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Old December 12 2011, 12:22 AM   #1
Unicron
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Odd laptop problem

I've had my current Macbook for several years and haven't had any major issues with it (yet ), but perhaps someone with more experience with laptops can help me with this.

I used it earlier today and had no problems, and turned it off for a while to do other things. When I went to use it again, I logged in as usual and the computer froze. The home screen was there, but none of the inputs would work, and it wouldn't charge power from the charger. We were able to get it to turn off by holding the power button in and then restarting it, and so far it seems okay. But until now I've not had any serious issues with it and would appreciate any advice.

It's still using the original battery that came with it, so one possibility is that it's simply getting to the point of needing replaced.
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Old December 12 2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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Re: Odd laptop problem

If its working fine it should be ok, but if it happens again then it might be worth further investigation.

I would imagine that one of the many things that happen at startup intermingled with one of the other things that happen and the two didn't get along so your MBP froze. It happens, even in OSX.
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Old December 12 2011, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: Odd laptop problem

Another possibility occurred to me that might be a startup issue. I recently replaced my original mouse with a wireless model because the former had gotten damaged, and I had a registration reminder pop up when I logged in. It didn't affect the OS as far as I can tell, but it was idling in the dock and I couldn't actually access it. Perhaps that caused the problem the other day, though I'm not sure.
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Old December 12 2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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Re: Odd laptop problem

Occasionally my old MBP will freeze up (not happened on boot - yet), but a few times when restoring from hibernation (not sleep). Power button down until it goes off normally does the trick. As Bisz says, if it's playing ball now I'd not worry too much if it happens more often then it might be worth resetting the PRAM and NVRAM and see if that clears it up, but _only_ if it keeps happening.
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Old December 12 2011, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Odd laptop problem

How old is your laptop?

Have you considered the possibility that dust buildup could have caused this issue?
Of course, Apple builds it's systems to the point where you have to dissasemble the entire thing to get to the innards.

One other possibility is faulty hardware such as the HDD or RAM.
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Old December 13 2011, 03:54 AM   #6
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Re: Odd laptop problem

It's about 2-2 1/2 years old, and while I suppose dust could be an issue I'd like to think it's unlikely at this point. I do my best to keep it from creeping in, and have very rarely experienced problems like the one the other night. I've seen no indications that it's a battery issue either, as far as Apple's diagnostics go.
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Old December 13 2011, 05:57 AM   #7
ngc7293
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Re: Odd laptop problem

Unwrapped wrote: View Post
It's about 2-2 1/2 years old, and while I suppose dust could be an issue I'd like to think it's unlikely at this point. I do my best to keep it from creeping in, and have very rarely experienced problems like the one the other night. I've seen no indications that it's a battery issue either, as far as Apple's diagnostics go.
When I read the OP, you said you had the laptop for "several years" and I thought "old". I have an old iBook that I have had since 2001 and the motherboard died in 2010.

I don't think plugging in a mouse will cause a problem with a relatively new mac.

Sometimes heat can cause problems if you block the exhaust vent for the computer.

Since it isn't a virus, I would think it was some software that was acting up. You could start and uninstall some programs. (ones you installed, not ones that came with the computer)

Has your computer updated recently? It is possible an update caused a problem.
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Old December 13 2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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Re: Odd laptop problem

Unwrapped wrote: View Post
It's about 2-2 1/2 years old, and while I suppose dust could be an issue I'd like to think it's unlikely at this point. I do my best to keep it from creeping in, and have very rarely experienced problems like the one the other night. I've seen no indications that it's a battery issue either, as far as Apple's diagnostics go.
Don't rule anything out.
Dust can easily cause the problems you describe.
However, the problem is irregular at best... and if heat was the issue, then the laptop would shut down after specific intervals.
Then again, different systems experienced different issues with dust.

HDD and RAM being the possible causes are viable.
If you have the time, backup your data just in case and run diagnostics for the 2 components if such software exists (it should).


As for the virus being the possible cause... I wouldn't discount it.
Mac's aren't invulnerable to those you know.
Marketing myths only want you to think that.
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Old December 15 2011, 02:39 AM   #9
JustAFriend
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Re: Odd laptop problem

Also consider a dying CMOS battery on any computer that pukes on startup.

(Cheapest thing to replace but getting to it on a laptop might be iffy...)
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Old December 15 2011, 06:56 AM   #10
ngc7293
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Re: Odd laptop problem

JustAFriend wrote: View Post
Also consider a dying CMOS battery on any computer that pukes on startup.

(Cheapest thing to replace but getting to it on a laptop might be iffy...)
Getting to it on a Mac is next to impossible. It is usually located under the mouse pad. Every other laptop has it in an easy to reach place. Now, that's on my iBook. It's entirely possible that the Powerbook from (2008?) has it better.

As far as viruses. There has been one virus directed at apple computers lately and it was quickly taken care of. There was an article about some guy who said he could easily write viruses for ANY computer. Unless mac becomes the best selling computer on the market hackers won't be making viruses for them. That's why it is nice to have a Mac.

As far as the problem if you have Apple Care, it might be time to use it. A 2.5 year old computer still falls within that warranty.

As far as dust it really depends on what the environment is.
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Last edited by ngc7293; December 15 2011 at 06:57 AM. Reason: words
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