Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes

High Sierra InstallI upgraded my Mac Pro to High Sierra.  For the most part it was seamless.  The installer automatically migrated the HFS+ file system to AFPS and everything appeared to be working great.  As it turns out. . . I have a new intermittent problem that causes the computer to become unresponsive while idle.

It presents primarily as a failure to wake from sleep (backlit black screens instead).  Display sleep is actually all that is required to present and of course it is not every time.  It is often enough for me to return to the 90s habit of shutting down my computer after I finish using it lest I cause irreparable harm to my mounted file systems.  Here are some things i have discovered while trying to resolve.  Sometimes i can access the computer remotely, other times not, never graphically.  Sometimes the system hangs as soon as it goes idle, sometimes it continues to operate.  Sometimes it restarts from “sudo reboot” from an ssh session, other times it just hangs completely when i try.  The console logs are useless.  Nothing at all before the reboot.  When unresponsive, there is nothing to do but hold the power button.

The difficulty i am having at discovering the core of the issue combined with the fact that my remote backup has gotten stale is driving me crazy.  There seems to be people complaining about this on every Apple forum there is.  I am not alone:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8085995
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/300199/mac-pro-on-high-sierra-doesnt-wake-up
https://www.reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/73094p/mac_pro_2013_high_sierra_wont_wake…
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/high-sierra-causing-blank-screen-macpro.2073218/

Mac Pro takes a dive. There went my Sunday.

I return to my computer after letting it idle to this maelstrom. Pinwheel of death to 11!  Luckily I was left with at least one tool in my belt. Initial signs point to Disk I/O but with SSD??  Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes.  no such thing as a day off.

Mac Pro - Force Quit Window

UPDATE! – It was drive related, but not my boot drive. Apparently all this was caused by file system corruption on an external drive. it’s not that it wasn’t in use, but that drive was certainly not in use by all of these applications.  It was a drive that contains large files that don’t require especially high performance (like my bitcoin blockchain).  I must now give a shout out to DiskWarrior for saving my Sunday.

Power Nap drops my watts to the floor!

I finally ensured that all of the background tasks on my primary desktop would quite literally run in their sleep.  Now I can leave it asleep a majority of the time.  I am continually impressed with the energy efficiency of the new MacPro. The wattage depicted represents not just my slumbering beast, but several small appliances as well (including two Raspberry Pi).  Getting a bit greener.

15 Watts  APC Display