Penryn MBP Becomes Unresponsive / Freezes

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by megageorge, May 16, 2008.

  1. megageorge macrumors member

    May 16, 2008

    I have a one month old, 17in Hi-res MBP with 2gb RAM and 250gb harddrive. This is my first Mac.

    Although I like the machine, and think it is resonably well made etc, it still manages to frustrate me greatly. My main issue with it is that it at least once a day, if not more, the Mac freezes. Sometimes I can move the mouse, but I can do nothing else. Othertimes, the mouse completely freezes. If iTunes is playing I can still hear it in the background but I cannot do anything other than hold the power button to turn it off.

    The freezing can happen anywhere and at any time, reguardless of whether I am doing easy or something that strains the system. The freezing is also nothing to do with the temperature of the machine.

    Another problem I experience is that, after moving the computer and then waking it from sleep mode, the display is scrambled. It is impossible to do anything but I can almost see the outlines of windows and the scrambling changes when you change spaces or something like that, meaning that the machine is still responsive if this happens. This does not occur as often.

    I am reluctant to take into an Apple store because the problems I experience are very intermittent and so probably won't be found by the Apple store. I am disappointed that a £1800 laptop ($3600) laptop has problems like this, especially as this is my first Mac.

    What should I do? Any help is much appricated.
  2. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
  3. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
  4. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    @ Burnsey:

    Did all three of those, didn't seem to do very much. Thanks anyway.

    @ gr8bob:

    The Folding@home viewer causes my MBP to freeze, so I think that is the problem. I also have freezes and slowdowns while using cover flow. System.log reports errors exactly as shown in the link above.

    What's the fix?
  5. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    You could try get a hold on the 10.5.3 developer seed for the nVidia kext files. I don't think I'm allowed to post it, but do PM me for more info..

    You could try googling "NVChannel(GL)" for more info about it and instructions to fix it with the kext files. I've done it on my 2.2GHz MBP and fixed most of the issue, but I'm still getting the timeout errors occasionally. Prolly it's time to bring it to the apple store. :mad:
  6. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Do you think hardware is at fault then? If it is, I will bring it into the Apple store; obviously I don't want to continue to use a defective MBP incase futher problems arise. If it is a software-only problem, I would be comfortable fixing it myself.

    If I did bring it to the Apple store, how would I go about proving I have a problem? As you know, it happens very irregularly and the only sure-fire way to freeze it is by running the Folding@Home client, and the Apple store staff will probably just say it is that application and leave it at that.
  7. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    I'm still trying to find a way to explain it to the guys in the Apple store because they kept wanting me to leave my laptop in there for a couple of days which I can't do because I need to use it to do all my assignments.

    The only way that I can find that's even close to explaining it is to ask them to try that F@H program on one of their demo machines. I'm not sure if it's purely software problem or a hardware-based problem because I've booted off my backup copy of Leopard 10.5.0 (without Leopard Graphics Update 1.0) and the F@H client runs fine without crashing but yet I'm still experiencing those timeout errors occasionally with iTunes.
  8. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Thanks for that KingYaba

    However, I am still no closer to a fix and slowly reaching the end of my tether. This laptop performs way below my expectations and seems totally underwhelming considering all the good things I've heard about them.

    What are my options?
    Is it a hardware or software fault?
    Can I get the Apple Store to repair it?
    Should I reinstall the OS?
    Should I wait for 10.5.3?
    Should I put this laptop on eBay and buy a Vaio?
  9. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Buy a Thinkpad T61. Done and done. :)

    try doing an archive and install. I have a 2.4 SR MBP and I looked in the system.log for those error messages that someone posted up in the Apple Discussions..none found.

    You could try target booting with another intel mac that works and see if the issue comes up. Then that will determine whether it is a hardware or software issue.
  10. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    What is target booting and how would I go about doing it? Is it anything like target disk mode or have I got the two confused?
  11. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Target booting i'd guess means booting to another hdd other than the MBP internal HDD. I'd guess this is to test whether your internal HDD is the culprit. I personally think your logic board needs to be replaced
  12. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Get a friend's intel mac and hold T during bootup. Then connect your computer to it via firewire and hold option during bootup. Click on the friend's HD (should appear as a firewire HD). Then try to replicate the problem.

    it will determine if its the HD as mentioned above, and also determine whether this is a hardware or software issue.
  13. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    It is actually kinda hard to replicate the problem in iTunes, the problem just pops up whenever it feels like.

    And just for comparison sake, did any of you guys that experienced these problem before had upgraded your MBP's RAM or hard disk?

    I've been thinking of re-installing Leopard without the graphics update 1.0 to see if makes and different. Will be tryin that in a few days.
  14. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Thanks, will try that at the next opportunity I get.

    I will try to reinstall OS X in the coming days, with all updates etc. Wouldn't this show if it is a hardware or software problem? If this problem occurs on some machines but not others, and the machines are of a wide variety (old and new MBPs, reports of the same problem on iMacs) then surely the hardware is at fault?
  15. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Try and install all the updates without the Leopard Graphics Update 1.0 and see if it helps. Already done my re-install, going to test it out and see if the problem occurs again.
  16. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Okay, but how come our machines crash with the Leopard graphics update while other machines don't?

    I am concerned I have faulty hardware which I don't want to die on me as soon as:

    a) I have a project due in the next day or
    b) The machine runs out of warranty.

    Which is while I am keen to know what exactly the problem is and how it can be fixed, not just a workaround which will make it crash less.
  17. Kaupa macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    ive got the same problem almost once a day. Now i am waiting for the logicboard to be replaced. My dealer earns the money for the work and apple has got to pay for their bad quality management.
    If you find a good dealer or service provider, they should see your problems (i made pictures of graphic failures and a small video of things going on).
    Did you do a hardware test from the install DVD?
  18. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    I have no idea about that, but I'd suppose it's something related to different revisions of the chips/roms used inside? Several users on the apple discussion board has claimed that LGU caused problems to those that didn't had it before the update and fixes the problem for those who had problems prior to the LGU.

    My applecare phone support just died a few days ago, I'll need to bring it in to an apple tech soon to see. So far without the LGU my iTunes isn't crashing and there's no NVChannel(GL) errors.

    By the way, are you by any chance running anything through the DVI port? a secondary display or TV?
  19. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    How can anyone live with that weird screen bezel. I had the T60p and as soon as I saw that bezel, I said I'm getting a MBP.

    You can also boot to an external HDD.
  20. gr8bob macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Apparantly reinstall without LGU didn't work, mine just crashed watching video in iTunes, horribly..

    Giving my local apple technician tomorrow..
  21. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    I rang Applecare today. The guy told me to check a few things, delete cache, repair permissions etc. I also directed him to the Apple Discussion topic posted above. That did not fix my problem. He also recommended that I archive and install, which I also did. It still crashes upon opening the F@H client with an NVChannel error.

    He told me that if the archive and install didn't work, it would mean it is a hardware problem. I will ring back tomorrow and ask them about bringing it to an Apple store and how I can show them my problem.
  22. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    Just a quick update:

    I haven't experienced any problems as of yet with my archive and install with LGU1. F@H still makes it crash but nothing else as of yet. I am starting to doubt whether I do have a hardware problem. I would like some replacement hardware, to be on the safe side, but I am not sure if I genuinely have a problem with it. I have been scrolling around iTunes cover flow mode trying to make it crash but that didn't work.

    I'll see how things pan out of the next few days.
  23. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    and what would you expect them to replace, not being able to recreate the issue, and not knowing if its even hardware related?

    it really sounds like software, which in itself, is your issue not there's. its probably the FOH program doing something it really shouldnt. If it works fine without installing that on a fresh install, there you go :)
  24. megageorge thread starter macrumors member

    May 16, 2008
    The Folding@Home viewer is not the cause of the crashes. It is merely a way of testing if you have the same crashing problem as other people; e.g. me and gr8bob above. I do not use the Folding@Home program at all, and freezes were being encountered before the program came into contact with the computer. It is unlikely that it is an issue with the F@H viewer, or the problem would be far more widespread.

    The current situation is that I have not had a crash under normal use since my reinstall with the Leopard Graphics Update. I can still cause the crash using the F@H viewer and this produces NVChannel timeouts and exceptions in the system.log. If the system freezes under normal use I will take it to the Apple store.

    A few people have also reported freezing while playing games. I'll see if there are any games I can get to test this out.

    It could be a problem with the F@H program, but then why does it only affect a certain number of users? Why are these users ones which have encountered freezing issues under normal use? That leads me to believe that it is not the F@H program.

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