Sick and Tired of MacBook Pro Leopard Issues

This is a rant about a 2000 EURO laptop that does not work correctly.

I’ve been using Apple computers since 1980 and Apple laptops since ’97 or so when I had a PowerBook 150. I’ve had many iBook models, PowerBooks in all shapes and sizes and now I have the last model of the MacBook Pro 15″. The Late 2007 ‘Santa Rosa’ model.

In all these years I have never owned an Apple laptop that was so incredibly badly supported by Apple’s own operating system. The MacBook Pro in combination with Leopard is a true compatibility disappointment. It feels like a flakey Windows XP install on crappy hardware. Which is crazy since they are both made by the company that we love so much.

Let me explain the issues that I have.

Sleep/Wake Problems

I have constant sleep and wake problems with this MacBook Pro. I know that the MBP now uses full hibernate where it can take a LONG time before it goes to sleep. My problems are different though.

  • Sometimes it does not wake up when I open the lid.
  • Sometimes it wakes up but the screen stays dark.
  • Sometimes I close the lid and I can see that the backlight stays turned on. Forever.
  • Sometimes the backlight goes off when I close the lid and the I see the Apple logo flashing every couple of minutes.
  • Sometimes I hear the CD drive making it’s purr sound when the lid is closed.
  • Many times the ony way to get control back is to reboot. Sucks bigtime.

I’ve seen sleep/wake problems with all other models since the iBook but never so structural as with the MacBook Pro running Leopard. This is simply embarrassingly bad. It used to be one of those great features. Now I am afraid to open my MacBook because there is a good change I will have to reboot.

I’m not the only one. See the following threads on Apple’s MacBook Pro discussion forum. Just search for Sleep or Wake.

Keyboard Issues

I have described my keyboard problems in detail on this blog. Summarized the problems are: first keystroke has no effect after some period of idle time. Keyboard functionality disappears completely.

Apple put out a fix for this in the form of a software update. I think this proves that they simply fragged up support for their own hardware. Unfortunately the fix does not work for many people. Many folks on Apple’s discussion forum are reporting that they still have the above issues, even after installing the update.

See for example the following threads on Apple’s discussion forum: #1355165, #1356337 or #1129578

It’s INSANE that so many people are still having issues and that there is no proper fix.

‘Jumpy’ Mouse Issues

What I mean with Jumpy here is that you move the cursor for a little bit but instead it jumps all over the screen.

The problem is probably related to the wireless connection since I have heard from a lot of people that the mouse is jumpy when the MacBook Pro is looking for a wireless network to connect to. When it is connected to a wireless network of decided that no network can be found then the jumpy mouse problem goes away.

That by itself is already a big problem since your MacBook Pro is basically unusable during that time. And it can sometimes take a really long time before it find a usable network, so all that time you are basically waiting behind a non-working computer. But even more annoying, for many people the mouse stays jumpy even after succesfully connecting to the wireless network.

It actually just happened to me: I was at the Copenhagen airport to fly home and when I opened my MacBook Pro the mouse got all jumpy and stayed that way. Now back at home in Amsterdam I have to reboot and close 8 terminal windows with work and editors with documents open to get rid of this problem. Extremely Lame

This is clearly a Leopard software problem since I never had this issue with 10.4 on this same MacBook Pro.

See the following threads on Apple’s discussion forum: #1206438 , #5889720 , #5881774 , #6126097 , #6137148

I’m not alone. Just check Apple’s own MBP forum or the forums on any Apple fan site. Leopard has been out for months, this hardware for much longer. I can only think of one reason why the MBP has so many issues with Leopard: they never did proper testing and quality assurance since everybody in Cupertino was too busy building new products.

Prices go up, quality goes down. These are really bad signs.

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19 comments so far

  1. Adam Ierymenko on

    I read the forums on this issue, and found two things.

    One was iStat pro, which I removed. iStat pro seems to have an update available that claims to fix this issue, but I don’t find it all that useful so I just decided to can it completely. It also uses a lot of RAM.

    Another was this:

    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macbookmacbookprosoftwareupdate11.html

    I installed it. The wake problem seems better now. I’m not sure whether it was that update, removing iStat, or both. I’ve never had the keyboard issue, but this update claims to fix that as well.

    Now why wasn’t that update sent out via software update automatically? Lame.

    I do agree that Leopard has been a weak release from a stability point of view. I too had problems with Spaces like you describe elsewhere on your blog. I ended up ditching that, not only because of the problems but because I found that with Expose I didn’t really need it. Kind of an unnecessary piece of cruft if you ask me.

  2. Franz on

    Hi,
    Found your post when looking for help deciding wether it’s time to upgrade or not.
    I have observed many of your problems under 10.4.11.
    I also had my previous macbook pro replaced after among other issues – a faulty catch on the lid which didn’t let the macbook know the lid was closed (or open correctly and thus sleep and wake problems – just a thought, this may be one of your issues.
    I suspect actually that the latest firmware upgrade apple did a short while ago screwed quite a few things up and that it may not even be 10.5 to blame.

  3. […] Fixes that terrible issue when searching for WiFi networks. […]

  4. […] Mouse Issue Posted February 16, 2008 One of the noticeable fixes in 10.5.2 is that the Jumpy Mouse Problem that I wrote previously about is finally […]

  5. Mark on

    I have exactly the same problems as you. Infact my computer was behaving fine for a little while and not since the 10.5.2 update it’s behaving worse then ever.

  6. dvh on

    Mark, that’s my experience exactly bad for a while then better now worse than before…

  7. Travis on

    Try removing iStat…

  8. Scott on

    I agree with the above. Keyboard working fine before 1.5.2. Now after the update I’m dealing with sporadic keyboard lock up and mouse pointer disappearing. Nice job Apple.

    Why did I disable Time Machine again?

  9. goDog on

    I’m having the sleep/wake problem since the first day I got my MBP, I’ve tried everything, nothing seems to help, sometimes it just won’t wake, it makes the cdrom sound, everything seems to be waking, but the screen stays black. I’m Really disaapointed, I was sick of Windows problems, and now, I don’t know what to do to fix this on my Mac. Guess I’ll have to wait for another mayor update (10.5.2 didn’t fix it) and hope this is not a hardware problem.

  10. Wario on

    I read your page with interest as I’m having the same problems. I sent off a massive rent to Apple (thru the Feedback page) and I hope they take notice. BTW – removing iStat or changing the hibernation mode makes zilch difference. Apple – get off your arse and do something about this!

  11. willieturnip on

    Yeah im having the sleep/wake and cursor problems too, quite often.
    Right pain in the arse, really needs sorting, especially considering I upgraded a few months ago from a 1.83 macbook running tiger and it was the most stable machine I’ve ever come across. Cant recall a crash in over a year, not one.

  12. MarkK on

    I an having the exact same issue. I am a long time Windows user and have been enjoying the Mac OS but, candidly this is the stuff I thought I was leaving behind.

    One more Microsoft service pack and Vista can start up a series of commercials with two guys standing next to each emulating the personailty of an OS and Vista can start throwing notebook bombs. :-)

    I am looking forward to a quick resolution. In the mean time, I still have my Dell so, I can get some work done.

    Thanks for all your notes,

    Mark K

  13. Bobby L on

    I just bought a new MacBook Pro early 2008 model.
    The first 4 weeks or so, no problems. Then all of a sudden safari and iTunes started freezing. I tried to find a resolution on the apple site. Nothing. So I took it back to the place where I bought it. They said I had some corrupt permissions, which I knew it was more involved.
    Still having the same issues. Then I decided to call Apple Care. I was on the phone with them for about 30 minutes. The tech guy told me to reinstall to OS and install the updates, So after several more hours of backing up my data I reinstalled the OS and I did an erase and install.
    After all that I copied back over my data. and did not do any updates. I wanted to rule out an update issue first. Actuall started working fine again for about 2 days. I was listing to music on iTues when the whole computer locked up. And I heard a high pitch noise coming from the hard drive area. It would not respond to any input. I turned it off with the power buttin. Now It will not even boot up. It is in a Loop. It goes to a blue screen and then jumps back to a grey screen with a tumble wheel at the bottom. Does anyone have any ideas Please.

    I have been an Apple fan for 5 years and have never had any problems since this.

  14. polevec on

    I’m having the same problems on my macbook pro.

    plus: 6-7 minute booting time with 10.5.2 update. it wasnt like this while using 10.5 ver.

  15. Alex on

    You remember when Apple computers were really high quality? I feel as if I could drop my Power Macintosh 7500/100 down a flight of stairs and it would still work fine.

    I was thinking of ditching Windows and going back to the Macintosh platform (Haven’t bought a new Apple since the iMac), but listening to these quality issues really does scare me away.

  16. Jason on

    I had these same problems with my MBP! I HATE IT! The only time that it really bugs me though is when I have to reboot to get the thing to come on. Also, if I have a project open, and I have to restart. That’s the worst! I’m trying the update.. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t send that to us automatically? Fix your crap APPLE

  17. la joseph on

    OH HOW DEPRESSING !!!!!!!!! HAVE GONE THROUGH 2 MACBOOKS AND NOW A MBP IS ON ITS WAY TO REPLACE LAST ONE !!!!!! READING ALL THIS SCARES ME !!!! MORE TROUBLE COMING ? LOOKS LIKE IT !!!!!! I SHUDDER TO WONDER WHAT IS NEXT !??????? WAVY SCREEN, TOUCHPAD, KEYBOARD PROBLEMS, NOW WHAT? SOME OF THE ABOVE???????
    OH HORORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lame on

    IF YOUR NOT HAPPY GO MAKE A COMPUTER YOU’LL BE HAPPY WITH. GET A LIFE AND GET OVER IT

  19. Jan on

    My late 2007 mb pro worked flawlessly until May 2009. Since the hardly any working wakeup->”multi color wheel of death” after hibernation. This started exactly after an EFI firmware update recommended by Apple. Also mysterious
    crashes, black screens…
    Initially a more stable system/ software package was my motivation to switch from PC, but frankly I have doubts my old XP on my old laptop would have let me down as much as my stylish (and expensive) MBP has so far.
    And as one can see in various forums with newer models more dark clouds on the horizon…


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