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dswallace

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
7
0
I’m using a 2010 Mac with 10.10 Yosemite and 2.93 i7 Ati 5750 & 16 GB ram. It recently started habitually going to black screen. Pram reset and SMC reset sometimes fix the issue for a prolonged duration, even days or weeks, but it returns. Command option escape to put the computer to sleep and then waking up before sleeps fixes the black screen, but only momentarily, and sometimes the computer viciously tries to put the display back to sleep.

My gut says the problem is tied to chrome and/or updates to chromecast. I haven’t been able to fully confirm that. Airtable may also be at the heart of the issue, as I recently started using that application in chrome.

Is this indicative of a deeper problem? I fear updating will cause many of my programs to become obsolete. I would like to be able to fix the issue and have it remain fixed when not using chrome or airtable, but the recent issues seem to remain even with a P ram reset (six chimes) and not opening chrome.

The motherboard was replaced about four years ago, but otherwise the machine has been operating great.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,334
3,011
Between the coasts
Too many possibilities to start guessing. What you need to do is troubleshoot. If you suspect Chrome, Chromecast, or Airtable, then uninstall the lot of them, and see what happens. Create a new administrative user account and use that for a while. Again, see what does or does not happen. Operate in Safe Mode, and see what does or doesn't happen....

And by the way, if the computer is capable of viciously trying to put the display back to sleep, it's also capable of falling asleep because its bored by whatever you're viewing in Chromecast. Last I looked, these are still machines, not sentient beings.
 

dswallace

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
7
0
Hahaha! What I meant by it’s viciousness was it comes in waves (and not when I’m watching something). It will be fine for 20 minutes then the screen will go black. I’ll put it to sleep and wake it up and it will go black. We will do the sleep trick 10 or so times, we will do the sleep trick 10 or so times, it will be fine for five minutes then go black on me. Just now I let it stay black for a couple minutes before I woke it, and the error is not reoccurring. Is there something the computer might need to do during a black screen process, some thread which when complete will not be run again for sometime? I’m wondering too if this could be a virus or corrupted process, hence the strange behavior. The problem is it’s not clearly repeatable – sometimes a P ram reset fixes it, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes chrome seems to cause it, sometimes it doesn’t. And of course I’d like to know if my computer is about to die x-D

Too many possibilities to start guessing. What you need to do is troubleshoot. If you suspect Chrome, Chromecast, or Airtable, then uninstall the lot of them, and see what happens. Create a new administrative user account and use that for a while. Again, see what does or does not happen. Operate in Safe Mode, and see what does or doesn't happen....

And by the way, if the computer is capable of viciously trying to put the display back to sleep, it's also capable of falling asleep because its bored by whatever you're viewing in Chromecast. Last I looked, these are still machines, not sentient beings.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,334
3,011
Between the coasts
Yes, these sleep/wake problems can be very frustrating - not only to experience, but also to solve.

I did suggest a number of troubleshooting steps you might start with. Have you tried them yet? I see you speculating about things like "a virus or corrupted process" but the only thing you report trying is PRAM resets. Since those do not always work for you, they are not the complete solution.

Standard isolation techniques attempt to separate software configuration issues from OS issues from hardware.

Boot to Safe Mode to disable various startup and login items and clear system caches https://support.apple.com/HT201262

New Administrative User account helps isolate issues that are specific to your user account data and configurations https://support.apple.com/HT204443

Uninstalling suspect software - should be obvious

Apple has a support article on this type of issue. Lots of good info and suggestions. If the initial recommendations have already been tried and found insufficient, there's the last paragraph, "If the previous steps don't work." It mentions all the steps I've suggested, plus one more: resetting SMC - https://support.apple.com/HT204760

And if you're encountering any error messages, such as "Your computer shut down because of a problem," then please mention them - they could take troubleshooting in an entirely different direction.
 

dswallace

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2012
7
0
Thank you for these tips – I'm saving them. :) The error reoccurred once after the last restart process a week ago, but not again. I've potentially solved the issue with the following:
  1. Dumped all browsing data, cache, & cookies.
  2. Quit using Chromecast from my computer/browser.
  3. Streamed only from Netflix.
  4. Browsed only the basic sites from big, trusted, American providers.
All other actions have been as usual. I've used Airtable a lot this week at it was fine. I ought to attempt casting from Netflix in browser, but if I've got it down to 4 possibilities, why play with fire?? That's how I feel about updating out of Yosemite at this point. This wasn't the common "booting to black screen" issue. I do think this was a hack rather than a problem – that's my current operating position anyway. We'll see. Thanks again!
 
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