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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep Laptop Macs
I've had no wake from sleep problems with my G4 800mhz 12 inch iBook since I returned to using the software sleep (via the Sleep command in the Apple menu) rather that the power button or closing the lid.

[robg adds: I've not experienced any of the wake from sleep issues seen in a few spots around the net, but I know it's happened to others. Here's one possible fix; feel free to share your methods and experiences in the comments.]
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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: teach on Mar 16, '07 08:02:18AM
I wish I could say the same. The software sleep is the ONLY method I ever use, and I get the black screen about 20% of the time when waking from sleep. In my case, I am usually plugged into a monitor, go to sleep, unplug from the monitor, move to another location and try to wake up. Like I said, about 20% of the time I cannot wake up and have to do a hard reboot. I just went from 10.4.8 to 10.4.9 yesterday, I'm hoping that helps. We'll see.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: kainewynd2 on Mar 16, '07 08:15:56AM

I actually was having sleep issues similar to this. I reset the PMU on my machine and sleep started working correctly again.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: spin_king on May 05, '07 07:10:45AM

I have had the same problem, not sure if this is stating the obvious but I found that simply by unplugging the external monitor FIRST, waiting for the screen to cycle back to the single screen mode and THEN sleeping, the problem has not recurred once.

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Check bad RAM
Authored by: dbs on Mar 16, '07 08:34:28AM

My wife had this problem with her G4 1.25GHz machine. I could reproduce it in about 1 out of 10 sleep/wake cycles. We replaced the extra memory with a high-end DIMM and it went away entirely. If you can reproduce this (I did so by repeatedly sleeping/waking until it died) try taking out extra memory and testing it. This allowed us to identify and solve the problem.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: ingo on Mar 16, '07 08:43:19AM

When I am putting the laptop to sleep I always do that by closing the lid
This works all the time as long as I remember two very important steps:
1. Remove the USB mouse before closing the lid
2. Do not insert the USB mouse before the computer is started.
This works without a hitch on my MacBook Pro and also on my PowerBook (Titan) before!
If I am not following the steps above, different things can happen after sleep:
- Black screen!, but usually it continue the start up after a while
- The log in prompt comes up twice

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A couple of fixes
Authored by: lekun on Mar 16, '07 08:50:39AM

I usually have my MacBook and Powebook hooked up to external monitors and I too have had the problem when I sleep the computer, disconnect the monitor and then reawaken the computer all I get is a black screen.

Unfortunately there are a couple of reasons this can happen, and each has its own solution.

  1. Already mentioned on this site is to reawaken your computer without the power cord plugged in.
  2. Also already mentioned is if you awaken your computer and you get a black screen, tap the powerbutton once (which brings up Shutdown dialog box, though you can't see it) and then press the "S" key, which will sleep the compuer and try reawakening. This frequently solves the problem.
  3. Lastly, if you have slept your newer-Powerbook or Macbook (standard or Pro) and while it was writing the contents of the memory to disk (ala Safe Sleep) unplugged firewire or USB devices you may have corrupted a preferences file. My guess is it is the Energy Saver or Display .plist file, but I don't know for sure.

When I had the black screen on my MacBook and solutions 1 and 2 weren't working anymore, I didn't have time to troubleshoot and locate the exact corrupt .plist. I didn't narrow the problem down to either a. Hardware problem or b. .plist problem so I did an archive and install to determine a or b and the problem has vanished. So I am guessing it was b. but that is a very good guess.

As for the corruption happening when unplugging USB or Firewire devices while safe sleep is writing contents of memory to disk, that is science but anecdotal. I noticed that when I did this (by accident – I thought the computer was all the way asleep) I started having the black screen problems that weren't solved by solutions 1 or 2 above. Thus my reasoning that the unplugging caused the .plist corruption, but I don't know that for sure.

Anyway, if it happens again, I'll figure out the exact .plist and submit a hint to this site, but until then, I think this comment will help those who have the black screen which isn't solved by 1 or 2.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: tarashnat on Mar 16, '07 10:33:54AM

The few times I have had an issue waking from sleep (black screen), I closed the lid again and waited for the blinking LED that indicates sleep and then openned the lid again. This has worked for me the few times I have had a problem on my MacBook Pro C2D.


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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: etresoft on Mar 16, '07 01:53:36PM

Taras is completely right. I have had this problem since my iBook G3 and it continues with my MacBook. Like others have said, it happens, maybe 1 out of 15 times. Safesleep, bad RAM, and peripherals have nothing to do with it. It is just the end results of a very complicated OS. With complexity comes random failures.

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Two other tips
Authored by: vocaro on Mar 16, '07 10:56:26AM
I've also been having problems waking from sleep ever since I got my first PowerBook. Here are two tips that helped me:
  1. Don't use Logitech Control Center. I had installed it for use with my Logitech mouse, but it was sometimes causing kernel panics when waking from sleep.
  2. Make sure all firmware updates have been installed. A few months ago, Apple released "EFI Firmware Update 1.2" for the MacBook Pro. Among other things, it fixed some of the wake-from-sleep bugs.
Unfortunately, I still get an occasional hang trying to wake from sleep, sometimes even a hang trying to go to sleep. (And yes, I always use the "software sleep" method.) It seems to occur only when using an external display.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: joccam on Mar 16, '07 11:10:24AM
I had a slew of problems with sleep/wake on my macbookpro until I disabled safe sleep. Now it sleeps like a baby. Here's the hint which fixed the problem:

Good Luck.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: dersh on Mar 16, '07 04:26:56PM

My wife also has the 12 in G4, and also often has that problem. I recently realized that on her machine the problem is actually just the backlight not turning on after sleep. So the screen is black, but the computer is awake. Just hitting the F2 button will will turn up the brightness and then it works.

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USB Drive Problems
Authored by: nickv2002 on Mar 17, '07 02:36:23AM

Sometimes I get this on my MacBook, but only when I have the computer set to ask for a password when awaking from sleep/screensaver. I only turn on this feature when I'm traveling so it's usually not a big deal... however sometimes I forget and I get stuck in half sleep mode where the computer is on (drives are spinning, fans are on, no pulsing light) but it won't wake up...

Haven't figured out why but unplugging my external USB Hard Drives seems to 'shock' it back awake when closing and opening the lid won't... I know it's not a good idea to do this while the drive is mounted but it's no worse than the alternative of holding the power buttons down to force a restart I figure.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: friendship7 on Mar 17, '07 04:33:53AM

if the keyboard is on but the screen is black, try inserting your apple dvi-vga adapter into its port. after a second the ill-behaved mac will find its display.

works like a charm for me.

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One possible fix for a black screen on wake from sleep
Authored by: noworryz on Apr 09, '07 01:52:49PM

I've had the "black screen after sleep" problem for years on both a G4 iBook and C2D MacBook Pro. I finally tracked it down to having the Security preferences "Require password to wake this computer from sleep" check box checked while having the Energy Saver preferences Power Adapter setting "Put the display to sleep when the computer is inactive for" set to "Never."

Changing the energy saver optimization to "Normal" for both the Power Adapter and Battery has improved my life immensely, although the MacBook goes to sleep a little more often than I'd like.

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My black screen was caused by Bluetooth wake
Authored by: gbnyc on Jul 16, '07 08:46:53AM

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 battery issue, but 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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