My MacBook Pro (15-inch, Retina, Mid 2015, fresh install of latest Catalina) freezes randomly. It requires a hard shutdown (power button for > 5 secs) and then it takes a while to turn on. The MacBook had the logic board, display and lid replaced 18 months ago, has only internal graphics and the SSD is still original.
When it started
- At least 6-8 months ago
- Frequency seems to increase slowly but is still quite random
- Just had 2 weeks crash free right now followed by crashes every other day - Last summer it crashed once a week at most
When it freezes
- Randomly, but most of the cases within 2 minutes of waking up after sleeping overnight (sometimes after shorter sleeps)
- Sometimes freezes few minutes after restarting from a previous crash
- Most likely not related to the apps that are open or currently focused
- Also froze running or booting into Diagnostic mode
- Even if I'm not doing anything, just leaving it idle
- Display on (external display too, both HDMI and MDP), content of the screen visible, won't go to sleep or turn off by itself
- Trackpad, mouse and keyboard not responding (tried also bluetooth and usb)
- Playback shuts down or loops a short sequence (not sure now)
- Both on AC (multiple chargers) and on battery
Shutting down frozen state
- Power button >5 secs is always successful
Turning on after crash
- Usually not possible to turn back on immediately
- Combination of long power button presses takes usually succeeds after a while
- AC or battery no difference
- Sometimes it takes longer (or a few minutes break) before it turns on
- After the power button is pressed the fans start spinning slowly but the display is dead and the laptop does not boot
- To turn off the fans a >5secs power button press is required
- Repeating this process a few minutes leads to a successful startup
- I vaguely remember that once or twice a funny icon appeared instead of the Apple boot logo (most likely the first or second from https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204156), turning off for an hour and turning on fixed it
- Bluetooth sometimes reported as unavailable (strikethrough BT icon in menu bar), but didn't happen at all last few months
- BT headphones playback skips every few minutes (the headphones play well with my phone, but it still can be them, I do not have other BT headphones to verify)
Things I've tried
Disk Utility First Aid
- Shows no errors
- When I run it after a crash it may freeze too (although quite rarely) - with progress bar, on the language selection screen, anywhere really
- When the diagnostic mode successfully runs it shows no errors
- They seem to help fix the issue for a few days
- When the crashing/freezing starts again it is more likely to happen quite soon again
- Turning off File Vault didn't help. Currently on a APFS Case Sensitive filesystem.
Complete OS upgrade and reinstall
- Happens on both Mojave and Catalina
- A fresh installation with minimum apps (few work apps, nothing fancy) does not help
- They show nothing interesting, but I will try to look for events around BOOT_TIME for few more crashes if a pattern appears.
- I have turned on showing seconds on the menu bar clock to pinpoint exact time of the crash and then went through all logs available in console after a crash. There were no records for 10 seconds around the time the display froze.
Turning off Bluetooth
- No help. Crashed.
- A new OWC Aura SSD freezes too.
Things I'd like to try
- I'm eligible for a free battery exchange so that's an affordable next step
Turn of Wifi remove Wifi board
- Not sure if I can remove the wifi board and boot the OS though.
- Currently I have the wifi switched off and waiting for another crash.
Different logic board
- Not sure where I can easily borrow one for testing purposes though.
Any other suggestions or questions please?
Thanks a lot for any input! Much appreciated you made it this far.