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Ask Max: Monitor won't wake up!

Asked on 11/15/2006:

I have an old but reliable Sony Multiscan E400 attached to my mirror door G4- 1 gig dual processor with 2 gigs of ram.. I am getting started in freelance graphics, (full color direct mail).. In the last day or so, I find that my monitor goes into power mode, and will not wake up. I have to restart my computer. The problem started when I added a USB 2 slot in the back and hooked up an external hard drive. Tonight, I switched my system preferences so my monitor will not sleep. Is it just coincidental that the monitor is going????I don't want to buy an expensive monitor, as I am hoping to upgrade in a year or so, and then consider a new iMac, but while freelancing full time at graphics, I can't afford to have my computer go down, and I don't want to buy a cheap monitor with poor color. Does it sound like my monitor is just going or perhaps another problem???


The permanent sleep of your computer is not related to your display. It is a problem with some USB 2.0 cards.. Certain cards will prevent a Mac from going into deep sleep mode and that will keep a Mac in a semi-sleep state perpetually. It will stay that way until you restart the computer. There are many reports of this exact problem and in nearly every case it is not a monitor problem but related to the card. Your solution will work in the short term, but never letting your computer sleep will reduce your hardware's life-span. Another option is to buy a new card that will work well with Macintoshes. Apple does not have a list of cards that work with deep sleep but they do have a list of USB 2.0 cards that work with the iPod and that list is likely to reflect cards that also work with deep sleep (Apple Tech Article). I like IOGear and they make a nice USB 2.0 / FireWire card (USB2 FireWire Combo Card).That should get your Mac sleeping again.

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