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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2013
    Macbook Air (2011) only works plugged in; external battery?

    Explanation/Not Important:

    I spilled coffee on my refurbished MacBook Air last year, when working on a gigantic paper and before exams. It sucked. I still took exams on it, and it works when it's plugged in, luckily. However, when I unplug the cord, even by accident, the computer shuts off instantly.

    This is a really bad problem to have, because the oh-so-convenient mac adapters unplug with the slightest bump. I cannot afford to have the cord unplug during an exam this semester. Also, rebooting is a huge hassle because I sometimes take my computer from home to school and back in the course of a day, and will likely need to do the same for a job this summer.

    I've dealt with it by just waiting for it to reboot every time I plug it in, but I've had some major inconveniences once in a while and feel like it's going to mess up big time one of these days (i.e., exam).


    I took it in and Apple won't replace it for less than what the computer is worth in the first place. I don't want to get a whole new computer, I love macs and don't want to buy a cheap dell or something, and I just want to use this one.

    Is there an external battery that I could just plug my mac adapter into all the time? Meaning, a battery that plugs into the computer port ALWAYS, and I then use that as if it were my computer port?

    Again, what I want is this: I would like to be able to unplug my computer and transport it home (or even 10 feet, or even have it come unplugged by a slight gust of wind) without it shutting off, get to another outlet, and plug into an adapter again. I understand that there are external batteries you can run off, then unplug and use an adapter, but is there something that just replaces the battery altogether and stays on if I unplug?

    I feel like I explained about 1000 times what I need, but almost every forum post I have found is of no help. I don't need "go to the apple store" or "oh they replaced it thanks."

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2013
    Macbook Air (2011) only works plugged in
    Find a (reputable) independent Mac tech company. They are likely to try a bit harder. Apple Store tend to blanket replace without any diagnostic assessment.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2013
    Actually, I went to an independent store and they also wouldn't replace the battery for less than the amount of the computer itself. Maybe I could find another one...

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.11.1.
    Not good news any spill and particularly coffee. Think your problem is with the logic board alas.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Apr 09, 2013
    So what do I do? Nothing else except the battery seems broken so I don't know. I guess I don't know what the logic board is. I literally never drink coffee, and I got it because my roommate was going to starbucks and I had to write a paper so I decided to try it. Great plan.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    The logic board in your MacBook Air is its mother board. Everything essential to its operation is on that board. Your computer will not operate correctly if a spill got on to it. Very likely that's the reason the machine will not operate off its battery but on AC only. You may run into other problems with it later on down the road. Very common with spills.

    Best advice we can give you is to save your $ and invest in another MacBook Air or Pro. Not easy as a student. But no one said life is easy.....

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2009
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.8 GHz
    I agree with chscag. Your problem is likely to be the logic board, I've seen your problem on earlier MacBooks when the logic board is damaged by liquid. The battery is completely sealed and can't be damaged by liquid. The connector can, but if that is corroded, so will be the mating connector on the logic board. There will be no economical solution. When/if you replace it make sure you have accidental damage insurance, it pays off with portable computers.

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