EDIT 8/21/11: It appeared that this issue may have been fixed in Update 10.7.1, but it reoccured just recently.

Recently after upgrading to Lion, my MBP refuses to allow me to login. I can see the screen and move the pointer, but the password box refuses any entry, and after about ten seconds my pointer turns into the beachball completely freezing up my mac.

I was able to temporarily fix the issue by upgrading my system from 4 to 8 GB of RAM which I already had on order, but after a couple boots, it has returned to it's unusable state.

I have researched some other sites, including the Apple Forums, but I haven't found any great solutions. I'm wondering if anyone else has/had seen this issue, and knows of a good fix that I can utilize until Apple issues an update. (which I will have to install somehow after logging in)

I have a 15 in, 2.4 Ghz i5 MacBook Pro from Spring 2010. I dual boot with Windows 7 under bootcamp and I have a firmware password set. Both instances of the freeze have seemed to occur after coming back to the mac side from W7. I have regular time machine backups.

  • I've also experienced this issue. I've tried a pram reset and using disk utility to repair disk just incase. I also have a 2.4ghz mbp 15" 2010
    – user9817
    Aug 13, 2011 at 10:58
  • Yeah, I've noticed others with the issues on other forums. (That's where I found this solution).
    – Jamie
    Aug 14, 2011 at 4:09

2 Answers 2


Disable Automatic Graphics Switching

EDIT: In diagnosing the issue, you should update to the latest 10.7.2 update

After browsing the Apple Discussions Forums more thoroughly, it seems that disabling automatic graphics switching in the energy/power settings of system preferences seems to prevent the freeze.

This forces the MacBook Pro to use the discrete graphics chip which will consume more battery life, but you can manually switch to the other chip using the utility, GFXCardStatus (http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus) This should make the computer usable until Apple issues a fix in 10.7.1 or whatever is next.

Unfortunately, users may have trouble just logging into their system to change this setting. Typing in the password quickly (before the freeze starts) worked for me, but you may have to boot into safe mode instead (hold down shift on boot).

  • I have 10.7.2 and still experience this issue... was it supposed to be fixed in the 10.7.2 version?
    – Guy
    Dec 19, 2011 at 6:08
  • Yeah, the issue is not fixed for me. I've gotten by with leaving the automatic switching off. I'm curious about the hard-drive replacement option that @canistr mentioned, but I don't see how this could be instigated by an OS update/upgrade.
    – Jamie
    Dec 22, 2011 at 7:12
  • Did not work for me. It turned out that the cause of my issues was Sophos Anti-virus. Uninstalling it made the problem go away (while changing the graphics switching did not).
    – Guy
    Dec 22, 2011 at 7:50
  • I'm pretty sure at this point that this is actually a motherboard issue which simply didn't reveal itself under Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, Applecare is the only way you'd be able to get this fixed cheaply. :(
    – Jamie
    Jan 30, 2012 at 20:18

I had the same issue with my Macbook Pro that also dual-booted Windows 7 so I went to get it checked at the Apple Store. Turns out there were numerous corruptions of my hard drive. I was outside of my one-year warranty but they replaced my hard drive for free anyway.

  • That's strange. I don't really understand how the hard-drive could actually be the issue though. If it's a corruption on this disk, a reinstall should fix that.
    – Jamie
    Aug 27, 2011 at 15:25
  • By corruption, I'm fairly certain they mean damaged sectors. Sep 2, 2011 at 16:56

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