I have a Late 2008 MacBook Pro, that runs only on charger (wall power), because the battery died a long time ago. With battery it used to be able to hibernate to disk, but it seems like I can not get that feature to work now, because the battery level never gets low enough to trigger the hibernation to disk - there is no battery.

I want to be able to close the lid and for the system to get into safe state, where I can remove the charger and later restore my work from were I left off, when I plug it in again.

After reading How to add hibernate mode to MacBook Pro and it seems like my only option is to switch to hibernatemode 25. This is quite old model so it does not support standby and autopoweroff:

$ sudo pmset -g
System-wide power settings:
Currently in use:
 womp                 1
 Sleep On Power Button 1
 halfdim              1
 autorestart          0
 hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
 gpuswitch            2
 sms                  1
 networkoversleep     0
 disksleep            10
 sleep                0
 hibernatemode        3
 ttyskeepawake        1
 displaysleep         15
 acwake               0
 lidwake              1

Is there a combination of settings that maintains the system state in memory but also always hibernates to disk that works on this model?

  • 1
    What version of macOS are you running? As an aside, you can still buy a replacement battery for this model and, assuming all else is fine with it, that's what I would do.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 10:07
  • 1
    3 does exactly what you describe is happening - from the answer you quoted. "The system will wake from memory, unless a power loss forces it to restore from disk image." So a power loss will force a reboot. Have you tried setting to 25? I am unclear what you are asking. If you remove power in your case you are suffering a power loss so how do you expect data to be in memory?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 12:22
  • 1
    Have you tried deleting the existing sleepimage file (or setting a new one)? Just call it something else.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 14:28
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    In your question you state because the battery level never gets low enough to trigger the hibernation to disk, however, the act of hibernation actually requires power. One of the advantages of hibernation is that it uses less power than sleep mode does, but it does still require and use some power. So it's not that your battery level never gets low enough to trigger the hibernation to disk, it's that it's never high enough for that to happen in the first place before having to conserve power. In a nutshell, @Mark is totally correct.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 22:13
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    @Allan Yay! It must have been a corrupted sleep image. I’ve deleted it and now all works as it should.
    – Palimondo
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


It turns out that my sleep image was somehow corrupted and system couldn’t boot from it correctly. After I’ve deleted it, all started working fine again: closing the lid and waiting for the light indicator to start pulsing, disconnected charger, connected it again and system restored from disk just fine.

Previously, I was been able to work around this issue by using DeepSleep utility, that was recommended as alternative approach on How to Hibernate a Mac.

When I want to unplug my MacBook from power I use DeepSleep to hibernate to disk. The resume then works the same like I remember it from when I had a battery in my machine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I'm glad you found a workaround and have upvoted your question and answer as I'm sure the DeepSleep utility will help others as well. However, just wanted to state again that if it were me I'd buy a replacement battery. This particular model of MBP was one of the better ones, so if it's still working well, it'd be worth the investment. I've also added hybrid/fusion drives to this model and they function brilliantly. As a final aside, how well do you find that macOS Sierra works on it?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 22:23
  • 1
    Glad I could point you in the right direction. I agree with @Monomeeth that you should replace the battery. They are only $30-$40 on Amazon so it's a very inexpensive fix.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 13:45
  • How did you delete it? I couldn't using rm even with sudo. It just gave the error rm: /var/vm/sleepimage: Operation not permitted Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 2:11
  • @Monomeeth Sorry for the delayed response! I had the right network chip so everything in Sierra is working fine with the patch mentioned above.
    – Palimondo
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 5:27
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    @hippietrail You have to force it: sudo rm -f /var/vm/sleepimage
    – Palimondo
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 0:54

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