MacBook Random Shutdown

6 04 2007

So I got myself a new MacBook (yeah!)… well, not really new, but it still looks and feels new. My dad was able to get a new laptop from his office, so I asked for his MacBook as my graduation gift. I actually prefer this to a brand new model because now it has all the accessories like the dirt-protectors for the keyboard, and the spheres that you place under the laptop to help circulate heat.

But I noticed one extremely irritating bug though: random shutdowns – the laptop actually turns off at random times. For instance, while I was checking my mail (GMail), it just turned off. Or while I was laughing while checking out my friend’s comic blog, it just turned off. Or while I was tinkering with the desktop background and screensaver – with my WiFi turned off (thinking this was the cause of the problem), it just turned off. EVEN while I was watching TV, doing absolutely nothing on the laptop, it just turned itself off. So I’m thinking, what the hell right? What gives?

I made a quick search on google, “MacBook Random Shutdown“, and what I got was a couple of hundred thousand results, almost talking about the same problem! Apparently there’s even a website dedicated entirely to this: http://macbookrandomshutdown.com, whew, address says it all, huh? So I chose the website that’s most authoritative of them all, Apple’s own support documentation, and found out that it was actually a bug that came with older versions of the MacBook (I believe those that came with the MacOSX Tiger version 10.4.6 and below). Quoting from there:

If your MacBook shuts down randomly during use, a downloadable firmware update is now available that resolves this issue.

The MacBook SMC Firmware Update v1.1 improves the MacBook’s internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns. This update is recommended for all MacBook systems, including those that received warranty repair.

You can use the Software Update feature of System Preferences, or download the MacBook SMC Firmware Update v1.1 from Apple Software Downloads.

The problem was with the MacBook’s internal monitoring system, and all that was needed to be done was to upgrade the SMC Firmware. But to be able to update to SMC Firmware v1.1, one first needs to update their Tiger to 10.4.8 because you won’t be able to see the update on lower versions. It was that simple – or so I thought.

So I went to Apple’s website to download the 10.4.9 update, and the SMC Firmware Update. And just when I thought that I was already clear of any trouble, the stupid bug stabs me at the back while I wasn’t looking. You see, updating the OS version is a very delicate task. One is even instructed to keep the adaptor of the laptop plugged in just in case you run out of battery in the middle of the process. It’s extremely crucial not to disrupt this process. So I made sure that the AC adaptor was plugged in, but lo and behold, right smack in the middle of the update, the freakin MacBook Random Shutdown bug strikes again.

When I tried to boot the laptop back up, all I get now is a kernel panic, with a message that goes like this:
kernel panic: Unable to find driver for this platform: "ACPI"
I knew right then and there that I was in for a very long night.

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4 responses

15 07 2007
Steve

Any update? My C2D 15.4″ 2.33 MBP is doing the same random shut down and kernel panics after only a few months of use. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing sometimes – just *click* and it’s powered off…

I’m on hold with Applecare right now, but they’re acting like they’ve never heard of the issue… of course…

15 07 2007
pinoygeek

Hi Steve, you may want to try to reset your SMC. I’m not really sure if this will work, but my laptop used to shutdown right after turning it on as well and this is what I did. All you need to do is:

1. Turn your laptop off.
2. Press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds, you will hear a long beep and the LED in front of your laptop will blink vigorously.
3. Press the power button again after the light stops blinking.

Hopefully this will allow you to log back in to MacOSX and be able to update your SMC via the steps I mentioned above.

Note: These steps are for the MacBook, I’m not really sure if the same goes for the MacBook Pro. So please proceed with caution. 🙂

2 10 2007
DavidNZ

I just got a new MacBook Pro in August, with OS X version 10.4.9. pretty happy to have the new laptop and everything seems great. I noticed there were two random shut down of the laptop but was suspecting what was going on… because I was talking to someone and did not look at the laptop closely so I had no idea when it was shut down and how. Until today when I was working on the laptop using the battery and suddenly it was shut down and could not get it back. so I googled it and found very similar case as as shown here. The laptop can be restarted using the AC power but not the battery anymore. Following the suggestion, I download the SMC Firmware update v1.1 and was told by the laptop that I do not need to install this update. probably as the OS X 10.4.9 has been originally installed. But as an old problem of the MacBook and apparently also MacBook Pro, for such a long time, and so many complains, why the company still has not fixed this…!!! Very frustrated at his problem…!

2 09 2008
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