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10.6: One possible cause of 'random sleep' in Snow Leopard Desktop Macs
Shortly after Apple issued 10.6.1, my 2009 iMac (2.93 GHz) began to randomly sleep, sometimes quite often, sometimes with hour-long intervals in between. The kernel began logging localhost kernel [0]: Previous Sleep Cause: - 101 after each incident.

None of the three Apple sources I contacted would precisely identity this error code. There was no reference to it that I could find on the internet. The standard reply I got was that errors logged with a negative sign are abnormal, which has been documented, and that although Apple's engineers were aware of it, the exact meaning was closed-source. I was told, however, that this indicated a "partial kernel-panic."

In each case I told them I had no idea what they were or weren't allowed to say, and I didn't care -- I was just trying to fix the problem. I tried every possible method of booting Snow Leopard in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes, but couldn't solve the problem. Oddly, I wasn't able to reproduce the same random sleep with a re-install of 10.5.8.

Still under warranty until May of 2010, Apple made the repair by replacing the Main Logic Board of the iMac. It was part number 661-5133, the total repair cost would have been $1100, and it took the Apple Store in University Village just under one week. So if you're experiencing odd random sleep under 10.6 but not 10.5, it seems you may have a defective logic board, and it's probably worth a service call.
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10.6: One possible cause of 'random sleep' in Snow Leopard
Authored by: cvwarren on Oct 20, '09 12:25:58PM

Failed (or failing) hardware is often the cause of "-" (negative) previous sleep or shutdown errors...and often the people you might talk to at Apple don't have a definitive list of the errors. But particularly if you have sleep or power issues, and have a negative error code in the console log, look to get the machine serviced before you spend lots of time troubleshooting lots of software.

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