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All,

I have a Macbook Pro 13" (mid 2009) that has had a long time issue which seems to be getting worse.

Occasionally, I will go to wake the computer with the keyboard and can't wake it. The HDD spins up, the light on the front of the computer stops blinking, but as soon as it seems like the display should light up, the HDD stops and the light begins blinking again.

More rarely, the computer will suddenly sleep while I am using it and then enters the same sleep loop.

The only way to resume working on the computer is to wait. Doing a hard restart just puts it right back into the 'sleep loop.'

Here is an excerpt from kernel.log showing the laptop's apparent narcolepsy:

Jun  5 22:20:40 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: Wake reason: OHC1
Jun  5 22:20:40 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: Previous Sleep Cause: 5
Jun  5 22:20:40 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: The USB device Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad (Port 6 of Hub at 0x4000000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (2)
Jun  5 22:20:40 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: HID tickle 31 ms
Jun  5 22:20:41 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 00000000  00000020  NVEthernet::setLinkStatus - not Active
Jun  5 22:20:45 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: MacAuthEvent en1   Auth result for: 20:4e:7f:48:c0:ef  MAC AUTH succeeded
Jun  5 22:20:45 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: wlEvent: en1 en1 Link UP
Jun  5 22:20:45 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: AirPort: Link Up on en1
Jun  5 22:20:45 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: en1: BSSID changed to 20:4e:7f:48:c0:ef
Jun  5 22:20:46 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: AirPort: RSN handshake complete on en1
Jun  5 22:20:48 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 00000000  00000020  NVEthernet::setLinkStatus - not Active
Jun  5 22:20:54 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: Wake reason: OHC1
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: Previous Sleep Cause: 5
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: The USB device Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad (Port 6 of Hub at 0x4000000) may have caused a wake by issuing a remote wakeup (2)
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: wlEvent: en1 en1 Link DOWN
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: AirPort: Link Down on en1. Reason 4 (Disassociated due to inactivity).
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: HID tickle 26 ms
Jun  5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 00000000  00000020  NVEthernet::setLinkStatus - not Active
Jun  5 22:20:58 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: MacAuthEvent en1   Auth result for: 20:4e:7f:48:c0:ef  MAC AUTH succeeded
Jun  5 22:20:58 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: wlEvent: en1 en1 Link UP
Jun  5 22:20:58 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: AirPort: Link Up on en1
Jun  5 22:20:58 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: en1: BSSID changed to 20:4e:7f:48:c0:ef
Jun  5 22:20:58 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: AirPort: RSN handshake complete on en1
Jun  5 22:21:02 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 00000000  00000020  NVEthernet::setLinkStatus - not Active
Jun  5 22:21:08 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: 

I have tried reseting the SMC and reinstalling Lion (short of erasing and installing) to no avail. The Genius bar has insisted that the problem would be resolved by reinstalling Lion (which they did, but didn't fix anything, still insisting...).

Please don't say "logic board." Thoughts?

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Is this on battery or on power? –  Paul Jun 7 '12 at 3:13
    
Both. And it occurs regardless of whether I boot the main partition or the recovery partition. –  jif Jun 7 '12 at 12:49
    
Same thing happened to me, with a 2011 13" refurbished MacBook Pro, right out of the box. It's ironic because this is probably the reason it was sent back, and they turned around and sold it to someone else. –  alord1689 Aug 15 '12 at 0:35

5 Answers 5

I think it my case this may be the Hall sensor in the keyboard assembly. It is also possibly the keyboard ribbon cable. I will disconnect it from the ZIF connector and reconnect it and see if that fixes it as I know this is a common cause of the issue. Hope this helps some of you experiencing the same problem.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I recently upgraded to 10.8.2 and the problem is gone. It appears to have been a software issue.

Thanks for the ideas though :)

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I recently upgraded to 10.8.2 too and my MBP still has narcolepsy. I am curious have you had the issue again? –  Todd Dec 12 '12 at 4:11
    
No issues so far. Sorry to hear you're having trouble :( –  jif Dec 18 '12 at 1:50

Because that this is apparently not something they fix when a unit is returned, refurbished, and re-certified (see my comments above), my recommendation would be to install ImsomniaX or Caffeine and just keep it on when you want it on. Unfortunately, this disables the intentionally built-in pow-saving features, so if you care about saving power, you have to take a hands-on approach to that.

Cheers, Aaron

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I've never worked on a MacBook Pro but on the old PowerBooks and iBooks there was a sensor that would detect magnetic movement that would tell the system if the unit was opened or closed (asleep). On the iBooks, the magnets were in the base and the sensor was in the display, and on the PowerBooks the magnet was in the display and the sensor was on the top of the unit (on the CD/DVD, actually). Most PowerBooks used a Hall Sensor and most iBooks used a magnetic relay. On the iBooks as the lid is closed near the magnet, the magnet would pull the relay open telling the unit to go to sleep. On the PowerBooks, magnetic induction would trigger a signal telling the unit the state changed (went from one to the other).

From the drawings I've seen of the MacBook Pro, I'm guessing the sensor is located, possibly integrated, right into the top of the case, and I know that the magnet is on the right hand side of the display behind all the trim (you have to take it apart to see it/service it). It's possible the sensor is integrated into the logic board, but it's unlikely.

Possibilities are:

  1. The magnet in the display has worked it's way out of place or is moving around erratically. It has to be in a relatively confined area and it has to be in the right polarity position. This probably isn't likely because this would cause the unit to stay on, even when the clamshell was closed.

  2. Assuming it's a Hall Sensor integrated into the top (your "palm rest" that holds the trackpad, keyboard) then either it's failed/failing or the connection has simply become loose.

The message:

Jun 5 22:20:55 james-hales-macbook-pro kernel[0]: Previous Sleep Cause: 5

means the system detected the clamshell being closed and put itself to sleep. The malfunction is occurring because the system is being told (erroneously) that the lid has been closed.

You can try the following trick:

  1. Find a magnet, reasonably small and powerful
  2. When the unit erroneously goes to sleep with the lid open, take the magnet and move it along the right side of the palm rest, probably about 1/2 inch to the left of the right edge of the computer.

If the computer kicks on, then you can at least demonstrate this to the Apple "Gurus" and tell them to fix the problem (and then tell them to send me some money for consulting fees!!! ;-) ) Relays are notorious for sticking in the open or closed state, but with the hall sensors you could "trick" a PowerBook into staying on with the lid down by lifting the lid up and down twice about 1/2 inch..the Hall sensor/OS kernel would see this as one event instead of two because it happened so quickly.

Re-installing the OS will not fix an electrical problem.

Hope this helps

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This is the ticket. I had the same problem as the OP and I finally discovered it happened when I put my MacBook on top of another MacBook. More specifically, when I aligned the front of them together. As soon as I moved them apart, my computer awoke from its false sleep. As far as I can tell nothing was loose inside, so if you can, the solution is to avoid magnets. –  koopaking3 Sep 2 '12 at 1:14

I have a June 2009 MBP 13 also and have the same issue and the same excuses from genius bar. In my case often I will boot the machine up and I notice that if the keyboard does not illuminate on startup the computer will sleep immediately at login and will not wake. Same issue loops when restarting.

I have recently found a workaround solution. If I turn the computer upside down for the startup (seriously) the keyboard illuminates and all is fine, no sleep issue.

This is an intermittent issue and I have tried to replicate it at the Genius bar, but without success. It has started happening more and more in the past year. As it was intermittent I didn't contact Apple about it until it got more frequent after my Apple Care had expired.

Anyone know what controls the keyboard illuminating, is there a sensor of something that could have come loose in my case that just needs to be fixed?

I hope we find a solution soon to this!

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