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Briefly: MacBook issues, fixes

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Tue June 13, 2006

MacBook issues, fixes

In brief: Numerous MacBook owners are reporting a strange discoloration on the palm rest of their new white notebooks. Users are reporting issues with the 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz white models, saying that the first signs of discoloration appear after 2-3 weeks of use, according to AppleInsider. An active thread on Apple's own support forums reveals that users have had only meager success removing the discoloration using cleaning products of various types. Some accredit the odd color to heat-related issues, while others suspect a chemical reaction in the laptop's plastic housing.

Kernel panics under high AirPort load

Various Macs are exhibiting an issue where kernel panics repeatedly occur when AirPort is turned on and the network is active with high loads. Users are reporting that kernel panics disappear when an Ethernet cable or other network connection method is used, and the issue is especially prominent when connecting to a third-party wireless router.

In some cases, faulty AirPort Extreme cards are known to cause consistent startup kernel panics and other issues. The cause is generally soluble only with replacement of AirPort cards. Before seeking replacement, users should make sure that the AirPort card is not seated improperly or simply having problems with a specific machine, and can try using the card in another Mac or have it tested at a local Apple reseller or Apple Store.

Other potential causes for this issue include bad RAM and improper network settings.

.plist corruption

Property List (.plist) files have a tendency to become corrupt, with the cause of damage usually stemming from a problematic write to their data. Reasons for these problematic writes are varied, though users should note that the host application -- for which the .plist file is named -- may not be the only application writing to that file.

Third-party applications are able to, and routinely do modify property list (.plist) files, which makes it easier to recognize why these files routinely become corrupt -- usually due to potentially buggy write routines in such applications.

MacBook Pros waking up when lid is closed, sleep issues

Several users have experienced an issue where the MacBook Pro fails to sleep properly, or does not stay asleep when the lid is closed. The issue is typically identifiable by the system fans remaining on and the sleep light not pulsating while the MacBook Pro's lid is closed. The system will often be very hot to the touch when this occurs.

Users can often modify Energy Saver settings and disconnect problematic external devices to repair the issue. Another fix involves opening the file (located in /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/) with a text editor, then scanning for the line of text that reads "Wake On Clamshell Open." Users can change the "1" in the line of text below to "0" and save the file. An administrator password is required to make the previously mentioned changes, and restarting the MacBook Pro will enact the changes.

by MacNN Staff





  1. chulitomio

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't new

    The iBook top case has done this since day one. It is from dirty hands and sweat and hand oils. The surface has a very fine texture that just holds on to anything that gets on it. When I was working at apple the only thing that really took it off were the bleach spray cleaners. It appeared the longer they went without cleaning, the more likely it was stained permanently. This was something we would rarely do, but it never seemed to negatively affect the top case at all, and no one ever brought one back with damage from the cleaner.

  1. Muffin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not an isolated event

    Do a search around the web, and you will find many people complaining about this "staining" problem with the white MacBook. It is clear that this is due to the quality/finish of the plastic.

    I use the Shaggymac optimist prime spray to keep my MacBook clean and so far it is virgin white.

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