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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

MacBook Pro - Freeze w/ black screen & mouse pointer

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I hope this is the appropriate forum ...

I've had a recurring problem with my macbook freezing. After leaving it idle for a while, I'll return to find it locked up with a black screen. The mouse pointer still works and can be moved around the screen, but that's it. None of the keyboard force quit or reboot combinations seem to work, and I have to do a hard shutdown.

I've seen where other people have had problems with their MBP freezing when they try to wake it from sleep, but this seems different with the mouse pointer being visible and all. I've searched the web and couldn't find any resources relating to this exact problem. Has anyone else experience this? Any ideas? Should I get a replacement?
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Member Since: Mar 19, 2009
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I have the same problem this morning. Black Screen with only the mouse pointer visible. Alt tab seems to work but the screen remains black some expose works but it is hard to click on the tiny buttons, let alone read them and once you do click expose closes and the screen goes back to black. Had to hold down the power button but I am not impressed.
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Doug Roberts

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About five days ago, I began having this problem as well on my 2008 15" MacBook Pro running 10.5.8. The curser remains visible, but otherwise the screen is blank. Today, it happened while I was in a GoToMeeting session. My friend continued to see my screen, but I could not. Closing the lid fails to put the computer to sleep. Only a hard reboot by holding down the power button solves the problem, with video coming back immediately upon reboot. What is going on and how do I fix this? Thank you.
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cbeck posted in 2006...I hope he solved his problem.
I've had the same issue lately. It happened (and keeps on happening) whenever I'm downloading streaming vidz with firefox and browsing in the same time.
Keyboard action is ineffective. I usualy lower the screen and wait for the illuminated apple logo in the back to switch off. When it is, I raise the screen and it lights up again.
But it doesn't always work. Sometimes, I have to restart the MBP using the master pushbutton.

No fora seem to deal with the issue... are we the only one, the only cursed ones that problem occured to ?
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Mac Specs: iMac Core i5(3.6 GHz) 8 GB RAM, MBP C2Duo(2.4 GHz) 4 GB RAM, MB C2Duo(2.4 GHz) 2 GB RAM

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It seems I just started getting this problem as well. I have a late 2008 unibody MBP running 10.6.1. If I leave my laptop running for a while the screen goes black and it freezes up. Nothing helps but a hard reboot. Closing the lid in this state does not make it go to sleep. I think this may have started when I first hooked my laptop up to an external monitor, but that may just be coincidence. If anyone has a solution, please share it! Thanks!

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I have this problem too with 17" 2009 MBP (unibody). This time I stepped away for lunch and came back to black screen with pointer only. Interestingly, it will go to sleep if I'm patient, but I haven't been able to get the screen to come back when I reopen the case (the computer sounds like it's going through all the other motions of coming out of sleep mode). I was wondering if it had anything to do with running a virtual machine (I had Parallels running); I don't think it has ever happened when I don't have the virtual machine going. It makes me wonder if the PC "has" the mouse and the Mac hasn't received the signal to switch it back (sometimes the mouse seems trapped by the virtual machine and there are keystrokes to release it). Thoughts?
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