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l008com Jan 15, 2013 03:16 AM
MacBook Pro Display Sleep on *OPENING* Lid
First things first, this is posted here because after the troubleshooting i've done below, it's clear that this is completely a software issue.

So this MacBook Pro is a 2011 model running 10.6.8. The issue is that when you open the list, sometimes (33% of the time?) the screen will come on for just half a second, then it will go black.

This is what I've done so far:
  • So first, I figured it must be that old Crash-on-Wake bug I had a while back. For me, it was due to a corrupted sleep image file in /var/vm/ . So I deleted that image but it didn't solve the problem.
  • I thought it was strange that I'd see the display light up for an instant before going black. So I tried to connect via screen sharing during a black screen incident. I am able to connect. The machine isn't frozen, it's running perfectly fine, jut with the screen off. But I don't think it's a screen or inverter board issue, because its only on some random wake events that this happen. The screen never flickers or does anything wrong, except this.
  • Then I figured it must be the trackpad. The trackpad on this machine was messed up. I just replaced it a few months ago. But it didn't really click anymore. And it would register a click "event" just by touching it. Sometimes you'd think you weren't even touching it. So I figured the trackpad clicker must be stuck (maybe an exposing battery) and that was the cause. So I popped out the battery (not exploding), cleaned the sand (yes sand) out of the trackpad, adjusted the tension, and now it works perfectly. The trackpad works perfectly. But the screen still goes to black.
  • At this point, my troubleshooting became more typical. Is it hardware or software? So I booted off a netboot volume and couldn't get it to fail. Then I backed up the hard drive and did a clean 10.7 install. No problems. Then I used migration assistant to import the owner's user account back over. BAM black screen problem came back. Then I restored from the backup fully, then made a test user. I have not been able to get the computer to go to back in the test user, but it still goes to black on the main user. This indicates to me, that it is a software problem, and that it's something in the User folder.
  • So I poked around, deleting some random 3rd party software, but that has no effect. I look for some sleep or energy saver related preferences in the User Library folder, but no luck. So I removed the whole ~/Library/ByHost/ folder, but it's still going to black.

So that's where I am now. What other corrupt prefs files, or other files, could be causing this odd screen behavior? There are no LaunchAgents in the user folder. Nothing else that looks funny on the surface.
Waragainstsleep Jan 15, 2013 06:17 AM
I would suggest the following user prefs would be worth a try:

screen saver
system preferences

I'm guessing tbh.
l008com Jan 15, 2013 11:19 AM
Screen Saver and Spaces .plists don't exist. I went with login windows and systemui server. I can't imagine the system pref's prefs could have anything to do with problems just logging in.

Also something very odd just happened. I went to log in and the screen went black on log in, not waking from anything. Just going from the login window to the actual desktop. Maybe loginwindow.plist is the solution, we'll see . . .
l008com Jan 15, 2013 02:08 PM
It's still doing it! What else could is possibly be?!
Waragainstsleep Jan 16, 2013 01:19 PM
I think energy saver is governed by the system prefs file. You can always move it back again if it doesn't work.

Do you know what a split-half search is?
l008com Jan 16, 2013 01:22 PM
I believe the Mac is now fixed. I removed all 120 apple user prefs files. It seemed to run fine. So rather than going through them all (especially since it's an intermittent problem anyway, doing a split-half search will take weeks). So out of the 120, i moved back only the ones that would be needed. Safari prefs, dock prefs, finder prefs. Anything else I left disabled so those prefs could be recreated. The Mac hasn't has a black screen since. I'd like to know exactly what file was doing it, but who has the time for that. Not this guy.
Spheric Harlot Jan 16, 2013 01:32 PM
Ahh...split-half search.

Warm reminiscence of the days of Conflict Catcher. Then you realize that the warmth is like peeing in your pants. Urgh.
l008com Jan 16, 2013 01:35 PM
When it comes to corrupt .plist files, it's usually fairly obvious which one is at fault. Like if an app crashes every time you open it. This is a very rare situation, where the behavior is really odd and no one knows (here or on the Apple forum) which prefs file could be causing the behavior. But so far so good. *shrug*
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