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I'm new to daily Mac use, but I think I have my settings correct. My laptop is kept plugged in at work - never runs on battery. In my Energy Saver system prefs, I have Computer Sleep and Display Sleep set to Never on both Power Adapter and Battery, all options (hard disk sleep, wake for network access, reduce brightness, start up after power failure) are unchecked. There is nothing set up in the Schedule area to turn on or off at specific times.

At least twice a week, though, when I go to lunch (which is never at the same time) if I'm gone for more than an hour or so, when I come back the computer has restarted itself. Not gone to sleep, or shut down, but completely restarted.

Is there a system log somewhere I could look at that would show me what was happening at the times the computer restarted? Or is there some other setting I'm missing that's making this happen? Although I try to remember to save all my work before I leave just in case, every so often I forget, and I'm getting sick of losing work (or even just losing system state and having to restart all my programs, reopen all my files, etc.)

UPDATE

I don't know if anyone is still following this; I'll post as a new question if I don't hear back in a few days. It's been restarting fairly regularly the past few weeks; I just haven't had time to check the console and figure things out. Today I know to within a 20-minute period when the restart happened, so I'm posting the console messages from that period.

6/3/11 1:11:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x33864e0 of class OC_PythonString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:11:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x2740d20 of class __NSCFDate autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:11:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27f3180 of class NSCFString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:11:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27fabd0 of class NSCFString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:11:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27f35e0 of class NSCFData autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:26:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x33864e0 of class OC_PythonString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:26:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x3fd1b00 of class __NSCFDate autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:26:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27f7d40 of class NSCFString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:26:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27f86f0 of class NSCFString autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:26:33 PM   Xmarks for Safari[217]  *** __NSAutoreleaseNoPool(): Object 0x27e2d00 of class NSCFData autoreleased with no pool in place - just leaking
6/3/11 1:41:30 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:30 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Wrote signal to shutdown pipe.
6/3/11 1:41:30 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Wrote signal to shutdown pipe.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Wrote signal to shutdown pipe.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:31 PM   [0x0-0x36036].com.google.Chrome[370]    Handling SIGTERM in renderer.
6/3/11 1:41:33 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  ([0x0-0xd00d].com.apple.Stickies[211]) Exited: Killed
6/3/11 1:41:33 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  ([0x0-0x98098].com.panic.TransmitMenu[1654]) Exited: Killed
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  (com.apple.AirPortBaseStationAgent[198]) Exited: Killed
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] DEAD_PROCESS: 38 console
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  ([0x0-0xde0de].com.apple.ScreenSaver.Engine[3503]) Exited: Terminated
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   KernelEventAgent[39]    tid 00000000 received event(s) VQ_DEAD (32)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   Fri Jun  3 13:41:34 Web-Devs-MacBook-Pro.local loginwindow[38] <Error>: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.577 loginwindow[38:107] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   loginwindow[38] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.578 loginwindow[38:107] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.578 loginwindow[38:107] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.578 loginwindow[38:107] _NXSetCursorRect: error getting window bounds (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.578 loginwindow[38:107] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.loginwindow[38]   2011-06-03 13:41:34.578 loginwindow[38:107] PScurrentwindowbounds: CGSGetWindowBounds returned error (1002)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  Background: Bug: launchd_core_logic.c:2489 (24498):0
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  Background: job_mig_intran() was confused by PID 0 UID 0 EUID 0 Mach Port 0x7703: kernel_task
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.launchd.peruser.501[180]  Bug: launchd_runtime.c:935 (24003):0: j != NULL
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   KernelEventAgent[39]    tid 00000000 received event(s) VQ_DEAD (32)
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.SecurityServer[24]    Session 0x340f25 dead
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.SecurityServer[24]    Killing auth hosts
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   com.apple.SecurityServer[24]    Session 0x340f25 destroyed
6/3/11 1:41:34 PM   /System/Library/CoreServices/loginwindow.app/Contents/MacOS/loginwindow[3883]   Login Window Application Started
6/3/11 1:41:35 PM   kernel  AFP_VFS afpfs_unmount: /Volumes/estherstrom_bak, flags 0, pid 3878
6/3/11 1:41:36 PM   com.apple.SecurityServer[24]    Session 0x316606 created
6/3/11 1:41:36 PM   com.apple.SecurityServer[24]    Session 0x316606 attributes 0x30
6/3/11 1:41:37 PM   loginwindow[3883]   Login Window Started Security Agent
6/3/11 1:41:38 PM   WindowServer[3885]  kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
6/3/11 1:41:38 PM   com.apple.WindowServer[3885]    Fri Jun  3 13:41:38 Web-Devs-MacBook-Pro.local WindowServer[3885] <Error>: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
6/3/11 1:41:38 PM   SecurityAgent[3891] Showing Login Window
6/3/11 1:42:04 PM   com.apple.usbmuxd[31]   stopping.
6/3/11 1:42:04 PM   com.apple.usbmuxd[3904] usbmuxd-211 built on Jan 13 2011 at 04:20:21 on Jan 13 2011 at 04:20:21, running 64 bit
6/3/11 1:52:13 PM   SecurityAgent[3891] User info context values set for webdev
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What does your console show? Go to "Utilities" in your Dock, then "Console", and then "All Messages" or "Console Messages" in the left-hand tree. (If you don't see a tree, click "Show Log List" in the upper-left corner.) Look for error messages around the time your system reboots and see if anything rings a bell or post it here and see if anyone can answer it. Spontaneous reboots can be from any number of reasons ranging from a recent software install to faulty hardware or simply just overheating. –  Kerri Shotts May 27 '11 at 4:43
1  
Thanks; I'll take a look there the next time it does this; right now there's a huge amount of data and I can't remember the exact time it happened the other day. –  EmmyS May 27 '11 at 13:57
    
@EmmyS is it getting really hot? –  Harv Jun 3 '11 at 19:27
1  
@Harv, it does get really hot, but it seems kind of strange that it would be pretty much the exact same time every time, and only if it's untouched for more than 60 minutes. It's never restarted while I'm actually working, only when it's idle. –  EmmyS Jun 3 '11 at 19:55
1  
@Harv, no, not so hot that I can't even touch it. And it's on one of those riser things to keep air flowing under it. –  EmmyS Jun 6 '11 at 13:52
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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I got an answer from someone at the Apple forums... it was the Log Out After... setting in the System Prefs -> Security -> General.

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If this has fixed the issue, please mark it as the answer :) –  Tom Aug 4 '11 at 16:08
    
Sorry, done. I always feel funny about accepting my own answers! –  EmmyS Aug 4 '11 at 21:29
    
Yay, thanks for this, I was pulling my hairs on this issue.. –  Gui13 Dec 31 '13 at 8:20
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You can try to find a clue in the system log.

sudo less /var/log/system.log
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Thanks; I tried that but it only shows activity from at 15-minute period on May 18; scrolling/enter do not show any further screens. –  EmmyS May 26 '11 at 21:34
    
this should be a comment, not an answer –  user6124 May 27 '11 at 2:55
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There is an EFI Firmware update that supposedly resolves this issue on some Macbook models. Click the Apple logo on the top left of your screen and scroll down to Software Update. If there is a firmware update for your Macbook, it will appear here. Download the update and follow the instructions - this should resolve the problem.

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If the Mac is under Applecare, I would call them and give them a chance to fix it.

If it's not under Applecare, bring it to the Apple store. You can book a Genius appointment at the Apple web site and they'll help you out. It may be related to the "running hot" issue and they may have an advisory out to resolve your issue.

I've had great success in dealing with the Genius people at the store and there's no downside to giving them a shot at it.

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1  
Thanks. It's a company computer, so I'm guessing there's some kind of support contract. I'll check with my boss. –  EmmyS Jun 6 '11 at 13:51
    
Getting professional troubleshooting is the best option. Three are some articles at the support site on isolating software issues, but it's faster to get a guide through them. –  bmike Aug 3 '11 at 23:46
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Sorry to say, whenever any Mac laptop has done this—and they have, or used to, when I owned Powerbook G4's … it meant impending logic board (motherboard) failure.

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1  
Thanks for your answer, Zo219! Can you back up your statement with a source? It will help to add credibility to your answer. –  daviesgeek Jul 21 '12 at 5:33
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