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DJLC
Aug 30, 2012, 11:56 AM
I work for a middle school with an Xserve running Lion server. We have a 1-to-1 MacBook program, so every kid has a MacBook Air to use at school and at home for the year.

One has a very interesting issue. Neither AppleCare nor our Apple consultant have been able to provide any assistance. No matter what MacBook I give to this student, she experiences random shutdowns. I have re-imaged the MacBooks in question. I have deleted her home folder and forced it to regenerate. I have deleted her entire user account and recreated it with a different UID and short name. No matter what I do, this student's MacBook always shuts down randomly. And it most certainly is not user error -- both her teachers and myself have witnessed it.

I have found a number of different terminal messages in the system log. The one I get most often seems to be along the lines of:
8/29/12 11:11:52.813 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.2015031: ([0x0-0x1a01a].com.apple.AppleSpell[211]) Exited: Killed: 9
8/29/12 11:11:52.814 AM com.apple.launchd.peruser.2015031: (com.apple.mdworker.pool.0[218]) Exited: Terminated: 15
8/29/12 11:11:52.881 AM com.apple.dock.extra: Could not connect the action buttonPressed: to target of class NSApplication

And today a new set of messages appeared:
8/30/12 12:44:26.892 PM com.stbernard.rfcd: [Thu Aug 30 12:44:26 2012.892054][firewall]: Disabled the firewall.
8/30/12 12:44:32.175 PM SecurityAgent: kCGErrorInvalidOperation: CGSOrderWindowList
8/30/12 12:44:32.175 PM SecurityAgent: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
8/30/12 12:44:54.732 PM ntpd: proto: precision = 1.000 usec

Does anyone have any remote clue what I can try next?



JonyHolt
Aug 31, 2012, 01:07 AM
Most definitely sounds like a hardware issue. Possibly a faulty voltage passthrough. When it shuts down, catalog which software was / is running. This should give you an idea of its because of heat etc.

Macman45
Aug 31, 2012, 01:23 AM
The OP states this happens with DIFFERENT Macs...A long time ago I had a similar problem with a student who carried a high charge of static electricity (no this is not a joke)

We tried her on a dozen different machines before finally using an earth strap to a nearby radiator...This solved the issue, but suffice it to say she did not pursue a career in IT. A small minority of individuals are literally "Highly Charged" Nylon clothing etc aggravates the situation still further. Once she was grounded, the weird behaviour stopped on all machines...I got sick of re-installing Windows on a daily basis.

DJLC
Aug 31, 2012, 06:35 PM
I did have her MacBook Air checked out by the local AASP. It passed all hardware tests. I also personally left it running in my office (with Jiggler) all night without issue.

Macman -- this sounds like the kind of thing we might be dealing with. We've literally exhausted all other options... yesterday I even changed the spelling of her name in Workgroup Manager, just on the off chance that her name made the server angry. No such luck.

Since she missed all of our computer-based baseline testing due to this issue, she's taking them next week. We're going to put her on the iMac in the principal's office and see what happens. If that shuts down, I'm definitely pulling out a grounding strap!