MBP 13" shuts down in a few seconds of being idle

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by palych, May 19, 2013.

  1. palych macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    Good day everybody,

    Recently my daughter's MBP 13" (Mid 2009) started to shut down in a few seconds of being idle. What is more, it does not complete start up and from the gray screen with the logo, it shuts down unless I hold down any key or continuously touch the trackpad. If it starts with my "help", it works fine if there is any activity otherwise in a few second "sleep" message appears. To keep it running I have to cancel or it will shuts down. I started up Mac in Apple Hardware Test version 3.3.1-3A173 and selected Extended Testing. Test took 29 minutes, no problems were found, and Mac did not shut down though I did not touch it.
    Apple store Geniuses suggested that problem is power button not OS. Price to fix it as ~$200. If it is so, why is there no problem running AHT or test is activity by itself? I can fix it myself for ~$20 (keyboard and power button) just want to be sure that is correct diagnosis. Maybe it is the software setting?
    This problem started after laptop was powered up following the installation of MicroSoft Silverlight (message requiring installation popped up every time my daughter wanted to watch Netflix movies). Maybe it is just coincident.

    MacBook Pro Mid 2009
    OS X v 10.6.8
    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz
    Boot Rom version: MBP55.88Z.00AC.B03.0906151708
    SMC vresion: 1.47F2
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
    Memory: 2 GB

    Thank you in advance
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    As you point out, the power button idea doesn't make too much sense, given it ran for quite some time during AHD. You can do something similar by starting up with the Option key, and letting the machine sit waiting for you to select the startup volume. While it's sitting there, wiggle, etc., the power button - I'm going to wager it'll be fine.

    Going forward:

    First, I would try starting in Safe mode (hold down the Shift key at startup).

    If that's successful, try restarting normally. (Safe mode clears some temporary and cached files.)

    Hopefully, you have at least one backup of your drive (Time Machine, or other method), or at least your data. If you can boot using Safe mode, you should be able to make a current Time Machine backup, or at least make a (or an additional) backup of your user data.

    Next, startup on the Snow Leopard install disc (10.6.x), then run Disk Utility First Aid Repair Disk on the internal drive (a check was also performed during Safe mode boot). From here, you can also create an image backup to an external disk partition using Disk Utility Restore.

    If that didn't find any errors (assuming the machine behaved normally during Safe, and when booted to the startup disc), that points to a software problem, not hardware.

    This leaves a few options:
    • Archive and install (keeping all settings, users, etc)
    • Archive and install (without keeping)
    • Erase disk, perform a new install, then migrate from a Time Machine backup, or image backup.

    The first two are choices when running the installer from the Snow Leopard install disc. They will install a fresh copy of SL, and move the contents of the previous system components to a Previous System folder. The first option will keep all your settings and accounts in place, the second option additionally moves those to the Previous System folder, and you would have to manually recreate your account and retrieve user data from that folder.

    If you want to start with a blank disk, run Disk Utility from the SL install disc and you can Erase the contents of the drive's partition. Then, install SL. Use the Migration Assistant to restore your settings, applications, user accounts and data, etc., from either Time Machine or a disk image (either in an external partition or an image file).

    If Disk Utility was unable to repair the disk, you can try recreating the single partition using the Partition tab. Choose "1 partition" from the popup menu - this will not only erase the contents of the drive, but create a new partition table. Then perform the install and migration steps from above.

    After booting to the clean install of SL, be sure to install all software updates before running your applications (this would include bringing SL up to 10.6.8).

    Lastly, if Disk Utility can't create a new partition table or continues to report unrepairable errors, you might be looking at a failing drive. (Which reminds me: the first time you run Disk Utility, check the SMART status by selecting the drive itself from the side-bar, rather than the partition. It should normally show "Verified".)

    Hope something here helps. Oh, and make sure to create/update your backup as soon as possible in above steps. Things can go wrong (especially when you don't have a backup…).

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