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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in Laptop Macs
Just now my MacBook refused to wake up from sleep. All I got when I lifted the lid was a black screen and the spinning color wheel (usually the password prompt appears).

Panicking that I might have lost data, especially considering I have FileVault enabled, I closed the notebook, let the computer go to sleep again, and lifted the lid for a second time. Hey presto -- the MacBook woke up this time around and I was able to enter my password.

So one possible solution to a slumbering MacBook (or other laptop) that refuses to wake is to hit the virtual snooze button and wake it up again a few seconds later.

[robg adds: I thought we had this potentially-frozen-laptop fix elsewhere in the database, but a few searches this morning came up blank. I've used the same technique myself on a G4 PowerBook a few times, though my MBP has been (thankfully) free of the same issue.]
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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in | 24 comments | Create New Account
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RE: Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: studyzone on Oct 08, '07 07:54:39AM

I've had this problem on my PowerBook G4 quite a bit - it seems that it happens whenever a MS Office app is open (usually Word, sometimes Excel or PowerPoint) - I haven't tested this extensively, but those are the only apps that seem to consistently be open whenever I have wake-from-sleep issues. Has anyone else noticed this?



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RE: Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 08, '07 08:13:41AM

I don't have any experience specific to this issue, but I often tell people that the best practice with the M$ Office apps is to ALWAYS quit them when done using 'em. If left open, they always seem to just slowly eat up available memory and eventually cause some sort of system-wide issue.

Just get in the habit of quiting those apps whenever you're finished using 'em, and probably even if you're not sure you're done... Save your changes and quit; it doesn't take that long to start 'em back up again when you need to do something else...



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RE: Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: tatilsever on Oct 08, '07 10:52:01AM

Interesting... If I started hibernation on my Windows laptop when Powerpoint was still running, it would never wake up properly.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: wastemytime on Oct 08, '07 08:07:57AM

While early versions of FileVault may have been susceptible to the corruption you fear, you should be aware that Apple quietly introduced a new version of it in Mac OS X 10.4.7 last year.

In earlier versions, the sparseimage's headers were written at the end of the file (they should've been called trailers then), so, if there was a problem writing or compressing the image, it could easily be corrupted.

With the 10.4.7 update, they introduced a new version of sparse disk images so the headers are at the beginning (appropriately enough), making them much more resistant to failure.

The catch is, if you created your FileVault with an earlier version, it continues to use the old, more fragile format. The solution is to just turn FileVault off, then turn it on again (probably using the secure erase option). The new FileVault will use the new format.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: zarqman on Oct 08, '07 10:14:50AM

very interesting. unfortunately, it's still not enough. i corrupted a filevault image after one too many crashes on my macbook (all related to fast-user-switching and an external lcd it seems) just a couple of weeks ago.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: vocaro on Oct 08, '07 10:17:32AM

DiskWarrior 4 claims to be able to repair corrupted FileVault images.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: Peter Kappesser on Oct 08, '07 01:19:06PM

Interesting revelation about the improved sparseimage format -- does that apply to non-FileVault sparse images as well? I use several for things like financial info, etc. so I should convert them to the new format if so.

Re: the main topic -- my PowerBook G4 sometimes has this issue, but I don't use any Microsoft applications. Most often the only thing running is Safari, with a lot of tabs open (I load up with my daily assortment of web sites to read on my break at work without a net connection). Same solution, just close the lid, wait for the sleep light to pulse, and reopen it to try again. Maybe it's related to virtual memory swapping for apps that are using a lot of memory?



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: wastemytime on Oct 08, '07 08:33:22PM

AFAIK, this applies to all encrypted sparse disk images. If you have such an image you created before 10.4.7, you might want to create a new one and copy everything over.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: Bedhead on Oct 08, '07 08:26:33AM

I've actually had this happen a couple of times on my 2006 Core2Duo iMac... I solved the problem by putting the machine back to sleep by pressing and holding the menu button on the remote control.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: chabig on Oct 08, '07 08:27:26AM

I've had this problem for a long time, but never traced it to MS apps, which I usually have open. I'll have to pay attention to them and see if they seem to be causing my problem.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: bpbass on Oct 08, '07 09:37:29AM

We have also experienced lengthy delays in waking MacBook Pros from sleep - one fix (or improvement) is to look at your network preferences, list your network configurations - you need to arrange the network connection from top to bottom in the order of connection preference (ie. Ethernet, then Airport then vpn then ....) and turn off the unneeded network types. We found that if Bluetooth was at the top of the list, it took forever for a computer to check the Bluetooth network and timeout so that the OS looks to the next network interface for its login info. We have over 60 macs and are logging into an Active Directory domain. This fix helps dramatically with the waking issue.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 08, '07 10:06:20AM

This has been the routine of daily life with my MBP since I received it in July 2006. For a while, it stopped after I had run a command-line tip involving pmset, but some time in the past 6 mos. or so that stopped working, and I didn't bother to go find that hint again and type it in.

Maybe half the time, maybe slightly less, the MBP refuses to wake up unless I shut the lid again, wait more than 2 seconds, and open it again. It seems as though it doesn't properly go to sleep, but I'm not sure. I don't often carry it in my cushy Brenthaven backpack, but it seems that when I do, it comes awake in the backpack, burns down the battery, and is dead when I pull it out -- unless it talks [which it has done, during a meeting or conference, a few times]. I use voice alerts heavily, so an alert reminds me that the #&$! thing is awake and heating up in my backpack.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: zarqman on Oct 08, '07 10:18:53AM

don't know if it'll help you, but i found that disabling 'allow bluetooth devices to wake computer from sleep' stopped my laptop from waking up in my backpack.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: chargrill on Oct 08, '07 12:06:24PM

Just a quick note.

This happens to my macbook pro ALL THE TIME. Or at least, it did until I noticed that it would only have the problem if I shut the lid while a screensaver was showing. (And my screensaver is set to prompt for a password).

Solution: always stop the screensaver via unlocking it before shutting the lid.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: ethomson on Oct 08, '07 01:26:19PM

I often have the same problem, and this fix generally works for me.

I've noticed that it only seems to happen when I'm running any program via Rosetta (MS Office or the older Adobe Creative Suite.)



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: gsperling on Oct 08, '07 01:28:22PM

I've had this exact same issue on my 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. Sometimes, it doesn't even bring up the password box, it just stays asleep with the light on the lid switch/button dimming. I actually have had to hit the power button to wake it up.

While we're on the topic, I've also had an issue where after resuming from sleep, the wireless networking (Airport) refuses to properly associate with a network. Sure, it will say "Connected To 'NetworkName'" and will receive a DHCP address, but attempts (via terminal) to ping the default gateway or DNS addresses result in "Host Not Responding" responses.



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Try Option-Command-Escape first
Authored by: ManasTungare on Oct 08, '07 02:06:02PM

Pressing Option-Command-Escape works for me on most occasions that my PBG4 refuses to wake up. If that doesn't work, then yes, simply letting it snooze for an extra few seconds will make it wake up nicely.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: rodnovca on Oct 08, '07 02:06:34PM

I would say that my MacBook does this once or twice a week. Either it refuses to go to sleep or does not want to wake up. When it does not want to wake up, closing the lid, waiting for the sleep light and opening it again always fixes it. When it doesn't want to go to sleep, it also does not want to shutdown. I'll have to force it off by holding the power button. This has happened with my current MacBook (Core2Duo) and my previous MacBook (CoreDuo).



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: geordie on Oct 09, '07 09:01:44AM

I have sent my MBP back for repair several times because it stays asleep when it shouldn't and wakes up when it shouldn't. Although it is usually just a minor annoyance, I consider it a design defect so I figure I will keep bugging Applecare about it. Somewhere between 10-20% of the time I have to do the wake-up, sleep, wake-up routine to get it to come out of sleep and sometimes I have to do that 2 or 3 times in a row. I disabled wake on clamshell open long ago to deal with it waking up in my bag. At this point I've pretty much given up and conceded that I have lost one of the major advantages that Macs used to have. I usually just power it down at the end of the day now. In my previous half dozen Mac laptops I only did a full shut down once or twice a month.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: Mechcozmo on Oct 10, '07 01:47:43PM

I had this problem on my MBP, C2D.

It went away when I disabled "Ask for password when waking from sleep"

Now, I just keep the keychain menulet in my menu bar and enable the password-protected screen when I know I'll need it.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: se6git on Oct 16, '07 12:32:37PM

I have a MacBook that can be a bit hard to wake. I have avoided any such problems for the last few months by never shutting the lid if it has gone into sleep or screensaver. I only shut from fully awake.



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: docinbird on Apr 08, '08 11:55:22PM

I recently began to have this problem on my MBP, purchased 11/07 (I waited for Leopard). At first, the symptoms were more severe. Not only did the system fail to awake from sleep mode, but the familiar disk noise was not there - only the sound of a drive spinning up. Black screen, no beach ball, no anything. Once in awhile, if I closed the unit and waited, it would come back up, but very seldomly.

So, I began to do a few tests, since I was 45 days out of warranty and didn't purchase AppleCare. I used TinkerTool to clean up the system thoroughly. That had an impact. Now, I was getting the usual disk noise when trying to resume.

I had a specific date when the problem began, so I first checked to make sure there had been no software updates just before that. There were not. Then I began going through /users/my_name/library/preferences and moving any .plist files near or after that date and moving them to a backup directory. No joy. Then I discovered that the amount of time the system had been in sleep mode had an impact. For any amount of time up to ~40 minutes, it would resume properly. One time, at a longer time interval it displayed the cursor, displayed part of the login verification box, then went black again.

So then I created a new virgin user, that never used anything other than Finder. No joy.

There was always my daily Time Machine backups, right? Nope. If the problem was a lost or deleted file, that would be a big help, but I suspect that the problem is that I inadvertently had files that I needed to get rid of. On the day in question, I was checking out two shareware and two freeware installations that were highly recommended. One of them aborted. Aha! But I couldn't remember which one. Drat! No joy.,

Then I dug into the Unix logs. I was seeing kernel panics, but were they the cause, or a result of having to power off to regain an operational system. After reading something in one of David Pogue's books, that mentioned that the most common cause of kernel panics was hardware failure, and most probably memory failure, I downloaded Discovery and let it bang on my memory for awhile. No answers there.

There are only a dozen or so key apps that I use, so I began to track the registration / serial numbers, so I could re-install them if I was forced to re-install Leopard and then all of the software and firmware updates since then to get back to a solid 10.5.2. But this is not Vista that we're talking about, so that is a pretty drastic measure. Besides, I could only find the numbers for half of my main tools.

I couldn't help but wish that there was a keyboard sequence to "force awake". I know that the keyboard is at least partially awake, since the little green light for "num lock" lights up, or perhaps that is purely a hardware thing.

As always, if I shut down, instead of going into sleep mode, everything works fine.

It is still a work in progress, but if I discover the culprit, I'll post it here.

--doc



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: sachapp464 on Jul 30, '08 08:48:39PM

This is such an incredible annoyance for me. I used Macs years ago and then switched to Windows out of business necessity. Thought I'd go back to my roots and get a MBP for personal use. What a mistake. Little nuisances like this all the time. As soon as this machine is obsolete, I'm getting a non-Apple product. Aaargh!



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Wake up a MacBook that likes to sleep in
Authored by: Bigwoo on Jul 24, '10 09:41:59PM

Not sure if it's the same issue for you, but I was just able to resolve a long-standing wake-from-sleep issue that a friend was having with her MacBook. I found the solution here:

http://tancredi.co.uk/2007/12/9/solving-macbook-wake-from-sleep-issue

It turned out, in this case, that it was a missing com.apple.AutoWake.plist file. Once I followed the steps outlined on the site, the problem was solved and weeks later it's still working great.

Hope this helps.



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