Jump to content
karinlord

keyboard freezing

Recommended Posts

This started 3-4 days after an upgrade install of Leopard and has gotten bad enough I am thinking of reverting to Tiger (which ran without issue) until Apple comes up with some solution. At first the keyboard freezes were once a day, but now several may occur within an hour. I have scanned the Apple discussion forums and some other sites. This seems to be an issue of some conversation. Based on what I have read Apple initial responses have been to changeover hardware (i.e. keyboards or logic boards) which posters are saying has not helped. I have tried various recommendations on those boards (i.e. hitting a key several times, waiting 5-10 minutes, closing the lid and then awakening from sleep ...) but all without success. Only rebooting seems to work.

 

I called Applecare yesterday, but had to leave off the conversation when he asked me to put my original Apple install disks (the grey disks) into the machine (I travel for work and do not carry the disks with me). So has anyone else run into this situation? Is it only happening on Leopard machines? My MacBookPro is a CoreDuo running Leopard 10.5.1 with 2GB RAM. I do have a complete backup done just before Leopard installation to go back to (and daily backups of documents and such) - but I like Leopard. I am now also worried about my parent's iBook and iMac which are also running Leopard (as of last week). So far I haven't received the parental "its not working call", but I am worried.

 

Until I get home on Friday and can reconnect with Applecare and my grey disks, does anyone have any interim suggestions?

 

Thanks

Edited by karinlord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My PowerBook does this occasionally when I wake it from sleep. The LCD will flash a little (adjusting the brightness) then it works fine. Doesn't do it all the time, although it's very annoying when it does. I'm still running Tiger however.

 

roog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The buzz ( http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1129578 ) is that Leopard update 10.5.1 did that keyboard freeze thing to several MacbookPro models. (The work-around I'd suggest would be a backup of your data followed by an archive and (re-)install of the original Leopard (from the gray disks if your system shipped with Leopard, or the Leopard install DVD otherwise), and then avoid the Software Update until the issue is fixed by Apple (doubtless an update that includes "stability improvements", since that's about as close Apple ever comes to admitting they fixed a bug.) But, not everyone on the Apple boards have found regressing to older OS X versions solve the issue, so it might have been dumped into the firmware.

 

My experience with my iMac with the freezing ATI graphic driver is that Applecare will be no help at all until Apple issues the real fix. On the contrary, AppleCare will be a time-wasting anoyance. They'll waste your time with meaningless instructions to zap PRAM, run hardware tests ("see? It's working fine!") and re-install the original software and uninstall 3rd party software and other stupid tasks designed to drop your productivity to zero, stall, deny and obsfuscate until some software update "stability enhancement" mysteriously makes the problem go away ("see? It was all your imagination!") Apple never admits to bugs and treats its customers like mushrooms.

 

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/11...th_leopard.html

 

http://www.macnn.com/articles/07/11/21/leo...ozen.keyboards/

 

http://www.macworld.co.uk/mac/news/index.cfm?newsid=19669

Edited by car1son

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry so long to get back on this.

 

Well after multiple (I have plain lost count) system crashes (and I am becoming overly familiar with a "system crash message" in 4 languages telling me I need to do shut my computer down) I have come to the conclusion that Leopard simply doesn't get along well with torrenting clients. I have been checking out various discussion boards. While the ultimate issue has something to do with the airport driver (which some posters claim is an issue going back pre-Tiger) the bottom line is running torrenting clients inevitably causes a kernel panic. Over time these panics seem to happen quicker and quicker after re-boots. Some suggest rolling back to 10.5.0 will solve the issue - so that is my next task. Otherwise its back to Tiger.

 

The fact that I can't print in Word/Excel (a known issue for some printers - even ones only a few months old) in Leopard has been pushing me to use Pages and Numbers. I have enjoyed using the iWorks programs, but there are features in Word/Excel not yet existent in Pages/Numbers that I need (i.e. autosave, setting print areas). So while I love lots in Leopard, perhaps I need to wait out a few more updates before things are going to work as I need them.

 

How is everyone else doing with their Leopard transitions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have anything installed that might have APE running on your machine?

 

I know it was a problem for some folks with Leopard initially. I haven't heard whether people who had it running and didn't have the original problems just assumed they didn't have it (long sentence - sorry).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you have anything installed that might have APE running on your machine?

 

I know it was a problem for some folks with Leopard initially. I haven't heard whether people who had it running and didn't have the original problems just assumed they didn't have it (long sentence - sorry).

 

 

Not sure what APE is. Ran it through the finder and nothing came up - so I would guess not. :(. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, Application Enhancer. Probably wouldn't show up in a regular search because it would be in your System folder which I think is excluded from regular searches. If you've ever had a Logitech keyboard or mouse (maybe, some other stuff) or Haxies from Unsanity (ShapeShifter, FruitMenu, etc) it could be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, Application Enhancer. Probably wouldn't show up in a regular search because it would be in your System folder which I think is excluded from regular searches. If you've ever had a Logitech keyboard or mouse (maybe, some other stuff) or Haxies from Unsanity (ShapeShifter, FruitMenu, etc) it could be there.

 

No, no extra keyboard or mice :(.

 

So I did a complete backup using TimeMachine to an external hard drive. Reformatted my MacBookPro hard drive, reinstalled Leopard and then used TimeMachine to restore settings, programs, documents etc. Restarted my programs and had a kernel panic about 15 minutes later. Sigh. Recalled I had read somewhere that if you download onto an external dive the keyboard freeze-ups stop. So I changed my download paths. The system has been up and running smoothly now for over an hour now - which compared to the last week is some kind of miracle.

 

A few interesting observations. My data transfer rates have increased. My "background" CPU usage has dropped to approximately 20%. I'm thinking the issues Leopard is having with Airport drivers when the system is being pushed extend into problems with CPU and hard drive management.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong, but wouldn't restoring things for backup defeat the purpose of a reformat and reinstall?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I may be wrong, but wouldn't restoring things for backup defeat the purpose of a reformat and reinstall?

 

Had not thought it through that way. My goal was to rollback to 10.5.0 as some postings suggested it would solve the problem (which it didn't :(). Things seem to be working well using the external drive for downloading though. If that hadn't worked then I would have done another reformat and reloaded each program individually to try to identify where the problem lay. Final recourse would be to drop back to Tiger. It doesn't seem to be a compatibility issue between 3rd party software and Leopard though given this external download solution is working. It is something in the Leopard coding causing the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you mind engaging in what I would call speculative deduction?

 

What are you downloading to an external drive? How could the destination of downloading whatever affect keyboard control?

 

I'm just trying to get my brain around what seems to have solved the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you mind engaging in what I would call speculative deduction?

 

What are you downloading to an external drive? How could the destination of downloading whatever affect keyboard control?

 

I'm just trying to get my brain around what seems to have solved the problem.

 

 

Well sadly it hasn't completely solved the problem. I had a crash last night (same grey screen with the "turn off your machine notice"). But this only occurred when I upped the system demands. Things were working fine downloading (azureus) and watching a video (realplayer). Then I attempted to add making a disk image via disk utilities (or was it when I tried to use Parallels - can't remember - same issue though - high demands work) and the system went down. I did a restart, turned off "sleep" (for the screen and hard drive - since board postings comment on troubles with the keyboard when attempting to wake from sleep), and have limited heavy duty multitasking. System has been running now for about 12 hours without a crash. I find I can do 2 CPU/hard drive/Airport intensive things (along with web surfing, email, etc.) but not 3.

 

So, for whatever reason, downloading to an external hard drive reduced the load on the Apple system enough (and I say system because to me the problem seems to go beyond an Airport driver issue) that it can run a couple heavy duty apps at once - but not nearly as many as when running Tiger. I have at times managed to run the CPU up to nearly max (according to Activity Monitor) without issue while on Leopard, so I think whatever is triggering the crash has to do with specific (probably multifactor) aspects of the system being pushed hard (i.e. not just the airport, not just the cpu, not just the drivers managing the hard drive).

 

I think if you can get your brain around it Apple will hire you <g> as I am not the only one with keyboard freezing, kernel panics!

Edited by karinlord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the size of your internal HD and how much free space is there? Is it partitioned at all?

 

Are you running Time Machine?

 

Still trying to think what might be affected by external disk usage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is the size of your internal HD and how much free space is there? Is it partitioned at all?

 

Are you running Time Machine?

 

Still trying to think what might be affected by external disk usage.

 

80gb hard drive with free space varying from 10 to 15gb, no partitions (I have been doing some housecleaning via the Apple Support Desk suggestion <g>)

 

Time Machine is running (although it was not running until 2 days ago as that is when I went out and got a hard drive just for that (320gb) - so crashes started before using Time Machine).

Edited by karinlord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought of one reason downloading to an external would save on system resources - the internal is a 5400 RPM drive and most externals are 7200. In my mind that would give you more efficient I/O. Also, an 80Gb drive really only has around 74.5 Gb of usable space so with only 10Gb free you're at 86% capacity. I've found the closer I get to 90% capacity or less the more likely I am to have system problems. I think that even with maxed out RAM the system uses the internal for some swap space.

 

This is totally a guess but if your situation is somewhat typical, I think there's an I/O bottleneck somewhere. If I'm way off base someone here might knwo.

 

Have you looked at Disk Activity in Activity Monitor at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the external drive theory went out the window in a series of kernel panics. :(.

 

The interesting bit from all this is it was 3-4 days after loading Leopard I began to have this problem. When I switched to an external drive the problem restarted again after 3-4 days.

 

I found your thoughts on an I/O bottleneck to be intriguing. You may be onto something. More reading on the boards suggest a variety of programs with high I/O demands may cause the kernel panic. As per some suggestions I have stopped Spotlight from indexing any files which might be partially complete (i.e. mid-download torrents). Some theorized Spotlight kicked into an high CPU demand mode trying to correctly index such files - thus resulting in crashes. No dice though. :( (At least for me). As far as the system going down I found it crashing when CPU was less than 20% (I took to running the activity monitor constantly just to see if that gave a clue).

 

So although I grow ever fonder of Leopard features I think I will be returning to Tiger for now. When the next Leopard update comes out I will try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I now have a dual boot system. I loaded Tiger onto an external drive along with the 3rd party programs associated with the kernel panics and keyboard freezes I was getting in Leopard. Tiger and all these programs work just fine when I run off the external drive. I have not had a single kernel panic or keyboard freeze since restoring Tiger.

 

The rest of the time I can run Leopard (loaded onto my Mac hard drive). I have set my "startup" to boot to the external drive automatically (Tiger), if the external drive is plugged in. Otherwise the system boots to Leopard. Guess I could put both operating systems onto the Mac hard drive if I didn't want to be toting the external around - which I just may do (although hard-drive space starts to become a real issue then <g>).

 

So, I would say the problems I were having all have to do with Leopard - as they have all disappeared when I run Tiger. Hopefully apple will come out with a fix for this sooner rather than later and I can dump the Tiger installation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'm still just free thinking here trying to figure out where the problem lies (though, it's definitely starting to seem to be just Leopard).

 

Is the 2Gb of RAM factory installed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I'm still just free thinking here trying to figure out where the problem lies (though, it's definitely starting to seem to be just Leopard).

 

Is the 2Gb of RAM factory installed?

 

No. Can't recall the brand name (but it was a reputable brand and matched the specs).

 

I can't think it is that because I have had this laptop just shy of a year and never had a kernel panic. And I have pushed it hard. Running multiple high CPU/memory processes at the same time (i.e Folding at home, Parallels, Microsoft Office, VLC). I have had boggy, slow running systems when pushing the multitasking, but not crashes. With Leopard though, all I have to do is run Azureus alone (and others report problems with other programs - i.e. skype) to get a panic - and in some cases people have tried it with original apple installed RAM.

 

Open to more idea though. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an update on Software Update for this issue. Hope it fixes it for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I downloaded the fix and installed it. Things have been going much better <g>! Leopard has been running since December 19th now with no kernel panics or screen freezes until last night. The only thing I changed before going to bed last night was resetting the screen shutdown from 15 minutes of inactivity to 1 minute. Got up this morning to a kernel panic. I rebooted, reset the screen shutdown back to 15 minutes and restarted all the programs that have previously triggered kernel panics. System has been running fine since (and the screen shutdown has been working properly as well).

 

So I haven't unloaded my Tiger partition quite yet from my external drive - but if things continue well into the New Year I may do so.

 

Thanks all for your interest and suggestions.

 

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously things were going too well! After I posted last I went ahead and installed the update on the update. The one that is supposed to fix the Safari crashes... well within 20 minutes I started having kernel panics again. :(:(.

 

So I am going to spend part of Christmas reloading Leopard from the beginning and upgrade it to the version to fix keybord freezing - and then stop. I guess I would rather have Safari crashes (which I wasn't experiencing <g>) than whole system kernel panics.

 

Merry Christmas all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of our listeners discovered that Remote Buddy was causing the issue for him on wake from sleep. Turns out it is a bug with how the IOUSBFamily Kernel extension manages devices on the same USB bus when waking from sleep. The issue could be with any 3rd party software that interfaces with the USB bus, not just Remote Buddy. IOSpirit has posted details in a post on their forum if you want the nitty gritty:

 

http://www.iospirit.com/index.php?mode=ser...mentry_id=12305

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of our listeners discovered that Remote Buddy was causing the issue for him on wake from sleep. Turns out it is a bug with how the IOUSBFamily Kernel extension manages devices on the same USB bus when waking from sleep. The issue could be with any 3rd party software that interfaces with the USB bus, not just Remote Buddy. IOSpirit has posted details in a post on their forum if you want the nitty gritty:

 

http://www.iospirit.com/index.php?mode=ser...mentry_id=12305

 

 

Thanks for posting on this Adam. I saw your note on the blog page as well. While I am not sure what 3rd party app I would have had interfacing with the USB bus (I don't have Remote Buddy, my system would go down when running Azureus alone), this certainly sounds like a reasonable solution. :) The questions are why this was happening across such a scattershot of systems, running a wide range of programs, and in such an erratic manner (from my review of bulletin board help postings). Sometimes things worked, and sometimes they didn't. I had turned off sleep mode at one point as part of my debugging process - and the system still kernel panicked. :(. As well, why did things work ok for several days, and then start to crash infrequently (i.e 1/day), and then more and more often, to the point of going down several times an hour? I can't see there being "more" or "less" USB bus calls just after Leopard was installed than several days later.

 

I think the causes of the kernel panics are multiple, and while single factors could bring it down (i.e. Remote Buddy with the USB calls), various combinations of factors could also cause similar appearing crashes. Rather like wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath can be triggered by an asthma attack, or a combination of exercise and being blasted by car exhaust as you are running. Perhaps an expert with the crash logs can differentiate between the triggers. So while some people have had no problems at all with Leopard, and some people's problems have been fixed with the keyboard freezing update, and others will find solutions along the line of disabling Remote Buddy, I think the solutions will be variable. Clearly there was some significant underlying code change between Tiger (which is a rock solid dual boot on my current MacBookPro setup) and Leopard, which opened up Leopard to this vulnerability.

 

As for my system, I did an archive and install of Leopard a week ago and then fully patched it to 10.5.1. I have had no similar kernel panics. No kernel panics at all running Azureus or any other programs. I can't explain why things are working this time as I have seen postings elsewhere talking about getting kernel panics like mine on brand new Leopard machines, machines with archive and install upgrades, format upgrades and straight upgrades. I used the same Leopard install disk (Family Pack) as last time to do this install and to upgrade to Leopard on my mother's iBook and fathers iMac. They have had no issues. I am not quite at the point of removing my Tiger system - but if things go well for a couple of months I might.

 

Off I go for now with fingers crossed for ongoing stability <vbg>!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×