new macbook hardware or software problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sander6, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Sander6 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    #1
    I've been looking around for previous documentation of this error but havent found any, so I'm asking here.

    About a month ago I bought a new Macbook (1.83 GHz, white, if that matters). I upgraded the memory (2GB Apple standard) and hard drive (100GB Fujitsu) since then. However, both before and after the installation of either of those bits of hardware, the problem has occured. Occasionally the keyboard and trackpad will become completely unresponsive, save for the power button. I know that the computer processes themselves have not locked up as programs continue to run as they were and pressing the power button gives an immediate response (however, I can't actually turn the thing off since the keyboard and trackpad are unresponsive!).

    Putting the computer to sleep does not help anything, as it will not wake up afterwards. I read about temporary freezes that will go away after 30-40 seconds; I've waited up to 2 minutes and the input devices remain unresponsive. Additionally, I was once using a mouse and even that stopped responding.

    I can get temporary relief by running the Disk Utility and Repairing the drive (which usually results in fixing a "Volume Header needs minor repair" error), but the problem recurs after about a week. I have heretofore been unable to link the freeze-ups to a specfic event or program, with the exception that the keyboard and trackpad dropped twice after disconnecting from my ftp server through Cyberduck. It has since been taken off (for obvious reasons), but the problem persists.

    The only possibly unstable (beta) software I'm running is Desktop Manager 0.5.3; I'm not even running Boot Camp.

    I ran the Hardware Checker utility off the OS X disk and it came up with no errors.

    Anyone heard of anything like this? Does this sound like a hardware or a software error? The 'book is still well-within warranty, but I'm wary of replacing it lest I get one that has any of the other 8000 problems I've heard of Macbooks having that I've luckily avoided (except for discoloration, which is only minor and will be taken care of eventually).

    Thanks in advance,
    Sander
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Sounds like a lemon to me and should be addressed by Apple.

    Cause the problems you are talking about most likely be difficult to solve.
    EDIT: Where is my faith in this place?? Sorry about that.
     
  3. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Ooh that's harsh! Surely this is exactly what the forum is here for - to serve up a few suggestions before anyone has to send their phone bill through the roof by calling applecare; or be without their machine for weeks because they have to send it in for repair.

    I'd try uninstalling desktop manager firstly to see if that is the problem.

    If that doesn't do it (this is probably a long shot as you say the problem is only occassional) you could try resetting the PMU.

    Additionally, you should make sure that you do all of the housekeeping tasks that keep your mac healthy (regular repair of permissions, scheduling of cron tasks when the machine is awake etc.)
     
  4. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #4
    *guilty feeling*
    I've been using Mac's for 3-4years and have only repaired permissions once (it didn't solve the hardware problem) and only ever backed up three times, once the day before my HDD failed and the other two times in the couple of weeks that followed. Never had any really major software issues :) although all have had hardware problems :mad:
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    A lemon...? It sounds much more like a HD issue...


    Sander6, remember that when you run Disk Utility/fsck to repair the disk you need to run it again (and again and again) if you get error messages, until you get an "all's fine" message.

    Uninstall all system "enhancers".

    Also Cyberduck 2.6 is buggy as H***. Actually annoyed me enough to buy a Transmit license when the trial expired. And I've sworn by Cyberduck for a long, long time.

    And remember. Backup your data. Now. While you still can.
     
  6. Sander6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    #6
    I'm pretty sure that Desktop Manager isn't the problem, but I'll try disabling it for a while. Meanwhile, I'll also pursue other fixing options since, by the random nature of the bug I'll have no real idea if the bug ever gets fixed or not since I can't recreate whatever causes it.

    I'm new to Mac and don't really know what the PMU is. Power Management Unit? That thing where you take out the battery and hold the power button? I did that, but it didn't help.

    I've been doing that about once a week now and am convinced that that isn't how it should be. Could you explain what "cron tasks" are?

    I'd think so too if it didn't happen on two separate hard drives.

    What else would qualify as a system enhancer beyond Desktop Manager?

    Thanks for all the help so far guys. I think I'll run Disk Utility (over and over) again until I get no error messages. That'll give me something to do while reinstalling Windows on my gaming box, which is a whole other mess entirely (though completely my own fault).

    Sander
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    I saw that, but it still sounds like bad HDs... of course the chance of getting two consecutive bad HDs is slim, but not unheard of...

    Still, do you have (or can you borrow) an external enclosure. If so, try putting the disk into that and boot from that. If that works well, then at least you know that the cause is somewhere between the logic board and the internal drive...

    You may also run the Hardware Test and see if that gives you any information.

    After all that you should be able to counter any questions Apple geniuses/support staff poses when you go to get a new one under warranty... ;)
    I don't know, probably nothing if you cannot think of anything else... :)

    It's more of a general advice. There has been a fair number of these kinds of threads that go on for hours before the OP suddenly said something like "oh, and <insert name of dodgy 3rd party software here> stopped working, too..." :rolleyes:

    Not saying this is the case her, not at all, just running through the mental check list. It's routine, you might say... ;)
     
  8. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Hi Sander,

    To answer your questions.
    You can find out about cron tasks here:
    http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2001020700163714
    (There are various apps that will atuomate this for you if you don't want to fiddle with the terminal).

    and resetting the PMU here:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303319 (this is basically the procedure that you describe).

    However, I am starting to wonder whether this might be a heat issue. You could consider downloading apps like coreduotemp or temperature monitor to see whether your mb is overheating.
     
  9. Sander6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    #9
    I don't have access to an external enclosure (you mean another laptop, right?), unless the folks at the Apple store would let me borrow one for a while. I strongly doubt they would and not just give it to me in exchange in the first place.

    I ran this and it said everything was working fine. That's so typical of computers, eh?

    I downloaded CoreDuoTemp and it's giving me readings between 59 and 64 degrees. Even though that seems kinda hot to me, that's the regular operating temperature range, right?

    The biggest problem is that I live in Korea, so understanding the questions at the support center is hard enough, much less countering them. Plus, Korea isn't really known for its great customer service, so I was hoping for a fix I could do at home so I could save myself that hassle (though it seems like I'm just ironically creating more hassle for myself in the first place).

    That being said, since this is obviously not normal behavior by any stretch (it's not even a recognized widespread malfunction according to the Apple site), I should be able to just walk into the store and get it replaced, right? It's only five weeks old, I've got the receipt, and the people at the store know me anyway.

    Thanks,
    Sander
     
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #10
    Nope, I meant a 2.5" Firewire enclosure for your HD (or maybe even USB2 enclosure, my external USB2 drive shows up in the Start up disks system preference pane, but I've not actually tried booting from it).

    Edit: Something like this would be perfect.
     
  11. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Yep - that's well within the normal range.

    I'd take it back to the store and ask for a replacement if that looks like the simplest option.
     
  12. Sander6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    #12
    I've been monitoring the CPU temperatures and they sometimes spike into the lower 70's (75 degrees was the highest I've seen), causing Growl to go nuts and give me all sorts of ominous warnings (Growl wouldn't be considered "dodgy", would it? I wouldn't think so). However, from my experience with my old (HP) laptop that actually had confirmed heat sink issues, the whole mess will just shut down immediately as soon as CPU temperatures get into the danger zone. I'd hate to think that detaching the input devices is some sort of Apple "feature" to combat overheating.

    Therefore, though the temperatures are getting rather high, I don't think they're the problem. If no one else can think of something that I perhaps haven't tried yet (short of buying any new hardware), then I'll go down to the Apple store this weekend with a translator and get this mess swapped out. And that'll solve the discoloration problem, to boot.

    Thanks for all the replies!
    Sander
     
  13. qweruiop macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #13
    I am having the same problem for the last three days! I have noticed that the keyboard and mouse becomes unresponsive when the computer becomes hotter than the usual operating temperature. It doesn't get too hot, but it gets hotter when I view Google Video or run lots of applications that raises its temperature. If I forcefully shut it down and restart right away, the keyboard and mouse becomes unresponsive after a few seconds to a few minutes. However, if I put the laptop next to the cooler and cool it down, it will be fine indefinately, until when i start running applications that make it hot.

    What can i do in this case :confused:
     
  14. bainsa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    #14
    Problems

    I am also having the same problems. I was watching the WWDC Keynote presentation (streaming video online) when the trackpad and keyboard just stopped working. I have plugged in a UBS optical mouse and have access to my curser again.

    I am able to run "Verify Disk Permissions" and "Repair Disk Permissions" without any problems. When I try to run "Verify Disk" I get the following error:

    Window pops up that says: First Aid Failed
    Disk utility stopped verifying "MacHD" because the following error was encountered: Volume Header Needs minor repair

    A keyboard also works when plugged into the USB.

    Has anyone found a solution to this problem, or has apple fixed this for anyone.
     
  15. juancardila macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #15
    Ive been having the same problem, but it is only only with my trackpad buton, the keyboard is alright. I downloaded the CoreDuoTemp when trying to solve this issue and it tells me that the temp is in between 120 and 130ºF. Is that too much? If it is, how can I try solving this??
     

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