MacBook RSS

My beloved MacBook, Sabastian, is just over two months old and is the only computer I use in day to day life, I am extremely happy with it… Or should I say was? Recently, it has suffered a series of random shutdowns after being turned on, which quickly deteriorate into a refusal to start-up at all. It is apparently part of the 12% of 1.83GHz MacBook’s that suffer from RSS (Random Shutdown Syndrome).


It started doing this last Saturday, as I was checking email it suddenly shut down, I didn’t think much of it at the time as everything was fine up until that point and wasn’t very concerned. The next day I struggled to turn it on and heard that bloody start-up sound about fifty times before it was stable enough to use. Matt is going to take it back to Apple Care for me this week and he is lending me his iBook to use while it’s away being fixed or set on fire and dropped off a six story building.

I recorded the above videos incase he can’t get it to demonstrate RSS in store (which I highly doubt) and also to demonstrate how fucking frustratting it is to work with a system that shuts down randomly. Hopefully it will be fixed or replaced quickly without much delay.

I now despise the sound of a MacBook turning on.


Matt took my MacBook in on Wednesday, he said the guy who served him was a bit of a n00b and didn’t seem to know about the RSS problem, a problem which Apple has acknowledged and that is so huge people are planning filing lawsuits against Apple. Guess he is more of a Today/Sunrise news kind of guy than a /. or Digg guy. It had to be sent away to the service centre, as they don’t fix them in-store, and it may take between 7 to 17 days. 😦

26 Comments on “MacBook RSS”

  1. OMG, this is hilarious! (not)

    I read about you getting your macbook, and I got one too, about a month ago now!(not only because of seeing it on your blog, but still, your pretty pictures of yours definetly influenced me, ha ha!)

    And now I realise I’ve got the same problem….!!! It happened for the first time on Thursday night, and again tonight (I didn’t use it much on the weekend). My husband (who’s had macs for years) thought he fixed it, and thought it was because of software!
    But after reading your post here now, I’m 95% sure mine has the same problem as yours!
    Well, before going to the Bloggers meetup on Wednesday I will be dropping it off at the Apple Store!!! Argghhh!

    Thanks for posting about it!!

    Can’t believe my first comment on your blog(have been reading for about a year I reckon) is about this!

    Good luck with yours 🙂


  2. … May be an Apple thing? Each of my iPods have needed to be replaced just under 12 months of purchase 😦 Yay for Apple Warranties, I guess 🙂


  3. As difficult as it is to believe that you’d have trouble turning something on, I think ‘bob’s summarisation of the problem is accurate and to the point.

    Possibly a battery issue? That seems to be all the rage these days.


  4. *clears throat*


    Season pass to the lollercoaster 😉

    Hope they fix it, and by fix i mean replace it with an asus.



  5. Pingback: Newbie Geek » Blog Archive » Macbook

  6. Thanks for that link – I have the 2.0GHz white model and didn’t realise until now that the screen corners aren’t *meant* to be dark (duh, I know). I might nag them about it and see if they’ll give me a new one.

    Apart from that I still heart the MacBook. I have an uptime of 18 days at the moment.


  7. Mark, the corners and track pad of my MacBook also suffered from the dark staining. Apple has acknowledged the staining problem, but I wasn’t too concerned as it was just an aesthetic problem and I wanted to see if it worsened before sending it off to be fixed. They’re going to take a look at the staining while they are fixing the RSS problem. Various websites claim that it’s the plastics they used in the casing, it reacts with heat and causes staining, and the newer Macbooks (made after August) have a different plastic that is smoother to touch and doesn’t suffer from staining. Some MacBook owners have used non-acetone nail polish remover to remove the stains, but I think sending it to be fixed is better than explaining a MacBook with a corroded case that smells like a nail salon.


  8. I guess I’ll keep running the TI-99 a while longer.
    I’ll bet an “Old Lady” like Kitta remembers what a TI-99 is.
    (It was too easy…I just had to do it…I’m sorry Kitta)


  9. I think that’s the first time I’ve heard that start up sound since 5 years ago when I had to use macs at school. Wow, I can’t believe they haven’t changed it at all in 20 years or so.

    I’ve also heard a few interesting tales about the macbook batteries and charging behaviour, not sure i believe them though.

    Anyway, I know how frustrating it is to not be using your own computer, so I hope it doesn’t take too long.


  10. I just read a PC world column regarding the RSS on macbooks. After retelling the story of his experiences so far, the author offers up this little tidbit:

    “Some MacBooks have a heat sink sensor that malfunctions, thinks the system is overheating when it isn’t, and shuts down the machine thinking it’s preventing potential damage.”

    Here’s to hoping that when your MacBook comes back, it’s got a brand new sensor.



  11. That’s interesting – I had thought it was an issue with the actual screen design rather than the materials. I guess I’ll wait to see if it gets worse.


  12. Daniel:

    “Here’s the solution…

    – unplug your Mac (if it’s not already)
    – unplug all devices from Mac
    – throw Mac in trash and buy PC

    It works.”

    Why downgrade to a PC because of a simple thermal sensor issue?


  13. David and Marc, I’ve known about the firmware update since last week. My MacBook is still at the service centre and I have no idea when it will be back. I wonder when it finally does come back if it will have the firmware installed and/or it will have hardware replaced…

    We shall see.


  14. Pingback: Newbie Geek » Blog Archive » Random Shutdown Syndrome, Crumpler, Adsense

  15. Sorry, I didn’t bother reading the other replies; even the one directly above my own. Alas, ignorance is one of my many fortes.


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