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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep Laptop Macs
I'm sure that many of you with PowerBooks and iBooks have, on occasion, opened your lid only to find that the screen remains black rather than offering you a login. In the past, this has led me to do a forced shutdown. However, I think that I might have found a workaround.

Rather than pressing and holding the power button for the forced shutdown, just press it once briefly, then press S. If you try this whilst your machine is running normally, you will see that, first, the Restart - Sleep - Cancel - Shutdown dialog box is displayed, then pressing S selects the sleep option and the machine instantly sleeps.

I have tried this a couple of times when it appeared that I was suffering from the 'black screen of death,' and I have recovered without further problems.
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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: mdale7 on Jun 21, '06 08:32:55AM

It also works if you shut the screen (thus forcing the computer to go to sleep), wait a few seconds (until the sleeping light comes on) and then open the screen back up.

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me too
Authored by: SOX on Jun 21, '06 08:58:04AM

yeah, closing and re-opening it does the job for me. I find this effect is most often induced when I change an external screen while it is asleep.

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Poster replies ...
Authored by: Felix_the_Mac on Jun 21, '06 09:39:34AM

That has never worked for me.
When I do have a 'black-screen-of-death' then closing the lid does not cause the sleep light to come on, and opening has no effect.

Of course, if there were occassions when shutting the lid did in fact circumvent the problem then they wouldn't count as 'black-screen-of-death' crashes. So maybe I have just forgotten those occasions.

The same logic applies to this hint - since the machine recovered I cannot be sure that it was this technique that saved it. But maybe it will do someone some good.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: squawky on Jun 21, '06 10:15:52AM

I usually find that closing/reopening the lid works: but occasionally (especially if I open the lid but forget to unlock the screensaver for a while) my iBook gets confused and wakes up only if the lid is closed.

Have had to force-shutdown on occasion, so I'll save this hint for the next time.

Somebody wake up Hicks.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: itunes66 on Jun 21, '06 11:10:40AM

this can happen at times on the G4's (the ones with the round bases) so thx for the hint also you should reset the pram (CMD-Option-P-R on startup) and every time this happened what i did was force shutdown the comp and restarted (but i held down CMD-Option-P-R) what it does is resets the pram and then restarts the comp so what you do is hold it down until the computer chimes for the 3rd time and let go and now i does not happen anymore

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Try to simply brighten the screen.
Authored by: HoneyBear on Jun 21, '06 11:47:58AM

My PowerBook G4 sometimes wakes with a blank screen.

The simplest solution for my PB is to use the screen brighten button, F2, to bring the screen back. For some reason, the PB just wakes with brightness set to minimum.

Depending on how your keyboard is configured, you might need to press fn/F2

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: boredzo on Jun 21, '06 11:50:46AM

This suggests to me that when you see the "black screen of death", the computer is really just in display sleep, not real sleep.

If you had a good enough memory of what was on the screen before, and sufficient keyboard-only-navigation skills, you could even use the computer this way. :)

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: soulbarn on Jun 21, '06 12:02:39PM

I've found that closing the screen and opening it doesn't always work. But it usually works if I close the screen, press the led latch button at the front edge of the unit, then open the screen.

Oh, and another way is to take three quails eggs, boil them in a cauldron of hogs breath soup, and pronounce this incantation: KLAATU BARADA NIKTO!

- dan

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: DHB on Jun 21, '06 02:35:02PM

Most of the time, you're computer is fine but the display is asleep. The computer thinks that it is attached to an external monitor. It is completely awake ... just with the screen off. This usually happens when you attach or disconnect USB devices right as you are going to sleep or waking up.

DO NOT reboot the machine: it's not necessary. You only need to put it to sleep. Just closing the lid doesn't always put it to sleep, especially if it is still attached to an external keyboard or mouse. Remember, it is designed to keep running closed in those circumstances.

The most reliable way to put it to sleep (short of memorizing some blind keyboard commands): close the lid, unplug the power supply, and wait a few seconds. It will reliably go to sleep, which you can confirm by watching the power light start to do it's normal "asleep" pulsations. You should also unplug any external keyboards or mice to be sure.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: MacChelsea on Jun 21, '06 03:13:19PM

This problem can be avoided. Just remember NOT to plug in the power adapter before you re-open the lid.

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Same problem with Intel Mac Mini. . .
Authored by: KingRocky on Jun 21, '06 04:17:13PM

My Intel Mac Mini suffers from the same problem sometimes.

My solution? I simply put the computer back to sleep (Command+Option+Eject), and then wake it up again.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: wajacksonmd on Jun 21, '06 05:51:44PM

opening and shutting usually works, but sometimes I have to log in twice.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: stepwallace on Jun 22, '06 07:14:36AM

Some great ideas here - i've had to resort to pulling both the battery & the power supply at times in order to get mine back from sleep. But I suspect mine's been slightly faulty since I got it.


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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: jbondo on Jun 22, '06 10:00:54AM

my problem is that sometimes when i open my TiBook, i get the login screen, i log in, and after like one second of seeing my desktop, the thing goes back to sleep on me. i've noticed that it seems to happen if i have illustrator cs open (even hidden). i'm not sure if it's happened without illustrator being open. either way, it's annoying. anyone else have this problem? it's not always repeatable, just sporadically it does this.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: lokon1979 on Jun 22, '06 09:50:03PM
if this problem keep happen on your laptop, a great chance that just reset the power management unit can cure the problem once and for all (until next time it fail again)

according to apple support page:
"The Power Manager is an integrated circuit (computer chip) that is on the logic board of the MacBook or MacBook Pro... it is responsible for power management ... controls backlighting, hard disk spin down, sleep and wake, some charging aspects, trackpad control, and some input/output as it relates to the computer sleeping.

Over time, the settings in the Power Manager may become unusable, which can result in ... Examples include not turning on, not waking from sleep, not charging the battery, or not recognizing the AC Adapter, among others."

to reset PMU of MacBook and MacBook Pro:

to reset PMU of iBook and PowerBook:

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: rraph on Jun 23, '06 07:12:50AM

actually, every time i have witnessed this on my -or some friend or the other's - laptop, it came out to be a RAM problem... don't know if it's worth saying, but i tought i'd share...

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My black screen was caused by Bluetooth wake
Authored by: gbnyc on Jul 16, '07 08:49:05AM

My MacBook often woke to the password screen (I have it set to require password on wake), but after entering the password, it would go a black screen, except for the cursor (arrow) that was visible and controllable. Every keystroke, however, just got an error sound and no action.

In case anyone has this same version of the "black screen," here's what I figured:

It was happening only when I had my Bluetooth mouse present (I don't have a BT keyboard, so don't know if would cause the same problem), and I had the MacBook set to allow Bluetooth devices to wake the computer, and the mouse was moved at some point while the lid was closed.

I guess it would wake and then sleep again while closed (I don't have an external monitor, so couldn't see any of this), and that somehow caused the black screen when I later opened up the MacBook and entered my password.

Of course, I've now turned off the option to let Bluetooth devices wake the computer (Bluetooth Preference Pane), and so far, no more black screens.

Hope this helps someone -- I've been searching and googling "black screen" for a while, and none of the suggestions I've found helped for my set-up. (FYI: Apple thought it was a PMU or battery issue, but resetting PMU didn't help and, while trying to track down the source of the problem, I figured out that my black screen happened even if battery was removed and MacBook was plugged in, so clearly that's not the cause.)

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: irae on May 02, '08 04:38:43PM

I've serahced a lot and not found an answer to fix the same problem on my friend's MacBook. The problem was solved tough. I remembered a key sortkut and fixed the problems as follows:

- Press (Control-Shift-Eject) many times fast.
- Afterwards do the same key once in a while.

Eventualiy the screen will come back to life.

Hope it helps someone.

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Possible workaround for blank screen after sleep
Authored by: gordiannii on Dec 30, '10 04:24:29AM

I had the same problem: MBP 2007 suddently does not boot (no chime, black screen). I brought it to an Apple Service and they tried to run the keyboard based PRAM reset (hold P+R+Option+Commad Key during start up) and the POST (power on self test: remove ram and see the light flash once per second) without any luck. The solution was that I had to reset the PRAM physically by removing the internal PRAM battery and plugging it back in and then on immediate restart run the keyboard based PRAM reset. After this the notebook booted fine with chime and black screen. I brought it back to the Apple Service and they could run the NVIDIA graphics test with success. Now I get a free logicboard replacement.

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