Macbook - forced restarts and bizarre freezes

Nov 4, 2011
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Hi all, I've been having an issue with my macbook for a couple months now. I will often receive the grey "you must restart" message. Furthermore, sometimes, my screen will suddenly distort strangely, pixels will become grey or many different colors, sometimes in lines, sometimes nearly the whole screen. In the latter case, I get no restart message, and the only thing I can do is hold down the power button then boot up again. This seems to happen a lot when I am watching videos or playing a full-screen game. In these cases the sound becomes 'frozen' stuttering on the last sound played.

The problem also will happen if the computer gets bumped or even moved slightly (not always, but it seems like the wrong movement will set it off). I'm not extremely knowledgeable about macbooks, but it seems like this points to some kind of hardware problem. Am I correct in thinking this?

I've run the disk utility, verifying the permissions and repairing the HD many times and it never turns up any problems. I've also reset the PRAM many times over the past couple months. What other obvious things can I do?

I really have no idea what's going on, in other forums people say forced shutdowns suggest a hard drive problem, but I'm not sure if that's the case for me. I can't find any info about the strange freezes that I experience. I'm American but am currently living in India, which does not have the best mac support, so I figured I'd submit here before I turn over my computer to someone.

Any help or info is EXTREMELY appreciated, I honestly can't express how frustrating this is. Thanks in advance everyone.


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Forced shutdowns or "kernel panics" and freezing do suggest a hardware problem. And yes, it could be a bad hard drive even though the drive checks OK from Disk Utility.

My understanding is that India does have pretty good support for the Mac and can do repairs locally. Of course I don't know where you're located in India whether you're in a large city or out in the country?

Also when you post a problem, give us details about your MacBook. Year, model, and which version of OS X it's running.

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