Open MacBook from sleep, barely visible kernel panic screen (?)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ramparts, May 22, 2009.

  1. ramparts macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #1
    Something weird has happened twice in the last week or so - I close my MacBook (black), open it later (I think both times I moved it somewhere), and when I re-open the screen is black and I have to restart using the power button.

    What I noticed this time is that I could barely make out text on the screen, and although I couldn't read the whole thing, it was definitely a kernel panic "grey screen of death":

    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering why this could be happening - both times it definitely had to do with closing and re-opening the laptop, and I'm wondering what the dimmed screen (I could barely make out the words) says about the issue.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Sounds like the backlight is off. Is the computer still under warranty?
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    What happened is the computer kernel panicked while the backlight was off. As a result, when you re-opened it the panic screen was displayed, but due to the lack of backlighting it was barely visible (you can see the same effect by manually turning brightness all the way down).

    That only really tells you that it's crashing either right before going into full sleep (after the backlight has been shut off) or right after waking, before it's turned it back on. You could figure out which by either looking at the logs or just checking if the sleep pulsing light is working--if no pulsing, I assume it crashed on sleep, if it is, then it crashed on wake.

    Either way, you have a sleep/wake related crash, which isn't happy. Here's one Apple thread that might be related:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1764173&tstart=135

    Looks like the most obvious things to try are resetting PRAM and SMC (search here or Apple's support site for instructions for your computer), making sure that your firmware and other software is up to date, and (assuming 10.5 here) downloading and installing the 10.5.7 combo updater. In fact, even if you're already running 10.5.7 but updated it through software update, I'd try downloading and reinstalling the Combo updater--that has been known to fix things.

    Other possibilities suggested are a corrupt OS in need of a reinstall or bad RAM--have you upgraded the RAM in it?
     
  4. ramparts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the help! I'll reset PRAM and SMC soon. I did upgrade to 10.5.7 through Software Update but I'm downloading the Combo Updater now.

    I did install 3rd party RAM, upgraded 2 GB to 4 GB - it's by Crucial which I know is pretty trustworthy but you never know...
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    Or just put it to sleep from the  menu and see what happens.
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    After you try the various resets and re-update, it's probably worth testing it with just stock RAM just for the heck of it. It's easier to test if it ALWAYS crashes on sleep, of course--nothing more annoying to troubleshoot than irregular problems.

    You could also run the hardware test disc that came with the computer, just to see if it finds anything. I doubt it will, but it's not hard to try (the long test can take a while with 4GB of RAM, so it's probably worth firing it up before bed or some time you'll be away from the computer for a couple hours).
     

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