MacBook Air 2013 Black Screen of Death

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dwmreg, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #1
    Hello.

    Has anyone else encountered an issue where they are using their Mid-2013 MacBook Air (13in) on battery when the machine suddenly goes to sleep or appears to, but it has actually crashed. The screen is dark, keyboard and trackpad are not responsive and the keyboard backlight is on. You have to force it off to restart by pressing and holding the power button? It is completely random, not a kernel panic, and nothing I can see in any logs. After the recent firmware update the symptoms changed such that the display is still active since the Apple logo is lighted. I've never had it happen when I'm on a/c power. Unfortunately its random and infrequent too. The recent firmware indicated it helped with battery issues, etc. didn't fix mine apparently.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #2
    Having this exact problem on my 2012 retina after the recent SMC update. Out of interest, do you have hibernation/standby disabled?
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #3
    Hi, yes the exact thing you describe has happened to me twice on the same hardware as you have. Have not found any good reason for that. It doesn't seem to be a lot of response on this thread so it might look like it's not that common. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see what happens.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #4
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #5
    Thanks for the link. Tried to install it but it did not want to install it. Then I checked what version that was installed (should probably have done that firs :) ) and that was version 2.13, but the version on the link above is 1.9.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Another SMC update was released a few days ago. You should probably grab it from Software Update.

    But it was not specifically to fix your problem. I don't think it's a bad idea to see if it helps though.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #7
    Thanks, agree with you. Will install it and see how it goes. Thanks a lot.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    ViperDesign

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    I just purchased a new air 13 inch and did all the updates. I was sitting here watching TV and all of a sudden I got a black screen! I could see the mouse, but the rest was black. The only way I got it to go away was to restart my Mac.

    Umm this can't be good! I just paid a grand for a CPU and within 20 minutes of using it I get that??
     
  9. Y So Jelly, Oct 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    #9
    I get that black screen with the cursor too and I haven't installed any updates. I just close and reopen the lid and wait for it to go to sleep, and then wake it up again.
     
  10. macrumors member

    MatsSkoe

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    #10
    Same here with the new MBA, it happens to me once every two days or something like that.

    When I get the black screen I move the cursor around and click randomly. The screen comes back on again after what seems to be a switch to another application. So I don't bother that much.

    I hope the software update of this morning resolves the issue!
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #11
    It happened again, even after installing updates. It seems like people have slightly different problems on this thread. This happens when the machine has gone in to hibernate while left unused (so screen is up and not closed), and then when trying to wake it up nothing happens. Not even the cursor is shown and have to long press the start button to restart.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #12
    According to a thread on the official apple forum, chrome might be the culprit? * shrug * https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5118135?start=510&tstart=90
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #13
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #14
    same here. the thing for me though is that it seems to happen only randomly and once in a while (once or twice a week) and typically only for a few seconds.

    However yesterday (pre-update) it happened and i just couldn't get the computer to wake back up. Took at least a minute.

    Supremely annoying and I would love to have Apple look at it, but it's such a random and (relatively) rare occurrence that I don't think I could reproduce it for someone at the store.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    #15
    I had this happen for the first time today, very annoying.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    Acorn

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    macrumors
    #16
    this happened with my 2012 mac air 3 days ago. I basically clicked the back button on firefox and the screen when black. you could see the mouse cursor still. i kept moving it around and clicking but it would not wake up. then about 25 seconds later the cursor disappeared. I tried moving and clicking again and it finally woke back up to desktop.

    The weird thing was it wasnt idle a long time. I was in the middle of using it when it happened.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #17
    There's a thread on the subject on apple forums with ~500 replies and 100k views. You are not alone. Chrome is not the root cause.:mad:

    I'm currently having my display replaced as it seems to be related to moving the lid.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #18
    Great, thanks for this information! Found the thread now and it seem to be a wide spread problem. Hope that apple will take it seriously.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #19
    I've run into the same problem a handful of times with my 2013 MBA I've had since September, same as described above screen appears to go to sleep then I'm left with the backlight on the keyboard with the logo illuminated on the back of the display. I noticed something else though which I'm not sure if its related but it seems to be a similar issue. If I wait for the display to sleep or by selecting sleep from the menu and then attempt to wake it quickly within about a second or so it will crash, sometimes with a backlight on the keyboard but other times without and it won't come back on until I hold the power button in as described above.

    Do you think this is related? Can anyone else reproduce it?
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    #20
    Have never noticed this, but yes, I was able to reproduce it.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    #21
    Haven't had this problem since updating to Mavericks.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Location:
    Antwerp
    #22
    This "bug" is the only thing that's holding me back of buying this nice laptop :(, and I know it wil bug me every time this error occurs due to my OCD.

    #FML
     
  23. thesituation, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #23
    my 6 week old mba gets the black screen of death at least once a day.

    it does it on battery and also does it plugged in as well. I have upgraded to Mavericks.

    I have a genius bar appointment in a couple of hours..i'm hoping they can give me an exchange or offer to repair it or something. I'm also having screen issues as well as wifi dropping after i wake up from sleep.

    :mad:

    EDIT: i purposely reduced the screen sleep time to 1 minute just so i can replicate the issue and sure enough after waking up successfully from sleep 3 times .. the 4th time it didn't. Now i can actually show them (with proof) that this is the case when i walk into genius store.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal Canada
    #24
    According to what I've read on the Apple Discussion forums, this issue is 100% reproducible.

    You have to catch your MBA going to sleep and quickly push a key on the keyboard or push the trackpad before the keyboard backlight goes out. This apparently leads to your MBA being in a non-recoverable state and requires a hard reboot.

    I've only had this issue happen to me once and it happened exactly as described.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Location:
    Antwerp
    #25
    I have a question, cause I read two kind of errors:

    1. People get black screen error when the computer wants to get into a 'sleepmode' state (when the screen turn black), and soon after it turns black they hit the trackpad/keyboard to wake it --> it causes an error which results in a forced reboot

    2. There the one who say they are just in some app or on firefox/chrome, and they get that black screen out of nowhere..


    I can live with the 1st error, but how real is the 2nd error? They both occur regurarly? Or is it mainly the first error that people complain about?


    Im about to order a MBA, the only thing that keeps me from buying this machine is that error that people are describing. (I dont prefer the rMBP as my own experience on scaled resolution 1440 x 900 was bad on it IMO)
     

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