1

my Mac Book Pro 17' was bought in 2012 Jan. so probably it's out of warranty already.

Now it start crashing occasionally. sometimes it just freezes, the screen has no response. sometimes the screen becomes white.

Then I'll hold the power button a few seconds so it shuts off. then press it again so it restarts. but sometimes it even freezes during restarting.

I suspect there's some hard disk issue. however a quick scan using "disk utilities -> verify" doesn't flag any error.

any suggestion?

the os is Mac OS X version 10.7.5. shall i update it? is there any other disk "deeper" scan tools?

  • try disk repair with fsck-f in terminal, or try to use the Apple Hardware Test first. If you have disk errors they would show as I/O errors in the Console report – Ruskes May 25 '14 at 19:00
1

When booting try holding down the four chord Command-Option-P-R and keep it held down through at least three reboot cycles, there will be a chime for each one; that often helps high-level hardware issues.

Next, boot and hold down the left Shift key as it comes up. This will bring up the system in Safe mode. Take note, this can be very slow, as the cache isn't used; this helps when something in your cache has been corrupted.

When using Disk Utility, make sure that you check both the disk (which does the structure and partitions) as well as the volumes under it (where the data is stored); do permissions as well. This should take a few minutes.

For diagnostic information, hold down Command-V (verbose), and a Unix-like log will scroll by. If it freezes, the last few lines should be useful in diagnosing.

Wanted to make sure that I understood you correctly, that you're seeing just a white screen at boot -- if so, the above should help glean some information. If you're going along and the screen turns white with a multi-lingual error message, that's the "white screen of death" and appears when there's a hardware problem. This can be an obnoxious USB device that isn't behaving, the wrong kind of memory was installed, failure on the motherboard, etc.

Most of the Mac problems I'm aware of have been when someone tries to save a few bucks in upgrading their memory. It's a complicated subject, but when RAM has to internally be refreshed on a clock cycle, it matters which part of the clock cycle that happens on. It appears that PCs and MACs do things slightly differently, and from what I've seen most marketing information the two products look identical. Carefully scrutinizing the hardware of the two products shows there is a difference.

I agree this sounds like a RAM issue. You might want to swap in some memory from a friend's machine and see if the problem goes away. Optionally, the recommended course of action is to use just the memory Apple supplied, see if this solves the problem, and if so, go to Crucial.com and use their tools to see exactly what's needed.

  • "For diagnostic information, hold down Command-V (verbose), and a Unix-like log will scroll by. If it freezes, the last few lines should be useful in diagnosing." does this mean during the restarting? – athos May 27 '14 at 22:51
  • "When using Disk Utility, make sure that you check both the disk (which does the structure and partitions) as well as the volumes under it (where the data is stored); do permissions as well. This should take a few minutes." I checed both the disk and the volume under it, then click "Veryfy Disk", it found no error. but what doe you mean by "do permissions as well"? There's a "Verify Disk Permissions" but it's disabled (gray). – athos May 27 '14 at 23:12
  • Now the MacBook totally cannot start up! After power off/on, it always goes to a blank white screen. 1. "When booting try holding down the four chord Command-Option-P-R and keep it held down through at least three reboot cycles, there will be a chime for each one" Yes there's always a chime, does this mean there are high-level hardware issues? 2. "boot and hold down the left Shift key as it comes up. This will bring up the system in Safe mode. " i can see it's different as there is a progress bar and moves slowly. but eventually it goes to the white blank screen. Any suggestions pls? – athos Jun 4 '14 at 1:27
  • When I've diagnosed some Mac-won't-boot problems in the past, it's been one of two things (your mileage may vary). 1) The image on the disk has become corrupted -- usually due to multiple unclean shutdowns. 2) A controller on the motherboard stopped functioning; in this case Apple replaces the part, see your local Apple store. – Walt Stoneburner Jun 17 '14 at 2:50
  • The Control-Option-P-R trick saved me. But to be more specific, it's a bit tricky: I followed the instruction on macworld.com/article/2881177/… : "Shut down your Mac, press the power button, and as soon as you hear the startup chime, hold down Command-Option-P-R. Keep holding down those keys until you hear a second startup chime. Then let go and allow your Mac to continue starting normally. Then check the Startup Disk, Display, and Date & Time panes of System Preferences to make sure they’re set the way you want them." – athos Feb 7 '15 at 11:03
0

This smells like a hardware issue, probably RAM not working properly. I would not expect that an OS upgrade helps, but what you might want to try is a freshly installed OS from your installation media on an external disk.

In older Macs, RAM modules could have been shaken loose - in an MBA they are soldered in place. If it really has to do with RAM, I am afraid this looks like a motherboard swap at an Apple certified repair shop.

I guess you will need to try out things and watch if the issue goes away (or gets worse).

  • thanks. any suggestion on hard disk scanning tool similar to the "scandisk" in windows? – athos May 24 '14 at 11:05
  • DiskUtility (in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder) is doing most of what you need. There are commercial tools, but they use the same APIs. Do you see slow file reads or write times? Has HD performance changed? Again, try to hook up an external disk and check if the issue disappears. My money is still on RAM. – Peter Kämpf May 24 '14 at 11:31
  • Update to Mavericks. It's free for god's sake. – Alexander May 27 '14 at 23:21
0

If you computer is still operational (sometimes) then open the Console in the Utility folder.

In there type I/O in the filter window, while in all messages (on the left).

That will tell you if you actually have disk problems.

  • If you do have them (the I/O's) you can use the fsck -f in the Terminal application.

That is Apple way of attempting to repair the disk.

  • If you do not have the I/O in the console report, try using Apple Hardware test. pres D during start up to check the rest of your hardware.

  • If Hardware test shows no problems, lets eliminate Software problems. To do that Start in Safe mode. Press Shift during start up.

Best would be if you could publish some 30 lines from the Console here (remember the time of the crash event), so we can take look.

We do not need the complete console report after your Mac has started again, only the part around the time stamp when it locked down.

  • I opened the Console, there's a "filter" textbox, so I typed "I/O", then there's nothing listed. Where is Apple Hardware Test? It's not in the Utilities nor Console. Is it some software I need to download? – athos May 27 '14 at 22:50
  • Well that is a good news :) since there are no I/O messages in the Console your disk is fine. – Ruskes May 27 '14 at 22:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .