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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook Laptop Macs
I have a 13" MacBook that I love more than my dog. So far I've had absolutely no problems with it, save for one.

When I'm at home, I operate it with its lid closed and connected to an external Dell monitor. This situation works great until I have to take my laptop into the office. I've found that if I put the laptop to sleep with the external monitor connected, and then wake the laptop later without the external monitor, I receive a friendly Kernel Panic a few seconds after opening the lid.

The solution to avoiding this situation, for me at least, is to open the lid before putting the laptop to sleep, disconnect the monitor, wait for the laptop to recognize that it needs to switch to the internal display, then shut the lid and head off to wherever it is that I'm going.

This kludge helps out a lot in avoiding the problem of spending 10 minutes telling someone how awesome Mac OS X is compared to (insert your operating system here), only to open the lid and watch in horror as your computer crashes.

[robg adds: I don't have a MacBook here to test this with, but my MacBook Pro doesn't exhibit the same problem.]
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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: geoffliang on Jan 22, '09 07:56:38AM

I have a MB Rev A and MBP Unibody that kicks up a fuss when I use them with external displays.

It's not as bad as kernel panics, but my MB has issues with waking once in a while. My MBP will refuse to wake, start heating up like a beach, and shut itself off due to the heat it generated. If I notice it heating up I'll force shut down of course. Cranky thing. This happens every other day.

I'm having second thoughts about putting my Macs to sleep. This is saddening. And pathetic.






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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: lekun on Jan 22, '09 08:24:42AM

As someone who has primarily used Apple laptops with lid closed operation for the past 8 years or so, I've seen it all.

There is no doubt that 10.5.6 does not handle waking from sleep as well as it should. Especially if you've put your MacBook to sleep while connected to an external display, disconnected all ports and then awakened your computer.

One fix, though, is a System reinstall (archive and install). Unfortunately, sometimes a system file gets corrupted when you sleep your computer. I believe this happens when you put your system to sleep, and it is writing the RAM contents to the disk (safe sleep) and you remove a USB device (say the keyboard you have plugged in). If you don't wait your computer to fully sleep, you can damage a system file (no, I don't know which one). This causes your computer to come out of sleep, but the system still thinks there is a monitor connected, and thus your screen is blank/off.

I know the computer is awake because I can press key combinations to evoke sleep and shutdown, but there is nothing I can do to make the screen come to life. I also have NOT painstakingly troubleshooted to determine which file is being corrupted or if the USB / Safe Sleep mode is truly to blame. I've always solved the issue with an Archive and Install (which always works) and haven't done the appropriate testing to isolate the cause. USB/Safe Sleep is just my hunch and seems to be the problem.

Kernel panics, however, are some other issue, and my guess is that your computer has a small hardware glitch, because I rarely (read: never) see Macs <em>consistently</em> kernel panic without their being a hardware cause.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: Ilo on Jan 22, '09 10:38:32AM

I have also been switching back and forth between an external monitor in clamshell mode and the internal monitor this several times a day for years (iBook, PowerBook, MacBook Pro, but never a MacBook). I occasionally see the internal screen fail to turn on, but never a kernal panic. I have never had to reinstall the OS, at most I just have to restart somehow to fix the dark screen problem. I've only seen a kernal panic on waking once, and that was when I was accidentally dislodging a USB device and reconnecting it while the OS was in the middle of using it. My most common problem is that the OS frequently forgets to rearrange all the desktop icons to fit in the screen, meaning some are "hidden" off the edge of the desktop, with no way to scroll to them. All I have to do to fix it is change the screen resolution to something else and then change it back. That forces a refresh of the desktop icon positions.

I do agree, though, that the first step for troubleshooting this is to reinstall. Even better, see if you can duplicate the problem when booted from a clean factory stock OS image (or just the installer DVD) If so, then you have a hardware problem.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: KellanC on Jan 22, '09 11:45:10AM

I used to experience kernal panics on my MacBook, including the sleep problems noted in this hint. I eventually discovered they were all caused by one of two things:

1. Weatherbug
2. Logitech Control Center

Since removing both of these items, I have no problems waking from sleep.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: ghay on Jan 22, '09 02:04:01PM

To use the dog analogy, isn't lid closed use like leaving a dog in a parked car without the windows open?

I always thought lid closed was a no-no, maybe official policy has changed.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: bradford653 on Jan 22, '09 03:43:14PM
Documented How-To by Apple:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3131

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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: ghay on Jan 23, '09 02:59:07AM

Fine, but if I loved something more than my dog I wouldn't subject otto torture!



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: leamanc on Jan 22, '09 11:31:07PM

IIRC, it has long been an Apple-supported feature, except for on the white iBook G3s, where they advised not to do it because of heat issues.



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did you report this bug?
Authored by: lowbatteries on Jan 22, '09 02:04:10PM

Please, please report this to Apple. If you have a reproducible kernel panic, take your machine to the genius bar or file a bug report with apple at bugreport.apple.com



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: slustbader on Jan 22, '09 03:27:32PM

This is a hint? Isn't this kinda like going to the doctor complaining that "it hurts when I do this" and the doctor replies, "Then don't do that"?



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: bradford653 on Jan 22, '09 03:47:36PM

A modern partitioned operating system shouldn't explode in such cases, especially since following the Apple instructions for switching back to main display (going to sleep and then disconnecting) is what's causing the problem. We're not talking about a Windows laptop here, this stuff 'should just work'.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: taxi on Jan 22, '09 04:32:02PM

Why not run with both internal and external displays. The extra screen real-estate is lucks- loox- loukx- ... nice.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: jdb8167 on Jan 22, '09 05:46:58PM

I had frequent kernel panics and freezes on wake when I first bought the new unibody MacBook. But they stopped with Apple's release of a firmware update. Make sure you have the latest MacBook Firmware. Go to System Profiler, option-apple:

Boot ROM Version: MB51.0073.B06
SMC Version: 1.32f8

This is for a 2.4 GHz MacBook. I don't know if the versions are different for the 2.0 GHz version.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: zpjet on Jan 23, '09 02:29:19AM

yes, yes, yes. first hint for kernel panics: do firmware updates. and avoid non-essential kernel extensions.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: HieronymusN on Jan 23, '09 06:58:08AM

I have a MacBook Pro that I have used with a Dell 20" LCD (DVI connection) every day for the past year. I've never had any problems with Kernel panics on switching from the external monitor to the built in monitor.

HOWEVER

I did recently (monday) succumb to the nVidia graphics card recall that necessitated my entire logic board be replaced. This is the second time my logic board has been replaced in this MBP in the year that I have owned it. If you are getting Kernel panics that regularly you should seriously consider having a chat with AppleCare about your video card and/or logic board.



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Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: bnagaraj on Jan 27, '09 10:37:54AM

I'm not quite sure what kernal panic is, but more often than not my macbook pro will not wake up and just dings at me with every keystroke when sleeping. It happens mostly when I take it home to do work and then come back to work where I have an external monitor. I can put it to screensaver using hot corners, shimmy my mouse to wake it up, and then nothing happens. Sometimes it works - sometimes I have to hold the power button down for a while to restart. This happens 3-5 times a day. I can't ever duplicate it for IT to see, so they don't believe me! Sometimes the screen saver doesn't even come on when away beyond the cutoff time I set (15 minutes). It's so frustrating. I have no weatherbug or logic center loaded on my computer....



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RE: Avoid Kernel Panics upon waking MacBook
Authored by: CooJordan123 on Feb 16, '09 05:23:00AM

I have the same problem, except i was using a USB Camera! But I've found that recently when i close the lid of my MacBook, when i open it again the screen is just blank, no backlight on or anything, its as if it has woke up but isn't displaying it properly!
Thanks! I guess that any hardware changes that take place while a MacBook is asleep, it's likely to result in a Kernel Panic!

This kludge helps out a lot in avoiding the problem of spending 10 minutes telling someone how awesome Mac OS X is compared to . Mac OS X . , only to open the lid and watch in horror as your computer crashes.



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