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Macbook Pro unresponsive when unplugged

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am new to posting on this forum but I really hope that someone out there can help me out. I have a 13" MacBook Pro, 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3, running OSX 10.6.8. My problem is that when I unplug the laptop form the charger and run it on the battery, the computer becomes unresponsive to any commands at all. It basically really slows down to a crawl. Even when rebooting it will take 5-10 minutes or more to do so. The odd thing is, when it gets plugged back in while any of this is going on, within a minute or two it works perfectly. It has been in a mac authorized repair shop for 7 weeks and has had a new logic board and a new hard drive replaced. The battery was tested and charges fine, holds a charge when unplugged, and the system profile shows the battery at Normal.
I am at a loss as to what to do next. It has become impossible to use this laptop for my classes when it is unplugged. I am about ready to just go buy a new one, and call this one a goner.
I am hoping someone reading this can help with ideas on its problem. Help? Anyone?

Steve
post #2 of 22
If you open your console app in your /Applications/Utilities folder, are there any messages being logged? Pull the left side of the window and you get a list of log files and check out the system log too.

Also have you tried an SMC reset?

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I did not do a SMC reset, truthfully, I did not know that you could do that, but I will try it now and post the outcome of the test in a bit
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately the SMC reset did not work. I wonder if the new logic board could be bad as well. Is there a way to test it out?
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

Unfortunately the SMC reset did not work. I wonder if the new logic board could be bad as well. Is there a way to test it out?

You can run a hardware test from your install disc by booting holding the d-key.

Also try running your machine in safe mode (boot holding shift) on the battery and see if you get the same slowdown.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You can run a hardware test from your install disc by booting holding the d-key.

Also try running your machine in safe mode (boot holding shift) on the battery and see if you get the same slowdown.

Ok I will try this. Hopefully this will narrow down the problem.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

Ok I will try this. Hopefully this will narrow down the problem.

Ok, So I rebooted the laptop in safe mode and when unplugged, it responded the same way. Also ran the hardware test through the install disk and it came up with no error either. Also retried the SMC reset again as well to no luck.
Could my new logic board be failing again?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
posted in wrong spot, sorry...

Ok, So I rebooted the laptop in safe mode and when unplugged, it responded the same way. Also ran the hardware test through the install disk and it came up with no error either. Also retried the SMC reset again as well to no luck.
Could my new logic board be failing again?
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

Ok, So I rebooted the laptop in safe mode and when unplugged, it responded the same way. Also ran the hardware test through the install disk and it came up with no error either. Also retried the SMC reset again as well to no luck.
Could my new logic board be failing again?

It seems unlikely that would be the case. When did it start doing this?

Did the Apple repair people try replacing the battery itself? If they didn't, you can always buy one yourself and try it and if it doesn't fix it, just return it or sell it on again to get all the money back.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It seems unlikely that would be the case. When did it start doing this?

Did the Apple repair people try replacing the battery itself? If they didn't, you can always buy one yourself and try it and if it doesn't fix it, just return it or sell it on again to get all the money back.

This started doing this about a week ago after I got it back from repair at a Apple authorizied repair place with the new logic board. Do you know if the is some internal SMC switch on the logic board itself that didn't get pushed or something?
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

This started doing this about a week ago after I got it back from repair at a Apple authorizied repair place with the new logic board. Do you know if the is some internal SMC switch on the logic board itself that didn't get pushed or something?

So it has only started doing this since they repaired the logic board? If that's the case, you should send it back to them to fix. You shouldn't have to be the one to put up with or diagnose a hardware fault.

If you haven't adjusted this already, try changing your Energy Saver settings profile for running on battery power. Try changing it to high performance and see if it has any effect.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

So it has only started doing this since they repaired the logic board? If that's the case, you should send it back to them to fix. You shouldn't have to be the one to put up with or diagnose a hardware fault.

If you haven't adjusted this already, try changing your Energy Saver settings profile for running on battery power. Try changing it to high performance and see if it has any effect.

still no luck on the battery power adjustment. It's going back to the shop tomorrow to let them deal with it. I sure hope it can be fixed. Ill post what they say about it here.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the late reply but I've been so frustrated over this. Apparently no one else can figure it out either. I took it back to the repair place that worked on it before and after running more tests, they found nothing wrong, not even the battery. It did do the slowdown for them though, but they couldn't figure it out. I then took it to the Apple store and they don't know either, but we did try something new that helped a little; we turned off all of the energy saver stuff on the battery settings. This does help somewhat, but it is not where it was before. So I'm still frustrated that no one is able to help me out. So it looks like I'm out of luck.....
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

Sorry for the late reply but I've been so frustrated over this. Apparently no one else can figure it out either. I took it back to the repair place that worked on it before and after running more tests, they found nothing wrong, not even the battery. It did do the slowdown for them though, but they couldn't figure it out. I then took it to the Apple store and they don't know either, but we did try something new that helped a little; we turned off all of the energy saver stuff on the battery settings. This does help somewhat, but it is not where it was before. So I'm still frustrated that no one is able to help me out. So it looks like I'm out of luck.....

Don't give up. As long as you can reproduce the defect if they can't solve it Apple has to replace the unit for you or at least still try replacing parts. Since it is under warranty keep at it. Good luck.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

I took it back to the repair place that worked on it before and after running more tests, they found nothing wrong, not even the battery. It did do the slowdown for them though, but they couldn't figure it out.

You're not alone either. Someone else posted on the forum about what sounds like the same issue:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?p=1917102

His description was that the UI alone was stuttering on battery power but the OpenGL performance under Cinebench was unaffected, which suggests the GPU isn't being affected by the switch to battery.

The XBench results did drop by about half though when running the OpenGL, Quartz and Interface refresh tests. The quartz results were listed as being ok though, which suggests that particular driver isn't at fault.

It seems like there's another obscure component being affected on battery. The other guy seemed to suggest it didn't do the same thing in safe mode or at least not as bad, which would point to a software fault. If it did the same then it's more likely a hardware issue.

Can you run through the same tests - Cinebench OpenGL mode and the 3 Xbench graphics tests (on the right of the Xbench window) both on and off battery and see what results you come up with? You should have 4 scores for it being plugged in and 4 for on battery. These programs are available here:

http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cineb...bench-115.html
http://www.xbench.com/
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've downloaded them and will try them in the morning. I get up for work a 2am so time for bed, but I'll post what the results were here ASAP. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You're not alone either. Someone else posted on the forum about what sounds like the same issue:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?p=1917102

His description was that the UI alone was stuttering on battery power but the OpenGL performance under Cinebench was unaffected, which suggests the GPU isn't being affected by the switch to battery.

The XBench results did drop by about half though when running the OpenGL, Quartz and Interface refresh tests. The quartz results were listed as being ok though, which suggests that particular driver isn't at fault.

It seems like there's another obscure component being affected on battery. The other guy seemed to suggest it didn't do the same thing in safe mode or at least not as bad, which would point to a software fault. If it did the same then it's more likely a hardware issue.

Can you run through the same tests - Cinebench OpenGL mode and the 3 Xbench graphics tests (on the right of the Xbench window) both on and off battery and see what results you come up with? You should have 4 scores for it being plugged in and 4 for on battery. These programs are available here:

http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cineb...bench-115.html
http://www.xbench.com/
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, here are the test results for the cinebench test:
plugged in: Open GL 5.74fps and CPU 1.43 pts
battery: Open GL 5.74 fps and CPU 1.44 pts

For the xbench test, the results are:
plugged in: 143.96
battery: 137.51

I have no idea what this means, so a translation of this would be great. If there is anything else to try please let me know.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, here are the test results for the cinebench test:
plugged in: Open GL 5.74fps and CPU 1.43 pts
battery: Open GL 5.74 fps and CPU 1.44 pts

For the xbench test, the results are:
plugged in: 143.96
battery: 137.51

I have no idea what this means, so a translation of this would be great. If there is anything else to try please let me know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You're not alone either. Someone else posted on the forum about what sounds like the same issue:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?p=1917102

His description was that the UI alone was stuttering on battery power but the OpenGL performance under Cinebench was unaffected, which suggests the GPU isn't being affected by the switch to battery.

The XBench results did drop by about half though when running the OpenGL, Quartz and Interface refresh tests. The quartz results were listed as being ok though, which suggests that particular driver isn't at fault.

It seems like there's another obscure component being affected on battery. The other guy seemed to suggest it didn't do the same thing in safe mode or at least not as bad, which would point to a software fault. If it did the same then it's more likely a hardware issue.

Can you run through the same tests - Cinebench OpenGL mode and the 3 Xbench graphics tests (on the right of the Xbench window) both on and off battery and see what results you come up with? You should have 4 scores for it being plugged in and 4 for on battery. These programs are available here:

http://www.maxon.net/downloads/cineb...bench-115.html
http://www.xbench.com/
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nowhereman9499 View Post

I have no idea what this means, so a translation of this would be great. If there is anything else to try please let me know.

It rules out there being an issue with your GPU and CPU and the user interface Quartz drivers. So, unlike the other guy, your issue seems to not be graphics-related. The fact that it slows your boot up time would point to your hard drive.

If you have an external drive, you can try cloning your system to it using Carbon Copy Cloner and booting from that. Then see how the system behaves on battery running from the external hard drive by holding the alt-key at boot and choosing it. If it runs ok, that would rule out the hard drive as the problem and then you're only really left with your RAM or your motherboard.
post #20 of 22

I had the same problem. Activity Monitor shows dramatic decrease in CPU availability as soon as macbook pro is unplugged. An Apple Hardware Test threw error 4SNS/1/40000001:VP0R-0.000 The apple store diagnosed the same error (Battery sensor related) and replace the logic board and the MagSafe. Machine works fine now.

post #21 of 22

Quick thing to try. 

 

Boot up from the reinstall disk then try shutting down when running that - if it shuts down quickly from that you have an indication that its not likely to be hardware apart from possibly the hard disk.

 

Do you have an external firewire drive you could install a fresh copy of OSX on to?

post #22 of 22

My Macbook Pro 13" has the same problem. I've been using it only plugged for some months. Tried new HD, new battery and nothing. As it is not in warranty, i am quite scared about taking any place. How can i proceed this test so I can tell people from local maintenance to switch parts?

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