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My MBP Pro has been crashing a lot recently. The display will go black, then the keyboard lights will turn off about 5 seconds later. Then it turns off completely. Then I'll have to hit the power button to boot it back up. This usually seems to happen when I use Chrome. But it has happened after opening other apps. I did a Malware search, found nothing, and I have plenty of disk space and RAM. I thought it was the version of Mac I was using, so I updated to Big Sur. Still having the same issue.

Nothing shows up in my crash reports in the console. But this is what I saw in the system log around the time of the crash:

Sep 18 07:22:08 HP-23500 syslogd[63]: ASL Sender Statistics
Sep 18 07:22:23 HP-23500 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.mdworker.shared.04000000-0300-0000-0000-000000000000[1052]): Service exited due to SIGKILL | sent by mds[92]
Sep 18 07:23:54 localhost bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1631967834 0
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.cdscheduler" claims selected messages.
    Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.install" claims selected messages.
    Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.authd" sharing output destination "/var/log/asl" with ASL Module "com.apple.asl".
    Output parameters from ASL Module "com.apple.asl" override any specified in ASL Module "com.apple.authd".
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.authd" sharing output destination "/var/log/system.log" with ASL Module "com.apple.asl".
    Output parameters from ASL Module "com.apple.asl" override any specified in ASL Module "com.apple.authd".
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.authd" claims selected messages.
    Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.eventmonitor" claims selected messages.
    Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.mail" claims selected messages.
    Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Sep 18 07:24:06 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
    ASL Module "com.apple.performance" claims selected messages.```

I don't know how to read log/crash reports, but I'm trying to learn. 
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  • It sounds like it might be an issue with a worn out/defective battery. Are you on just battery at the time? Does it happen when the Mac shows charged AND on AC power? Have you tried a battery health app like coconut battery? Sep 18, 2021 at 16:44
  • What do you see with pmset -g log | grep -i "shutdown cause"?
    – pion
    Sep 18, 2021 at 18:37
  • @pion when I use that command I get: 2021-09-20 17:01:34 -0500 ShutdownCause SMC shutdown cause: -128: 2021-09-21 08:44:37 -0500 ShutdownCause SMC shutdown cause: -128: But the computer will stay on all day, and then when I open Chrome it will shutdown. I just want to verify its a batter issue before I buy one. Sep 21, 2021 at 14:30
  • @SteveChambers It happens when full charged without charger or with charger. Sep 21, 2021 at 14:34

1 Answer 1

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A shutdown cause of -128 is a catch-all code that means that the SMC does not know the reason for the power loss. Given SMC's extensive heuristics for determining shutdown causes, this is basically a 100% certain indication of either a software or firmware bug or a hardware failure. (More often the latter.)

Diagnosing root cause will be impossible due to the specialized debugging tools and access to proprietary schematics and source code which you will need. Only Apple can do this.

The best you can do is continue gathering circumstantial data. Start paying close attention to the apps you are running, the tasks you are performing, the peripherals you have attached, and other environmental variables. In addition to following your own intuition, here are a couple of questions I would ask:

  • How old is your battery? (I.e., what model & year is your machine, presuming that you haven't done a battery replacement?) Old batteries can experience voltage sag under load and lead to -128 shutdowns due to the sudden loss of power.
  • You specifically mention using Chrome. Chrome is known to have many problems on Mac due to its nonstandard implementation of resource management, among other reaons, and has often been a contributing factor to a lot of problems. One possible involvement in your case may be to stress the GPU during page rendering if its hardware acceleration feature is enabled, which puts load on the battery and can cause the power loss I mentioned above. Try not using Chrome and switch to Safari for a while to see if the problem goes away.
  • Do you see new logs appearing in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports? Specifically, anything ending in .crash, .hang, or .panic.

UPDATE:

From comments:

Battery:
 Cycle Count: 1045
 Condition: Service Recommended

Based on your cycle count, the battery needs to be replaced. This will likely fix your issue (and also give you longer battery life as a bonus).

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  • Macbook Pro: 11,3: 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7<br/> Retina, 15-inch, Mid-2014 Memory: 1TB RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Number of Processors: 1 Total Number of Cores: 4 Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M Battery: Cycle Count: 1045 Condition: Service Recommended ( <--- I'm guessing this is my answer? I’ve never changed the battery Nothing in …/DiagnosticReports ending in .crash, .hang, or .panic. Is there a way to overclock my GPU and see if it crashes my Mac? I’ve been using Safari for 2 days without 0 crashes. Sep 21, 2021 at 16:20
  • @JackStewart Yeah, your battery needs replacing. The bonus beyond stability will be longer battery life :) There are many stress test tools freely available. One is benchmark.unigine.com/valley
    – pion
    Sep 21, 2021 at 16:26
  • Awesome, at least now I know. Thanks so much @pion! Sep 21, 2021 at 16:39

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