It’s been two months since I proudly carried my new MacBook home. I love this machine. It’s crazy fast, it’s light-weight, the keyboard rocks, and the glossy screen is much better than I could ever have hoped. I’m rocking it with 2gbs of RAM (is there […]

It’s been two months since I proudly carried my new MacBook home. I love this machine. It’s crazy fast, it’s light-weight, the keyboard rocks, and the glossy screen is much better than I could ever have hoped. I’m rocking it with 2gbs of RAM (is there any other way?) and a 100gb 7200rpm disk. Boot-up takes just around a half minute with ALL the background apps running – compared to my old G4 PowerBook, that’s really fast! Everytime it boots up I’m tickled by how quick it is.

What I’m not thrilled about is that I get to appreciate this boot-up speed ALL THE TIME. The Mac savvy reading this probably know already, that you don’t boot a Mac all that often. Generally a software update is the main reason, so uptime on these lovely machines is /weeks/months at a time. It just so happens that the “Random Shut Down” problem is one that now plagues my dear MacBook.

If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon, here’s sort of how it goes:
While typing away on my MacBook, downloading photos from my camera, surfing the internet, or any other number of things, the Macbook just shuts down. Like, it’s on it’s on it’s on, and BOOM! Off. Look away a moment and you’re staring back at a black screen.

There seems to be no correllation between random shut down events. Plugged-in. Running on AC power. Minutes after boot-up, while still cool as a cucumber. After hours of hot and heavy use. Like I said, random.

In reading the discussion boards, and talking to a couple local friends with MacBooks, the symptoms all seem very similar.
– It happened once or twice a week or two ago, but seemed more like a strange one time deal.
– Then in the past few days to a week, it’s happened more and more frequently.
The fact that everywhere I’ve read, and those I’ve talked to, put these events in the same timeframe leads me to believe it’s from some software push – how do several different hardware units all go bad around the same point in time??

Yet when I dropped it off at the local Apple Store to be shipped out to AppleCare (Saves you a couple days waiting for packaging to be shipped out) today, it’s predictably going for a new Main Logic Board. I sincerely hope this takes care of my MacBook’s problem. However, I am doubtful. I can only wait and see for now.

What other problems have I had? Well, I had an Invisible Shield for my MacBook before I even owned it. Before starting it up, I applied the Invisible Shield in hopes of avoiding any yellowing of the palm rests. Yet the right side and the trackpad button show faint yellowish areas. It wasn’t enough on its own that I was going to send it off for repair, but it’ll get a new shell on this trip too.

It runs hot. Pretty darn hot. I use Photoshop a lot, and it seems when Rosetta kicks in, so do the afterburners, but this is to be expected with emulation processes. Plus, you cram that kind of speedy processor into a small package, and what do you expect? I keep the MacBook away from my precious bits and I’m a happy guy.

I suppose it all comes down to, “Don’t ever buy Revision A products.” Words of wisdom. And if you’re the type who makes snap judgements, probably words to live by. Yes, I’m dismayed at having to send my notebook in. The problem was jarring, and quite frankly a huge hassle. But at the end of the day, I’m not about to make a rash decision and work off of my Dell fulltime – the idea makes me queasy. Live without my OS X, Quicksilver, or the portable speed that I’m now accustomed to? Not on your life.

  1. Same thing happens to me with my new MacBook Pro. This really sucks. Especially when it happens a couple times a day. Not always… but sometimes!

  2. Gareth Potter Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Sounds like a software issue to me, but then one wonders why Apple would go to the expense of replacing the motherboards if that were the case.

    Hmmm, not good.

    *sighs deeply and wonders how much worse Apple build quality is going to get*

    (I have two old clamshell iBooks and iMac DV still running fine, a 2G iPod likewise; yet my iBook G3 died of logic board failure 3 times, my PBG4’s hard disk died within two weeks of me getting it (though all has been well since)…)

    Perhaps better to wait for Revision C? :P

    Hope it gets well soon, so to speak.

  3. While I’m certainly not happy that this is happening to ANYONE, I suppose I have to admit I’m a bit relieved it’s not just me. I too was trying to figure out some kind of pattern, and the one that I *thought* might be the culprit was that it only happens (to me) when it’s running on battery. So much for that theory.

    My “new” theory is to agree w/ your assessment – its got to be software related, somehow. The ‘random’ power-offs started sometime around a week ago, and have become a bit more frequent.

    Please do let us (your readers) know the results of having the main logic board replaced. My Macbook Pro is my (so far) only OS X machine, and it’ll be an annoying few days/weeks while it’s off for repairs :)


  4. uptime at Am I Famous Now? Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    [...] Hmmm… My windoze notebook actually has been running and sleeping for 34 days and 21 hours so far. Only need to close the lid and it sleeps. Maybe I should not get a MacBook. (Just kidding guys but my Windows XP still runs ) Tags: macbook, macosx, uptime, whoring, Windows, windowsxp. Published by Franky August 30th, 2006 [...]

  5. My week21 black macbook has had this problem, and it’s been waiting for a new logic board for over two weeks, because the things are out of stock. Having read discussion forums on apple.com, I’m doubtful this will fix it, it appears to be a heat sink problem.

  6. My brother just called me this afternoon complaining about the very same thing. I didn’t know this was a problem the MacBooks were having. I wonder if Kevin Rose was experiencing the same thing, as shown on some recent diggnation episodes.

  7. It’s not software – it’s hardware. My Macbook started doing this as well, and after several days of testing scenarios with applecare, it was put in for a logic board repair. I had to pay a $60 express fee to have the repair facility look at it within a week, or they would sit on it until then.

    After the logic board was replaced, things seemed fine, and then last night, two weeks later, it started to happen again. 8 shut downs in under 12 hours, 8 or which I was sleeping. Apple refuses to replace the unit, and instead wants to now change the logic board and the power supply. From what they told me they will keep replacing every single part and never replace it. Thanks a lot.

    I lose about $1000 a week that I don’t have this computer to do work, but that’s what I get for trusting Apple to have a good 1.0 release.

  8. I’m starting to think that buying a refurb was the smartest move I’ve ever made…

  9. I had a RSD roughly about a month ago. I was in the middle of presenting a slide show to about 60 people. Not the best time for something like that to happen. I recovered quickly and was showing the slide show again about 30 seconds later.

    So far, this has not reoccurred. I’m hoping it stays that way because my MacBook is perfect. No discoloration, and it doesn’t run too hot. I’ve tested for the RSD by running the Terminal command thing which heats up the MacBook and so far it’s passed without any problems.

    However, reading that you get one RSD and then it starts up a few weeks later is worrying me. School starts later this week and I can’t afford to be without a computer for even one day. I’m just crossing my fingers that, that one RSD was a fluke.

  10. Same problem here. I just sent my MacBook in for repair and hope it comes back corrected. Sounds like it is a pretty big issue.

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