Archive for the ‘Unibody’ Category

Serious Bluetooth Fail on the MacBook Pro

I’m baaaahaaaaack.

So I thought it would be a good idea to start using my Wireless Mighty Mouse and the nice little Wireless Keyboard again with my MacBook Pro while it is sitting on my desk connected to a nice 24″ Dell display.

Unfortunately it seems that Bluetooth is full of fail; so far my MacBook Pro has lost connection with these two devices at least once an hour. The only cure is to use the trackpad and manually turn bluetooth off and on again.

What I see in the system log file is this:

AppleFWOHCI_AsyncTransmit::waitForDMA - context not going inactive.
[closeConnection] Error: L2CAP channel psm:40 wasn't closed properly - forcing it closed.

There is an 8-page thread on the Apple discussion forum. It is full of complaints about exactly this issue.

Some people say Apple is aware of the problem and claim it is related to the periodic Time Machine backups. This could be the case as Time Machine also runs every hour, which would be consistent for my case.

I also read some claims that this issue has been fixed with 10.5.6. but we’re on 10.5.7 now for a while and a lot of folks still complain.

So far there is no fix or no workaround. Except the obvious one: don’t depend on Bluetooth.

I’m so disappointed with this seriously lame case of fail. There used to be a time when Macs worked flawlessly. That great time when we could point at a Windows machine and go ‘haha’. Not anymore; Macs have just as many weird annoyances and bugs as PCs.

Please Apple. Fix this extremely lame bug that somehow slipped through your low quality quality assurance department.


I’ve received some lame comments from people about my complaining. Some people seem to think that I should simply shut up and ignore the fact that the Black Screen of Death is making a brand new laptop completely unusable. What is up with that? You don’t want your expensive Mac to work perfectly fine?

Here are some other folks with the same issues.

On the idealog there is an article about a much bigger problem with the Leopard 10.5.6 update. Apparently it can completely break your MacBook Pro. In such a way where it does not even boot up correctly. Fortunately I don’t experience that issue, but the symptoms sound very much the same. One of the comments read:

Mine will power on enough that I hear the hard drive and fan spin, and the power LED comes on, but no display.

Sounds like what I am experiencing.

On the official Apple Discussion Forums there is also a lot of discussion about the wake problems.

From Macbook Pro won’t resume from sleep

This is one of the most problematic of the problems with the new MBP. About 90% of the time when I try to wake the computer from sleep, the machine just doesn’t respond. It might be related to bluetooth and/or connecting an external monitor. This machine is fast becoming unusable, since every time it goes to sleep and doesn’t wake up, I have to restart the machine by holding down the power button until it reboots, causing me to lose my work.

From Why does my macboook not want to wake up from sleep?

I just bought a brand new unibody macbook Pro from the apple store last monday. Sometimes if I shut the machine, it will do its sleep thing and when I open it back up and press a key it doesn’t respond. I even push the power button and it still won’t respond. The only thing that works is manually removing the battery and replacing it. I definitely should not have to do this.

From mbp dosn’t allways wake up when asked

My mbp doesn’t always wake up from its sleep, i rub the trackpad, click the buttons, and usually i have to hard re boot it. Is this normal, what can i do?

From Won’t wake from sleep… need to reboot

So when I lift the lid to my late ’08 MBP, randomly it doesn’t wake from the sleep mode, even after the latest firmware update. Anyone having the same issue?

For more sad stories just search for ‘wake’ in the MacBook Pro (Late 2008) category on the forums.


The black screen of death

Earlier today I worked a bit on my new Unibody MacBook Pro in the living room. Then I simply closed the lid and put it away. The power led was showing it’s happy heartbeat.

A few minutes ago I walked back to the home office with my Unibody MacBook Pro and opened it up. I hear the DVD drive making it’s regular bzzz bzz sound and then … Black Screen of Death. I can hear the fan spinning but everything else is dead. Cap-lock does not work. No pointer on the screen. The power led is off.

Closing the lid does not seem to do anything. Except for making the white power led turn on. Waiting does not do anything. It has crashed and there is no way to wake it up. This gorgeous but otherwise totally unusable Unibody MacBook Pro.

Only a hard reboot gives me back a usable Unibody MacBook Pro. I lose my complete workspace. Open applications and documents.

Never ever will I buy a first version of Apple hardware. It was very unfortunate that I had to this time. Bad timing. In the future I will wait for the next model when they iron out all the bugs.

If you are considering buying a new Unibody MacBook Pro. Don’t. It is FULL of bugs. Not just simple software issues. Complex hardware problems that cause overheating, sleep/wake problems and hard crashes. Just wait until the next revision is available.


The beep you don’t want to hear

My Unibody MacBook Pro was sitting idle in the home office when I suddenly heard that dreadful beep that you also get when you do a firmware upgrade. The totally non-Mac-like, more PC-sounding BEEEEEEEEEEP.

So it seems my Mac crashed or so. It was crazy hot and the screen dark. Fan running. Not responding to anything.

The only thing that it was running while being idle was the Arabesque screen saver on both the external and built-in monitor.

Does this mean that I have a failing Unibody MacBook Pro as described by the Inquirer recently?

Could it be that running this simple screen saver overheated the problematic NVidia GPU in the Unibody MacBook Pro and that it automatically shutdown?

This sure is lame version 1.0 hardware.

Nothing but sleep/wake problems with the new Unibody MacBook Pro

Unfortunately I have nothing but sleep and wake problems with my brand new Unibook MacBook Pro.

Before anyone asks: Yes, I did install the latest 1.6 firmware update.

The latest incident:

I just unplugged my MBP from my external screen and the power. I did not close the lid first. What I do is that I wait for the menu bar to move from the external screen to the MBP screen. Then I close the lid. I moved to another room and opened it. No problem and I worked on it for a bit. Then I closed it and made a coffee. Now I’m back and open the MBP and the screen stays dark. The white power led did turn off. There is no way to get the screen back on.

Only a reboot works. I lose my workspace and some open files. Lame. What is this? Some Wintel piece of crap?

For the record: I run no strange software on this Mac. This is my main development machine and I depend on it daily. So I do my best to keep it as standard as possible. It’s a default 10.5.5 install with the most non-standard thing on it being LaunchBar.

This is getting so annoying that I am now thinking about selling this Unibody MacBook Pro and getting the previous model. This is pretty much an unworkable situation for someone like me who moves around a lot.


Unibody MacBook Pro and Screen Flicker

I discovered something new and annoying recently: my external screen, attached to the new Unibody MBP, flickers sometimes. Not constantly though, its more like the whole screen does a super quick off/on every couple of minutes. Could this be a first sign of the video controller failing? Or maybe these are DisplayPort problems? Has anyone else seen this?