Several weeks ago I installed Sophos AntiVirus for Mac Home Edition on my iMac. I chose it because I was somewhat familiar with Sophos and I knew that I needed a working malware program (I was using an older version of McAfee Security on my previous iMac but that version wasn’t compatible with Lion).
Since I installed it I began to notice odd issues with bringing my Mac out of standby. It could have been a coincidence but the only other changes I’ve made to the system were some recent system updates.
Today, once again, the system didn’t wake. Previous issues also included the system partially waking but the mouse cursor would change to a spinning wheel and I couldn’t do anything except move the cursor.
After I restarted the iMac the system offered to send a crash report to Apple. I went ahead and let it but I viewed the details before sending. While I didn’t read the information closely it looked like it was possibly caused by the Sophos updater process.
To try to work around the problem I changed some Energy Saver settings. My iMac is on a UPS and I noticed the UPS configuration options were a little different from the standard power options. I disabled the option to allow the hard drive to sleep and then saved the changes.
With those changes in place it’s now just a matter of waiting to see if it happens again.
The Short Version: Using gfxCardStatus to manage the graphics mode made a notable difference. Uninstalling McAfee Security made the most difference.
This week I started using a new 15″ MacBook Pro (MacBookPro8,2) with OS X 10.7 (Lion). It wasn’t long before I noticed a dramatic difference between the battery life of the new MacBook Pro and that of my previous 17″ MacBook Pro, which was about two years old.
In the System Preferences I had noticed that I couldn’t configure the system to only use the integrated, low-power graphics card. Rather, I had to choose to enable “Automatic graphics switching” (in “Energy Saver”) or disable it. If it’s disabled then the computer automatically uses the high-performance, battery-draining graphics card.
Last night I began to suspect that the system wasn’t properly switching to the low-powered card. It turns out that I was almost correct.