Something is preventing scrensavers/sleep - how to find out what?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sean Dempsey, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Sean Dempsey, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I have a Mac Pro that has always faithfully turned off the displays after 15 minutes, and required password to unlock the screens. The computer never actually slept, it just turned off the displays and then required the password on moving the mouse or whatever.

    That has stopped happening and I don't know why. One of the ways I am noticing this is doing screen sharing from work. I connect to my Mac Pro, and for years, it has always given me the black screen with the "username and password" locked dialog. But since the last week or so, when I connect to the VNC, the desktop just appears - the Mac Pro wasn't in a locked mode, despite being untouched an at home for hours.

    Also, the displays won't turn off no matter how long I leave it. I couldn't sleep so I went into the computer room for a while at 1am - the monitors were on and the desktop was showing. WTF? There are no new programs or processes running other than "iStat Menus." Everything else is the same.

    Now - funny enough, I had my new Macbook Air here at work, and it was open and running on battery at a full charge. I wanted to leave it open so it would drain a little battery and then sleep itself. I come back from 2 hours of meetings - it was at 6%, almost dead. It never went to sleep despite being set to sleep at 5 minutes. WTF? This computer also has iStat Menus newly installed.

    Other than disabling iStat and setting the sleep timers to one minute, how can I test this to see what could be running to:
    - keep the displays on
    - keep the screens from locking
    - keep the computer on

    There is nothing that I know of that would be a keepalive process, there are no programs running that could be the cuplrit, there are just the background menubar items like evernote, dropbox,and the istat menus, none of which should effect sleep/lock.

  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    do you have the app Caffeen installed?
  3. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    No, and I uninstalled iStat Menus. I quit dropbox and evernote, but the computer still won't sleep with the timer set to 1 minute.

    It will sleep if I choose it from the apple menu.

    I can't think of any way to diagnose this. I've disabled every process I can think of. The computer simply will not sleep.
  4. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Everything has been disabled or uninstalled. What gives?

    I am taking it to a genius bar tonight, but I doubt they have any insights other than just replacing the machine.

    what could cause this? The smc, the nvram?
  5. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Genius Bar couldn't help.

    I've reset the SMC and PRAM and NVRAM a few times, no change.

    Could the fan control tools have messed with some sort of control with the sleep function?
  6. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    With the lid open, I am losing about 10% an hour. I can't tell if it's asleep or just the displayed sleeped, but I have the display set to sleep in 1 minute, and the computer in 2 minutes.

    These are supposed to lose 3-4% over night when slept with the lid closed. Is there some difference between having it open or closed? Is it in some sort of standby mode?
  7. spiff101 macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    You say you can't tell if it's asleep or if only the display is off - what does the LED light do? If the mac is truly asleep, the light will gently pulse on and off. If it isn't doing this, only the display is asleep.

    Try booting into Safe Mode (hold shift down when you press the power button to boot up). Does the mac fall asleep then?

    If so, one of the bits of software you're running is interfering somehow. Boot normally (not safe mode), remove all your login items (System Preferences>Users & groups), and restart. Quit all running software. Does it fall asleep now?
  8. farago2r macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2012
  9. spiff101 macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Looks useful, thanks.

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