Thats a good idea, I'll try that. Unforunately I am compiling a HUGE project on my powerbook and it will probably be tonight before I can reboot. So sad - its brand new and the only way I can use it right now is SSH :( Let me tell you - for the day I used it before this it was great. I know these new powerbooks may be considered a little behind the curve, but with 2 gigs of ram in it, it just flies - I have no complaints with the speed. I suppose since my main use is programming, the slower FSB isn't hurting me much as I image complilation is strictly CPU bound. Anyway - I'm happy. I'll just turn off most of my powermanagement (like my iBook) and suck it up.

Eevee
Feb 21, 2005, 02:26 PM
This happens to my 15" Rev C powerbook very often. It's frustrating since I need to reboot all the time.

Also, I noticed it when I try to wake the PB from sleep. Very strange and irritating.


ug, please let me know if you find a solution.

codycartoon
Feb 21, 2005, 03:02 PM
I have an old G3 iBook that has this problem but instead of rebooting it I put it to sleep by closing it then I open it again and the backlight is on.

good luck,

-cody

Mechcozmo
Feb 21, 2005, 03:10 PM
This isn't the "Wake From Sleep" thing that was fixed in 10.3.8?

bug
Feb 21, 2005, 03:17 PM
codycartoon - Sometimes that works for me, but often it will just not go to sleep when I close the lid once this problem has been triggered.

Mechcozmo - Yuo - that's what they claim ;) Running 10.3.8 here on everything, and it just happened to me this morning. At least if they attempted to fix it, they are working on it and will keep trying.

BigDogg
Feb 21, 2005, 04:28 PM
Doesn't happen on my TiBook, but as a work around, how about setting the Energy Saver settings so that the screen never powers off and let the screen saver kick in. At least you won't have to reboot. Just a thought.

I agree, play with the different Energy saver settings to see if this will help.
Set it so it will never fall asleep, thats what I have done in my G3 iBook
that had the same prob.

coolbreeze
Feb 21, 2005, 06:56 PM
Probably the reed switch. I had an issue with my iBook randomly going to sleep, and not waking up. Also the display would just turn off (after flickering). Apparently the reed switch lets the laptop know it's closed (and needs to sleep). When it wears out, it has lost control of the sleep function and the display and iBook go all funky.

After the reed switch was replaced, it's like brand new again. :D

dvdh
Feb 21, 2005, 07:06 PM
Doesn't happen on my iBook G3/900. However, sometimes when it does fall asleep sitting open I can wake it up with the mouse, but other times i have to use the keyboard. Unrelated probably since you have said that the machine is not sleeping, but odd nonetheless. Hope you find a fix.

bug
Feb 22, 2005, 12:02 PM
coolbreeze - I have my doubts - all three of them lost their reed switch, and the powerbook lost its after 1 day? ...and the reed switch can tell its me using the computer and chooses to work fine when my girlfriend uses it? If it was a faulty switch, then you'd think it would always be flakey at opening/closing, but that isn't the issue at all - it just doesn't turn the back light on after falling asleep (a small percentage of the time) - the state of the lid is a non-issue with this bug. If the bug hasn't occurred since a reboot then closing the lid is acknowledged 100% of the time, and it never just randomly goes to sleep like you report. After the bug has been triggered, then the state of the lid is ignored 100% of the time.

I'm not saying that wasn't your problem - just that it doesn't match my symptoms. Also - Apple has acknowledged this problem from what I hear and attempted to fix it in 10.3.8, but failed. Hopefully they will make the attempt again. Until then I can just turn off power management, but that's rather unfortunate for a laptop.

I suppose to some extent I started this thread so that everyone having this problem would get together and make it known to Apple that the problem is real - so to anyone experiencing the issue - let Apple know they didn't fix it!

panphage
Feb 22, 2005, 12:32 PM
My brand new powerbook seems to do this same thing when I remove my usb mouse while it's sleeping. I can hear it wake back up but the screen stays dark.

jmax
Mar 16, 2005, 09:42 PM
Saw your post from last month when searching for a solution... my PowerBook G4 15'' 1.5 GHz (bought July 2004) is having the "wake from sleep" issues. Usually if I put it to sleep and then wake it up with an hour or so it is fine, but if I put it to sleep or let it go to sleep overnight, the next morning, I try to wake it and I hear the drive spin up, but the screen never comes on and I have to force a reboot.

I have ProCare and took it to the Apple Store, but that seemed like a complete waste of time. Now I feel like ProCare is a complete waste of money. When the computer was off, they held down the Command/Option/Ctrl key and pressed the "on" button, then pressed the on button again, saying this would "reset the power management functions." Didn't do a thing... still having the problem.

Let me know if you found any solutions. I'm going to call Apple and yell a bit since I paid so that I could get tech support like this when I needed (I'm not real tech savvy). I thought they might at least do some diagnostics on it. All they did after the trick described above was proceed to show me some cool keyboard shortcuts, which I already knew and had no interest in seeing.

This, btw, is the first real problem I've had with the PowerBook. Otherwise, i think it is great.

parrothead
Mar 17, 2005, 06:34 PM
My 1.25 15" albook does this all the time, but only when I am out of town and my wife is using it! I have had the screen stay dark when waking it up, but closing the lid and then opening it up always fixes it. My wife has to reboot the computer. Bug, maybe your computer is mad at you, did you say something behind its back that it may have overheard? :p

bug
Apr 4, 2005, 06:51 PM
Bug, maybe your computer is mad at you, did you say something behind its back that it may have overheard? :p

Well, I have Windows running on a nearby computer, and I always make them network with each other. Maybe it feels 'dirty' ;)