Macbook Random Shutdown of Doom

Somehow, owners of the new Macbooks got over greasy geek besmirching. They even learned to live with non-beveled corners. Now, after 1-2 months of ownership, a new culprit raises its fell head. It’s called, “Random Shutdown Syndrome” or “RSS” and it’s even got its own blog. There’s even a couple of YouTube videos.

• Shuts down unexpectedly ’bout 10 times a day.
• Boots after 10-20 times pushing the power button.
• Only shows vertical stripes.
• Only shows horizontal stripes.
• Shuts down after playing Quicktime movies.
• Won’t stay on.
• Shuts down after ac adaptor is removed.
…And many more!

A recent Apple firmware update is supposed to resolve the issue but some consumers say that hasn’t helped either.

Any readers suffering from RSS?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Gari N. Corp says:

    From the title of your post I thought you meant that it would shut down while you were in the middle of playing Doom. Which would really suck. And Americans wonder why their habit of capitalising every single word in headlines is roundly mocked elsewhere in the Anglosphere.

  2. Fancy Pants says:

    I had the same problem with my iBook last spring, 1 week before finishing grad school. The Geniuses replaced my logic board and hard drive without any questions, and even upsold me from an external hard drive to an iPod as a more exciting way to backup my files.

  3. Vinny says:

    Supposedly the fix for the MB involves replacing the frame around the keyboard, the frame around the monitor and a heatsink. The’ve been talking about this one for awhile over on The Apple Blog, and lots of people have reported that sending it in did fix it.

    Of course, I imagine lots of people who don’t have this issue (namely me) aren’t saying anything about it since it doesn’t apply, but I have a feeling this is just a case of the affected people being really loud about it and it isn’t the huge issue we’re meant to believe it is. I’ve also heard that Apple is pretty decent about taking back your MB for repair, so kudos to them for doing the right thing.

  4. Tim Nudd says:

    My MacBook is having this issue. Makes me hate the Justin Long character from the “I’m a Mac” ads even more. Smug tool. John Hodgman is much cooler. I am waiting to take my machine into Apple in the hope that they admit the problem ahead of time and I won’t have to deal with a “Genius” who will pretend not to know what I’m talking about. Also find myself racing to post comments on blog, as I never know just when this machine is gonna

  5. olegna says:

    Yeah, well 10 people who drop $1,200 on a laptop that’s broken are for obvious reasons going to be more vocal about it than 100 who didn’t lose the Mac quality control carap shoot (“let’s see, is this Macbook going to be the one where some factory worker in Taiwan spooged too much heatsink on the board?”)

    The Creative Guy (loyal Mac user since 1994) has an interesting article on how he’s considering for the first time making The Switch thanks to three iPods whose batteries died within a year, G5 fans that go off at weird times and blow loudly and don’t stop till you shut down, and all that stuff we’ve been reading online from that loud minority of Mac traitors.

  6. Dan says:

    My MacBook ran into this problem, which I chronicled over on MacUser. It’s been repaired (though it took them three weeks to do that and ship it back), and so far, so good. And, as per Vinny’s comment above, it seems that they have replaced the bezel around the keyboard, since mine now seems subtly curved. I plan to take it back and see if that’s something they can fix.

  7. aixwiz says:

    Any readers suffering from RSS?
    Sadly, many of my coworkers suffer from RSS. Causes include too much work, unrealistic deadlines, not enough sleep, stress, angry managers, and no acknowledgement for a job well done.

  8. Smoking Pope says:

    My Macbook shuts down when I’m watching short video clips and my wife suddenly walks into the room. At least that’s what I tell her.

  9. Zach Everson says:

    A friend of mine has had to send her MacBook back to Apple–twice.

  10. cuyahoga says:

    I had this issue recently. First I sent it in directly to Apple. It took almost 3 weeks for them to send it back. Apparently they just replaced the logic board. I got it back in the morning and by that evening it had broken again. This time it was just showing random vertical lines across the screen. So then I took it to my local Apple store where the manager told me that I would have to pay sales tax on it for them to replace it (BULL SHIT) since I bought it in Oregon and was trying to exchange my *defective* computer in Washington. So they said they could repair it in a few days. Well a week and a half later they still hadn’t fixed it (waiting on parts is what they told me) and I went in and calmly explained the situation. A different manager was kind enough to swap out my computer and transfer my data without hesitation.

    I have never actually owned a PC but this whole ordeal made me seriously think about it. I just hope that my new computer doesn’t start having the same issue.

  11. SYCAMOREGRAD says:

    I may be fortunate in regard to the macbook woes. I’ve been dealing with the shutdown issue for over a month. Two days ago, the isight camera would not work. Photobooth couldn’t start up, saying the camera was in use or not attached. None of my apps would turn it on. Yesterday, my screen started showing only vertical lines. Perhaps I’ve waited long enough, and all my problems are at the forefront. I have a “genius” appointment in an hour. *crosses fingers.

    I’m currently using my old ibook. What a pain to go from a 2.0 GHz Macbook with 2GB RAM to an 800 MHz ibook with 640MB RAM! Not to mention that i’m tethered to the wall because the ibook’s not wireless