I recently upgraded my Macbook Pro late 2010 to Mountain Lion (from Snow Leopard). Now it has this problem where it will sometimes sleep and not wake up. However, I hear that the computer is still on, since the fan is spinning, and so is the hard drive.

This happens intermittently, and I can't seem to isolate conditions of when it sleeps and wakes up, versus sleeps and doesn't. The battery is fine in all scenarios. Sometimes this happens when the MBP is plugged in.

The one constant thing I notice is when I close the lid, the front light will remain lit (but when it sleeps, the light will flash slowly). Then when I lift the lid, this light will go out.

The only way to get it to snap out of this "fake sleep" is to hold the power button until it shuts off, then start the computer again.

What's going on, and how do I fix it?

EDIT: This describes what I'm going through. Also this question, which has no answer.

1 Answer 1


I had a similar problem with my late 2012 MacBook Pro. It wouldn't wake after a long sleep: black screen but system running (I could access it via SSH).

Before trying any solution, I recommend you to reset the SMC and check if the problem persists. Also run pmset -g in Terminal (it won't change or break anything) and take note of your current settings.

I solved this problem disabling hibernation, which was introduced by Apple with a firmware upgrade. I did this by running this command in Terminal:

sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0

To reset the original setting:

sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 1

The autopoweroff option is undocumented by Apple (doesn't appear in man pmset); it seems to be related with the "Deep Sleep" mode.

  • Output of pmset -g: Currently in use: hibernatemode 3 halfdim 1 acwake 0 lidwake 1 womp 1 sleep 10 disksleep 10 sms 1 hibernatefile /var/vm/sleepimage ttyskeepawake 1 displaysleep 10 Commented May 12, 2013 at 14:16

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