Specs: 15" MBP mid-2012. Upgraded to Gskill 16GB RAM. Mountain Lion 10.8.2 installed in 128GB Plextor M5 Pro SSD in the optibay.

Problem: My MBP doesn't hibernate anymore. Whether when battery runs out (0%) or when I manually force it to hibernate.

I prefer to hibernate instead of "normal sleep" because I want all my work preserved but have the MBP to power off immediately to conserve battery. I don't mind having to wait for it to resume and I don't mind about the write cycles. I also need hibernate so I can resume when my battery runs out.

Things that I have tried:

  1. Run sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 25 and pmset sleepnow. This will turn off the MBP's display with the sleep indicator turned on for ~15 seconds. After this, the indicator light will then turn off. But, after ~30 seconds the light will turn back on and start blinking/pulsing as if the MBP went to "normal sleep" mode. When I hit a key, the login screen will appear immediately without showing the gray screen with the progress bar at the bottom like in a typical resume from hibernation.

  2. Run sudo pmset -a standbydelay 10 then put MBP to sleep. Mac will sleep (pulsing indicator light) and then after 10 seconds the light will turn off. After ~30 seconds, pulsing light will come back again instead of staying powered off and hibernated.

  3. Manually force hibernate using apps like "SmartSleep", "DeepSleep", etc. Still encountered issue.

  4. No USB device plugged in, turned off bluetooth, turned off "Wake for network access", unmounted HDD in main bay. Still encountered issue.

  5. Deleted /var/vm/sleepimage and let computer generate a new one. Used "Restore Defaults" in Energy Saver. Repaired permissions is Disk Utility. Still encountered issue.

  6. Tried putting /var/vm/sleepimage on the other HDD and tried hibernate and resume. The gray screen with progress bar at the bottom appeared but MBP crashed/turned off and went straight to a normal boot.

  7. I waited for the battery to drain to 0% and for the MBP to turn off itself. When I connected the adapter and turn the MBP on, it will boot as if it was from a full shutdown. It lost my previous work/machine state.

  8. I cloned my SSD to the normal HDD installed in the the main bay using Carbon Copy Cloner and booted from it. Then I forced the MBP to hibernate and it successfully hibernated. The gray screen with a progress bar at the bottom appeared and resumed to my previous desktop.

That means I know for a fact that when I boot my OS X installation from a normal HDD, hibernate is working. I'm running out of things to try. Final straw might be to transfer the SSD to main bay and put the normal HD in the optibay, or to reinstall Mountain Lion (both options I don't want to do).

Anyone else also experiencing this and/or knows how to fix this? Or is hibernate really broken for MBP with SSD? Has anyone with MBPs with SSD tried hibernating and resuming successfully? Can someone else please try and confirm if this is isolated? MBAs and rMBPs are not counted because they have different hardware.


3 Answers 3


I've the same problem using late 2008 Macbook Pro running 10.8.3 and have decided to keep the HDD in the shock mounted area due to superior protection.

I've got a Sandisk SSD installed in the optibay and the original HD in the main bay. Deep sleep worked fine with just the hard disk installed. Now that I've cloned it and boot from the SSD instead, the Macbook refuses to go into deep sleep. Instead it sits there in normal sleep mode with the white light on the front of the machine flashing.

I tried moving the sleep image to the HD but got the same crash that you experienced. Mind you, the man page for pmset does state that it has to be on the root drive!

I'm reluctant to swap the disks round because the main bay offers better shock protection for hard disks with the rubber mounts. Looks like I'm stuck with the problem unless Apple fix things.

As it stands, you need to choose either sleep compatibility or shock protection when connecting a SSD and HDD to a MacBook Pro.

  • 1
    This has some good additional information, but it's not really answering the question. I hope you don't mind - I'm going to insert some opinion so that this is at least a reasoned opinion in stead of a "me too" comment.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 15:09


I decided to reinstall Mountain Lion to see if the problem will occur on a fresh system and it is still there. So I took out my SSD and installed it in the main drive bay and hibernate finally worked! Hopefully the Sudden Motion Sensor for the HDD that I installed in the optibay will still work.

Conclusion, MBP using 10.8.2 will not hibernate if SSD start up disk is installed in the optibay. If someone else can also confirm this it would be great. Thanks.


"Conclusion, MBP using 10.8.2 will not hibernate if SSD start up disk is installed in the optibay. If someone else can also confirm this it would be great. Thanks."

I confirm this! I know many years have gone by, but after a week trying to solve this exact issue, your post was the key! (And the ONLY correct answer I found in the web)

The "symptoms" were exactly the same you describe, but in my case it was a MacBook Pro mid-2012 with Catalina. I even rolled down to High Sierra, and nothing changed: MacBook just didn't hibernate, did not turn off automatically after autopoweroff minutes in pmset, nor turned off if scheduled. The consequence of this, a very important battery drain overnight (around 5% per hour) that I just wasn't able to solve applying any pmset setting combination / SMC reset / PRAM reset / macOS clean installation / previous macOS versions. I also spent several hours trying to determine if any startup process prevented deep sleep / hibernation... nothing seemed to work, so I almost gave up and attributed this to a hardware malfunction.

But... the culprit was a start up SSD disk installed in a case replacing the superdrive, that is to say, installed in the optic bay.

I simply changed the disks places, with the start up SSD connected to the native disk bay, and the issue was solved!

Thank you SO much!

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