Reader Feedback Request: My Macbook Pro is crashing HELP!

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Ok, so here’s what’s happening.

I had just finished writing a Lifespy post, when a black transparent screen started to come down over my desktop (like a curtain) that continued to go to the bottom, then a message came up that said “You need to restart your Mac” and it told me to hold down the power button to restart it.

I did.

Then it did it again.

I noticed the bottom of the Macbook Pro was pretty warm, so I waited until it cooled off (a few minutes) then turned it on again.

It did it again.

Now I have it sitting resting for a while, and I’m typing this on my Mac Mini.

So what the heck is going on? Am I screwed? When I googled Macbook Pro crashes I got mostly stuff about crashing out of sleep mode…which this wasn’t…so does anyone have any ideas?

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

16 thoughts on “Reader Feedback Request: My Macbook Pro is crashing HELP!

  1. Ahoy,

    What you described was a Kernel Panic and could be either a Software and Hardware problem. My guess is hardware but re installing OS X via an archive and install wouldn’t hurt. It could be the machine is not well ventilated or it’s heat issues and the machine needs to shut down due to being so hot. If it is under warranty take it in.

  2. The exact same thing happened to me with my PowerBook about 2 years ago. The problem was with the logic board — it was replaced and all was fine.

    Kernel panics are very rarely due to software, hardware is the main cause and I’m guessing in your case that your logic board is the problem.

    Looks like your Mac needs to visit the Apple store 🙁

  3. Bad RAM. I had this problem the whole first month I owned my MBP. After lots of research — in between frequent crashes — I kept coming back to this as the problem. Took it to the local Apple Store twice (of course, I couldn’t replicate the problem the first time) … on the second trip, they swapped the RAM and I haven’t had the problem since.

    Unfortunately, this was several months ago and I no longer have the log files, etc., to confirm that you have the same problem, but if it’s happening frequently, I bet that’s your problem. Turns out there was a batch of MBPs coming off the line last year with bad RAM.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Here’s what I ended up doing and how it’s worked so far…

    After letting it cool some more, I tried to start it up again, and it worked. So I ran the disk utility and it said that it needed minor repair.

    I grabbed the install disk, rebooted, performed the repair, and it said that the repair was fixed.

    Hopefully that’s it…but I have read the RAM thing several places online, and I had Mac Mall install a RAM upgrade on this thing when I got it…so I’m hoping this doesn’t happen again

  5. First, try the Apple documents before trying Google. Second, don’t you write about Macs in a blog, and yet you’ve never seen a crash or knew to reboot with Disk Utility? 🙂

  6. @Blair –

    First – no I’ve never had a Mac crash on me before tonight.

    Second – I knew to run the disk utility…but when the system doesn’t allow you to access anything because it keeps crashing then you can’t really run it, now can you?

    Once the system kept from crashing long enough to run the disk utility I ran it.

    When I have a problem I tend to ask the community here if they have any incite as to what the problem is. They are remarkably helpful.

  7. This could be either hardware or software, one way to check would be to boot your macbook in Target disk mode (hold down T while booting). A Firewire logo should appear on your screen. This takes most of the Macbook’s hardware out of the equation, it is basically an external Hard drive

    Now use a firewire cable to connect your macbook to your Mac Mini. boot your Mac mini while holding down the option key. after a short wait you should see a screen allowing you to choose an OS to boot from. choose your macbook’s OS.

    If it boots into the Macbook OS using the Mac mini as Hardware you can pretty much suppose it is a hardware issue with your Macbook.

    While you have it setup like this you may want to reboot into your Mac Mini’s OS and and do some backup of important files before you bring your computer into the shop.

    I’ve done this many times to narrow down what the issue is with a Mac. It’s very important to do a back up of your Data before bringing it into a shop, because you can’t hold them responsible for lost data.

  8. What you have decribed is a Kernal Panic, a problem mostly associated with hardware issues; namely RAM problems, or a faulty logic board.

    I recommend phoning Apple and they should refer you to your local service center.

    Unlucky dude.

  9. That was happening to my iMac a few months back, I just unplugged the power from the back of the Mac for a few min, put it back and it worked fine. Try poppin out your battery for a bit and then put it back in.

  10. @ “Bill Gates”

    Har-har Bill. One system crash in the entire time I’ve been using Macs ain’t switching me back to the dark side just yet


  11. Use Carbon Copy Cloner and back up your drive to an external Firewire or USB drive. If it ever happens again boot from the external drive. Or simply get another external drive. Install OS X onto it. Keep it handy if you ever need to boot from it.

  12. Very interesting. I am going into technical problems to. The other day i forget my MBP in the car due the night. i it get 12c minus. My battery was broken the next day. i get new battery and up great the ram from 500 mb to 2 G. Everything happened between tow weeks.
    yesterday i notices that there is no sound on my MBP. Looked up system preferences/sound, there was No input output devices found. even the start tone dose not play any more. And i noticed when my mac is a bit worm, and i restart it. the display wont start. i need to let it cool down for 5 min or so to start again.
    I decided to take it easy and DO NOT panic. And post my problem here.

  13. when you guys got your macs and started using it. did the fan seem to be loudl? coz mine seem to be a bit loud when it reaches 1800. and its not doing anything yet. haven’t heard whirl like that before unless its doing lots of stuff. but when its just on standby….i dont know. or maybe its just new? thanks

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