Mac Pro 2013 + High Sierra = Constant Hanging / Freezing w/ Non-Responsive Screen (But Mouse Moves)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JayBayAye8, May 23, 2018.

  1. JayBayAye8 macrumors newbie


    Oct 19, 2017
    I've searched on Google and here and can't seem to find much discussion about this, and what I do find is lots of people like me but no solutions.

    Freezing / Hanging
    The core problem is that ever since upgrading to High Sierra (or possibly the one before), my Mac Pro will experience several freezing episodes per day. I'm constantly losing work & losing focus. At least the hard restart happens quickly. The freezing or hanging is when the screen becomes completely non-responsive. Any audio that was playing will continue to play and the mouse can move around, but everything else is paused in time. No clicking on anything, video freezes in place, etc.

    My Machine & Peripherals
    • macOS High Sierra v10.13.4
    • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
    • Processor - 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5
    • Memory - 16 GB 1866 MHz DDR3
    • Graphics - AMD FirePro D300 2048 MB (two of these)
    • 3 V243H Acer monitors at 1920x1080p
    • Using 50% of my system hard drive storage
    • Have 3 TB OWC Mercury Rack Pro connected
    • Have a USB Expander taking a wireless Logitech MX Master mouse
    • & my custom Ergodox keyboard
    • + cables for a USB stick, phone charger, Logitech wireless gaming pad receiver
    • And a Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40 audio interface connected, controlling all audio
    What I've Tried
    I've reset the SMC by unplugging the power cable for 15 seconds, plugging it back in for 5 seconds, then restarting. I've done the NVRAM/PRAM reset by holding option+command+P+R during restart. I've not been able to determine if any specific peripheral is the cause, since I need all 4 of the main ones for work and the rest are basically empty cables.

    I've also not been able to see a pattern in what triggers this to happen.

    The strange thing is this happened once or twice a day for months and then stopped for months. I stopped having the issue completely. But in the past two weeks it started back and has ramped up to as many times as 2 and 3 freezes / hang-ups per hour. Right now I'm on a couple hour spree of no freezes though.

    Any Insight?
    I keep updating High Sierra when they prompt me, except this last security update, because I'm hoping they fix it. It's been a few versions with no fix in sight and no acknowledgment that I've seen of the problem, despite the many complaints online. I'm pretty sure at some point I lodged an official complaint too, doing my part to notify them and send crash reports.

    I've tried to wade through the wiki posts here on MacRumors, read the official Apple support forum, applied my Google-fu search skills... I can't find any real discussion other than "try to reset the SMC/PRAM."

    Please help. I'm on the verge of bailing on Apple after waiting 3 years for a Mac Pro update and it never came, and crumbling to buy an old (current) 2013 model, only for them to update it soon after, and now my old (non-current) expensive 2013 trashcan model is plagued with freezing. The absurdity level has hit new heights for me. I just want to get my work done!
  2. hobowankenobi, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    Have you tried booting to safe mode to disable all third party software?

    How about making a new test user account, and running from that for while to rule anything user account specific?

    Another way to rule out the OS, all third party software and the internal storage would be to boot and run from an external drive with a fresh OS.

    Other things to consider: Make a full backup, and/or a TM backup, and erase the boot drive, and install a virgin OS. Restore backed up data/apps/configs. A clean OS and restoring can be faster than finding a needle in a needle stack....if it is a software or driver issue.

    It's rare, but I have seen USB peripherals cause freezing or crashing issues in the past. Unplug everything outside of keyboard and mouse, and try a different keyboard and mouse to rule them all out.
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    To what @hobowankenobi posted, I'd add:

    - Run the system diagnostics, the short version, and then the long version (long RAM test). I've had intermittent RAM result in crashes and freezes.

    - Check your rotating hard disks for the POST status. I've seen flaky disk drives lead to unexplained crashes. In fact, the last time I was seeing odd crashes I thought it was bad RAM again, but after running the long RAM test a few times with successful results, I decided to swap disks and presto, problem solved.
  4. JayBayAye8 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 19, 2017
    I thought Time Machine restores the OS too? Because I read a lot about rolling back to Sierra and lots of sites were saying to always take a Time Machine capture before upgrading the OS so you can go back if needed. Can you restore everything but the OS on Time Machine?

    Thanks, you two above. I'm going to work with your suggestions and see what I can do.
  5. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    Historically, TM would not restore a bootable OS. It would backup (and restore) all the configurations, both user and global/OS. One would restore or reinstall a base OS, then restore everything else from TM.

    I see in current docs, it looks like it can.

    Maybe someone here can confirm.

    In your case though, it might be better to NOT restore a system that is not stable....

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