Comments on: Serious MacBook Shutdown Power Problem
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Serious MacBook Shutdown Power Problem

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
3-Aug-2006 21:29 GMT

Article #0283
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Update Notice, 18-Aug-2006:

Here is a new article worth reading: Apple MacBook Shutdown Power / Battery Problem.

Update Notice, 24-Aug-2006:

You should know that Apple laptop batteries have just been recalled. Be sure to check into that for your laptop.

I'm not sure I mentioned it, but for my recent trip to France I picked the new Apple MacBook (Intel dual-core CPU) as my laptop computer of choice.

The MacBook selection came about because I was looking for a good quality, medium-price, high-performance, lightweight laptop that had built-in wifi, bluetooth, etc. I didn't want to lug a heavy laptop around France. When shopping around, comparable PC laptops were surprisingly expensive, so the Mac won out.

It's been a good little system. Now, I'm not just saying that because I once designed operating systems for Apple Computer, nor because I was a serious Macintosh user for over a decade, nor because I want to promote REBOL awareness in the land of OSX. The MacBook stood out on its own merits. I especially appreciate the number of good quality applications that come bundled with it. (And, they're real apps, not demos or promos.)

However, the MacBook has a very serious power problem: It doesn't always shutdown when it should. As a result, the system can overheat to the extreme. This problem is not only an annoyance, but it can be downright dangerous.

Here's an example...

A few weeks ago, before flying from Toulouse to Paris, I powered down my MacBook and put it back in my carrying case. I even watched the screen go dark before I closed the top because I had been seeing some odd shutdown behavior. (Minor things... really, just strangeness that a computer geek like me would notice.)

Unknown to me was the fact that the MacBook had not actually shut down. I boarded the flight to Paris, all the time thinking that my "electronic device" had properly powered down for takeoff as required by international flight rules.

Then in Paris, while going through security, I noticed that my case was quite warm. Pulling out the MacBook to pass through the x-ray scanner, the laptop was hotter than blazes (overheating from being in the closed carrying case). It was so hot, I could hardly hold it. When I powered it up, I noticed that the battery had gone from 99% to 5%. The MacBook had been running the entire time of the flight to Paris - even after doing a shutdown and closing the lid.

It was quite disappointing. Not only because of the stress it puts on a laptop to get that hot (increasing chances of future failures, reducing lifetime), but there was not enough time to recharge the battery. I lost many useful work hours during the long trip back to California.

Yes, serious, but I still like the MacBook

Of course, I feel fortunate that the system did not incinerate itself while flying over France. But, as a computer system designer, I'd have to rank this as a serious problem that Apple needs to address. However, I should also mention that it's been a great little computer, and I continue to use it on a daily basis.

Googling the topic, I see that other users have had shutdown problems, although most seem to be related to the opposite problem: suddenly shutting down while in use. I also see hits related to MacBook overheating due to a blocked rear vent - a piece of plastic that needs to be removed, but that's not the case here either.

PS: This problem happened again today, although fortunately the Mac was not in the carrying case. This event prompted me to write this article. Let's see if other MacBook users are experiencing the same problem. If so, post your comments here.



4-Aug-2006 4:57
:) I'm not having the same problem myself, but I just thought I'd give you a small hint in case you haven't noticed it. You can tell by the diode whether the machine is actually sleeping. If it's running with the screen turned off it'll be on constantly and if it's properly sleeping the diode will be pulsing.

At least you can be sure the machine is actually asleep then.

Carl Sassenrath
4-Aug-2006 16:32
Yes, good advice, but often I'm in a hurry and close the lid or fall asleep, etc... and don't check the LED. Also, it can take several seconds before the LED changes mode.

But, I must plan to make that "check LED" procedure a new habit. After all, computers, like dogs, are here to train us humans, not the other way around. Right? :)

5-Aug-2006 18:22
Not related to your problem, but I can tell if firefox has locked up as my laptop fan starts up, and the unit itself starts to heat up. I check the task manager - firefox is running at 99%. Kill it, and the fan stops :)
John Niclasen
7-Aug-2006 11:21
I have a one year old iBook G4, the model prior to the MacBook, and I don't have any problem with closedown. So it may be related to MacBooks exclusively. The fan may start, if it's positioned directly on a table, so I make it balance on 2 pieces of expanded polystyrene (the white material used to ship equipment), when it's connected to my monitor, external keyboard and mouse. This way they fan never starts.
Carl Sassenrath
7-Aug-2006 19:49
Could be just the Macbook with the new Intel duo. The problem is rare too. I've only noticed it happen a few times over the past couple months.

Also, I've never heard the Macbook fan running at all. It must be either very quiet or require a lot of heat build-up to trigger it.

9-Aug-2006 18:39
:) I have the same problem with my MacBook. It happened twice so far in 3 months.
10-Aug-2006 3:48
Buy an AmigaBook :)
John Niclasen
10-Aug-2006 14:10
Maybe your fan is malfunction, s that's why, it gets so hot?
12-Aug-2006 1:25
yeah i have this same problem. It even degenerated into shuting itself down and doing this, also i can't turn it back on until i take out the battery. I took it back and got it replaced but now my new one (2 weeks later) does the same thing. i took it into apple today and they told me it was normal and it was my fault. And even though it does it randomly when i put it into sleep mode or it just randomly shuts off and does it i could only reproduce the manual shutdown "version" of the malfunction. I shutdown all 12 macbooks at blue screen in their store in front of them to show them it wasn't "normal" and they all came right back on. the assistant manager on duty still insisted it was normal and their tech guy told me that "hey no computer's perfect". I was, and still am completely irate over the ordeal. hopefully the head manager will be more cooperative tomorrow. NEVER buy from the macbook store in AUSTIN TEXAS.
15-Aug-2006 17:10
:) I have a black macbook with 120 gig hd and 2 512 mb sticks of ram. I really love this laptop it's so amazing. I've had it for about 2 months and everything was working fine. For the past week it has been shutting off ALOT during any task. It is the most annoying thing EVER!!! I have no idea wtf is the problem. I'm very disappointed at this fact because I am reading more and more about this problem. I have to goto the 5th ave apple store in manhattan and get it checked out. It seems odd that apple hasnt mentioned anything about this nor tried to solve the issue. Maybe its a bigger problem then we think and they don't want to recall every macbook. But majority this laptop OWNS
16-Aug-2006 13:28
I am having the same issue where the laptop just shuts down and it takes a few seconds for it to power back on. Or, it wll just keep rebooting after I power on and login. I sent it back to apple a week ago to have it "resolved". After I received it, I wasn't having the issue for approxmately one week. However, the problem started to happen again last night. I was reading a webpage and then shutoff. When I powered it on, the screen turned a nice plaid colour and I had to wait a few minutes for it to boot successfully. The sad part of all of this is this is my VERY FIRST mac. I love the mac - its smokes. I just wish it would stay on :).
Carl Sassenrath
18-Aug-2006 0:49
Indeed that is sad (it being your first Mac and all). When I originally googled for info about my own problem, I recall seeing a lot of postings about that shutdown issue.

I think there is a problem with the battery power indicator at times. For example, I've seen it read the same level (e.g. 60%) over long periods of time, even when the battery is almost dead. So, double check that your battery is being charged properly.

I will post a new blog with some useful information that might help you with the problem.

20-Aug-2006 16:44:05
hi - the same thing has happened with my MacBook, several times, and in fact I can totally relate to your story because the first time it happened was when I switched it off in the departure lounge of JFK - only to get it out on my flight hoping to use it and in fact finding out it was boiling hot and had less than 20mins of power left in it. as you said, it had actually been on all that time DESPITE me checking that the screen had gone black etc!
20-Aug-2006 16:46:42
PS - thanks for the tip about checking the LED! :-)
Carl Sassenrath
21-Aug-2006 16:45:19
Andrea, that is *exactly* the problem! So, it's more than just on my system. Interesting, thanks.
21-Aug-2006 23:31:07
I have the exact problem (Doug and Carl etc.). I go to shut off my MacBook and I close the lid at the blue screen and the machine looks like it is in sleep mode but it is actually froze. I have to hold the power button down to restart. Then I get an error message. If you don't catch that it didn't shut down, the battery gets used and the machine feels like it is 150 degrees. This happened to my first computer, after sending it back to Mac twice they finally replaced the logic board. It happened again so I sent it back. They replaced it, and my new one has the same problem........ I am beyond frustrated
Carl Sassenrath
22-Aug-2006 2:40:07
Yep, that's it. Sounds like a bug in the OSX or firmware design itself.

The pattern of this problem is familiar to us OS design geeks. I've fixed many such bugs over the years. It goes along the lines of: OSX is going about its business shutting down. Before it has finished, closing the lid triggers an interrupt, and the CPU is redirected to process it. However, important parts of the context of the OS are gone (e.g. multitasking, interrupt handlers, supervisor stack, etc.), and the state of the system becomes invalid -- hung up in an infinite loop or waiting for a resource that will never signal its event.

Apple beta testers may have missed the bug because the "timing window" is small. You have to close the lid at precisely the right moment. But, the good news is: it's probably an easy fix, once Apple can track it down. Who knows, it could already be fixed in the next update.

23-Aug-2006 21:32:13
I stumbled upon this message board cause i was looking for exactly this problem. My girlfriend just bought a macbook and it has happened twice so far shutting the system down and then fiding out it was running all the time. First time was not too hot and i thought she just did not shut it off right, second time i saw her shutdown and it was extremly hot touching the back almost would burn i thought the computer would not power back on after feeling that much heat.
24-Aug-2006 10:08:37
Could you offer a few solutions to the random shutdowns of the Macbook? I've had mine for over a month and am now increasingly disappointed by the shutdowns which usually occur during startup.
24-Aug-2006 17:13:47
My Macbook (got it yesterday) just couldn't do the restart after downloading updates. And now it won't run up! Just showing me an apple and thinking bout something...
24-Aug-2006 17:26:26
Same shutdown prob with my brand new Macbook--shuts off suddenly whether I'm running on battery or plugged in. Then I try to reboot and often have to try multiple times to get it to "catch". VERY FRUSTRATING. The tech people at school say Mac is getting so much email on this they're not even taking any more discussion on it. The IT people suspect it'll need a hardware recall or something--not likely to be fixed by something downloadable, they say.
24-Aug-2006 17:34:56
I purchased a macbook for my son. The first week it started to power off on it's own and then would not power backon until I R&R'd the battery. I took it back to the Apple store and they promptly gave me a new macbook. Here it is a month later and the same problem popped up. It just shutsdown on it's own. Gotta take this one back too....
Carl Sassenrath
24-Aug-2006 21:30:14
You might want to try resetting the power circuits on the MacBook. They handle the sleep and wake, battery charging, and more. Go to this page at and follow the instructions:

Resetting MacBook and MacBook Pro Power Management Unit (PMU)

Carl Sassenrath
24-Aug-2006 22:03:05
Regarding the sudden shutdown problem, I recently read a survey on that this problem affects 19% of Macbooks.

  • suggests that you make sure that the clear plastic strip over the vent on the back of the laptop has been removed. See: Macbook rear vent may be blocked.

  • Be absolutely sure your laptop is not overheating! My Macbook gets warm, but it does not get extremely hot (except in that odd case I mentioned above). Do not use your Macbook on a bed, chair, tablecloth, or any surface that blocks airflow under it. If you set it on your lap (it is a laptop after all), position your legs so air can easily flow over the bottom of the case.

I hope that helps. Let us know if you discover something.

24-Aug-2006 22:39:21
Hi - I'm having the same problem too. You shut the computer down - NOT PUT IT TO SLLEP - but shut it down and close er' up. Later you go to turn it on and it won't start because the battery is dead, it did not shut down and now you've got a dead laptop until you plug it in the the ac. I do check the led in front and that has usually done the trick, but not always. Man, it is annoying! But, God, I love this computer. Apart from that - no probs. What can we do?? I'll reset the PMU if I have to - but apart from that?? Maybe Leopard will take care of this issue if it is in any way software related??
25-Aug-2006 11:55:36
I had the shutdown problem from the day I bought the machine. However, it was so infrequent that I didn't think anything about it. However, it got so bad that the machine was totally unstable throughout the day. I took it in. Apple had it for 10 days--new logic board, new cables. No problems for about 3 weeks after I got it back. Then, shutdowns started. Within about a week, the problem is getting worse. All of my software and firmware are up to date, including the fan fix. This is my first Mac and will likely be my last. Apple's support is terrible. I wish I still had my Dell. At least they would send someone to my house/office to fix any problems the next day. Hold times are worse at Apple than Dell--I just hung up after 25 minutes on hold. In spite of the "coolness" of the black Mac, I am very unhappy with this product and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. This is clearly a widespread problem and Apple isn't willing to deal with it.
26-Aug-2006 0:29:46
I have an update. The Apple store replaced my MacBook today. I bought an external HD and they did a block by block copy of the Mac drive and a disk image of the Windows drive. They then moved this from the external drive to the new computer. The new machine is running 40 degrees Farenheit (on average) cooler than my previous machine. This temperature differential is after the fan firmware update on both machines. I feel a little better after having the machine replaced. Although, I did have to lean on the manager a little to get it done. The techs did not want to fool with the Windows partition, but the manager told them to just do it. I guess Apple's partnership with Nike is paying off.
27-Aug-2006 6:22:20
29-Aug-2006 9:32:38
Computer not shutting down completely -- Yes! In fact I found this post by googling this problem to see what I could find out about it. I've had my new macBook for just over one month and there have been at least 3 times where I shut down with a full battery only to turn it on the next day to find that the battery was completely discharged. Really annoying. I always wait until the screen goes dark before closing the lid, but I'll try your suggestion of waiting a few seconds more. Thanks for posting this.
mb user
30-Aug-2006 2:29:16
I am having precisely the same problem. I shut down macbook, screen turns off, LED turns off (yes, I always check for this). In the morning, I find the LED on and pulsating and macbook is warm. If anybody knows what the issue is, I'd be interested. I have experienced this problem a handful of times only so far.
31-Aug-2006 11:23:47
hey everyone we have a site dedicated to this over at - register and post your story today!

cheers! matthew

Carl Sassenrath
1-Sep-2006 13:43:42
I went to that site... I did not see this specific problem there. (But I did not spend much time looking for it.) This is not the same as the randomshutdown problem. This is the does-not-shutdown problem.
7-Sep-2006 7:46:40
Just to add my $0.02. When I am logged in, then log out, then shutdown from the login screen and shut the lid before shutdown has completed, then and only then does the macbook stay in sleep mode and heats up and runs down the battery. To restart, I must hold down the power button for ~10secs and then press it again to be able to start the macbook (and the shutdown error message appears when I login). If I shutdown from the 'apple' menu when I am logged in, I can close the lid whenever I like o_O and the problem doesn't manifest itself. Happy daze indeed :-)
11-Sep-2006 11:35:25
I just had this same thing happen to me. Shut it down last night after I had started charging. This morning I threw it in its case and brought it to classes where I found it had been on continuously through the night. To make matters worse, I couldn't get anything to display on the screen and had to remove the battery to restart it. Kinda relieved and dreading the same problem with others MBs.
13-Sep-2006 5:04:19
I had EXACTLY the same issue on a flight but I noticed about 40 mins into the flight when I went to get something from my bag. It was so hot I just took the battery out and then put it back in later and it worked normally again.
14-Sep-2006 19:11:44
So I just bought my MacBook a couple of weeks ago - after I heard that they had the overheating problem fixed. Does not seem to be the case as I can not handle my macbook after it has been running for more then 30 minutes. I am from the US and in the UK now and I have a new problem - the macbook blew out a power transformer earlier today and now with the replacement one, the battery wont recharge - it just sites there at 2% - anyone know anything about that sort of situation?
15-Sep-2006 10:36:40
I have had continual problems when I shut down my macbook. Many times it won't restart and I have developed a series of "diagnostics" to get it to turn back on: Unplug it, make sure it's cooled down, check battery level, press the on button repeatedly but don't hold the button down for too long. Most recently, I've added checking the white LED light on the front. If I shut it down and the light is solid white, then I know right away there's a problem. When it finally restarts, it always give me an OSX error message. I've called Apple about this, had them test it over a weekend, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I could enchange it, but I have no degree of confidence a new macbook would work properly. Big disappointment!
19-Sep-2006 9:56:51
Yes, I recently had the very same problem with my MacBook (shut down, closed lid, LED off, 10 minutes later notice fan on high and LED fully on), and I'm almost certain it was because I closed the lid at precisely the right (wrong) moment, as I've learned from your helpful posts. I can easily avoid doing this in the future now that I know what it is, and by this I am very comforted. But I am slightly concerned that this a sign of larger problems to come or of mysterious software and/or hardware problems, like those plagued with random shutdowns are experiencing. Is this too pesimistic? Should I just enjoy the machine while it is working well and not worry so much about this issue? Any thoughts from those who know better would be appreciated.
21-Sep-2006 9:44:35
I plug it to the electricity(macbook) and it does not change to ambar it stays in green

And it is not turned on

When i turn it on just say Calculating until full 0 % Percent

If i unplug it, it continues working like 15 seconds and then shutdown (no sleep) just shutdown

Any suggestion?

claudia wegener
22-Sep-2006 11:42:40
i posted the letter below to the apple store in regent st. perhaps it's of interest? cw

Open letter to the management team at the Regent Street Apple store

I recently had to return my MacBook to the store in Regent St where I had bought it 3 month ago. There were increasing problems of random shutdowns and especially rebooting. When I talked about it to a couple of assistance in the shop, describing the problems, they were strangely reserved, made not even an attempt to pacify me with some explanations and just referred me to the ‘GENIUSES’…

I was unsatisfied with such a response and continued to seek information elsewhere, chatting to shop assistants in other shops and to the IT guys in Camberwell College where I work. Soon enough I was made aware that the problems were already known and talked about as a common fault of the new MacBook…

Now, I’m hearing from friends and colleagues returning MacBooks… and more than once…

I had felt badly treated by Mac personnel even before knowing this, now I felt almost cheated, since the guys in the shop must have been acutely aware of what was going at my first visit, and they obviously, didn’t give me straight answers…

However, this letter is not about upset feelings.

I simply feel a need to articulate my doubts about the purchase I made 3 month ago based on a promise of acquiring a reliable machine for professionally and creatively working people, a promise for which I thought I was prepared to pay…

Up to point.

Now I am wondering whether the price I - for an image or a myth ? certainly a promise not kept - has been worth while paying?

‘My MacBook My Life’…?

The flashy image of the promise of a reliable tool for the intense life and work continues to glitter in the window display of the Regent Street store.

The problems with ‘My MacBook’ caught up with me at an unfortunate point in time, in the middle of completing various audio works, preparing for radio programmes and for the autumn term teaching. In stead of getting on with all this, I found myself taking everything off the machine one night, onto an external hard drive and cueing up the next morning to catch a GENIUS… without spending even more time with troublesome booking procedures…

A friend brought me her ‘old computer’… Did anyone in the AppleStore even bother asking me how I’d cope with life and work now without ‘My MacBook’…? Did someone – is that asking too much if you’ve paid well enough – offer a replacement for the time I’d be off ‘My MacBook’…? Of course not…

Of course…?

‘My MacBook’ my life…?

Seven days later the same thing retour: picking up ‘My MacBook’ (is it still the same? Hopefully not. Is it mine? Well… does that matter, or rather, how much does it cost…?), re-installing everything again, returning the ‘old computer’ to my lovely friend…

And a lot of time is lost. Time, which I’d have rather spent getting on with my life and work – with or without ‘My MacBook’… I had hoped, and in fact bought into the promise, that the prize I paid meant that I had not to think about disenchanting things like random shutdowns, over-heating and rebooting problems for a while.

I thought I had invested – apparently beyond reason? – in the enticing promise that I could just do what I want, meaning live my life and do my work…rather than chasing ‘GENIUSES’ at Regents Street.

I wonder how can I possibly recommend ‘My MacBook’ to my students…?

Dr Claudia Wegener

24-Sep-2006 1:40:23
exactly the same problem. the battery is dead now. not even 3 weeks old. so just have to work plugged in for now.

though i haven't had the shutdown problems. but the battery has made the experience rather disappointing. plus i didn't know about the pair ramm in macbooks, so when i asked for an upgrade to 1gb, the store gave me 1 stick of 512 (long story but i couldn't buy it from an apple store) .... it's been a real pain. but otherwise it's been fairly stable. and i'm much happier with it than the dell i used to own.

28-Sep-2006 21:47:01
Yep... I shut down this afternoon because I had to be back at school, but before I left I noticed the fan had turned on full blast, while shut off. The LED light had also begun pulsating not long after. I didn't know what to do so I sent my mom downtown with it where I got it and they took out the battery, put it back in, and said to charge it (I'm doing so now). I'm paranoid it will happen again... but it sounds like you think it might be closing the lid before EVERYTHING is totally shut down... even though I waited for a black screen... When I first got it I was more cautious of waiting for everything to stop moving. Now I'll do that again. This posted topic has been VERY helpful to me and hopefully might help me avoid this problem again. My Macbook is barely even a month old and this is the only problem I've had... hope I can avoid it now. It only ran a half hour and I was aware the whole time cause I was still home since it had shut down and turned the fan on... but it still drained my battery so much it wouldn't start back up... but maybe it also wouldn't start from how HOT it was running...
1-Oct-2006 22:46:09
i had a similar problem just about 1.5hrs ago. i was trying to turn off my macbook but then it wouldn't for some reason, so i held on to the power button and after 8-10 seconds, it turned off. i watched the screen go blank before i closed it. then, 1.5hrs later (which is now), i turned it on and everything was GONE. well, almost...

- everything on my desktop disappeared except for the Macintosh HD and the dock. the dock only had items that the macbook first came with (finder, dashboard, mail, safari, ichat,, itunes, iphoto, imovie, imoviehd, ical, quicktime, system pref, apple-macosx, trash) and for some reason, the icon for iMovie is gone (it looks like a question mark). items that i added onto the dock myself, like msn messenger, microsoft word & excel and firefox, were all gone but all programs remained in the applications folder.

- all system preferences turned back to the state of how it was when i first bought the macbook

- all my mp3s were gone (wtf)

- i had to re-install microsoft office 2004...which is very odd. its in the applications folder but when i doubled-clicked word, it started installing it for me. this also happened to msn messenger.

has anyone ever had this problem??????? and how do i get my missing files?

4-Oct-2006 8:31:15
Olivia, it sounds a lot like you have either lost your home directory or accidentally renamed it with the Finder.

When that happens, MacOSX will after rebooting create a new home directory with your original short name, because the original short name is required for MacOSX to start the desktop. That way, when you boot, the desktop will look factory new and the old settings appear lost, when they may be in fact hidden instead.

Open a Finder window and go to your home folder. Then go a level up (press cmd-up) to see if there are more directories than:

  • "Shared" folder
  • House icon with your home folder name on it (If the short name is "Olivia", it will read "Olivia")

If you see a third folder and go in that folder and find all your old stuff in it, that's where it's been stored. That's the old home directory.

To fix this, you need to do this in the following order:

  1. Rename your current home directory (the one with the house icon) to something else (e.g. "Olivia-old")
  2. Rename the other directory with your old stuff to the original short name (e.g. to "Olivia").
  3. Reboot
  4. The one with the right short name will become the current home directory and get the house icon.

Be warned that every time you rename your home folder to something that is not your original short name, MacOSX will just make a new empty home directory again when you reboot and it will start up, appearing to be factory new!

If you don't see a folder with your old stuff in it, then the contents may indeed be lost, unfortunately.

Carl Newland
5-Oct-2006 8:15:39
I am also having the same prolem with shutting down and finding that the MacBook is very hot and the standby or sleep light is still on, I can only reboot by taking the power cord and battery out and in again. I quikly surmised that this was a firmware issue and now make sure shutdown has ample time before shutting the lid and check the light before putting away. Not had this happen since the first few weeks and assumed that OS updates would deal with this but now find that my system also shuts off at random moments and takes upto 7 retries before it will run normally. This seams strange as this usually only occurs in the first half hour of use and not after long use so does not suggest over heating issues - has anyone else noticed this?
David Menkes
6-Oct-2006 14:18:04
I bought a white MacBook 13" and had this problem until I was fed up w/ it and took it into an AppleStore. Apparently this is a known problem and I had to get my mainboard and heatsink replaced. I've had it back for a month now and it's been working flawlessly. It's a pain to have to give up your laptop for a week but it's totally worth it. It's also covered under the warranty so there's no reason to put up with random shutdowns.
9-Oct-2006 12:27:24
found this post by google - same problem
13-Oct-2006 12:01:22
Okay, yep, googled my issue and was sent to this site. I haven't been having any problems with my macbook (13") until this morning (had it for just about a month). I shut it down last night, and it wouldn't start this morning (but was plugged in all night). It was really hot to the touch. And when I opened it the fan kicked on, but it still wouldn't start. Might have to go make friends with my neighborhood apple store.:).
25-Oct-2006 3:40:01
I have the same problem. It happened twice. I already went to the apple store and was told, that it was my fault because I didn't wait long enough for the machine to turn off, and that I should wait till the screen turns black. But I'm 100% sure that the screen was already black before I closed it both times. I was told that if the macbook gets closed too early while shutting down, it doesn't go into the sleep-modus (pulsing led) but it gets hung up in the process of shutting down. This process can power out the battery in 3-4 hours and heat up the macbook extremely. In my case it got so hot, that I couldn't even turn it on right away. This problem is really annoying and I hope the folks at apple find a sloution for it soon.
9-Nov-2006 16:30:04
I have a Black MacBook and have the same problem. If I wait a minute or 2 after powering down to close the cover, things work as advertised.
15-Nov-2006 0:25:40
I have not quite the same problem. New dual core MacBook. 90% of the time when I go to shutdown the system hangs. It hangs after the screens - I drive an external monitor off if it - go blank and the little spinning circle stops. I am at a loss and have found nothing on the internet about it. I haven't gone to Apple Support yet. I'd like to collect more data before I do. If anyone has any suggestions what might be causing this, I'm all ears.
28-Nov-2006 16:33:20
I have just bought a macbook 2GHZ 2GB RAM, 120GB HD and am still waiting for it to be delivered to my house..I am quite worried and am having second thoughts, does anyone reckon that Apple would have been addressed with this MAJOR MAJOR problem and have fixed these mishaps on the newere mac's? Thanks :S
Bada Han
29-Jan-2007 0:14:27
I'm just googling and find this same problem as mine.

I'm having a same problem on my lovely macbook pro (2.23GHz, 2G RAM, 120G HD). It is not always happening. It is happening after long time and tough CPU and memory usage. I just doing force quit and reboot system again, then shut down my macbook. If you get the answer from apple, please notice this again. Thanks a lot.

Bada Han
29-Jan-2007 0:18:25
Also I already did resetting power management unit. But it is not help to my case. orz
17-Feb-2007 5:55:48
i think i have the same problem like you guys. when im not using my macbook i simply close the lid and thats it. normally it goes to standby (pulsing led) and everythings fine. but in some cases it stays on and the system the only way to get it working again is to hold the start button for several seconds. (--> restart all work is gone...very annoying)

and sometimes there is another strange behavior..randomly in the middle of the night, the macbook begins to restart...for the second time now, i woke up from the sound the dvd-drive makes when restarting the in the morning, the led is on, nothing happens when i open the lid, there is no background lighting but i can see the login screen on the black tft...but the system seems to hang, cause i cant see any mouse movement...has anyone noticed anything like this?

i really hope this problem will be fixed soon, cause i love this thingie very much...can not live without it ;-)

Leon from Amsterdam
20-Feb-2007 20:32:51
Yea , the problem exists... My white makbook has shut doun problems too... painful though , tomorroy finally wil go to apple store to talk and try to do something about it ... Th battary doesn't charge anymore , I guess it's dead...
Gustaf Sjöberg
26-Feb-2007 16:12:09
Same problem here. Very annoying.
Alessandro from Bologna
5-May-2007 13:18:40
My girlfriend has the same problem...the first time it happens, it seems to not power up. After 10 seconds button press, it works..!!
30-May-2007 19:50:34
I got nearly the same problem with you, all. I update some applications for my friend on his Ibook. After an hour, i shut down it, close the lid, everything ran smoothly but when i want turn on, it's never waked up. I dont know what i have to do right now. I pressed the button about 10s or more, removed the battery, checked the Led...However, it's still sleep. Terribly.
9-Jun-2007 12:10:49
Carl, I have had the exact same problem as your for many months. I've pulled my MacBook Pro from it's case many times, thinking that it had been peacefully asleep, but I was stunned to find it hotter than hell because it had not gone completely to sleep.

It does sound as if it is some type of race condition that can be occasionally hit if one is unlucky. It sounds fairly common, and I'd like to think Apple has fixed it by now. Like you, I'm concerned about the affect excessive heat may have on component life. Also, it really sucks to get out your laptop expecting a full battery, only to find an nearly empty one.

When I pack up now, I close my MacBook and stick it in my briefcase, but I never close the briefcase until I see the LED on the lid latch start to pulsate. Probably once out of every 10-15 times, I'll catch it not shutting down.

So nobody has heard of a solution yet?


31-Dec-2007 11:47:09
Im thinking of buying a Macbook Pro from America but I live in the UK. Does anyone know if there will be a problem with power due to different mains power outputs in the US and Uk repectively?
10-Jan-2008 19:59:42
I have had the Intel Macbook for nearly two years with no problems until the past week. Much the same as last week, today I 'shut down' the MacBook, made sure that the LED was off, and that the Apple on the cover was not on (I use at the office with a monitor and keyboard), and put it into my computer laptop bag. In both cases I set the bag down in my den and went for dinner. When I came up I could hear the fan going in the bag, and the laptop was very hot, but not as hot as the first time,when the battery was just about out of juice.I just tried a fix I found that requires resetting the PMU. Will see if that works, but I am going to be extra carefull from now on, on the shut down process and check my bag more often.

Of late, the external mouse and key board have been going dead and I can only reactivate by pulling the power plug on the USB hub.

13-Jan-2008 0:38:24
i am experiencing exactly the same problem at the moment! my macbook isn't shutting down!!it's really frustrating.. what should i do?
4-Feb-2008 22:42:23
The same thing just happened to me. I shut the computer down. screen went black, LED was off but the fan was still running. Then it wouldnt start. I tried plugging it into AC power and still wouldn't boot so i unplugged the battery and then afterwords it seemed okay.
13-Jun-2008 20:16:33
Same problem at my end..
desmond tian
20-Aug-2008 22:15:53
Same problem, but DO NOT Buy windows, For God's sake!
28-May-2009 18:16:14
I faced this same issue today. It is funny, if we could say that, because the first comment was posted in 4-Aug-2006, 3 years ago! I have a one year old Macbook Pro, system version Mac OS X 10.5.7 (9J61).
27-Jan-2010 23:37
Ditto. But it only happens when I pull out a USB device (cellular air card) right after I shut the lid. Won't do that again. Hopefully it's not permanently screwed up from overheating in a case.
Computer Repairer
28-Mar-2011 13:41:26
Got a multimeter for diagnosis?

4-Jul-2012 9:06:59
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