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  1. #1
    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    Hi All!

    My MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.11 wakes itself every few minutes when the lid is closed. Then it goes back to sleep until the next 'auto wake' happens. It's easy to tell if it wakes because the internal DVD drive makes a sound.

    I tried to figure this out and suspected the external USB to which I send Time Machine backups. But, if it is disconnected, the waking happens. I also made sure no apps are running when I sleep it and that in Energy Preferences 'Wake for network activity" is un-checked. I even disabled my automatic offsite backup and Time Machine. The thing still wakes itself. No one is bumping the device, so the lid switch isn't getting clobbered.

    This would not be a problem, but if I open the cover after it wakes itself and starts sleeping- but before it is all the way asleep and the light snoozes- the keyboard does not work. i must re-boot the computer. It takes quite a long time (perhaps 2 minutes) for the sleep light to snooze after closing the lid or the wake-sleep automatic thing wishes to sleep again. (Sleep image being created, I think)

    The Sys Log shows Wake reason: RTC (Alarm) dozens of times each day. That is the only Wake Reason shown in the log.
    What does RTC (Alarm) mean? Internet searching gave a bunch of differing answers. Perhaps knowing what it means can help me find the culprit.

    Thanks For Helping & Enjoy Today!
    Paul
    Last edited by PGB1; 11-18-2019 at 10:50 AM. Reason: I didn't have to edit this post, but I am so used to editing my poor grammar, it would not be right to leave this blank

  2. #2
    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    RTC is Real Time Clock and is the chip that is used to keep time on the system. One of the ways to allow the machine to wake up is put an alarm in place on the RTC. The RTC is a very low power device that continues to "operate" when your system has gone to sleep. At the schedule time, the RTC will send a signal (not going into the details) which will wake up the OS to do what it wants/need to do.

    Apple introduced the App Nap functionality in one of the versions of macOS, not sure if it was available on Snow Leopard, that would routinely wake up the machine from sleep to do app updates or grab new email or whatever. The theory behind that feature was that whenever you did come to use the machine, the latest information would be readily available without requiring a big sync on first wake up.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    PGB1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2008
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    2007 Mac Book Pro 2.2 Ghz 4 GB RAM SSD OSX 10.11 & 2006 MBP Stuck At 10.6.8
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    Thank You Ashwin for taking the time to post this very helpful information. It'll help me track down the culprit.
    When I searched on line for the RTC, I got every thing but Real Time Clock. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I wonder if the OS is periodically looking for Time Machine, even though I disable it before sleep. Or, perhaps, even disabled Time Machine still checks in once in a while.
    The other thought is Calendar or Reminders applications. Maybe one of them periodically checks to see if they are supposed to send me an alert notification. (I do have events in both, but not on every day. The sleep-wake-sleep happens daily & mostly all day. It is, however, a rather new behavior during the last few months.)

    I use 10.11.6 (El Capitan) and my wife uses 10.6.x Snow Leopard, Hers doesn't do this behavior, but she does not use Calendar or Reminders. Nor does she use Time Machine. This may lend a clue.

    I would not mind the wake-sleep-wake thing except that if I open the lid when it is not fully sleeping, I have to hard reboot the computer & log in because the keyboard freezes. I'll have to get in the habit of looking at the little light to see if it is snoozing all the way. (Full sleep takes about 2 minutes. I think it's because the system is writing a sleep image file. - Just guessing.)

    Thanks Again Ashwin for teaching good information which will help to track down the culprit. I sure appreciate your help.
    Enjoy This Day!
    Paul

  4. #4
    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    One thing you should try is the following, boot into Safe Mode (hold down shift when powering up). Once the machine is fully booted up, close the lid. I assume you know at what frequency the machine wakes up based on the DVD drive sound, with that knowledge let the computer "sleep" for twice that duration to see if you hear anything. Then, open the lid and see if you can use the Mac without issues. If you don't hear the Mac waking up or it is fully operational when you open the lid, there is some application that you have installed/running that is causing you issues.

    From there, it's a laborious task of isolating it app by app to find the culprit.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  5. #5
    Decode Wake Reason In Sys Log (Computer keeps waking up by itself)
    PGB1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2008
    Location
    Detroit
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    Your Mac's Specs
    2007 Mac Book Pro 2.2 Ghz 4 GB RAM SSD OSX 10.11 & 2006 MBP Stuck At 10.6.8
    Rep Power
    12
    Thank You Ashwin for that helpful procedure.
    I tried it and found that the sleep-wake problem did not occur for an hour. (The sleep-wake isn't methodical, but happens at maximum 5 minutes, so I gave it a long dwell time.)
    Opening the Mac's lid I found that it worked fine. So, it must be software. (I tested & ruled out the lid switch.)

    Re-boot to normal, the problem happened again.
    I'll start the app-by-app method you suggested as soon as I can hold still for an hour or so.

    First, I'll log out of the administrator account & into a second one on the computer to find if it happens there. This should help me decide if it is from a system wide application or
    a user-specific one. (One that only starts in one account.)

    Next, I'll disable everything, one at a time, in Library - Launch Agents & Library - Launch Daemons (in the root & the user name)
    There are a bunch of Launch Daemons.

    My prime suspects are:
    Something in the router or modem checking in with the mothership through the computer. (Although I think the modem skips the computer when checking in).
    This one is the easiest one to test, so I'll do it first.

    The offsite backup program has an open process that I don't recognize in System Monitor.
    If necessary, I'll uninstall it & test.

    Microsoft Office is checking for updates.

    iTunes is checking for something or other. (That app used to open itself often every day. i can't remember how I stopped it & filed to write it down.)

    Time Machine checking things, even after I turn it off.

    Or, perhaps it is from another app checking for updates. (Maybe the Launch Daemons disabling will identify which one for me.)

    So, this may take a while, but will be well worth the effort.

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