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I'm having an intermittent problem in which my Macbook Pro has been working fine for several days and many sleep/wake cycles but then it has a problem waking up from sleep. The disk spins up and the computer seems to be running, but the screen backlight doesn't light up and the computer is unresponsive.

I've tried closing it for a while and opening it again; pressing option-cmd-esc; pressing the start button one or more times; pressing other keys randomly. None of these resolves the problem. The only response I get is that sometimes pressing keys gives the "ping" error sound that the Mac produces when you hit an inappropriate key when a dialog box is open.

My rough guess is that this has been happening about once a week or so, but I haven't been keeping close enough track to figure out if I've been doing something similar just before each time this problem occurs.

Holding the start button down turns the computer off and then I can restart and the computer works fine again. But I sometimes lose the unsaved portion of my work and reopening all the files I was working with can be time consuming. All in all, it would be nice to find a better solution than a forced restart.

Does anyone have any ideas about what might be causing this? Is there a way to recover without having to do a forced shut-down and restart?

My computer is an Early 2011 Macbook Pro Core i5, 8GB RAM running Snow Leopard.

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Is there anything interesting in the logs or Have you installed any kernel extensions? Have you tried resetting the SMC or NVRAM and PRAM? – user495470 Sep 23 '12 at 15:05
Try sleeping the computer from the Apple menu instead of shutting the lid. If the display turns on consistently when you wake it that way, then most likely the cable connecting the display is loose. – daGUY Jan 31 '13 at 17:36

i have the exact same problem, i think the only solution is a reinstall.

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This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. – M K Nov 6 '13 at 3:40
Reinstalling is a solution. This is, technically, an answer. – Daniel Nov 6 '13 at 4:45

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