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MBP 15 inch 2018, 2.9 GHz i9, 32 GB, 2TB; 10.13.6

If I leave my system unattended for several hours, it will restart itself - as if someone selected applemenu>Restart...

Apple has been no help so far. AppleCare determined "can't troubleshoot remotely". Made appt with Genius Bar. They determined "Cannot be SW - must be HW". After some muttering behind the desk: "We've had a few reports of this behavior, but Engineering does not have misbehaving HW - please sell us back your system for FA, and order a new one". So I did. New system has the same problem.

All along, I had been trying to get them to parse the logs. They have so far refused. So I guess it is up to me. Problem: while I have experience in such in Linux, MacOS seems opaque to me. How do I get info on what I should be looking for?

Will Console search all logs, or only currently selected (seems the latter?)? What text should I be looking for -- in what log -- for the restart signal. "shutdown -r" hasn't turned up anything so far.

My assumption is that some running process is sending the restart signal. I want to find this event in the logs, and make a determination as to how I can prevent this errant process from doing so.

  • Welcome to Ask Different! Apple made substantial changes to the way that logging and Console work in Sierra. Howard Oakley has written quite a bit about it: see eg eclecticlight.co/2017/02/10/getting-more-out-of-sierras-logs and eclecticlight.co/tag/console. I don't understand it yet so can't help much, but hopefully those references are useful. Be aware that if it is a hardware problem, there may be no evidence at all in the logs. – Ashley Oct 2 '18 at 9:11
  • Thanks - I'll check those out. The 'HW' diagnosis is pretty evidently a red herring. What are the odds that two different machines ordered weeks apart would have the same issue? I'm assuming it is something in the chain of this machine's heritage. This machine started as a clone of my previous, which started as a clone of the one before that... – jbreher Oct 3 '18 at 21:47
  • A few more random thoughts: 1) If you need to keep the machine awake to prevent the issue, perhaps you could use some variation on the caffeinate command (assuming you can't control this in System Preferences > Energy Saver? I don't have a recent machine so can't check). 2) Have you told AppleCare that the new system has the same issue? – Ashley Oct 4 '18 at 23:27
  • 3) I can imagine some possibilities (although not very likely) where it is actually a hardware issue, triggered by something in your environment... eg that particular hardware design dealing poorly with a problem with your mains supply. Is the machine plugged in to the mains when it reboots? Do you have any devices plugged in to it? Good luck! – Ashley Oct 4 '18 at 23:27
  • I finally threw up my hands and installed Mojave. Problem went away. – jbreher Nov 1 '18 at 0:13

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