Advice needed:How do you stop Macbook from freezing due to shorts / bad power supply?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Advice needed:How do you stop Macbook from freezing due to shorts / bad power supply?

    Hey Guys,

    Played out another give last night with Traktor pro 1.0.2, which went great, apart from nightmare setting up.

    I use a Macbook Pro 17" and when i have the power pack plugged in to the supply at the last 2 gigs the computer has frozen (shorted) - and i have to restart holding the powerbutton. Lucky this has only happened during setup or warm up, the only way to get around it is to play on battery only which has fortunately lasted for the full set.

    Do you guys have any ideas on how to stop this? It hasn't effected my other DJ's but they seem to have the plastic macbooks, so i have no idea if it is just my computer, dodgy power pack, or the dodgy looking powerboards at the venues i have played at.

    Please note, this never happens at home.

    Needless to say it makes for a very stressful experience.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Lecko's Avatar
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    Try a PRAM reset and a SMC Reset

    PRAM - Turn the Macbook on and hold down 'Option' 'Apple' 'P' 'R' The machine will re-boot itself, do this til it chimes 2-3 times

    SMC - Remove the battery and hold down the Power button for 15 Seconds or more. Put the battery back in and power up the machine.

    You can also check for any software updates that may fix a known issue, if these fail maybe get to a Apple Service Provider and get them to run Service Diagnostics

    Hope this helps
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.0GHZ i7. Kontrol S4. Traktor Scratch Pro 2.5. MidiFighter Classic. Aiaiai TMA-1.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Monika.mhz's Avatar
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    17" laptops are notorious for having problems with grounding. This is why time and time again I tell DJs and producers to NEVER buy a 17" laptop. The LCDs require sooo much power that the inverters are massive and that much juice runs into problems (theres even cases where people got 2nd degree burns from a screw in the bottom of a 17" dell)


    Can you hear a buzz noise that comes from the charger when you plug it in? if so does it come from near the charger or near the LCD?

    If you dont hear a buzz you've got a grounding issue in the AC system, and you might want to think about bringing a 'surge protector' that has an internal ground fault system.

    Ground faults are DANGEROUS, especially with a 17" laptop, those things have a TON of juice going through them.
    Monika.mhz - I do things. Also stuff.
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  4. #4
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    I would recommend getting a power conditioner for your rig, it helps sending a constant supply of power and avoids your lappy from spiking
    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor
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    If I get this correctly, you plug in your computers power adapter into a the power strip and it freezes, almost immediately. If thats true can you be a little more detailed with what occurs before/during/after the freezing. Please be detailed as possible, like the light indicators in the battery and the power adapter, also look at the units sleep light.
    I can probably help you, if your interested respond.
    Thank Ya!!!

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Hey guys thanks for the responses. I definitely think it is a grounding/spike problem. Can't hear any audible buzzing though.

    Software/firmware all up to date.

    Luv2xra: The problem occurs when the power adaptor is plugged in, there are no warning indicators of any kind at all. Basically, i'd be playing on traktor, and suddenly the audio stops and the screen is frozen with no response, and i have to hold the power key down down to reboot.

    The freeze has happened multiple times anywhere between 5 - 45 minutes. But as i said never at home.

    I have noticed that the boards i have been plugging into at the gigs are generally chained multiple times and in poor condition.

    Do you guys have any recommendation on a appropriate power conditioner / surge protector that isnt huge in size?

  7. #7
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    An audible buzz coming from your power supply isn't necessarily caused by a grounding issue.

    That's common in many switch mode supplies and emanates from the inductor found in all switching power supplies, the changing magnetic fields actually cause the windings of the inductor to physically vibrate resulting in the hum.

    If you get buzzing through the PA after the power supply is plugged in, then you need to check your grounding.

  8. #8
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    @ DJ_ajay

    You have definitley got a power supply issue there, often in clubs you have dozens of different devices all running on the same phase wire, all connected via a web of multi-adapters and extension leads.

    The devices nearly all use switching supplies which draw current in high frequency burst, because its random when each supply is drawing current compared to all the others this is generally ok, but when they all randomly 'fire' in phase you are going to get a large spike of current.

    All the messy tangled cables have a large inductance, when you have a rapid change in the current through an inductor it actually tries to resist this change and keep the current the same, so when there is a large spike of current that has just stopped the inductance will produce a large voltage spike in the AC line which can be thousands of volts.

    This can travel through consumer grade power supplies with their cheap protection circuitry and make it on to you computer mother board and through numerous methods cause the computer to crash.

    Buy a decent conditioner/surge protector and you will be sweet.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Monika.mhz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midifidler View Post
    An audible buzz coming from your power supply isn't necessarily caused by a grounding issue.
    From the supply itself, no. But from the inverter or from where the jack plugs into the laptop? BAD.
    Monika.mhz - I do things. Also stuff.
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    Articles: Streamline Your Laptop for Djs(Windows)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the replys guys. Definitely gonna go look for a surge protector this afternoon.

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