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MacBook Pro: Blank screen on wake from sleep (#2), fixes

MacBook Pro: Blank screen on wake from sleep (#2), fixes

We continue to report on an issue where the MacBook Pro does not properly fall asleep -- remaining on but with a blank screen with the lid closed -- or the system displays a blank screen when awoken from sleep.

Several readers have corroborated the issue.

MacFixIt reader David writes:

"I encounter the same problem. My MacBook Pro consistently requires a half minute or so for the screen to light up after sleep. Clearly Dashboard apps are running as I can hear the Mail widget announce that I have e-mail. If I wait the screen eventually lights up and the log in dialog appears."

Anthony Dalesandro adds:

"I have the MacBook Pro Dual-2GHz with 1 GB RAM and I'm also having the problem waking from sleep. For me it seems limited to when I close the lid and re-open it to wake. Sometimes just tapping the spacebar and then waiting a bit will eventually cause it to wake. Other times I can raise and lower the volume and hear the beeps but the screen stays blank. Restart required to get the screen back on."

Demetrius Cunia writes:

"This morning I closed the lid on the MBP with the only applications running being Parallels WS Beta 6 (and the Guest OS still running) and Safari. When I went to open the lid about an hour later, I noticed that the sleep indicator was still on as expected. Upon opening the lid, the sleep indicator went off and I waited for the login to enter my password (I require authentication when waking from sleep.) All I got was a black screen. The cursor could be moved around the screen but the system was otherwise unresponsive. The MBP was also unexpectedly very warm to the touch, as if it had been running all that time. I ended up forcing the system to shut down by depressing the power button for a few seconds."


Put system back to sleep One of the most successful, if kludgy workarounds for this issue is to simply put the problematic MacBook Pro back to sleep -- either by closing the lid or by pressing the power button once then pressing the "S" key to invoke sleep -- then reawakening the machine. Wait for the sleep indicator light to start pulsing again before awakening.

Turn off Bluetooth before putting to sleep MacFixIt reader Scott reports that turning off Bluetooth (via the menubar or in the Bluetooth pane of System Preferences)

Scott writes:

"I had been experiencing this very problem and looking through the console logs i found numerous attempts for the machine to go into Safe sleep mode, but it looked like it kept waking up or not quite getting to a successful safe sleep mode.  i don't know what triggered the thought process, but i noticed that Bluetooth was enabled on the MacBook and nearby downstairs was my Logitech Bluetooth mouse (well within the 30-odd feet of BT range).  i disabled Bluetooth on the MacBook, turned the Bluetooth mouse off and haven't had a problem with my sleep/wake cycles for about 5 days now."

Do not connect/disconnect USB/FireWire devices during sleep If you frequently connect or disconnect USB/FireWire devices while the MacBook Pro is asleep, this may be the cause of the issue. Avoid doing so, and check for persistence of the issue.

One reader writes:

"I have experienced the blank screen on wake with my MacBook Pro (1.83 GHz, extra 1GB RAM from OWC) several times. In every case, I can trace it to one of two things: either I have connected some USB devices just prior to opening the lid; or I 'stutter' the lid as I open it.

"In the first case, if I place the sleeping MBP on my desk, plug in my USB devices (an external Belkin powered hub with Apple keyboard, Mighty Mouse and HP DeskJet 935C) before I open the lid, I almost always get the dark screen. (I can replicate this symptom almost at will.) Or if when I open the lid I let it slip and partially re-close, I frequently get the black screen when I open it."

Try turning up brightness In some cases, screen brightnesss is inexplicably turned down while the system is sleeping. Try simply increasing brightness to check whether or not the screen responds.

Hans Albinsson writes:

"My MacBook Pro seemed to be impossible to wake from sleep yesterday after the lid had been opened and then inadvertently shut again. (This happens quite frequently. It seems the hinges are stiffer than they were on my Powerbook.)

"Anyway, the screen was dark and nothing happened no matter what I did. Then I noticed a very faint Finder window in the display and indeed, adjusting screen brightness brought everything back to normal. I don't know what happened. I had certainly not dimmed the display."

Several fixes that readers confirmed as successful for this issue also appear in our Wake-from-sleep issues tutorial.


Previous coverage:

  • Wake-from-sleep issues tut...
  • MacBook Pro: Blank screen ...
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