Resolved Yet another Macbook shuts down when unplugged, battery is good

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by DerKobe, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. DerKobe macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    #1
    I have a 2009 MacBook Pro 17" running OS-X 10.10.4. Then a while ago it showed a new behaviour: when I unplug the power after a few seconds (3-5 or so) it abruptly turns off. When I try to start it without the power plugged in, it turns off somewhere in the middle of the startup process (grey screen with Apple logo and a progress bar).

    The curious thing is though, that when I start the MPB without the power plugged in and I then press the ALT key for the boot medium selection then this state is shown for hours without a problem. So it's not the battery (I would say). What else can cause such a strange behaviour?

    Oh and one other thing: when I try to boot the MBP WITH the power plugged in sometimes it takes two to four tries until it finally really starts up. On the other tries it just makes this little startup noise and then nothing.

    Really really strange.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Could be hard-drive or volume corruptions, I've encountered a lot of Macs that spotaneously shut down due to this.

    First thing to try would be to check the HDD SMART data, see if the hard-drive's corrupted. Anything other than 'Passed' means you need to replace it. I use SMART Utility, direct download here.

    If that comes back clean, please could you then try verify the Macintosh HD volume in Disk Utility? Any errors there?

    Speak soon, please quote this/keep me updated as there are a number of other diagnostics we can run! :)
     
  3. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #3
    Thanks keysofanxiety! I will try the steps you suggested and get back to you. As I re-read my post I realized that I forgot something to mention which might not clear: the MBP runs perfectly smooth when the power cord is pluggend in and once you get it to start :)
     
  4. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #4
    The hard disk is failing (it's a self made fusion drive btw).
     
  5. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #5
    "Retired Block count" and "Reallocated Event Count" are both red (with a raw value of 4 each and type pre-fail).
     
  6. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #6
    Bullseye!

    I installed a fresh copy of OS-X Yosemite to a plugged-in ExpressCard and voila no more sudden turn-offs and booting on first try :)

    So now I have to figure out which one of the hard drives is failing (like I said before it's a self made Fusion Drive consisting of a HDD and a SSD). But knowing what caused all this I feel a big relief!

    Thank you very much!!
     
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    That's great to hear DerKobe, (well, great that you identified the problem!) However I'm sure SMART Utility should list both drives and show which one is failing? Could you take a screenshot of what comes up in SMART Utility? You may be able to select each partition/HDD seperately in the left-hand side.

    EDIT: aaah wait with it being a Fusion drive I'm not sure if it just lists it as one? :(

    EDIT 2: sorry for my belated reply dude, as a matter of habit I unfollow threads so I'm only notified when I get it quoted. :oops:
     
  8. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #8
    Yeah it only shows as one drive, but right now I'm going to split it up and look deeper into it. Thanks again for your help!
     
  9. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #9
    I split up the Fusion Drive and scanned them again. It was the SSD (OCZ Vertex 3) which was failing the SMART check. I formatted them as individual drives and installed Yosemite onto the SSD. Now I have no problems with this setup. Strange.
     
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #10
    Ah man I had an OCZ Agility 3 that had the same issue.

    Basically with an SSD, reallocated sectors and stuff aren't as noticeably detrimental to performance as they use different sectors when one's corrupted, where possible. A standard HDD does that too but due to access times and read/write speeds, plus how the technology works, the effect is more noticeable. However with Fusion setup those sectors will eventually be used up.

    It'll have a long warranty on it so I'd contact them and get it sent off for replacement. I had a 240GB and they replaced it with the newer 256GB. If it fails the SMART data again after formatting they'll sort it out.
     
  11. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #11
    Looks like I'm back to square one. The original problem reappeared. It was all good for a few days and then from out of nowhere the exact same problems where back.

    Now I removed both hard drives to make really sure it's one of them but the problem stuck. I don't get it (especially why it was all good for a few days ... this bugs me the most).
     
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #12
    Yeah definitely a hardware issue, if the SMART data failed for the SSD then it'll need to be replaced.

    The SSD will 100% still be under warranty so it'll be best to contact the OEM and get that sent off for replacement.
     
  13. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #13
    But the SSD wasn't even built in and the problems where the same as before (I physically removed both drives, the SSD and HDD, and then booted the Mac from an USB drive).

    I looked up my SSD model on the OCZ website and the Vertex 3 only has a 3 year warranty and I bought mine over 4 years ago. My MacBook is messing with me :-/
     
  14. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #14
    Oh man I'm really sorry for misinforming you about that, most SSDs have a much longer warranty.

    If the issues are persisting while using an external HDD as the boot device then that may be the issue ... however if you're trying to access data from one of the drivers through an external HDD, it'll exhibit the same issues. For instance, if you're opening a file on the corrupted volume, it'll still shut down the machine - it's happened before on an iMac and had me confused for a long time. Volume corruptions really can cause some odd problems.

    If neither of the volumes are plugged in and the issue is still occuring within an external OS then it does sound like a hardware issue ... either battery or MLB if I had to guess.
     
  15. DerKobe thread starter macrumors newbie

    DerKobe

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    Aug 11, 2015
    #15
    I was afraid it was something like that. I don't think the repair costs will be worth it so i guess I have to always use the MacBook plugged in.

    But thank you very much for your help! At least I learnt something about SSDs :)
     

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