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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Mac screen goes black...


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Mat09

 
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2011 Macbook Pro Intel Core i7 2GHz. I'm running on 10.6. Last week I started having this problem. Randomly, the screen would go black and I had to reboot. But then I started having other problems; while rebooting it would get stuck at a grey or blue screen. I could reboot it in safe mode and had no problem at all, I could run normally under that mode.

I took it to the Genius bar, and the guy there told me there was no huge problems and that I only needed to Format and reinstall OSX. I did, it took a day before the screen went black again and now I have the same problems as last week. I can boot it and use it normally in Safe Mode but otherwise I can't really use it.

I've tried everything suggested on different forums: Reset PRAM/VRAM, reinstalling the OS, repairing permissions, repairing disk. I suspect it might be a problem with the graphic card maybe? But why would it work in safe mode? You help would be greatly appreciated.
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Welcome to Mac-Forums..

Are you sure it's OS X 10.6? If it's 2011 model, I would expect it to have Lion unless it's an earlier model..

Either way, if the system works in Safe Mode, that means that you have some application that is causing you grief. In Safe Mode, the number and types of applications that can run are restricted to almost only the native OS X ones to isolate problems..

Because things are OK in Safe Mode, you likely don't have a graphic card problem and re-installing OS X is definitely not an answer that the Apple "Genius" should have suggested..that' similar to telling someone to constantly reboot to fix a problem..

What sort of applications do you normally run? What applications start up automatically and run in the menu bar? How long after you start up does the black screen appear? Does it happen while you're using it or when it's idle?

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Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.
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Mat09

 
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Yes, I'm running 10.6. No app automatically starts up, but I use mostly iTunes, Chromes, Quicktime and the whole Adobe Creative Suit. The screen goes black randomly. Sometimes I can use the mac for 1 hour or 2, sometimes it takes 20 seconds, sometimes 5 minutes; it's never the same. There doesn't seem to be a regular pattern before the problem appears.
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pigoo3

 
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Since this is a MacBook Pro (notebook/laptop computer)...it could be the video cable. The video cable runs from the logic board thru the hinge area to the display...and it is possible for it to get pinched or frayed or worn...potentially causing this intermittent "black screen" issue.

This can especially happen when the laptops display is opened/closed...or the angle of the display is adjusted.

I realize that the "Apple Genius" said to just reinstall the OS...but maybe he didn't explore deeply enough. To do a complete visual inspection of the video cable some serious disassembly needs to be done...and even if the video cable looks fine...something could be wrong on the inside of the cable...which can only be determined by replacing with a new cable.

This is just a theory/possibility...the only way to know for sure is to swap cables.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Raz0rEdge

 
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If you are running 10.6, have you updated to the 10.6.8 release? If not, please do so and you will have the Mac App Store and you really should consider upgrading to Mountain Lion unless the Adobe Creative Suit you have is of a generation that doesn't work with the newer versions of OS X?

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Several things....

1. Did you purchase Apple Care for your MacBook Pro? If you did, take it on back and have them do a thorough check (as in Nick's advice).

2. No Apple Care: Attach an external monitor or TV to your MBP and observe if the same thing happens. Let us know.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
2. No Apple Care: Attach an external monitor or TV to your MBP and observe if the same thing happens. Let us know.
Good one! Always a great test for display hardware/display cable related issues!

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Mat09

 
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I do have an external monitor that is always plugged in. It did seem to make it worse when I plugged it in, making the MBP freeze or go black, but that was 3 or 4 days ago. Today everything seemed fine; the MBP ran all day and nothing happened.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat09 View Post
I do have an external monitor that is always plugged in. It did seem to make it worse when I plugged it in, making the MBP freeze or go black, but that was 3 or 4 days ago. Today everything seemed fine; the MBP ran all day and nothing happened.
As I mentioned above...it could be the video cable. That's the problem with a frayed or pinched cable...sometimes they work & sometimes they don't.

Time will tell.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Mat09

 
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Alright guys, I have a few updates on the issue. I went back to the Apple store and left them my MBP to run different tests and see what the problem is. They called me back, saying the ran different tests for 2 days straight and everything was fine except there was a bit of dust in the machine; they didn't think there was a problem other than that.

So I came home, turned it on and after 20 minutes the screen went black. Rebooted it, another 20 minutes and the screen went funky again. It's been 3-4 times now since i brought it back home. Not sure what to do at that point.

I've uploaded a video of what it did a few minutes ago. The 1st part shows when the screen gets ****ed up. In the second part, you can actually see the screen going weird. When it happens, the sound is still playing but I can't move the mouse of interact with the computer.

Video: Macbook Pro 2011, Screen Problem - YouTube
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat09 View Post
I went back to the Apple store and left them my MBP to run different tests and see what the problem is. They called me back, saying the ran different tests for 2 days straight and everything was fine except there was a bit of dust in the machine; they didn't think there was a problem other than that.
Yes...looking at the video...something is definitely not right.

Let's assume that the Apple folks did a good job testing the computer. With the sort of problems shown in the video...it would be pretty hard for the Apple folks to miss that after 2 days of tested (and you saw it after just 20 minutes at home).

I'm going to suggest two things:

1. It looks like you have some external items plugged into the computer. Unplug everything from the computer...and operate the computer in another room...just to isolate anything that might be environmental.

2. If idea #1 shows no improvement...try booting the computer from an external hard drive with nothing but a fresh install of the Mac OS on it. Then operate it for a while and see if the problem persists.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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bobtomay

 
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The first shot - the black box on the MBP screen in multiple languages telling you to restart the computer is a kernel panic. While this can be caused by hardware, it is most often software or 3rd party hardware (&/or it's drivers) attached to the machine.

As Nick suggests - Detach all 3rd party hardware
Run software updates until it reports your machine is up to date as Raz0r noted

You can open 'Console' and take a look at / post the crash log here.
If it is a specific app/hardware causing the problem, it will sometimes give us a clue what is crashing.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Mat09

 
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Here is the Console Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/2hY1WBh.png

You can see the last 3 crashes that occurred in a very short timeframe.
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Mat09

 
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Another one from the last minutes: http://i.imgur.com/0u2VnIw.png
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