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BenRFC 06-25-2013 04:50 PM

MacBook Battery
 
My late 2008 MacBook no longer charges and and just says 'not charging' at the top. It can't be the charger because that's only a month old and has worked fine up until now!

It states I have 95% current battery capacity. So what could the problem be?

Thanks

pigoo3 06-25-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522734)

It states I have 95% current battery capacity. So what could the problem be?

Is this what it says in the menu bar?...cause if so...this can mean various things. 95% charge just means that the battery is 95% charged via it's current capacity. Capacity (runtime on a single charge) decreases as the battery gets older/more charge cycles.

So when brand new...this battery with 95% charge may have gotten 4.5 hours of runtime on one charge. But if the battery is old...and may have 500, 600, 700, or more charge cycles...then 95% could mean just 15 minutes of runtime.

Bottom line...we need more info. How many battery charge/discharge cycles does the battery have? If it's pretty high...you may need a new battery.

To determine the number of battery cycles...go to:

- Apple Menu
- About this Mac
- More Info
- System Report (depending on what OS version you are running)
- click on "Power" in the left margin list

Look for "Cycle Count".

- Nick

BenRFC 06-25-2013 05:05 PM

Battery is currently charge to 56%, but in the top bar it just says 'not charging'. Cycle count is at 180, I don't often use it without the charger. Condition is 'normal'.

pigoo3 06-25-2013 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522741)
Battery is currently charge to 56%, but in the top bar it just says 'not charging'. Cycle count is at 180, I don't often use it without the charger. Condition is 'normal'.

Ok...good info. Sounds like your battery is not too old.:)

I know that you said in your first post that "It can't be the charger because that's only a month old and has worked fine up until now!"

Firstly...being brand new (or almost brand new) is never a 100% guarantee that it's not the new part (charger in this case). Two good ways to determine if the charger is good/bad are:

- Try the same charger on a 2nd Mac laptop...and if it works fine with that 2nd Mac...then you can be sure it's not the charger.
- Try a 2nd (known good charger) on the problem laptop. If the 2nd (known good charger) also doesn't charge the computer...then you know the charger is not the problem...and the problem is inside of the computer.

Secondly...you mentioned that the new charger was "fine up until now". Well isn't that they was it is will all broken parts. The parts are always "fine up until now"...then they break...then they are no longer fine. Parts almost always for from being "fine" to "not fine". As opposed to "not fine" to "fine".

Another thought is...is this new charger a genuine Apple charger...or a non-Apple copy? If it's a non-Apple product...it could be of inferior quality.

Lastly. If it's not the charger...and if it's not the battery...some Apple laptops have what is know as a DC-in board/MagSafe board. Sometimes these go bad.

- Nick

BenRFC 06-25-2013 06:44 PM

Thanks for the reply mate. I presumed if the charger was broken, it wouldn't do anything, but it keeps the charge, just doesn't charge it up. It's a genuine Apple one!

I don't know anyone else who has a MacBook unfortunately and my previous charger is completely broken, so not sure what I can do there.

Out of interest, how much is a new battery? And what would I have to do if the MagSafe board is broken?

pigoo3 06-25-2013 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522754)
I presumed if the charger was broken, it wouldn't do anything, but it keeps the charge, just doesn't charge it up. It's a genuine Apple one!

Are you sure about this? If the charger is not charging the battery...it's probably not maintaining whatever charge it currently has as well. I think that you may need to wait 1-2 days before concluding that the charger is actually maintaining the current charge level. I think that you last mentioned that the battery charge was 56%. If it's still 56% in a couple days...then I would agree that the charger is maintaining the charge (but not charging higher).

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522754)
I don't know anyone else who has a MacBook unfortunately and my previous charger is completely broken, so not sure what I can do there.

This would make testing easier...but not necessarily an uncommon situation to not have someone else nearby to help with a 2nd computer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522754)
Out of interest, how much is a new battery?

I'm in the US...but according to the UK Apple online store...the price for a new battery is around 101.00.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1522754)
And what would I have to do if the MagSafe board is broken?

Replace the board!;)

Here's the board & price (US cost):

MacBook 13" Unibody 2 GHz Parts - iFixit

Here's the replacement procedure:

Installing MacBook Unibody Model A1278 DC-In Board - iFixit

- Nick

pigoo3 06-25-2013 07:01 PM

By the way...have you tried an SMC reset? Since you are having power issues...an SMC reset is probably a good thing to try:

Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

- Nick

BenRFC 06-26-2013 06:18 AM

I'll try that this afternoon! Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I'll also check the battery life when I get home later. Charger is still under warranty, so I'm hoping that the problem is the charger, so I may have to go into the Reading (UK) Apple store and ask for it to be tested.

I'll try the SMC reset aswell. Will let you know how it goes later!

Thanks

BenRFC 06-27-2013 06:02 AM

Just did the SMC reset and it worked! Thanks very much for your help Nick, it's much appreciated.

pigoo3 06-27-2013 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BenRFC (Post 1523059)
Just did the SMC reset and it worked! Thanks very much for your help Nick, it's much appreciated.

Awesome!!!:) It's amazing sometimes when someone has "power issues" how an SMC reset can help.

Given how simple a procedure it is...I really should have thought of it much earlier in the thread!!! I must be getting old!;)

- Nick


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