I don't know if this is normal, but about 10 minutes ago my MacBook Air shut down. I plugged it in and pressed the power button and my screen looked odd for about 20-30 seconds. I decided to take a picture of it because it does this every time my battery dies and I plug it in, so here it is:

enter image description here

See how it looks? I don't know why it's doing this. Does anyone know what this is?

Edit (to @OldPro)

Here's a picture of how the screen normally looks:

enter image description here

  • It's hard to tell what's odd about the screen versus what is an artifact of how you took the picture. Can you post a picture of the screen looking normal and a brief description of what you see is the difference?
    – Old Pro
    Jun 2, 2012 at 2:13
  • @OldPro Sure, I'll edit my question in a minute with the picture. But, if you look at it, it is grayed out and there are little dots across the screen (looks like some type of progress bar or something but it's not moving.. it was just sitting there).
    – Nathan
    Jun 2, 2012 at 2:18
  • @OldPro - See my updated question.
    – Nathan
    Jun 2, 2012 at 2:34

2 Answers 2


Normally when you put the Mac book to sleep, it powers down the CPU but leaves power supplied to the memory and other internals so that when you wake it up it can start right away. When you run out of battery power, though, it has to write all of the memory to disk because it doesn't have enough power left to keep the data in memory. This is called "hibernating" or safe sleep.

When you wake up from hibernation, it takes some time (typically 20-30 seconds) to restore the data from disk to memory. I think that's what's going on in your case. Is the computer responsive when the screen looks odd like this? If not, then that's almost certainly what's going on.

  • No, the computer isn't responsive when it looks like that. I'm glad it's not a problem with my just computer :P Thanks for the answer!
    – Nathan
    Jun 2, 2012 at 2:36
  • @Nathan yeah the computer shouldn't be responsive. As already said the macbook is restoring from hibernation. It's restoring the content of the ram from the ssd. Hence the progress bar at the bottom. More Information at Apple KB
    – Chrisii
    Jun 2, 2012 at 10:20

This is the loading screen of you're MacBook recovering from safe sleep, after u carelessly allowed it to fall to 0% battery.

Safe sleep is a feature which is similar to hibernate in windows, it stores the RAM's contents to a file on your hard disk (called the sleep image) and allows you to restore it in the case that power is cut and RAM loses its contents.

Notice the progress bar near your dock? That indicates the progress of copying that sleep image back into RAM

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