MacBook Support

Both my daughter Jenna and I love our MacBooks and are using them constantly.

Although these are undoubtably the best computers we have ever had, there have been some issues.

I wasn’t notified and a recall hasn’t been widely published by Apple but I did find an Apple support notice online for returning my MacBook Pro battery associated with specific Sony battery serial numbers potentially at risk. (Sony batteries have been a problem for other computer suppliers as seen by the massive Dell recall on their Sony laptop batteries). I completed the information online and received a new battery within 2 days. It was a simple swap and return shipping of the replaced battery was included with pickup. Although I hadn’t experienced any battery problems it was reassuring to get a replacement before a problem occurred with the specific batch of batteries that were identified as being susceptible. Job well done to avert a potential risk.

Jenna’s MacBook has been experiencing more problems primarily with power related symptoms. The most troublesome is that the power adapter would gradually become more and more intermittent until it would stop charging. She also experienced some sudden shutdowns. These types of MacBook problems and others have been reported on sites such as
http://www.appledefects.com/wiki/index.php?title=MacBook
or
Google “MacBook random shutdown”
These sites are great to allow users to share information on their experience and provide tips for resolution. It also promotes consumer empowerment if suppliers are tempted to use the old line “You are the only one who has reported this problem. Perhaps you are not using the product correctly.”

What appears to be happening from our experience, is that our particular MacBook (and not the MacBook Pro) is causing the magsafe power connector to have a bad connection over time. In the magsafe connector there are 5 pins which have some kind of “spring loaded” capability to connect with their matching receptacles on the MacBook. With a new power adapter all the pins protrude the same amount but over time the two pins one position over from the outside get pushed in and lose their ability to bounce back enough to make a good connection.

Magsafe Connector Pins

The pins that get pushed in correspond with pins 2 and 4 in the above diagram.

Apple has replaced the power adapters which wouldn’t connect (this problem has happened to all the power adapters we have used to charge the MacBook) but it remains to be seen if the new magsafe connectors will eventually have the same problem since I suspect that the root cause has not yet been corrected.

Hopefully the sudden shutdowns will not reoccur once the power issues are addressed. They both may be associated with power management unit issues on our particular MacBook.

I am looking forward to getting these issues behind us so we can continue to enjoy our MacBooks.

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