News for Friday, January 24, 2014                   Go to Current News Page

Mac Upgrades/Mods | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Network | Search
Miss a Day?  See the Archives
= Recent Articles/Updates =
( Your Tips, Upgrade Reports, Questions to news at

Report/Tip on 2013 Mac Pro Sleep/Reboot Problem (10.9.2 helped?):
(Updated Feb 28th with reply to questions and on OS X 10.9.2 update)
(If anyone w/similar config has a tip (or doesn't have the problem), let me know.)
"Subject: 2013 Mac Pro
I just received a new late 2013 Mac Pro 8-core, Dual D700, 512GB SSD, 32GB RAM machine. (Assume all updates applied including the EFI Update.) I have hooked to it an apple LED cinema display (24"), a Planar 27" that looks just like a black iMac and has the same screen (and oddly same cutouts for a camera but no camera), an OWC USB 3 Express 2.5" enclosure for a 1TB Samsung EVO 840 SSD, a Seagate 3TB backup drive (also USB3), a Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt RAID array (V1), and a Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini Thunderbolt attached to that. There's also an Anker USB 3 hub attached. Those are the items directly attached to the computer. The USB drives are always on; the Thunderbolt drive only when editing. (Has the Pegasus R6 been reliable for you. Was it used OK with other Macs?-M)

Anyway, the issue that I have is that if at any time the display (the Planar, attached via a Display port to Mini Display Port cable) or the system went to sleep, and this would happen even when it was rendering or working, it would reboot and go into some kind of bizarre state where it couldn't see all the hardware attached to it. Only a hard reboot would fix the problem. There was also an error message about a sleep/wake crash that shows up. (Are they similar to what this 2013 Mac Pro user posted on his random crashes/restarts?-M)

Looking through some forums, I see that this problem is prevalent with Mavericks on many machines, not just this one. I have not had the problem on my late 2012 iMac except for once, and never on my late 2013 15 inch Retina MacBook Pro. But the problem is prevalent on the new Mac Pro, at least mine, and it's so bad that I've had to force all power saving functions off. Even the display has to stay on and not go to sleep, otherwise after a certain amount of time the computer will seem to reboot.

Mind you, the reboot happens if I'm not actively using the computer but rendering something in the background or even just letting it sit there. It's a bizarre problem. (Any errors in Apple Diagnostics? Lots of addons. Maybe troubleshoot by simplifying the equation so to speak. Does a clean base/minimal config have the same problems? If not add one item at a time to see if any is a trigger. I'd be tempted to start by removing USB3 devices. They don't always handle sleep well. My USB3 HD dock had a firmware update that changed sleep support/behavior. (And IIRC the 2013 Mac Pro's 4 USB 3.0 ports share a single PCIe 2.0 to USB 3.0 controller bandwidth, limiting multiple device performance.) I always disable sleep settings on work Macs and manually sleep (via menu) if needed. I don't use Mavericks for work but it seems to take energy saving to a new level.-M)

Shutting all the power saving features off, including shutting the display timeout off in energy saver Preferences seems to solve the problem. I was able to walk away from a one hour video encode and nothing bad happened. No reboot, all the disks stayed contacted. (That comment reminded me of past problems (even in 10.8.x) of ext. drives ejecting during sleep. If you manually put the Mac Pro to sleep are all drives OK (mounted) after wake?-M)
But I wanted to give you a heads-up as this is a very strange problem,
I hope it gets fixed in a future update.
Thanks, Paul
I think the last time I wrote was 10 years ago, but I have read your site constantly since. :)"

Thanks Paul. You may be setup to have diagnostics sent to Apple automatically but I'd still report this to Apple. (Also sent you a couple mails w/questions.)

(Update: here's his reply to my questions in the original post & on OS X 10.9.2 Update:)

"Re: 2013 Mac Pro (reply to questions from original post/OS X 10.9.2 report)
Hey, I'm sorry I didn't follow up with you earlier but I am now. Thank you for all your tips. I actually didn't try any of them because I was in the middle of a job and couldn't risk something getting screwed up. I just left all energy-saving functions off.
   The one thing that changed hardware wise since, is that I used to have a BlackMagic Design Thunderbolt Mini Monitor daisy chained to the Pegasus R6. Now it's an AJA T-Tap. But I ruled out the BlackMagic box because even when it and the Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt array were powered down, I still saw issues and the odd reboot state with other drives attached. (I never did test the sleep again with the BlackMagic Box removed...)

Of note - a friend of mine with a 2011 Macbook Pro (non retina) had the same issues under 10.9.1.

Today (Feb 25th), as you know, OS X 10.9.2 came out. And it seems to have resolved all my sleep problems. First, I had two USB3 drives attached as before and the Thunderbolt array on. I ran a video editing compression job and walked away. I let the display go back to sleep on it's own (via the time set in Energy Saver preferences) and when I woke up the screen, the computer was behaving normally. I have put it to sleep manually and woken it up, and all is well. I have let it render in the background, watched the displays go to sleep, walked back later, woke it up, and all was normal. (The latter two situations under 10.9.1 would always cause what seemed like a reboot, which upon logging in showed dropped drives and drives that looked mounted but were no longer mounted before). I have locked the screen (forcing the screens off) and come back to it, waking it normally.

This includes my USB three attached drives, and also my Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt array when it is on. And my time machine USB drive properly goes to sleep now when not being used. I have also noticed my attached Samsung 840 EVO SSD (in a OWC USB 3 Express enclosure) wakes up instantly after sleep or drive power save, whereas before when woken it would lock up for about 10 seconds. (And then all kinds of other Finder oddness would occur after that).

So the problem had to be with the OS. (The unique late 2013 "Mac Pro" version of 10.9.1)

Just for reference, to answer some of your older questions:

  • The Pegasus R6 has worked fine with two iMacs, two retina MBPs, two MBAirs, and now the Mac Pro.
  • The console had nothing unusual in it that I can remember.
  • (OS X Mavericks) Clean install - never tried.
  • I do have a USB3 HD dock (Voyager 3) but it was never on in any of these situations.

The drives USB and Thunderbolt - seemed to survive a manual sleep before (they sure do now). The issue I had was I am pretty sure tied to the display or drives sleeping before the computer did. The computer could be doing a lot in RAM and when finished, it would discover that the drives would either have dismounted (the Peagasus) or go into a limbo state (all the others) where they seemed mounted but were otherwise inaccessible.

In OS X 10.9.2 (I forget 10.9.1) there seem to be no sleep setting timer for the entire computer. Just the display, and the hard drives. There's also a setting for "prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off" which I have checked. (It didn't seem to matter before.)

The controller in the nMP actually is a PCIe 3.0 link to a 2.0 controller. Anandtech's site clears that up better than I can.... There's plenty of bandwidth unless more than one USB3 device totally saturates the bus (over 500MB/sec) which I have not seen with even an SSD. That might happen with a USB3 RAID but people really should be using Thunderbolt for that kind of thing anyway.

I agree with you on sleep; I only like it on my rMBP laptop (for obvious reasons). Hibernate makes total sense there. On this computer and desktops in general, especially with flash storage, it seems silly. What I do want and need however is display and drive sleep. Otherwise when I walk away on a long render job, I can't shut off the Apple screen. And my Seagate USB3 time machine drive would -always- stay on unless I unplugged it without drive sleep. (even if ejected it would stay on). It has a loud fan, so I hated that.
   (The only automatic sleep setting I use is display sleep (saves backlight), not drives but I understand your needs/usage (and setup) is far different than mine. (I've also had some problems in the past with drive sleep enabled, although some drives have their own "energy saving" in firmware, regardless of OS X's sleep settings.) My ext. TM drive for (old) work mac isn't mounted until needed. I have TM off and use it manually as needed from the menu bar, after mounting TM drive.
BTW: You probably already know it but there's been some USB3 drive (Seagate and WD) firmware updates that may affect sleep behavior IIRC (but for any w/o problems, don't 'fix it'). Linked to them in a drive tips post a few months back and mentioned my USB3 HD Dock had a bridge firmware update (to allow drive sleep) but I didn't update since I only used it for drive cloning (which worked perfectly for that) and did not want/need any drive sleep with it, although some would. I only connect the dock when using it to backup or restore a drive.-M.

Interestingly, I remember on 10.9.1 that same seagate drive on my late 2012 27" iMac would never spin down unless I ejected it. Same on the Mac Pro. On 10.9.2, it spins down even while still mounted.

I'll let you know if it becomes an issue, but I can no longer replicate the old behavior now, testing all afternoon.

Unrelated to sleep but still noticed, there were substantial version updates to all my graphics drivers - the AMD ones for the MP, and the Intel and Nvidia ones for the rMBP included in 10.9.2. (FYI: Radeon 7950 owners see ROM Switch note/tip below.-M)
   Who knows what other fixes they slipped in? Mavericks (10.9.1) has to be one of the buggiest OS's I ever used; I had to relaunch Finder regularly just to empty the trash!

Thanks Paul. That's why I would never upgrade to a new major OS X release on a work machine, but you had no choice with the new 2013 Mac Pro. (And some software also requires 10.9.x, like Final Cut Pro X 10.1 he uses.) Let me know if you see any pros or cons later on. A few days late posting your Feb. 25th mail but thanks for the follow-up. (Can't reply to mails currently, sorry.)

(FYI to Mavericks/Sophos AV Users: Not sure this applies to those reporting random restarts/crashes with various model macs (not machine specific), but here's an Apple doc (revised March 4th) about OS X Mavericks: Sophos Anti-Virus on-access scanner versions 8.0 - 9.1 may cause unexpected restarts.)

BTW: Someone with an earlier Mac Pro (2012 model) reported problems waking from sleep. (Sometimes requiring a power button restart.) Not sure if the 2012 Mac Pros are affected by this but here's a link to my post on Why 2012 iMac/Mac Mini Powers Off after Hours of Sleep (Hibernates/Turns Off). May not be applicable to the 2012 Mac Pro however, but had some tips for the macs listed. (The 2012 and earlier Mac Pros are not listed as supporting standby so that pmset setting should have no effect on them.) And at that time I was running OS X 10.8.x on the late 2012 Mac Mini and I've not tested if this still happens in OS X 10.9.2.

* FYI/Tip for Radeon 7950s running OS X 10.9.2:
Some Radeon 7950 card owners reported problems with Displayport output not working after the OS X 10.9.2 update. (DVI port was OK per reports.) A tip posted by "DPArt" is to make sure the 7950 card's ROM switch is set to the EFI postition, not PC. Apparently some never checked/changed the ROM switch setting when the card was installed.
(If set to the correct (Mac) EFI postion, OS X system info will list the card ID as "AMD Radeon 7950" - if set to PC mode, the card is listed as "AMD Radeon 7xxx".)

(Jan 24th) Reply from a reader about problems with Thunderbolt and his 2013 Retina MBP:

"The problems that are described by the user are consistent with the thunderbolt issues that I have been experiencing with early 2013 15" Retina. I have a thunderbolt gigabit adapter that when used, will cause similar issues. I filed a bug report earlier this week. Here is a description of what I filed:

I have been using Apple's Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adapter for about 10 months now with my 15" Retina (Early 2013), and I have had some interesting experiences. The Thunderbolt Gigabit adapter was buggy with Mountain Lion, but is equally buggy with Mavericks. When the adapter is used, these are typical:

  1. Machine frequently does not wake up. This happens even if the Thunderbolt adapter has been unplugged while the machine was awake, or unplugged while sleeping.
    (Does it hibernate & power off after hours of sleep? Even 2012+ desktops on A/C power do that. (Link includes tweaks to try.)-M)

  2. Machine frequently tries to wake up, after about a minute, it kernel panics, and spontaneously reboots, and files a report with Apple.

  3. If the power nap feature is enabled, things get nastier. On at least one occasion, I found my machine going full blast and rather hot in the morning with a fully bright screen displaying a large broken folder. Console indicates machine woke up and tried to make a network connection, and failed where it should have succeeded. All downhill after that.

In summary, light use of the thunderbolt adapter causes two or more forced reboots and kernel panics per week both with Mountain Lion and Mavericks. Since the user with the Pro has a lot more of thunderbolt hardware, he is presumably experiencing a much more severe case of the issue. Unfortunately, Apple is apparently too busy working on the next iPhone's gold hue instead of fixing these fundamental Mac issues. Happy 30th anniversary of the Mac. Cheers.
-Ali K."

Thanks Ali. (Paul's later reply with more info added above on Feb 28th.)

Apple/products related News/History/SW Updates/PR: (later added first)

Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Articles:

Other News/Reviews/Tech/Tips/Op-Ed/OT:

Recent Articles/Tips/Tweaks/Reviews:
Listing/links of updates, DIY mod/upgrade articles, tips and reviews you may have missed.

= From my Sponsor, your click matters =
More Memory = A Faster Mac!
Use our memory guide to see how much RAM your Mac can use and the cost.
Our installation videos make this a simple "DIY" job for almost any Mac.
Or Search for Upgrades for Your specific Mac Model

Previous News Archive Summary:
    Thursday January 23, 2014 News
  • iMovie v10.0.2 (OS X 10.9.1)
  • OS X ProApps QuickTime Codecs v1.0.4
  • Pages v5.1 (OS X) and Pages v2.1 (iOS 7)
  • Keynote 6.1 (OS X) and Keynote 2.1 (iOS 7)
  • Numbers v3.1 (OS X) and Numbers v2.1 (iOS 7)
  • Epson Printer Drivers v2.16 for OS X (10.6+)
  • Pixelmator 3.1 Fully Optimized for new Mac Pro
  • Lara Croft's origin story: Tomb Raider out now for Mac
  • Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Articles:
    - About the security content of Pages 5.1 and Pages 2.1
    - iWork: Sharing links to documents in iCloud
    - Using Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for Mac with Dropbox
    - Opening iWork for iOS and iWork for Mac documents in iWork for iCloud beta
    - iWork for Mac: Importing and exporting iWork '09 documents
    - Apple ProRes authorized products
    - Aperture 3 Tips on tethered shooting
    - Aperture 3 unexpectedly quits if Final Cut Express 4 is installed
    - OS X: Macs that support authenticated restart with FileVault
  • Other News/Reviews/Tech/Tips/Op-Ed/OT:
    - 12- and 16-Core Additions to AMD Opteron 6300 Series
    - Synology Announces the Public Beta of DiskStation Manager 5.0
    - Mobile Software Learns Your Phone's Habits to Catch New Malware
    - Nest Competitor Monitors Your House's Leaks on the Cheap

For links to older news pages, see the Archives.

(Ad/Sale Items)

= UPGRADES by Model =
Upgrades for YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for Current List)

= SSDs up to 4TB =
SSDs for Most Macs!

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5" HDs & DIY Kits =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Docks & More

= back to =
Copyright 1997-2018. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.