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

Macbook - MacBook Powercord Problem


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Has Anyone had this problem with their MacBook power cord? This is the second power cord I've been through and the exact same problem with splitting at the end. I don't think I am particularly tough or abusive to the cord at all. Most of the time my computer is plugged in next to my bed. I really don't know what the problem is or what could cause this. I am stumped. Thanks for the help.




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Very odd. Although it looks eerily similar to the destruction inflicted by my dogs.... do you have a dog?
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That doesn't look like normal wear and tear, or even abnormal wear and tear. that looks like it got snagged in something or something bit or crushed it. I can't see manufacturing defects causing damage like that.
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Hi captclose!

I'll assume you're not playing a game with us. Is that a good assumption? I figure it is, but it's pretty odd damage so I need to ask. It's the analyst in me.

To me, it looks like the cord is being bent hard at the plug. On one hand the split could be natural, as if the vinyl was stressed beyond its limit. The curious thing is that it extends to the thicker insulation near the plug.

There are two puncture type marks, one at the very left side of the split, and one to its right in the lower segment. They don't look as if they were made by a tool, but they're not natural. The split could be a matter of stressed vinyl, except the thicker portion shouldn't be split like that. It almost looks cut or bitten.

Do you have cats or a ferret? If those are tooth marks, they're sharp. A cat or a ferret might make those, or perhaps a puppy. Rodents, while fascinated with wires, have differently shaped teeth, and would leave different marks (at least that's my guess).

Do you use your machine in a situation where the cord is pressed hard against something, like a chair side? Are there situations where the cord can be pinched? Have you ever closed it on anything?

Now for the tough question. Do you live with other people? Family members? Non-family members? Do they like you? (Rhetorical. No need to answer publicly.) It just doesn't look right.

Bottom line is that it doesn't look natural. My guess is that something did this. It didn't just happen.

Good luck on this one!

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9 months use and my macbook cord looks like it did the first day

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Originally Posted by mathogre View Post
Hi captclose!

I'll assume you're not playing a game with us. Is that a good assumption? I figure it is, but it's pretty odd damage so I need to ask. It's the analyst in me.

To me, it looks like the cord is being bent hard at the plug. On one hand the split could be natural, as if the vinyl was stressed beyond its limit. The curious thing is that it extends to the thicker insulation near the plug.

There are two puncture type marks, one at the very left side of the split, and one to its right in the lower segment. They don't look as if they were made by a tool, but they're not natural. The split could be a matter of stressed vinyl, except the thicker portion shouldn't be split like that. It almost looks cut or bitten.

Do you have cats or a ferret? If those are tooth marks, they're sharp. A cat or a ferret might make those, or perhaps a puppy. Rodents, while fascinated with wires, have differently shaped teeth, and would leave different marks (at least that's my guess).

Do you use your machine in a situation where the cord is pressed hard against something, like a chair side? Are there situations where the cord can be pinched? Have you ever closed it on anything?

Now for the tough question. Do you live with other people? Family members? Non-family members? Do they like you? (Rhetorical. No need to answer publicly.) It just doesn't look right.

Bottom line is that it doesn't look natural. My guess is that something did this. It didn't just happen.

Good luck on this one!
Thanks for the replies everyone. No I am not playing a game. I wish I was LOL. I do have a cat but she doesn't chew anything. Plus my last cord had the exact damage in the exact same spot. I have to say the odds are long on the cat being the culprit but I won't rule it out. I have a theory but I'll mention it in a bit.

I will admit that sometimes the cord will sometimes get bent sharply but never pinched. Even so, this cord is just two weeks old and I cant imagine it wearing through this quickly. I do baby the cord as much as possible so I have to say that abuse is not a possible cause either.

I do have housemates but none that would dare sabotage my cord.

Ok, here is my question/theory: Could I have a short (on the computer side) that is causing the plug to overheat and weaken further causing this damage? Although, I didn't take pics of the first cord, the damage was similar except the tear looked burned through and not torn through as this one does.

Thanks again. I am still baffled. I can post a blow up version of the picture for more detail if you investigators out there think it will help.



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Ok here is the blow up picture. This does almost look melted to me. Any opinions out there?




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Yeah, a high res picture would help.

Two weeks?!!!!!!!!!! My cord doesn't get hot at the plug. The big white box gets hot, but that section of cord and plug doesn't even get warm to the touch. I don't think it's natural.

As far as burn through, as you said this one doesn't show it. While the other one showed it, I'd be interested in seeing if it also had pointy tooth-like marks.

You know, animals *can* be funny. If it was me and I bought a new cord, I'd be tempted to rub a little habanero sauce (Tabasco brand) on the wire. Your kitty might not like it, but then she might like it even less if she were to bite down to copper on a live line.

I look forward to a high res image later in the day. (My day is just about done.) Given what I saw in the low res pic and what you said, my guess is that your kitty is playing with it. I don't know why, maybe she likes the light when it's plugged into your machine, maybe there's something about it ithat's irresistable to her, but I think she could be gnawing on it and might have gotten zapped on the first cord.

Okay now I've seen the high res pic.

The wire is broken. The vinyl looks split. Cut? I don't know, but the copper wire is certainly cut. It wouldn't melt and look like that, especially with the vinal still looking like that. What you might see as melted vinyl is probably just stretched and crushed vinyl. Everything else seems fine. There's nothing drippy looking to it, so personally I'd rule out melting.

How does the back side look? Does it look fine, or does it show similar damage? If similar, then it could be your cat (though this new image doesn't look as much as if it was done by an animal), or it could be a wire cutter.

If the backside is fine, then my sense would be that it looks like the work of a little chisel (or screwdriver), or something sharp that might have dropped on it.

I don't know. It's really hard second guessing from a photo. I hope I've given you some ideas on how to look at it.

Hope this helps!

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pulling it out with the cord and not from the plug?

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Well, now I am more baffled.

The back side of the cord looks fine. No teeth marks or anything else.

I don't pull the cord out by the tail. Always at the plug. Although, I will admit that it is plugged in 99% of the time.

I still really don't suspect the cat. I do agree that the damage does look like it was caused by an outside source such as a chisel or screwdriver etc... However, the odds of this happening twice in two weeks at the exact same location would be highly improbable.

Thank you so much for your help mathogre and all the others. Keep the ideas coming. I am truly puzzled.



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you are right the close up does show what resembles a melted plastic, but the edges are quit sharp. Where you plug the charger is there a baseboard heater close to it, once you disconect it from your macbook the cord could easily fall and come into contact with the heater which could melt your cord.
The wire itself is also damaged, which could be a short, your cat took a bite and zapped at the same time or a short when the cord melted on your heater and the metals came into contact.
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you are right the close up does show what resembles a melted plastic, but the edges are quit sharp. Where you plug the charger is there a baseboard heater close to it, once you disconect it from your macbook the cord could easily fall and come into contact with the heater which could melt your cord.
The wire itself is also damaged, which could be a short, your cat took a bite and zapped at the same time or a short when the cord melted on your heater and the metals came into contact.
No baseboard heaters here. I have central heat. I have to rule out the cat thing too. There are no bite marks anywhere on the cord. There were none on the original cord either.

So let's rule out the obvious things:

1. Cats, pets, kids
2. Pinched, bent, pulled or yanked
3. Burned by an outside source
4. Screwdrivers, pliers and tools

What else could cause this damage?



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It's a mystery... but I'm going with the CAT!
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It's a mystery... but I'm going with the CAT!
Ok, that's it, I'm having the cat put down! LOL



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