Apple officially acknowledges Macbook Random Shutdowns

Apple surely felt the heat when the Macbook community (again!) raged on the “Macbook RSS”, the Random Shutdown Syndrome. (See also my formely posted blog entry about a possible cause of RSS.) As with the recent Walk of Shame case, Apple came to its senses and has now published an official statement: Knowledge Base article 304308 says:

“If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service.”

Apple SupportApple has acknowledged the RSS as a hardware related defect, meaning that repair is covered by your guaranty. (Hopefully, you haven’t void it by opening your Macbook!). And as other sources as well as comments to the former blog article indicate, Apple is specifically replacing the heatsink in Macbooks suffering from the RSS. Good news, then, finally.

Update Sep, 19: MacBidouille has a story (in French) about Apple now providing specific instructions to Apple Authorized Service Providers on how to resolve the RSS. Apple also delivers a revised motherboard and a new heatsink for the repair.


  1. Tom Hutchinson said

    FINALLY! It’s about f@(&ing time. THANK YOU FOR TELLING US!!!

  2. Rob said

    According to a few on the discussion board, the RSS issue doesnt always go away after repairs. some have sent in their laptops 2-3 times before the problem went away (for now) mine is/was suffering the same problem, and is presently in apple’s hands. hopefully by this point they know what the actual problem is and fix it. if it IS just the heatsink, i would be very relieved, and happy again to see my computer in good working order once more. it seems to be the most sensible reason, my old dell desktops practically worthless motherboard works great after 5 years, id hate to think a MACBOOK’s logicboard is sub par in comparison, yeesh.

  3. Soren Wind said

    I have experienced something strange.. yesterday i had 8 or 9 RSS’ on my 1 month old macbook (week 29 production date) i then cloned my internal harddisk to an external USB2 harddrive, and booted the macbook on the USB drive, and i havent crashed since !

    I used to provoke the crash running Handbrake (Video conversion software) and it is running with no problems at this very moment, still on the external drive ! Try it if you have a chance ! I cant’ wait for apple to maybe repair my machine at this very moment, so this will be my soultion until apple has cured the problem 100%

  4. Andre said

    I’ve been looking to buy a MacBook for the past few weeks and can’t believe how many people are experiencing problems with them…

    Does anyone have a MacBook that’s at least 4 months old that doesn’t shut down randomly?

  5. Stas said

    One of my friends bought a white MacBook about 3 weeks ago, he is happy with it so far, but another person I’ve met, who bought in the beginning of July has this problem, he sent it back and Apple fixed the problem. I was thinking about buying a MacBook too, but I’ve changed my mind and bought a used PowerBook G4. I think, for those who are planning on buying a MacBook, a good idea would be to wait another month or two, and then go for it. It’s a nice notebook, after all, with a break-through technology (Core Duo processor in a small laptop), and just like with other high-tech products it is better to wait for all the bugs to be fixed. Just like with hybrid cars, and cars that run on biodiesel, great invention, something that will probably be used in the near future, but it is not reliable yet, just because it is new.

  6. Kabren said

    Mine’s 4 months, and it just started. This is rediculous.

  7. Soren Wind said

    Today it went RSS again…. using my external drive also 😦 Gotta call Apple now… 1 month and 2 days old

  8. Julio Bierce said

    I´m from Argentina, South America. My MacBook has the syndrome. Do You Know the exact date when Mac published the Knowledge Base Article 304308 in the official site? I need that information………….Many Thanks

  9. maba said

    Julio, I think it was the Sep, 7th.


    I just dropped off my macbook at the Apple store. He said it was definitely a motherboard issue because my screen had vertical stripes on it. I think he was just pulling that out of thin air to cover up a more discerning problem. Nevertheless, he said i should get it back in 3-7 business days. We shall see if his timeline is accurate and whether or not they properly fix the problem. (My built-in isight stopped working two days ago and the screen just started showing vertical lines last night.)

  11. pokie said

    My Macbook is two months old and I have been experiencing random shutdowns for the last 3 weeks. It always shuts down about 60 seconds after waking up from sleep. Holding the power button down to the point where it beeps when let go usually fixes the problem and it will stay up all day. I have also had five incidents of vertical stripes on the screen on reboot. The vertical stripes can only be fixed by selecting apple alt P R before the grey screen appears and holding them down until the computer beeps. This is my first apple after 10 years of PC’s. Generall a great product but not at all impressed with this problem.

  12. Ali Al-Bahrani said

    i have same problem of random shutdown same as showing in the vedio clip but i m in jordna and i cant tell u that i can call apple support to as about the problem , if you have any idea that i can fix the dum problem please send me email at

  13. Kyuzo said

    I bought a Macbook in July and the RSS problem started a few weeks later. When I took it back to the store the first time, no one had a clue as to what was causing it. They shipped it off to service and replaced the heatsink. A week later, the RSS problem was back. I took it back to the Apple store to be serviced again. The Genius bar folks still don’t have a clue as to what is causing it. Apple has now had my Macbook for three weeks and still hasn’t fixed it.

    This is my first Apple computer in years. I’m growing very disillusioned with their quality and customer support.

  14. Ash said

    Does anyone know if this RSS is happening to the MacBook Pros? Thanks!
    (In the hunt for a new laptop)

  15. peter said

    yes i have the problem with my mac book pro.
    apple already changed teh logic board, the right fan and the harddisk

    with no result, my macbook is shuting down randomly

  16. Hanric said

    I have never experienced anything like this. My MacBook was handed in for repair three weeks ago and nothing has happened until now. Apple-fans claim that problem solved and bla-bla-bla. Apple has know about this problem for a long long time – ever since the MacBook Pro was launched! Yet, they chose to introduce yet another MacBook model and yes – it has the same problem. It is totally irresponsible. The level of service dedicated to people suffering from RSS is far from sufficient. Can’t even deliver part for people to have their MacBooks repaired! Impossible to get a responce from Apple – called – wrote – nothing get through to them. Sorry, but I have very little respect for a company that chose to ignore customers in this way. Bad behavior – they’ll happily take your money – and run…

  17. victoria said

    I have a macbook week 21 and have recently started to have the RSD problem AND a battery that won’t charge…related? Anyway, it started by shutting down when the battery hit like 20% and I thought I just missed the warning. It always worked when I restarted it. THen the barttery quit charging…light stays green constantly. I did all the ‘fixes’ mentioned on many discussion boards: resetting PMU, removing battery, etc. and nothing helped. From what I read, the true fix has only been working since sept. 18th so many ‘repairs’ before that just didn’t stick. I am off to the apple store and hopefully they will replace the heatsink and logic board (supposed to fix it finally) . Also read that new ones are not having this issue…mostly pre week 35. (look at serial number, it’s the 4th and 5th number that represent the week.

  18. Well today was the day!
    I didn’t know about this s*** but today it happened. I was using it normaly and it just shutdown! 3 months till now …

  19. well, this will end my pain. I really like my MacBook but the shutdown is really getting on my nerves!

  20. Tim said

    I also had my Macbook about 3 months and then the RSS began. Seemed to always happen after waking up from sleep mode. I dropped it off at the genius bar today and they seemed sure the problem is the heat sink and also stated they make those repairs in house now instead of sending the unit off.

    I am having my faceplate replaced because it became ridiculously discolored after only 6 weeks of part time use (white macbook). I have learned that if you wish to maintain your unit without quick discoloration then you have to use a wireless keyboard and mouse as I do now and use a faceplate cover and keyboard cover when I am not at home with my wireless keyboard and mouse. This is sad considering this is a portable laptop computer but its better then having a white computer with brownish splotches from your palms and from the heat exaust in the back. How tacky that looks.

    So anyway my unit is on its way to service regardless. I do have to say this is my first apple product ever as I was goaded into purchasing one by being advised how Mac’s dont crash and things just work blah blah blah. My old dell latitude has given me less problems then this Mac has so far and I have to say my experience with Apple’s customer care has probably eliminated any plans to purchase any mac pc’s in the future.

  21. James said

    Well. Damn you, wikipedia. I was quite content and looking forward to buying a white MacBook 2.0GHz. But after reading wikipedia, and about all the issues people have been having: discolouration, and namely this one (the RSS), I am not so sure. The thing is, I can only afford the $AU2200 (+$415) for this one, so I can’t get a Pro instead. That’s because I need it now: my course requires (well, heavily recommends) me to have a notebook computer by the time I start in two weeks.

    In any case, I want the Mac so bad, but I simply cannot have it going back and forth to repair. Is anyone here who has had the problem from Australia, too? I want to know how many people it is affecting here. Also, have there been any recent updates to MacBooks in terms of hardware and addressing this issue; if I buy now, is it any different than if I had of got one months ago. 😦 Is it an inevitable problem, or does it only happen to some MacBooks? So many conflicting questions.

    I really am not sure what to do.

    I could very well get something better, like the new Hewlett Packard dv2000t, but I could very well be equally disappointied and have problems down the track. At this point, however, it looks far superior. T_T

  22. Floyd said

    I bought a new Macbook Pro in May 2006 and have also had RSS. Sent it to Applecare in September, they replaced the logic board and guess whatt, it’s still happening!

    What really pissed me off was the 1st time around this problem screwed up many of my photos from my Aperture program. I used the Vault feature and when I got the computer back from Apple I and restored the Vault but many of the pictures from the previous 2 months before servicing were screwed. To date I have not been able to recover the images.

    I am now sending back to Apple for a 2nd repair round. I want this fixed or I want my money back!

    I hate to say it but I may have to go back to my pc.

  23. Imran Awan said

    Well…. Mine was bought in may. I use it extensivly. I had PowerBook earlier. Imust say its a pretty good package for what it is. YES! with much dismay i confirm to have RSS. Two days ago was the first I ever experienced. can’t believe an apple to be doing this. I sold the idea of macbook to a lot of ppl using windows/Pc laptops…. it seems i gotta be careful now.

    On apples website support page, they suggest firmware updtae to resolve this. which i have already done. Hoping RSS not rear its ugly head again.

    Imagine u being in the middle of a formal presentation and your machine suts off!!!!!!!

    If anyone has udated their firmware and the problem gone away, pls do report.

    I hate the idea of taking the machine to a dealer as i have so much of data that must not be shared.

  24. Agustina said

    I bought my macbook in Buenos Aires, Argentina in July…. and in september send it to repair because of the first rss. They changed the logic board, and said they had heard nothing about the rss syndrome! It worked ok for a month, and in october I had to take it back because of the same problem.
    This time they admited there was a problem going on with this laptops, that they new how to fix it definitly….. Its working ok now… lets see how much longer it takes to shutdown again 😦

  25. Josh said

    Has anyone had any problems with their macbooks not reading cd’s or dvd’s? i have, and it’s driving me insane. when i put a cd/dvd into the drive, it spins it for a moment, and then spits the disc back out. what is going on here!?!?! if anyone knows anything about this issue, please, please, please let me know!!! (

  26. kim said

    An excellent design! Who did? 🙂

  27. Chris said

    it’s a year and a half later, and apple is STILL making Macbooks with this same defect?? My mom just bought a nice new white Macbook and in less than two months she is already experiencing the shutdown problem.

    Why would they not fix this by now?

  28. Shira said

    Hi. I have a macbook with the same random shutdown problem. Anyone have an update on what really works? Mine isn’t in warranty. Thanks!

  29. Gareth said

    I’ve just had this problem. My firmware is up-to-date and the laptop is out of warranty. I took it to apple and it was going to cost me nearly £600 to get it fixed.

    I took it apart to have a look for loose cables or anything obvious but couldn’t seen anything. So, I reseated the HD and RAM and plugged it in; it stayed up without issue.

    I put it back together in case it was an overheating issue and it’s not had a problem since.

    It’s worth a try if yours is out of warranty too. Remember to make note of which screw goes where.

    How to disassemble:

  30. Judith Antonelli said

    Today the problem was fixed for me by the great Apple repair shop in Boston called Computer Loft. These guys are fantastic. All they did was put in some firmware, and they did not charge me a cent! Now my MacBook works fine again, and I did not have to go through sending my machine to Apple, which sounds like a nightmare, from some of the posts on this site!

    • mac said

      could you post more detail about the firmware? PLEASE???

  31. Tablet popust

    Apple officially acknowledges Macbook Random Shutdowns | Martin Backschat\’s Blog

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