MBA i7 - battery drain during sleep

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kelhart, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. kelhart macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    Hi gang,

    A battery question:

    Do you think it is normal for a new i7 11" MBA to drain from 60% to 51% battery power while in sleep mode for about 10 hours?

    I'm thinking that if the beastie is supposed to be able to sit on a shelf for 30 days and still be running losing nearly 10% battery for every 10 hours, its not going to last.

    Some notes:

    - Prior to this sleep period is was setup to work with an external monitor and bluetooth keyboard/trackpad. It was unplugged from the monitor (as well as power) but bluetooth and wifi were still 'on'. Would that affect the power drain? Always assumed radios turn off when the device goes to sleep.

    - Checked the system log, no activity logged during the 10 hour period.

    I'm wondering if I should take this to a genius or not. Any thoughts would be welcome.

  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    Here's the fine print on Apple's website with regards to the "up to 30 days" line:

    In other words, that doesn't even apply to your machine. Also, normal sleep is not the same as deep sleep. If you really need the machine to last that long when sleeping, use this:

    Effectively, "deep sleep" means the computer is off. The battery will last 30 days with the machine turned off.
  3. kelhart, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    kelhart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm not really looking for the machine to last 30 days. It will be lucky if it goes 24 hours without me doing something with it.

    What I'm concerned with is that based on what I've read, the laptop is supposed to drop into 'deep sleep' on its own after an hour of regular sleep.

    Losing about 1% per hour doesn't sound like deep sleep to me.

    These are new machines. This could be a firmware thing, could be something with the bluetooth 4.0, could be a glitch in Lion, could also be my imagination. These things happen, just curious if others are experiencing it, or it sounds like a real problem.
  4. fatbarstewar macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2009
    That doesn't sound right, my i7 13" dropped a couple of per cent after leaving it for 12hrs plus.
  5. Obscurelight macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    Actually I have noticed power level drops after opening from sleep as well on my i5 11".
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It sounds like there is something preventing your MacBook Air from going into deep sleep. It shouldn't drop that much so quickly. That's more like the "regular" sleep on the MacBook Pros. If I leave mine unplugged overnight, it drops from 100% to 98%. It's still a little faster than it was in my 2010 (which would go to 99%).

    If multiple people are experiencing this, it could be a bug or glitch, since it definitely isn't normal.
  7. blowabs macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    BK, NYC
    I have noticed quite a drop myself...did a nice battery conditioning and i will see if this continues...I will try and have the unit sleep earlier to see if that helps....?....
  8. kelhart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    I had my macbook air charging all day yesterday after a full drain from the previous evening.

    First problem is it didn't wake up. It was on, if I tilted the screen you can tell the LEDs were lit, but no response. Had to hold down the power button to turn it off, and then turn it on again.

    At that time it was 98% charge. I put it to sleep and left it alone. This morning i checked and the battery was down to 88%. So again, nearly 10% over about 12 hours.

    I've scheduled a genius bar appointment for tomorrow morning (luckily, I work about 5 minutes from an Apple store). I'm going to let it sleep at home today and see if does another major dip while I'm at work.
  9. flagrant macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm having similar sleep drain on my i7 11" MBA.

    Overall, I'm disappointed with the battery life but I haven't really timed it yet. I installed MiniBatteryLogger last night so I guess I'll see how long it actually runs on a charge today.
  10. Apple Expert macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    You ain't the only one. Last night before I went to bed it was 30% and now its 22%. Mind you I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 7 am.
  11. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    make sure you unplugg any devices, especially USB. An ethernet adapter plugged into usb is still "on" and will support wake-on-lan function. Hard drives are on as welll
  12. Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    I shut mine down (not sleep) at 86% last night, and I turned it on this afternoon, and the battery was down to 59%.:eek:
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    There are definitely some deep sleep issues, since this shouldn't be happening. I didn't want Apple snooping around so I disabled the "send Apple feedback" when I set up the Air. Is there are site where we can give manual feedback so that Apple is alerted that this is something that they need to fix?
  14. kelhart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    I just came back from the Genius Bar about the battery drain issues:

    He suspects the problem is the thunderbolt port. He saw evidence in the logs of the the machine periodically checking the port, as if it thought something was connected and was trying to disconnect it. As it turns out, I did have an external display connected to it prior to seeing these problems.

    He figured that it was either a permissions problem with the driver, which would cause the process of disconnecting a device to never complete, or it was a hardware problem with the port itself.

    He did a SMC reset (see if you don't know what that is). He also did a fix permissoins via Disk Utility and he pointed at something in the results that he thought might be the culprit (forget the filename, some kind of driver/device manager though).

    He then said to keep an eye on it for a few days and if the problem persists, bring it back to the store and they will do a repair to replace the port.
  15. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    You needn't be paranoid about sending the data to Apple. If you read the data that will be sent before clicking the "send" button it will be obvious that nothing revealing goes to Apple.
  16. sillyrabbitt macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2009
    unplugged last night i7 fully charged. used the mba for 10 mins closed the lid. woke up 7 hrs later 21% left. :(
  17. nkijak macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2011
    @kelhart Did those changes make any difference? I've noticed the same thing with an external monitor (DP to DVI to dell 24)

    I've also noticed it wouldn't sleep when I closed the lid, it would just immediately switch to the external monitor. If I power button -> sleep the external display would alternate between a black screen and a no connection screen. 10.7.1 helped with the sleeping a little but the power drain is still happening. 2006 mbp and 2011 mbp sleep normally with external displays so it makes me think it's the Air itself.
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    So far 10.7.1 has been about the same as far as deep sleep. Normally it loses about 2%-4% over the course of 8-12 hours. That's perhaps 1 percentage point more than what my 2010 MacBook Air lost.
  19. kelhart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    Whoops...I completely forgot to come and file an update...extremely uncool of me.

    @nkijak I think the changes made by the Apple tech did work. I'm no longer loosing 9-10% battery over 8-12 hours. It's now closer to what @KPOM reports, 3-4%.

    I haven't had it plugged into the external I am curious if by doing that I might trigger the issue that hit me originally (i.e. the machine not releasing the port properly and continually waking to check on it). Hopefully I'll be in a position to test that soonish.
  20. macneubie macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    so meaning if u want the mba battery to last longer between charges, nothing should be connected to the ports?
  21. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    OP, thanks for checking back!

    it's odd behavior, I haven't seen that rapid battery use in my MBA 13" 2010 nor in my 11" 2011. It's more like my MBP 13" that gets empty if I leave it sleeping over the weekend.

    The assumption that having a monitor plugged in could prevent it from getting into deep sleep, seems reasonable. It shouldn't do that, I think, but it might do. I never have anything plugged in as it sits in a cover, in a bag overnight.
    When I open it up in the morning it takes a few moments before I get the password login screen. That is a few moments more than opening it within a few minutes after closing the lid.
  22. kelhart thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    Not necessarily. In my case the problem occurred both during and after having an external monitor plugged in.

    The apple tech determined it was a permissions issue with the driver that was preventing the machine from noticing that the external monitor had been unplugged. So it spent all its time trying to talk to it to get the status. This prevented from sleeping properly.

    One thing you can do is open the Console application (under Applicatoins/Utilities) and look at the activity log. If you see activity being logged while your machine is supposed to be asleep then that is the source of your battery drain.

    In my case there was periodic querying of the Thunderbolt port while my MBA was supposed to be napping.
  23. bertman, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011

    bertman macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    Laurel, Maryland
    That's probably the reason for today's Thunderbolt Firmware Update. Installing it now, and hope it fixes my battery drainage issue, too. (Loosing 50% overnight in sleep mode.) (MPB i7 17 w/SSD - an absolutely screaming machine, BTW!)
  24. bertman macrumors member

    May 28, 2008
    Laurel, Maryland
    Thunderbolt Firmware Fixes Battery Drain on i5 / i7 MacBook Pro

    Yes, that did it! Three days sleeping: 75% Battery! All is well. Did I mention that this is a SCREAMING machine?

    So, Apple obviously became aware of the problem, why didn't they post here: "We will be releasing a Thunderbolt Firmware update to fix the battery drain on the new MacBooks Pros." There was noting in the TB firmware release notes, either, indicating the fix.

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