Randomly crashing back to login screen

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Eluzion, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Eluzion macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    I have a 3 year old Macbook Pro (2.2Ghz Santa Rose, 4GB RAM) that use to be a great machine but it seems to have become slower over the years. I reinstalled Snow Leopard about a year ago but it's still pretty slow.

    Anyways, the problem I'm having is it will randomly freeze up for a 10-20 seconds (and I can hear the hard drive working), followed by booting me back to the login screen. When I log back in, everything is closed and it's like I restarted the computer. 99% of the time it happens I'm either clicking a link in Safari or trying to open a new page. I have tried multiple browsers, thinking it was an issue with the browser but it happens in all of them. Another time it occurs a lot is when I'm playing a video, especially in full screen.

    Any ideas what might be causing this? It's getting pretty annoying since it will happen at the worst times.
     
  2. sdneidich macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    NC, USA
    #2
    Download iStat Pro, and check on your RAM usage. Also check how full your Hard Drive is. It sounds like you may be using all your RAM and your Hard Drive many not have enough space to create sufficient virtual memory.
     
  3. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #3
    I am having the exact same problem and have the exact same computer. But I installed a 500gb hard drive and have 4gb of ram. So neither one of those is a problem. This started happening about 4-5 months ago. And randomly logs me off. Anyone else have any advice on what to do?
     
  4. Eluzion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #4
    It's definitely not a RAM or hard drive space issue.

    My next guess is maybe the computer is overheating? It seems to always happen when the computer is "working". It mostly occurs when I'm playing a YouTube video, but it's also occurred when I have a lot going on.

    Does OS X not create some sort of crashlog when something like this occurs? This problem is getting very annoying.
     
  5. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #5
    Mine just crashed again for the 3rd time this week! I keep checking this forum thinking someone might actually know whats happening.

    Have you took your computer to Apple to see what they say? I might be doing that next week. Because I have to clue.

    But you are right my computer crashes when there is stuff going on as well. Sometimes when there is a lot going on and somethings when im playing just 1 quicktime video. So not sure if its actually because of the overheating. And if it was overheating I think it would actually crash the whole computer off or restart rather then just going to the login screen. Which is very odd.

    Let me know if you find anything else out or go to the Apple store, I will be checking this forum daily!
     
  6. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    This is a classic case of long-term static damage. That one time where you opened the case and installed something without grounding can have an effect 2-3 years after it happened. It might have been fine then, but the damage may start to show later on.
     
  7. Eluzion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #7
    Well, it just happened again when I tried to open a new tab in Safari (maybe 30 seconds after picking up the computer to use it) and all I had open was Mail and Microsoft Word... so I'm doubting it's a heat or RAM/virtual memory issue.

    Long term static damage? Apple replaced the motherboard about 8 months after I purchased the computer because the computer stopped working. It's been 3+ years since I bought the computer so I'm well out of warranty.

    So I'm guessing I'm SOL? Can't even sell the damn thing if it has issues. Unfortunately, the nearest Apple store is a good 3hrs+ away but seeing how far out of warranty I am, I doubt there's anything they could do.
     
  8. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #8
    The hard drive has a logic board, too.
    Also, could be data corruption due to hard drive failure, but much less likely because it takes some serious damage to see noticeable symptoms.
     
  9. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #9

    damn are you sure on this? I installed my hard drive myself a year ago but made sure to do it correctly so I highly doubt this is it. What is your logic on this and why would it show up that much later?

    Thanks for the reply
     
  10. yarngrrl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #10
    I have a year old MBP doing the exact same thing. I thought it was Safari related, but it happens using Firefox too.

    It hasn't been opened up, so I not sure static damage is feasible. It's happening more and more frequently, and really starting to irritate me.
     
  11. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
  12. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus

    ergdegdeg

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #12
    Yea, same issue here on a 2007 MBP (2.2 GHz). It seems to happen when I do GPU intensive tasks like watching videos full-screen on a big external monitor.

    Since I've had troubles with the GPU before, I wonder if this might be related. Did you have your GeForce 8600M GT replaced too?
     
  13. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #13
    Ya, they had to replace my graphic card about 6 months ago. Took it into apple because the screen wouldn't come back on. sigh.....I think its time for a new macbook but want to wait till the new redesign comes out. Which will be coming out next update. Thinking this one would last me another year :/
     
  14. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #14

    Ive done this many times. But how would this fix this issue??
     
  15. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #15
    I speak from experience. I had a hard drive go to waste because I forgot to ground myself (new drive gone in 3 months!).
    Also had some static damage from installing RAM without grounding myself. That bit me in the arse 2 years after the installation.

    Static damage is a long-term, delayed effect. Just like the Cougar Point chipsets that Intel released, the damage doesn't show right away, but the computer deteriorates as time goes on. Static damage has the same effect.

    To install ANY internal component (even motherboard to chassis) correctly, you must first ground yourself or have constant contact with a ground. This is achieved by several methods:
    1. From the 3-prong plug, cut the flat ones and plug in the round one only. This is a ground, and will get rid of static if you have constant contact, but if done improperly, can electrocute you.
    2. Bare metal computer casing, with no paint on, is often attached to the ground. This will get rid of static.
    3. Stick a metal pole outside into the soil. This creates a direct ground connection with the Earth, a static absorber.

    Several ways to keep constant contact with a ground:
    1. Hold it with your bare hands.
    2. Buy an electrostatic wristband. This is a metal wire wristband specialized for grounding, and has an alligator clip on one end to attach to the ground.
     
  16. Eluzion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #16
    While I think static electricity damage is possible, I don't think it's the issue. I've built several dozens of computers, upgraded RAM and hard drives on every computer I've ever owned and never had a single problem. If there was any computer I was extra careful about, it was this Macbook Pro. Again, possible? Yes, but I think the issue is elsewhere.

    For those of you having this issue, what kind of Macbook Pro do you have? So far three of us have the same exact kind. Mine specifically is:

    2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Santa Rose), 15.4", NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT

    With "normal" usage (web browsing, email, no videos, etc.), these are my temps using iStat:

    CPU: 57º C
    GPU Diode: 70º
    GPU Heatsink: 57º
    Heatsink A: 58º
    Heatsink B: 45º

    Problem occurs more frequently when watching Youtube videos and always occurs when I "request" something from my computer (i.e. opening a new tab in Safari).
     
  17. yarngrrl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #17
    I have a 15.4" 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GBs of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M - never been opened by me or anyone else since I bought it, so I'm not sure I buy the static theory.

    My iStat temps are similar to yours, and I also run smcfancontrol, usually on the Higher RPM setting.

    Initially, I thought it was because I am a multiple window whore, but it seems to happen randomly with any number of browser instances open -either Firefox or Safari. (I thought for sure it was Safari causing problems, as any sites that have Flash running usually cause a temp beach ball, but it'll happen in Firefox too.)

    It also seems to happen in succession. It crashes, I log back in and wait a little bit, open a browser, it crashes again - lather, rinse and repeat until I get mad and leave it sit for a couple of hours.

    What pisses me off is that it completely dumps whatever I've been working on, and most of my work is done virtually and/or via cloud, so if it crashes while I'm working, I'm screwed.
     
  18. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #18
    I actually went into the Apple store here in California. They did a hardware diagnostic and found nothing wrong. So he reset the SMC and pRam again and told me that should fix it. Then if it still happens to reinstall the OS with a clean copy.

    Not much help if you ask me. Ill check back in a couple days to let you know if its still happening. It happens almost everyday so I should know in a day or two.
     
  19. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #19
    well.....just over an hour and the computer restarted back to the login. Thats OBVIOUSLY is not the fix.

    This makes no sense! I do not want to do a clean install of OS! What the hell is wrong?!
     
  20. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #20
    I honestly think it might be a virus. Any thoughts?
    It keeps happening. I might have to just format my HD and install a new copy of OSX on it. Which I DO NOT want to do..... sigh.
     
  21. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #21
    Wow, how did you cram so much misinformation in one post? I do not believe your claims for one second. If you have static damage it will appear immediately, not 2-3 years down the road (it may gradually get worse over time, but it will manifest itself in some form immediately after the static damage occurs).
    I don't disagree that you may have been bitten by some static damage, but it wouldn't take 2-3 years to manifest itself. How do you know for a fact that your damage was static related and the time frame in which it occurred (or are you claiming it is static damage cause that seems the likely culprit to you)? I have done electronics repair for the last 20 years (micro-miniature component repair) and am FCC certified in such repairs with degrees to back up my training and education, and yours is the first case I have heard of claiming this. Continued exposure to high static conditions can cause issues, but they manifest themselves after the fact,and the only way to electrocute yourself through the ground on an outlet is through a floating ground system (only found in certain circumstances, such as aboard a ship) or if your house is incorrectly wired.
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
     
  23. askrib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #23

    Understood. So any clue on why it would be doing this?? Anybody?
     
  24. Eluzion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #24
    I still have no clue what might be the cause. It's been about 2-3 weeks with no crashing for me though (knock on wood). My MBP just seems a lot slower in general since I originally purchased it. One of these days I'm going to pick up a new hard drive and reinstall OSX.

    My only guess with the crashing is something heat related but the fact the computer is not shutting off and crashing to the login screen makes me think otherwise (unless that's some sort of thermal protection that is built into OSX).
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    I'm not sure what the source is of your crashing problems, but it's most likely not heat. Macs are designed to automatically shut down to prevent damage if they truly overheat (around 100C/212F - 105C/221F, depending on your processor). Your temps are most likely well within the normal operating range, so I doubt heat is an issue.
     

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