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

Macbook power problems


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Ladyluck88

 
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Regarding Aluminum MacBook 13 inch.

I've had a problem for a while where lifting up my macbook would instantly shut it off. After setting it down I could power it back on no problem. I thought maybe the power cable was the culprit (this is me testing it while the computer still worked), but moving it around by itself does not intrupt the power. Moving the computer side to side on a table didn't affect it either. It's only when I picked it up. I'm guessing it had to do with pressure being applied to the bottom of it. Also, the adapter power does not light up anymore, and I have been using the computer without a battery for a few months now.

I opened it up and took out and put back in the ram since, according to some other forum post, it could have been loose, but that didn't do anything.

I also cleaned off the power connecters (outside the casing) just in case, but not surprisingly that didn't fix the problem.

I know basically nothing about the hardware of computers, but it sounds like some kind of connector is loose? If it were something breaking it seems like it wouldn't just unbreak and start working again. There were at least 15 instances of it turning off and me turning it back on instantly afterwards. Anyway, like I said my knowledge is limited and I'm just putting ideas out there.

Thanks for your help in advence.
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chscag

 
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It could very well be a loose connection or even a loosely soldered ground on the motherboard (logic board). Being in electronic and computer repair for many years, I've run into those situations on numerous occasions. Sometimes, they're difficult to track down.

Have you tried replacing the battery to see if that made a difference? If you take the machine to Apple for repair, that's probably what they're going to do first.
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Ladyluck88

 
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I forgot to mention that this problem started to happen after I tripped on some concrete stairs, letting the laptop in my bag hit the edge of one. It has a nice dent on the front just to the left of the track pad, and it is also one the top of the monitor since it was closed at the time.

So when that happened, the battery instantly stopped working. I checked it with a voltmeter and it showed no charge. So I decided to leave it out of the laptop in case it started leaking (if they can even do that). I've been plugging it in ever since, and it's been having this problem I've described.

I haven't replaced the battery since I'm fine with just leaving it plugged into the wall.

So they would be trying another battery as a diagnostic tool to narrow down what the problem is? Oh, and I'm using the laptop in question right now. It seems to have suddenly started working after moving it around a bit.
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The MacBook hitting the concrete step no doubt also knocked something loose inside besides making a dent. You were right to remove the battery as that could have caused it to leak which would have further damaged the machine.

Frankly, I would leave well enough alone. If you take it to Apple they're most certainly going to quote you a hefty repair price. As long as it's not too inconvenient to use it that way, I would continue doing so. Later on, you may wish to think about buying a new machine.
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Ladyluck88

 
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Yeah, what you said sounds about right. I certainly don't mind using it plugged in, but if/when gets to the point where it doesn't turn on at all anymore I'll have to do something about it. I know it's hard to give estimates when you only have the little information I have provided, but do you think it would be under $1000? I know you said it may be better to look into getting a new machine, but if I can get a good lifespan to price ratio then I might as well. The lack of battery and body damage don't bother me enough to warrant spending an extra couple hundred dollars. As long as I get a reliably running machine I'm more than happy.

So I guess my (hopefully final) questions are:
1. Is it reasonable to assume that the diagnostic cost (apparently $100 or under according to the apple website)+ parts+labour would be under $1000, or is there absolutely no way to accurately estimate that before an inspection?
2. If I do get it repaired, would it most likely be running for 2-3 years more? (save I don't further damage it...)
3. Should I be going to apple for this, or would it be worthwhile to research other laptop mechanics?

Thanks for putting up with my questions. I know they can be difficult/impossible to answer when you haven't seen the laptop to begin with.
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I don't think repair costs would be that high (at least here in the US) but would probably be substantial. I imagine they would replace the case at a minimum and possibly the logic board if it were damaged. If they sent it out to one of their repair depots the cost would be at a flat rate for labor plus parts. It could amount to over $500 but I doubt it would exceed $1000. (US dollars)

As far as getting 2 to 3 more years from it, who knows? It could last for another 5 years or quit on you in 1 year.

And yes, I would definitely take it to Apple, or an authorized Apple repair service center.
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Ladyluck88

 
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Alright, cool stuff. Thank you so so much for all of this information. I really appreciate it a ton. Going into the process with it makes me much more comfortable.

I hope the holidays treat you well!
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