More about bad Apples

As I mentioned before, I’ve been having some problem with my MacBook.  When I use it, I typically have it plugged in.  It used to be that this caused no problem.  Lately though, I’ve noticed that the display suddenly dimmed.  When I looked at the power indicator, it said that the computer is unplugged.   The cord indicated that the computer is getting power, but the battery indicator said that it’s not, or the cord indicated that the battery is charging, but the power level in the battery was actually decreasing.

I’ve been running a cute little program called coconutBattery.  Last night, I shut the MacBook down when the battery was at 40%, with the charger not connected but not charging (despite the shiny green light on the cord that indicated  that the battery was charged).  Right now, it shows my battery at 99%… The charger is connected, but the battery is not charging.  Who knows what it will be an hour from now?

We’ve always tried to be gentle with the cord.  I work in a building where there are several MacBooks, and I’ve seen more than my share of mangled cords.  So I inspected my cord.  It looks perfect.  Still, just slightly moving the cord can occasionally fix the problem.

Over the past couple days, I started investigating the problem.  A quick Google search gave me more info than I ever expected. It seems that the MagSafe Power Cords have long been known to be prone to issues.  Due to their construction (which was altered on later MacBooks and MacBook Pros than the one I own), they can just stop working, and that’s if you are lucky!  Three people filed and won a class action lawsuit because the cords can become frayed and catch fire.

Yikes!  Guess I’m lucky that all mine does is stop working!

Apparently, Apple has been silently replacing faulty MagSafe adapters since 2008… even before I purchased my MacBook Pro.  Only those who take their faulty cords to an Apple Store or have their claim processed through Support actually have a chance at replacement.  Even those who have valid claims have been told that they have to purchase a replacement.

I took my MacBook Pro to school today and had it set up with one of the power cords from a teacher laptop.  It worked like a charm… Even brought my battery back up to 100%.

There are other possibilities as well.  The battery could be dying, and there are reports of problems with Snow Leopard.  Both seem unlikely given that everything worked fine when I used the computer with a different adapter.

In any event, I suspect that I will have to make an appointment with a “Mac Genius” (who likely knows less about Macs than I do).  Hopefully all the grief that I went through to get my extended warranty in place was worth it (or at least worth an $80 cord replacement).

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