Does every apple laptop have this problem?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by bug, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. bug
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    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? It’s making me crazy!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #2
    odd. my 12" rev. C has not yet exhibited this behavior.
     
  3. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    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
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    #4
    It must be just your machines, because my iBook is fine.

    lasuther
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    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...
     
  6. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2004
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    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    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).
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    #7

    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.
     
  8. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    Its not just asleep - I ssh in and things are running.

    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 ;)
     
  9. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2004
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    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    hmmm...

    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.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #10
    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.
     
  11. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
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    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    yeah

    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.
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #12
    Sorry about that... :eek: ...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... :eek: ;)

    You've tried the usual 'bag' of advice: trashing preferences and repairing permissions, etc., etc. with no apparent changes...?
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #13
    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.
     
  14. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    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 :eek:

    ...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....
     
  15. Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #15
    It also happens to me on my 14" iBook 1.2 GHz...
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Location:
    Searcy, AR
    #16
    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... :(
     
  17. macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #17
    never happened to me
     
  18. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    apparently...

    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.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    goodtimes5

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #19
    It happens to me about once every 3 months. The only way to come back from it is to reboot
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #20
    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.
     
  21. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #23
    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
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #24
    This isn't the "Wake From Sleep" thing that was fixed in 10.3.8?
     
  25. bug
    thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #25
    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.
     

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