17" Powerbook sleep problem

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by nevinp, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. nevinp macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2004
    Hi all,

    My wife has a 17" Powerbook that has just turned 1 year old so the warranty has now expired. Several times over the course of the warranty period it has gone back to the Apple dealer for "repairs". The problem is that the Powerbook seems to go to sleep when idle or the lid is closed but the blinking sleep led never comes on. You open the lid or press a key and the screen stays blank. The Powerbook is still running as you can SSH to it, press the CAPS LOCK etc and everthing responds... however the screen is black. The only way to get it out of this state is to physically restart the notebook by pressing the power button for 5 seconds. The battery is fully charged I may add.

    I have reinstalled the OS, swapped the battery and power supply and even changed out the RAM. Nothing has fixed the intermittant power problem. (Yes I zapped the PRAM as well)

    I have taken it back to Apple several times and they say they can't reproduce the fault therefore can't fix it. However, after it being with Apple for over a month I brought it home and reproduced the fault in about an hour. Thinking this must be something at home causing the problem I even swapped the power supply with one from work... it didnt' help either.

    Has anyone else experienced this symptom? I want to get it fixed before Apple refuse to look at it again.
  2. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    That is a strange problem. I don't know how to fix it, but there might be a way around it. Try this: go into system preferences>energy saver and put all settings to "never." Then, when you want to put your PB to sleep or go away from it without losing much battery power, just turn your contrast levels down as far as they can go. Then, when you want to use it again, just turn the contrast levels back up.

    Sorry to hear about your wife's PB's sleeping disorder, but I hope this helps. (It's not as good as a pill, I know, but it's close... :rolleyes: :D)

    Best wishes,
  3. WCat macrumors member


    Did you Reinstall your OS from an older Retail CD?

    Just a thought here, but on the off chance that you might have done your OS reinstall from a retail copy of OS X, you might want to make sure that you do it using the supplied restore CD's that shipped with your machine.

    I've seen this type of behavior before. Depending on when a retail OS X CD set was pressed, some hardware on your machine may not be completely supported if it is newer than the version of OS X that was pressed on the retail CD.

    In a worst-case example, a newer machine might not even boot when using an older version of the retail CD. I've done this myself accidentally before.

    If I had your machine, I'd start by booting off of the OS X CD that came with your 17" PB, then use it to wipe the hard drive completely (write zeros option), then reinstall the OS as a clean installation, then do a complete update using Software Update. Just to be sure, THEN reset the PMU and repair disk permissions (incantations or sacrifices to minor gods optional).

    By doing a clean install with the supplied CD's, you are sorta doing a scorched-earth version of clearing any fouled-up settings. You might also want to triple-check that you are actually resetting the PMU correctly, since there's no tactile feedback or beeps involved. For a 17", Apple says:

    1. If the computer is on, turn it off.

    2. Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes.

    3. Wait 5 seconds.

    4. Press the Power button to restart the computer.

    (If the computer powers-on during step 2, it's not done correctly, by the way.)

    Might just work. If not, it must be a hardware problem, methinks. If you're stuck never sleeping again, at least you're no worse off than I ever was with 3 different Dell laptops. Never, ever did any of them sleep properly. On one of them, if it ever did sleep, it was a sure thing that it would randomly crash within 20 minutes of use after waking again! Ditto for the Sony Vaio I have now. I'm 4 for 4 with WinPC's.

    Good luck! :eek:

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