Wake from sleep issues in clamshell mode

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mrdm, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. mrdm macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    I have a 2011 Macbook Air 13" running the latest version of Lion. I use an external HP 2511x monitor in clamshell mode connected via DVI and also have a wireless apple keyboard and magic trackpad.

    I've seen the following problem behavior related to computer sleep:

    1. Pressing a key on the keyboard does not always wake the computer even though it is configured to do so. I would say that this happens maybe 20% of the time.

    2. When I cannot wake the computer up with the keyboard I open the lid and it springs to life but in dual display mode. The computer screen shows the extended desktop but the machine is not outputting the primary screen because the monitor remains in sleep mode (the monitor indicates it does not have any DVI signal).

    3. Once in this state, closing the lid to try to go back to mirrored desktop mode and output video to the monitor does not work. Opening the display leaves me in the state above.

    The only way to recover from this situation is to disconnect DVI, remove power from the monitor and power cycle the macbook air.

    BTW - other times, sleep will work just fine and wake the monitor up as desired.

    It doesn't seem to make a difference if I manually sleep the computer or have it sleep using the timer in system preferences. I've also tried varying the computer and display sleep times so the display sleeps before the computer and there is no change.

    Am I the only one seeing this strange, inconsistent sleep behavior out of a clamshell operated Air?

    Sorry for the long post - just trying to see if others are having the same type of issue?

    I've submitted a problem report to HP but I actually think the problem is with the mac because I'm not able to wake it with the keyboard all of the time.
    Thanks for any guidance.
  2. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    I use my 13" 2011 MBA in clamshell with an HP w2207. I can wake it with the Escape key without any problem. It does seem to have difficulty with moving the mouse or other keys, or else I'm just too impatient to wait on those.
  3. JustinTime523 macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2011
    I am having the same exact issue.I have a 2011 macbook pro 13, sometimes even after opening the laptop the monitor doesn't come back on so I have to unplug the monitor and plug back...then it works..I don't like this..my mac sits on a bookarc stand and i hate having to alway take it out, open it and put it back...

  4. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    This is my first post here, I've never had a reason to post as there were never any problems which could not have been solved or left aside.

    I am encountering the same problem with the 2011 MBA 13".

    As a record I am using an LG IPS226V display.

    These are the different ways I have connected to this display with my older 2010 MBP 13"

    MBP 2010 SL -> VGA/DVI/HDMI -> Display
    MBP 2010 Lion -> VGA/DVI/HDMI -> Display

    All of them work okay. So it's not an issue with lion, but the 13" 2011 MBA.

    I will try to describe my problem in greater depth. Whenever I want to use my external display (1080) without my laptop screen on. I will have to restart my macbook.

    If not, when I connect the screen through any of the 3 methods (VGA, DVI or HDMI), shut the lid, connect an external keyboard and wake it from sleep by touching a key, the external display shows an extended desktop and the macbook's display turns on (even with the lid shut!, the apple lights up). Lifting up the lid, I see the primary desktop on the macbook's display.

    What I have tried to do to solve the problem (these do not work!):

    1. SMC reset
    2. PRAM reset
    3. Turning on mirroring (I will get only the lower resolution of the MBA on the external monitor even with the lid shut)
    4. Primary screen disable terminal command: http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/14/disa...n-a-macbook-pro-or-air-in-mac-os-x-10-7-lion/

    Like the above users I have had great frustration whenever I need to connect any external display (I would need to reboot the macbook air to get it to work properly). I believe this to be a problem with software drivers or some display detection with the 2011 MBAs, it's Apple's problem to fix.

    I do not believe this to be a problem with the display (or a problem with OP's display), as mentioned above, I have used a 2010 MBP with this display and it works as expected (lid shut -> primary display is off and external display turns on). I have written to apple sometime back. If anyone has a solution to this issue please share it with us, thanks!
  5. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    I had the same issue. Extended display, internal display turns on when in clamshell. The so called "Geniuses" wrote it off as something I was doing wrong. For some background, I am a systems/network engineer by day, so I am well versed in troubleshooting.

    Yesterday, I was finally fed up after trying to get some holiday Team Fortress on with my brothers and father, and being unable to reliably use my external display was, for lack of a better term, pissing me off.

    I did a clean load of Lion, this time choosing NOT to install the Thunderbolt update. This cleared up all my issues with external display. Apple really screwed up with the EFI and Thunderbolt chipset in this model, and it is beyond defense at this point.

    EDIT: Also, I am completely unimpressed with the wake up time, and the lag time for the trackpad/mouse to respond. NO other Apple portables have this issue, and it is maddening.
  6. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks for this post! I have similar feelings of irritation towards the quality of wake up timings and this issue and I love they way you put it out. I would add that after a certain update (not sure if it was the thunderbolt one) a lot of linux live disk images were unbootable, this has made the 2011 my most utilized (due to its portability), yet most disliked computing device.

    The detection of unplugging a display (whether mirrored or not) is very delayed and sometimes does not work unless you manually select it in the display tool bar or system prefs. It is certainly a screw up that affects users who regularly use external displays or use their machines for slides at their workplace or school.

    Again, thanks for finding a solution. It will be quite a task to reinstall lion for this. I hope that the thunderbolt update can be narrowed down to a few updated kexts, I will try loading the original kexts or configuration file from a virgin lion install, hopefully I will be able to find another solution.

    Reply to your edit: IKR. Even when using a mechanical HDD my 2010 MBP could wake from sleep in less than 2 seconds, something which the 2011 air has never done.
  7. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010

    I will note that doing a non-destructive reinstall ended up with me having the same issue replicated. It was only when I did a full format and clean reinstall while ignoring the Thunderbolt 1.1 update did I manage to solve all issues.

    If you find the kexts needed to revert the TB update changes I would be highly interested in seeing your results.

    As a huge fan of Apple notebooks and their computers in general, I am just very disappointed in the QA letdowns in the software area with the 2011 Airs.. The hardware is damn near 100% perfect. My 2009 13" Pro was perfect in all areas, even with Lion, so I know it is not a strictly Lion issue. It seems to be a true problem with the Thunderbolt Macs. I have seen reports with the iMacs and Pro's with TB that mimic our frustrations.

    I have reported both of my issues with sleep/wake and TB through official Apple channels, so hopefully others have too and they understand how much of a let down this is for a $1200+ tool.

    Ninja edit: Also, I am VERY pissed off that I have no option other than downloading an install image for Lion each and every time when I need to do a restore. Apple should give an option to pull the image to make a USB restore disk. This process ate nearly 12 hours of my vacation between the first in-place restore I tried, and the final destructive restore I was forced to revert to.
  8. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010

    I have tried Lion 10.7.2 without the thunderbolt 1.1 update (have an old install), the problem still persists. (lid closed, external display not turned to primary, internal display still on)

    This means that the faulty display issue was present in an update besides the thunderbolt 1.1 update and I have no leads now. I must get my hands on a machine without any updates as of yet to check for the problem and pull the kexts if there aren't any.

    If this proves too inconvenient I will call apple tech support to see if they have fixed similar issues and how they expect to fix this for me (perhaps give me the necessary files!)
  9. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    This bit of info makes me want to install the TB 1.1 update to see if my problems return. Like I said, the biggest issue for me was forcing myself to do the full format/reinstall from the Lion Recovery prompts. I'll let you know what happens.
  10. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Thunderbolt update installed, problem has not shown up at all. I have no idea what happened here. Do you by any chance have Cinch installed? Thats the only thing I can think of that I installed before that I didn't reinstall...
  11. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    On a black box level your solution works 100%. I really have too little knowledge to understand this. An educated guess would be the order of updates. I would have to do a reinstall :p

    Nope I don't have cinch installed
  12. mrdm thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010
    I have nothing constructive to add to this thread other than to say I am still having sleep/external monitor issues. When I manually sleep the Air, no issues. When the computer goes to sleep after a period of inactivity - I have to power cycle the monitor as described in my original post to get things working again.

    Thanks for the information and sharing of similar experiences to the other posters. I think this is a TB Macbook Air problem and did submit feedback to Apple. If others having this problem to the same we may have a shot of it being fixed.
  13. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Yup, it's going to take a while to solve this problem (waiting for an update fix). There's been similar complaints on the apple support forums, but no official acknowledgement of the issue :(

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