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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Electric Shock!!!


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ecastillo1

 
Member Since: Jul 05, 2008
Posts: 2
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Hey guys, I posted a long time ago here but I forgot my info so this is my first post with this account.
The reason I am posting is that I want to some advice on something really scary that happened to me today. This is what went down:
First, I was uploading pictures to my online account and it was going to take a long time (DSL ugh) I had to go pick up my mom at the train station so I decided to leave my MBP uploading, so I turned the brightness of the screen all the way down.
Next, when I got back I hopped on to my MPB and I started typing on Microsoft Word, I used the computer for about 15 minutes. I stopped and turned around to look at something and when I put my fingers on the keyboard again I felt an electric current running through my arms. I am not talking about something like static electricity I am talking about full on shock that left my arms and legs shaking.
So, I was dumbfounded and I put my hands on the handrest next to the mouse and I freaking shocked me again, I put my finger on the mouse to shut down the computer and it SHOCKED ME AGAIN. I pushed the power button to get the shut down menu to come up, which shocked me... again, I also touched the top cover to bring down the screen and it also shocked me, finally used the mouse to hit the shut down, which obviously hurt.
I proceeded to disconnect the power cable and take out the battery, waited about 10 seconds and started everything back again, and guess what, IT SHOCKED ME AGAIN!!!! So I turned everything off and took out the battery again and what not and it stopped that time.

So... I called apple and we went through a whole list of questions to rule out things like the power outlet and ect. The guy told me that they have never heard of anything like this happen before and that what I should do is bring my laptop in to a genius bar and have them do a thorough check on it.

Now... I know I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't stick my finger in an inappropriate place or anything of that sort, I was sitting on my desk, with nothing metal around, the whole incident must have lasted about 2 minutes and scared the crap out of me.

Ok... so, I am going to go tomorrow to the apple store and talk to someone there, I really don't know what I am entitled to. I don't know what's going to happen or what they are going to say so I am asking for your advice on what I should ask, I really want them to replace my laptop because I am really scared of using it. I had to take out my OLD Toshiba Satellite cause I literally am scared of that thing. After this whole incident my muscles feel sore and my elbows also freaking hurt. So, this is it? any advice? any ideas? my specs are listed below. By the way, I have applecare until october of next year.

15.4" MacBook Pro 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
120GB HD
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of GDDR3
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chscag

 
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, Yosemite

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It's possible something could be wrong with the grounding in your MBP, but it could also be your AC mains that you were using it from. An improperly grounded AC main outlet circuit could cause the hot side of the AC line to travel on the metal case of your MBP. That's why we use polarized plugs and grounded AC outlets in the US and Canada.

Before you take it into Apple why don't you do some more testing - cautiously: See if you can get hold of an outlet tester. The kind that plugs into your outlet and has three led lights which display the status of the AC outlet and the circuit it's in. (Red, Yellow, Green LEDs) That will tell you if the AC outlet or the circuit it's on is properly grounded.

Note: Since your MBP does not use a power transformer, the incoming AC circuitry has to be properly grounded to the AC common to avoid shocking you! BTW, why didn't you just pull the AC plug from the wall socket to remove power from your MBP? Didn't think of that? Happens to the best of us.

Regards.
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ecastillo1

 
Member Since: Jul 05, 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
It's possible something could be wrong with the grounding in your MBP, but it could also be your AC mains that you were using it from. An improperly grounded AC main outlet circuit could cause the hot side of the AC line to travel on the metal case of your MBP. That's why we use polarized plugs and grounded AC outlets in the US and Canada.

Before you take it into Apple why don't you do some more testing - cautiously: See if you can get hold of an outlet tester. The kind that plugs into your outlet and has three led lights which display the status of the AC outlet and the circuit it's in. (Red, Yellow, Green LEDs) That will tell you if the AC outlet or the circuit it's on is properly grounded.

Note: Since your MBP does not use a power transformer, the incoming AC circuitry has to be properly grounded to the AC common to avoid shocking you! BTW, why didn't you just pull the AC plug from the wall socket to remove power from your MBP? Didn't think of that? Happens to the best of us.

Regards.
Thanks for the info but I highly doubt its the outlet since I've had many computers, desktops, laptops, you name it, phones, everything and NOTHING has ever shocked me... I didn't really think of pulling the cord since I really wasn't expecting a $2500 computer to run electricity thought it's frame... I am just really ticked off at what happened and scared to use my freaking computer!

15.4" MacBook Pro 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
120GB HD
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of GDDR3
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mklasse

 
Member Since: Jun 06, 2007
Location: Indonesia
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Mac Specs: PowerBook Al15" G4 1.25Ghz

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecastillo1 View Post
Thanks for the info but I highly doubt its the outlet since I've had many computers, desktops, laptops, you name it, phones, everything and NOTHING has ever shocked me... I didn't really think of pulling the cord since I really wasn't expecting a $2500 computer to run electricity thought it's frame... I am just really ****** off at what happened and scared to use my freaking computer!
Happened to me a few times, and bad grounding was the culprit for me. My laptop is the older PowerBook G4 with the same aluminum casing as the new MBPs, and I don't know about MBP, but Apple supplied 2 a/c wall plugs for the adaptor. The one with long cable and 3 pronged plug, and the "compact" 2 pronged plug.

This usually happens to me when I use the 2 pronged plug (no grounding), and when my feet are touching the ceramic tiles floor (doesn't happen if i wear shoes) or when my hands are slightly damp from sweat.
This also happens several times when I use the grounded 3 pronged plug, and I found out the a/c outlet has bad grounding because it doesn't happen when I plug it into another a/c outlet, and happens again when i plug it back into the original a/c outlet.

Yes you didn't expect your $2500 laptop to run electricity through its frame and shock you, but i think what chscag meant was that you should've unplug the power cord when it shocked you the second time (when you knew your MBP is trying to kill you with electroshock - jk) and when you tried to shut it down.

Maybe you should try to plug it in at another outlet location in your house and see if it does the same thing. This time if it does, just unplug the a/c cord, shut it down then take it to Apple.
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cowasaki

 
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Member Since: Aug 12, 2007
Location: UK
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Mac Specs: Mac pro Quad Xeon; 15" Retina Macbook Pro; macbooks (family); Macbook pro 17"; intel & G4 iMacs.

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The magsafe power supply is double insulated. There is no earth connection, you can see this from the fact that it connects via a figure of eight connector!

I get this same phenomenon from my iPhone when it is on my dock it is static electricity! Having connected a meter from earth to the casing there is no potential difference.

Any talk of faulty earth connections is frankly rubbish ! Sorry !

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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knobel

 
Member Since: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 4
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looked at your site. useful idea and wish you well with its planned further development!
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