My MacBook Pro freezes if nothing is moving on the screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by siriru, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. siriru macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018

    My macbook started freezing every time I started it. MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)

    I did the usual, reset PRAM and SMC, even reformat, etc.

    After doing that, I noticed that if I kept moving the mouse, my computer would no longer freeze. if I stopped moving the mouse, then the computer would freeze again.

    The computer doesn't have this behavior if I start it in safe mode.

    That's really annoying!
  2. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    The obvious answer is to write some code to control a robotic hand to keep the mouse moving. The MBPro being completely in charge of its own destiny.

    There may be less obvious answers. Does the port the mouse is plugged into matter? I assume it’s not wireless. Different port and different mouse?
  3. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    Okay I said mouse but it was instead the trackpad. It's the same with external mouse.
  4. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    After some test, I figured out new strange behaviors. If something is moving on my screen, no freeze.

    I was on Youtube, and I played a video => no freeze during the entire video. I stopped the video => freeze after 2s.

    I tried something else: I launch another video, and I minimized the window > freeze after 2s, but I could still hear the sound.
  5. NiCalm macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2018
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Clearly something isn't right. I suggestion not to spend too much effort on trying figure it out, and just call apple. Have them diagnose and correct the issue.
  7. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    Of couse something is not right, but I'm not going to give $300 to apple to have a diagnostic!
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Ok, then you have to deal with the problem ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  9. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    That's why I'm asking for help to try to find myself =)
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Rrun the diagnostics listed above.
  11. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Other then backing up your data and reformatting and reinstalling macOS, there's little else you can do. Apple has more comprehensive tools to diagnose hardware issues, and if it is hardware you're hands are tied.

    1. Pay the fee
    2. Live with the issue
    3. Buy another laptop

    Good luck
  13. nerowolfe19 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2018
    Odd. It seems like a sensor/regulator bug to me.

    Does it happen with the battery disconnected? Or when running another OS like Windows or Linux?

    Have you tried a clean install? used a different OS/upgrade lately? installed any programs?
  14. alex.houston macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2016
    I thought they would do diagnostic for free at the Apple store. And then, when they tell you what needs to be replaced and the cost, you can choose if you will pay them to do the repair. E.g. see this:
    "will genius bar do a free diagnostics on a macbook pro out of warranty"
  15. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    I'm sorry, but like I said earlier, I even reformated the computer. Of course I reinstalled OSX.

    Can I remove the battery on that model? I should try with Linux you're right. Like I said above I tried a clean install. I upgraded lately to Mojave but I had the problem before. I'm gonna try Linux right away!
  16. nerowolfe19 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2018
    The battery can be disconnected. Just be sure not to use a metal pludger or anything conductive so you wouldn't short the cable pins and fry the smc controller. Anything plastic would do just fine.

    Reason I asked is battery and trackpad share the same compartment, and their problems often go hand in hand.
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    2013 MBPs have their battery glued on. Disconnecting the battery will cause the CPU to run at 1/2 speed - at least it does on the 15" model. I'm not entirely sure if that occurs on the 13" model.
  18. nerowolfe19 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2018
    Technically, you can remove them and put them back, but that's laborious and inadvisable at this point unless you want to install a new bettery and know how to do that. Just disconnecting the cable will do.

    Weird that it causes slowdown in your case maflynn. My laptop runs just the same with battery D/Ced.
  19. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "The computer doesn't have this behavior if I start it in safe mode."

    You have "found the problem".
    Theres nothing wrong with the hardware.
    There's nothing wrong with the OS install.

    You know this because the problem doesn't occur if you boot in safe mode.
    Booting in safe mode means you are by-passing all 3rd-party extensions, etc.

    There IS "something wrong" with something in your account.
    Something "non-Apple" that you have added is causing the problem.

    You have to find out what it is.

    Here is how to fix it:
    1. Boot into safe mode
    2. Go to the Users & Groups pref pane, click the lock and enter your password
    3. Click the "+ sign" to create a NEW user account. MAKE SURE it has administrative privileges
    4. Give it a name you like (can be "close to" the name of your regular account).
    5. Let the Mac create the account.
    6. Set all other options so that you get a login screen when booting (you DO NOT WANT to "automatically log into" any account)
    7. Now power down, all the way off.
    8. Now restart and log into your new account.
    9. DON'T ADD ANYTHING to it yet. Just browse around and see if "the freezing problem" is gone.
    10. Is it gone?

    If the problem is gone, here's what to do next:
    1. Get paper and a pencil
    2. Now, you can start "adding things back" to the account, ONE ITEM AT A TIME.
    3. Write down a note EVERY TIME you change something.
    4. If things suddenly go wrong, look at your notes and see what the last item or two was that you "added".
    That could be the source of the problem...
  20. Premal212 macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2017
    London UK
    I had this fault some time ago, it was due to the backlight on my keyboard, when the backlight went out, and I turn moved the mouse or something it caused a few second lag. To solve this, I just left my keyboard light on all the time.

    I was fuming when this was happening for the first time, I too thought about a robotic arm, or at least a programme that would move my mouse a few pixels every second.

    Hopefully this works.

    Attached Files:

  21. siriru, Sep 28, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018

    siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    Like I said, it's a fresh install, I didn't add anything. 2mins ago, I just reinstalled Mojave, and I got the same issue with a new account. I tried to create another account anyway. The computer froze even before I logged in. It can freeze even when no user is logged. =/ =/

    Unfortunately, the default settings are already like your screenshot =/

    Ok good to know!
  22. nerowolfe19 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2018
    If the problem doesn't happen when booting into Safe Mode, then that warrants some digging into.

    Below are Apple's kexts that Safe Mode doesn't load when I boot up my Macbook:

    AppleIntelHD4000Graphics.kext (2012 rMBP, yours will probably be AppleIntelHD5000Graphics.kext instead)

    What I'd try if I were you is boot into safe mode, and take a snapshot of the all the kexts it loads (about this mac->system report->software->extensions), restart, and log in without safe mode and take a snapshot of all kexts loaded and compare the two. You'll end up with a list similar to the one above. Please note that I'm running Sierra 10.12.6

    At this point, if SIP isn't disabled then it's better to disable it before proceeding.

    What you'll want do next is go to /System/Library/Extensions and move those kexts to another folder, and then start terminal and type in

    sudo kextcache -i /

    in order to rebuild kext cache and then restart the machine. If the system boots up without a problem, then one (or more) of those kext files is the culprit and that would give you an idea about which corresponding hardware part it communicates with which might be problematic.

    Now copy back each of those kexts, one at a time, to the kext extensions folder, and enter the command above via Terminal and restart. Repeat this process until the problem reappears.

    Once you've identified the problematic kexts, you can temporarily remove the kext(s) in question and restore the rest, in order to have a temporarily functioning laptop. You can then research some more about what the kext exactly does so you can understand why it's causing your mac trouble and which hardware part it's controlling which might be defective.

    What you do next is up to you. Take it to Apple, or a local shop, or try to fix it yourself, or do nothing at all. Good luck.
  23. siriru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2018
    I tried to boot to linux with an Live USB, fedora then ubuntu. It worked on my other laptop but not on the macbook =/. The screen was just black but I could hear the sounds when I was increasing the volume. It looks like a video issue.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its by design
    MacBooks Run Slow Without Battery

    The power brick is incapable of supplying all of the power needed for the laptop, and so without the battery the laptop's CPU speed is halved.
  25. asmsa macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2018
    I have exactly the same problem. late 2013 13" MPB...

    The problem appeared immediately after I updated to High Sierra from Yosemite.
    You figured out what was it?

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29 September 25, 2018