Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why my MacBook Air keeps crashing

Since I am somewhat profound on using Microsoft Software, I thought I needed a new challenge. So I bought myself a Apple MacBook Air.

I was very happy using it, didn’t miss that much functionality which I couldn’t add in another way with a simple application. I can manage all Microsoft Networks at ease… So I kept on using Mac OSX. (I do have a dual boot to Windows 8 which I work on regularly)

Since the beginning of June my MacBook started freezing, or Crashing… and I couldn’t find out why. So I started my troubleshooting skills on it and finally I found it…

What I noticed was the following. When the power is disconnected for a few seconds, and than reconnected the freeze would occur, but not always..

So It could be a power thingy, or a power save thingy… But still a little vague. And since it is doesn’t happen always it was extra strange… So I started to note which Applications I have open on the system when the crash or freeze occurs…

Mostly I had the same programs running in the system:

* Outlook
* Google Chrome
* Word
* Excel

But finally saturday at home I found it. I had only one program running when the freeze occurred: Google Chrome.

So I switched back to Safari, and stopped using Chrome. And am crash free for a few days now.

But a program such as Google Chrome should not be able to freeze or crash my system. So I started my search on the internet, and apparently I am not the only one with this problem since I found a load of references. The consensus seems to be that it has to do with the GPU acceleration used in Google Chrome. So my initial idea that it was a Power Safe Thingy might be right. When the power is disconnected the Mac switches from the highpower gpu to an internal low power GPU. When the power is reconnected Google Chrome starts to panic and keeps feeding the internal GPU and with that overloading the system bus and therefor freezing the system.

On a google Chrome forum I found that Google acknowledges this problem with the GPU and has disabled some features to track the problem down, but still haven’t found it. Now they have filed a bug report with Apple in the hope that Apple can fix something on their end.

So until this is fixed, I am to use Safari or Firefox.. But I think that for now I stick to Safari.

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