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1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.6 GHz) with 3 MB shared L3 cache

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Sudden screen glitches & freezes, requiring force restart

Hello!

My 2012 MacBook Air (I have the 2.0 GHz dual i7 + 8 GB of RAM model) has, for the last few months, started crashing at random, requiring a force restart.

Out of nowhere, the screen gets glitchy ~ you can see what was there, but its colors & shapes distort. If any audio was playing, it also becomes just a glitchy (loud!) mess. The only solution is to hold down the power switch for 10 seconds and force a restart. Or sometimes it restarts on its own after a few seconds.

The troubleshooting I’ve done:

1) installed a clean OS (Mojave) on a separate partition. Still happens.

2) happens on both battery & two different AC power adapters.

3) happens with & without external peripherals connected (powered USB3 hub, audio interface connected via firewire-thunderbold adapter).

4) I’ve reset PRAM & SMC. No help.

5) happens under heavy & light workloads, even sometimes sitting idle (i’ll return to my desk to find it has restarted itself).

6) sprayed compressed air inside all vents in case something was blocked by dust causing overheating. No help.

7) Ran Repair Disk in Disk Utility after starting up from recovery partition. No results.

What I haven’t done: replace the battery, which reports “Replace Soon”. I don’t want to throw big money at the machine if its logic board is about to die.

Any thoughts? The machine (aside from random crashes) still suits my needs perfectly, and I’d really like to not have to replace it.

Thanks in advance!

~ Peter in Athens

Update

Adding screenshots of CoconutBattery, per request!

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First I would install this app to see more clearly whats happening with your battery CoconutBattery past a snapshot of the main window so we can see it as well Adding images to an existing question

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I have the same issues with a fresh battery. The symptoms are exactly like described in the original post. Same computer. Very difficult to replicate as I’m not sure when it occurs. Have been keeping a log of circumstances under which this happens but there seems to be no red thread at all. I’m at loss over what other cause this could have.

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@damianwinters - Best to create a fresh question with your details

crwdns2893770:0crwdnd2893770:0crwdne2893770:0

I am having the same exact issues on a 2012 MacBook Air. I was originally on Catalina, then I decided to do a fresh install of Mojave, everything looked fine, until I experienced the infamous screen glitching and restart.

My battery has been chanced 3 years ago, but I must admit it's been used quite a bit. In Sys Info shows 360 cycles.

Do you guys have any sort of update/solution found in the meantime?

crwdns2893770:0crwdnd2893770:0crwdne2893770:0

@manuele - Best to create a fresh question with your details

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From the sounds of it you may have a failing drive issue as well. But before you can address that you really need to get the battery issue fixed first. Once we see the CoconutBattery snapshot we can guide you on whats needed.

Update (02/01/2019)

You’er running on borrowed time! Determine battery cycle count for Mac notebooks You battery has a lifespan of only 1000 cycles you’ve exceeded that by almost 500!

You’ll need to replace it first, here’s the needed part MacBook Air 11" (Mid 2011-Early 2015) Battery and here’s the guide MacBook Air 11" Mid 2012 Battery Replacement

When the battery gets to this level its power output is not stable which can cause instability like you are seeing.

You should also rethink your usage pattern. You really don’t want to let the battery get to low before charging it up. Once you get down to 1/4 of the charge you tend to burn a cycle.

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MacBook Air 11" (Mid 2011-Early 2015) Battery

$59.99

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Thanks Dan! I've added images of Coconut Battery to the Original Post.

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thank you for the answer Dan! I'm just wondering though, since I'm seeing this behavior also when running on AC power... does this instability due to battery failure truly persist when running on AC?

Can you think of a way i can test this before dropping $100 on a new battery? If I take the old one out and try running only on AC, perhaps?

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Surprisingly Yes! Your system will use both power sources. The dominant one is the battery.

If you disconnect the battery and the MagSafe connection is clean & stable you should be able to run your system without it crashing.

crwdns2893770:0crwdnd2893770:0crwdne2893770:0

thanks so much for your help. i'll find a pentalobe driver somewhere and give it a try & report back

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