Why is my computer fainting?

iMac 27" - 2014 - Big Sur OS

Hi, I have a weird question but maybe someone here has some feedback. I listen to ROON for several hours a day continuously. And sometimes, inexplicably, my 2014 iMac 27" shuts down (black screen) and then comes back to itself after shaking the mouse… It’s not the computer shutting down and restarting, it’s like it’s having syncope.
It is proven that ROON is a big consumer of energy and bandwidth and memory. Could it be the cause of this symptom.
I would like to point out that I have often consulted computer experts and that nobody (not even technical reports like EtreCheck) can find any problem with my computer.

So could it be an illusion of a tired computer?

Thank you for your attention.

That sounds like it could simply be power saving features, on your OS? Most will blank the screen after a period of time, take a look at this setting:

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Thanks. I thought that it could be the basis of the issue, but my setting is that the screen never shut off (I have a screen saver)… so ?

There are so many other things that may be causing this. See this article for instance; the writer’s first paragraphs are not terribly interesting, but there is user feedback further down in the article. As you can see, several different causes that all make it look similar on the surface:

I’m afraid you might have to rule out causes one by one, I’m sure there are more than in the article.

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2.0 changed the way Roon behaves with Mac Power settings.
This thread (and others) have suggested power settings.

You may want to take a look at Amphetamine in the Apple App Store on your Mac? This is an excellent and sophisticated app (rated 4.8 stars) that prevents your Mac from going to sleep at your choice.

I would use it if if I have not written my own a command line app that is light-weight and does exactly what I want.

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Could be thermal related but I don’t think it’d come right back on if it was… even still, have you opened it up and blown out the dust.

Could be the power supply? But that would usually be a startup failure, I have a buddy that used to place his old dying iMac on a warm engine block to warm the internals so he could boot it. Lol. Hey it worked for him. You obviously don’t have that problem.

Could be graphics card related. Are you using RoonServer and Roon, or just Roon? I’d switch to RoonServer if you not currently using it. Even if it isn’t graphics related.

As @QuinnT suggestested, Amphetamine might help. That disables all of apples power saving stuff. Ideally on the iMac you’d want the screen to sleep but prevent the computer from sleeping when the screen is off. I believe that is possible now, I could be mistaken, I haven’t messed with an iMac in a while.

Completely unrelated but are you using any external hdd for your storage? They usually ignore the don’t sleep settings and go into their own power saving mode. I have 8 Exos drives that used to power down and park the heads every 120 seconds of no usage. It puts a lot of unnecessary wear on the drives, best to keep them spinning. Spinning idle drives is less wear and tear than head constantly parking and drives basically then have to spin up like in a cold boot when accessed again. I use the keep drives spinning script to keep the drives spinning and the heads from parking.

I’m not a fan of them, but if you like the Mac ecosystem a M1 mini may be a good choice for you… just make sure you pay the Apple tax and get the extra ram.

I’ve been test driving an entry level Mac studio for a bit with Roon 2.0 builds and have had good results. I think the M1 Max is definitely overkill for Roon. Honestly, I hate the computer. I still use Ubuntu for hqp and prefer my i9 10th gen Hackintosh over the Mac Studio.

Maybe wait for the next mini to surface… it a couple of years old now and needs a refresh.

I’d still open up your iMac and blow out the dust.

Whoa…I just noticed how long this post got… :roll_eyes:

@ffk Thank you all for your messages and especially @ffk. Other Mac experts’ opinions in other forums discover, in my EtreCheck report, some ROON file problems. The advice would be to re-install ROON as the new Big Sur OS has installed over the old ROON software, which could lead to file confusion. How to uninstall and reinstall? I throw everything in the trash and reload from the internet?. I will try this reinstallation solution before looking at the rest… What do you think?

[quote=“KDM, post:8, topic:221426”]
I throw everything in the trash and reload from the internet?.

I’m not sure reinstalling roon will fix the screen blackouts. But I’d still switch to using RoonServer and Roon over just using the Roon.app for both.

I’m assuming you are just reinstalling roon?

There are several ways to achieve this. This is what I would do.

  1. I would first make a back up of roon using the backup procedure from within roon. Save it somewhere you won’t delete it. Even if you save it to a folder on the desktop… just know where it is…

  2. You will need the RoonServer.dmg and you already have the client. (Roon.app)

  3. Once your backup is completed, quit all things Roon and move the following to the trash (if you have the hd space you don’t have to delete them yet)

~User/Library/Roon (that folder should contain Cache, database, logs, settings and maybe a temp) they all go to the trash.

  1. Install RoonServer from the .dmg. Basically drag the RoonServer.app to the applications folder. And launch it.

  2. Launch the Roon app. Agree. You should then see your new RoonServer to connect to. Connect to it. Log in. It’ll be empty.

  3. In the roon.app… Go to Settings > Backups > Browse… (Select where you saved your backup in step 1.)

  4. Once it is done. I don’t remember the sequence of events but you will have to log into you roon account. In my experience it always ends up, at a point the new RoonServer will be Red and you can’t connect to it. Don’t wait. Just quit The Roon app and relaunch. You should then be able to connect.

  5. At this point you should be using Roon and connected to the RoonServer. There will be a little roon jellyfish in the menu bar for RoonServer. You may have a few settings to square away but all your music should be back in the library.

Piece of cake. Right! :laughing:

@ffk Hello, I am reinstalling ROON not only because of the screen failures, but an examination of the machine showed file problems related to ROON. So, it is recommended to me to reinstall. Thanks for explaining me the correct procedure.

@ffk. Ok I did a reinstall. That was easy but I thought I had lost some backup of my music files. After choosing between several backups, I found the good one. Everything is ok now. Thanks again for your help.

As @QuinnT suggested, I also downloaded Amphetanine, to test it.

Have nice days, guys. And don’t forget the very important vote you have to do today. (I am french living on the Riviera but I love free and democratic America.)


After reinstalling or updating some software (and not only those related to sound and its broadcasting), I apparently have no more incidents. Thanks for the help and interest received here. (I don’t know if BIG SUR is a really efficient OS.)


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