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  1. #1
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    iggibar's Avatar
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    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    Hello gang!

    Just curious, anyone know if there has been any development or permanent fix on this issue?

    I bought a 2013 MacBook Pro retina 13". It's all original, with original box and accessories. I got it crazy cheap because the seller had a problem with it freezing, which is a common problem that plagued some of the first gen retina MacBook Pro 13" & 15" models. I was vaguely familiar with the issue, and thought to myself that this was too cheap to pass up, and even if I don't fix it, I can use it with a monitor.

    For those that don't know of this issue, some 13" and 15" retina models develop an issue where the computer freezes up completely. This occurs during bootup or during normal use, and is also random.
    From general research done by computer nerds(amazing computer nerds), it was discovered that the cause of these freezes was linked to an incorrect use of CPU voltage. When the CPU voltage drops below normal operating parameters, the CPU hangs, and locks up the whole system.

    There have been a few temporary fixes for this, and most involve installing a program, or running script (Python script) that puts a certain amount of load on the CPU so that it always requires more voltage. Issue with this is that you are actually telling the CPU to work 100% of the time, and battery life is worse. This code also gets ruined every time there is an OS upgrade, or even just updates in some cases.

    Another temporary fix involves connecting an external monitor via HDMI, or cut the HDMI connection and use it as a dummy HDMI plug. Issue goes away, but you have an HDMI dongle sticking out.

    Has anyone suffered from this issue?
    Anyone come across a more permanent solution?
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  2. #2
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    That is a very odd issue indeed. I've owned a 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2019 MBP and have not seen this random locking issue. The CPU allows for a good amount of variation in the voltage and while it does have a good operating range, it's hard to imagine that the voltage would drop below the minimum unless there was a hardware issue with a capacitor or something.

    I suppose the HDMI connector is likely putting just enough load on CPU/GPU to keep it alive, that seems interesting enough and wouldn't affect the battery life. I suppose you could operate this MBP purely in clamshell mode to avoid the issue permanently.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    Audit13's Avatar
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    Jul 31, 2017
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    Toronto
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    Late 2013 13" MBP, 8 Gb, 256 SSD, early 2011 13" MBP, 8 GB, 256 SSD
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    I have a late 2013 13" and have never experienced this issue.
    Apple stuff: iPhone 6s, Air2 LTE, Late 2013 13" MBP, Early 2011 13" MBP, Late 2011 15" MBP, Mid-2013 13" MBA

  4. #4
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    jasongoldworthy's Avatar
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    I have a late 2012 MBP and never had this issue either so this don't sound as normal as it appears to be it may even be a hardware fault.
    Mac Pro 5,1
    128GB Ram
    Mac OSX 10.14.5
    512GB NVME 2TB x4

  5. #5
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    iggibar's Avatar
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    The problem is large enough that Apple has acknowledged this issue and put out software updates in an attempt to fix the problem. The i7 processors seem to be running perfectly fine after Apple rolled out the update. The i5? Not so much. There's over 1,000 pages worth of complaining, details, dissecting the steps to cause a freeze, and breakdown of the first gen retina MBPs through Apple's own community forum. Upon further investigation of this issue, I also discovered it further expands to the iMac and Mac Mini lineups that use the i5 processors. I didn't even try to count the thread pages from those systems. Those i5 processors are just straight garbage, and are not 100% compatible with OSX's power management! Running diagnostic tests also doesn't help because there's no method for detecting low voltage drops that could trigger a fault while the system is in diagnostic mode.

    Regardless, these are some of my favorite computers, so I purchased a used i7 2.8Ghz board with a warranty(a must just for peace of mind). Still came out ahead even with the board cost. I installed it, and now this little 13" flies!
    In the end, I'm happy with this purchase, and further knowledge I've gained!
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  6. #6
    MacBook Pro 13" Retina complete system lockup/freeze issue(common problem)
    IWT's Avatar
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    @iggibar

    A most illuminating and helpful research report - and a happy ending! Thank you for that.

    Ian
    Ian

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