WAke from sleep problems getting worse over time

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
51
0
For some months my MM has been hanging overnight more and more often. It used to be infrequent now virtually every morning my first job is to hard-reboot the thing; it's 2018 and I basically have to turn it off overnight to make sure I don't lose work.

I found leaving my monitor on helped but the last few days it has crapped out again... either I get a black screen with a mouse cursor, or infrequently a folder with a question-mark. Today my external USB hard-drive has not running, the MM had decided to turn it off.

Also this morning I noticed that despite not working, or doing anything for 12 hours, my MM was quite warm to the touch. Clearly it hadn't powered off overnight which apparently is a 'feature' Apple brought in after 4 hours of non-use.

Basically it's getting slowly worse which seems weird when the hardware appears fine. It's like running Windows where it slowly used to get slower and worse - but this is a Mac. I really don't want to spend hundreds of dollars - and the 2014 MM is worse IMO than the 2012 - but it's really starting to annoy me.

Any help welcome.

(Mac Mini late 2012, Sierra)
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,872
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
I hate to suggest the obvious.... but if everything else is OK then why not just shut it down at the end of the day? ;) That's what I do with my 2012 quad. My 2014 mini is an iTunes server and it is set to never sleep, although the display shuts off after 3 hours.
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
51
0
I hate to suggest the obvious.... but if everything else is OK then why not just shut it down at the end of the day? ;) That's what I do with my 2012 quad. My 2014 mini is an iTunes server and it is set to never sleep, although the display shuts off after 3 hours.
Mainly the inconvenience - if I decide to use it for 5 minutes to check something in the evening, having to reboot is a PITA.
Partly because some state is not saved e.g. if I am half-way through a 2-hour pod-cast, some apps forget and start from the beginning
Partly because I then have to remember to do it - I'd tend to leave it on in case I wanted to use it later, then forget!

So yes I can do this but it negates the advantages of a modern PC.
I wonder if I can force it to hibernate instead of shut-down, like on Windows. Though MacOS already remembers what apps you have open so I'm not sure of the distinction these days.
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,522
11,217
Sleep has never been 100% reliable on any Mac I've used since 1995. And that's a lot of them. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes not. My 2007 mm was getting flakier & flakier & flakier until it barely could be used for 10 minutes after a cold boot before something froze up. No dice would sleep work reliably. I even tried booting from a fresh OS install disc. No improvement. The mini was dying.

Try booting from an external drive that has a fresh OS install. If the problem goes away, that's the problem. If not... Your mini is dying.
 
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d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
51
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That's a big thing to do just to see - right now I don't know when it happens and in response to what. The "deep sleep" feature seems the most likely cause but for instance I have an external USB hard-drive used as my main data-store and I've seen that in theory this should stop that feature altogether.

I don't know how to tell by looking if my Mac is sleeping or hibernating, I'd like to diagnose more closely what's going on before just blindly changing things to see if it helps - that's akin to just re-installing Windows everytime something went wrong :)
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,872
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
Sleep has never been 100% reliable on any Mac I've used since 1995.
That was also my experience in the past. But I have been using it ever since I got my 2013 MacBook Air and it works perfectly. I go for months on end with no shutdown - just close the lid when I'm not using it. But, as I said, I don't do this on my minis. The difference is that the mini's are only used for specific purposes - video editing on the 2012 quad and iTunes server on the 2014.

I can see why it could be a pain to do constant shutdowns and reboots but maybe you could just get in the habit of shutting down at bedtime, that's what I do with my quad unless it's rendering.
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
51
0
There's also the factor that it used to work fine... Has the OS got flaky or is my hardware developing a fault. Important stuff is backed up but if it dies on me it costs me every hour until I'm sorted so I'm keen to figure out the root cause
 

wickerstick

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2016
37
3
Denton
You’ve probable done this but I’ll ask anyway. Have you done an nvram reset or smc reset? I would try this first. Second, I would try another drive with a fresh clean install and no third party apps. If those don’t work I would find the appropriate version of apple service diagnostic and run it to see if there is a hardware issue. But after seeing a bunch of sleep wake issues lately it’s been because of some corrupted files in the os and or Bluetooth.
 

d000hg

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 6, 2012
51
0
Can someone confirm how I tell if my Mac is awake, asleep or in some deep-sleep/hibernate mode?

THere's the little white light on the front - I assume steady on means on, does pulsing imply sleep and off implies hibernate?
I'm still not sure my Mac ever does power down, and I'd like to figure out what is wrong rather than try things to fix it. Like going to the doctor, I hope they don't just give me drugs for every possible disease at once :)

Is there a log of sleep/hibernate/wake events somewhere I can access?
 

wickerstick

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2016
37
3
Denton
Can someone confirm how I tell if my Mac is awake, asleep or in some deep-sleep/hibernate mode?

THere's the little white light on the front - I assume steady on means on, does pulsing imply sleep and off implies hibernate?
I'm still not sure my Mac ever does power down, and I'd like to figure out what is wrong rather than try things to fix it. Like going to the doctor, I hope they don't just give me drugs for every possible disease at once :)

Is there a log of sleep/hibernate/wake events somewhere I can access?
I believe pulsing like is sleep, light off is hibernate steady on and no Display means it’s hung up. That’s when u need to follow my directions and start to diagnose the problem. Also certain wired keyboards and usb devices can cause this issue. I had it after upgrading is and using a moshi Luna keyboard, I switched to a apple Bluetooth keyboard and the problem went away. But I also used onyx to do an optimization and that could have fixed it. In order to figure this out to need to think like a tech and problem solve it. Feel free to message me and I’ll help when I can
 

RyanXM

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2012
460
486
DFW, TX
The PRAM battery can cause random issues related to sleep, wake from sleep, and just general overall power related issue. BR 2032 or CR 2032. BR will last a little longer.
 
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