Monday, October 05, 2009

Puzzled, perturbed, and becoming peevish over Mac troubles

My MacBook Pro has been acting funny for the past few days. When I close the lid, the computer is supposed to go to sleep. It does sleep, but if I disconnect the AC adapter and leave it in sleep mode, eventually it turns back on or runs the battery down in some other way. Twice last week the battery ran out while the computer was in sleep mode and resting under my desk at home in a laptop bag. The first time that happened I assumed I'd left the computer turned on somehow. But the second time I was certain it was in sleep mode, yet when I got home the computer was off and the battery dead. I brought the Mac to work this morning. It was asleep when I put it in my backpack but hot to the touch when I took it out 30 minutes later. The system wouldn't wake up and I had to power-cycle it. It seems the computer had turned itself back on during my commute.

Along the same lines, the laptop's battery life has declined steadily over the past few weeks. The battery is less than a year old. I replaced it last December when the previous battery began to lose its capacity over the course of a few weeks. I'm sure I can get another battery through Apple support, but I wonder if the battery life and the sleep issues are related. I've also had weird issues with the OS. Last night I had to reboot before Photo Booth recognized the built-in iSight camera. System Preferences has given me the "beach ball" a few times. I couldn't even run System Profiler yesterday without rebooting. It's possible that some of these problems are happening because of the improper shutdowns, though that seems unlikely. I did upgrade to Snow Leopard about six weeks ago, though these problems only appeared last week. I've checked the system logs but they're not much help, though you'd have to be a developer to understand most of the entries in the log.

I am growing concerned. Let's call it "threat level: troubled." The computer is under warranty for another 16 months, so if I need help from Apple I can get it. But it's my baby, and I wouldn't be a good parent if I weren't just a little worried about what's going on under the keyboard. I'll try a few more self-help ideas like clearing the PRAM and looking at any other recent upgrades before I give up and visit my local Genius Bar. If I go that route, I just hope I get a real Genius and not some doofus who just got out of the training program. I've not been impressed with what I've heard about the newbies at the Bar.

1 comment:

tidesong ♫ said...

Like I said last weekend, take it in, let them run their diagnostics. Sounds way too much like what I was going through, and since the battery itself was actually bad, it was replaced for free....