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At work I run my MacBook Pro 15" Retina (with Mac OS X 10.8.3 Snow Leopard) lid-closed with two Thunderbolt displays.

If I disconnect the power and displays, walk to a conference room, and re-open the lid, everything works as expected.

If I disconnect the power and displays, drive home, and re-open the lid after about an hour, the Mac crashes. The screen and keyboard light up but are unresponsive. The only way out is a long-press of the power key.

Any ideas how to diagnose or solve this?

UPDATE 1 (per Bravado's question): There aren't any useful logs in /Library/Logs or ~/Library/Logs, but the syslog (via Console.app) contains a single interesting line amidst everything else which looks normal:

kernel[0]: DarkWake thermal limits breached. Going to sleep!

UPDATE 2: I remembered that a long time ago I had run sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 in an attempt to disable deep sleep which results in lengthy resumes. I've set it back to the default using sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3... let's see if that helps...

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2 Answers

Did you look in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ if there are new entries that date from the crash? Or look at the syslog (Utilities, Log-Viewer) if anything shows there prior to the hang?

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Good suggestions, thanks! Updating question... –  a paid nerd May 24 '13 at 14:40
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As described in my update, I ran sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3 to reset the sleep mode and I've had only two of those crashes in the last six months.

FWIW, running two Thunderbolt displays on a lid-closed MacBook is hell. Now that I only use one Thunderbolt display, things are generally much more reliable.

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