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

MacBook Pro - My MBPro is electrocuting me!!!


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remedy

 
Member Since: Jul 20, 2007
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Hi,

Im using a Macbook Pro 1.83 (one of the earlier models) but it is still under warranty.

When I use it plugged in I get shocked by it to the point where it is unusable. I have looked this problem up on the net and found that others are having the same problem and have fixed it by using a power plug with an earth pin.

Im currently living in South Korea and they don't have grounding plugs here!

What I want to know is... This is a big problem for me. I cant use the computer if its electrocuting me. Will Apple help me with this? I cant continue to use it. I want a refund or to pay the difference to upgrade to a newer model. It is negligent on their behalf to sell a laptop while consciously knowing that it has this kind of problem.
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Mit321

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2007
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I have this some times (UK) but only very slightly, then i just touch a radiator to ground myself and it doesn't happen.
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remedy

 
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really? What model do you have? Is this problem with all models? What do you mean you touch the radiator?
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Sherman Homan

 
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You want to blame Apple for running a computer on an ungrounded electrical system? You are going to fry the thing, unplug it for goodness sake. Now! You need to figure out a way to bond the neutral to a ground.
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remedy

 
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how do i do that?
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remedy

 
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why would they sell it to me if they knew there was a problem? I dont understand this. There are millions of laptops in Korea!
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Sherman Homan

 
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You are right, there are millions of laptops in Korea. And millions more across the globe. And no one gets electrocuted by laptops.
Apple didn't deliberately sell you a laptop to try to electrocute yourself. Why are you trying to blame Apple? Get your electrical system fixed. Grounded electrical systems aren't only about being able to use Mac laptops, you could literally get killed making toast for breakfast. And you are going to fry your electronic toys.
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Mit321

 
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Well I live in the UK and am having these problems I think they are hardly noticeable, when i said I touched the radiator i mean to ground myself, is there a way of checking whether there is something wrong with my house's electricity because I have never noticed this on anything else??
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technologist

 
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First of all, "electrocuting" means you're dying. If that's the case, it's certainly taking a long time for you to pass on.

Avoiding the shock should be as simple as touching a grounded object before you sit down. Removing any carpets in the room may help, too.
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Sherman Homan

 
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I think there is a big difference between a static shock and the sensation of electric current. Grounding yourself to avoid a static shock can be done by touching a radiator or some other metal-to-ground object. But even that shouldn't go through an electrical component like a computer. The felt shock (amperage) may be small but the actual voltage is very high and can fry the guts of those little tiny chips.
The experience of line voltage is a very dangerous thing. Sixty cycle AC is quite good at messing with your body's own electrical energy. Either way, the solution is the same: the neutral leg must be bonded to the ground. That is supposed to happen at the circuit breaker board through a dedicated cable to a secure ground.
The fact that there is a voltage leak means that something is wired incorrectly. Or that there is something like a motor, compressor, ballast, whatever, that is shorting out but not pulling enough power (yet) to cause a fire or blow a breaker.
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diesel828

 
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I noticed the same thing on my Macbook Pro. Every time it was plugged in, when I'd touch the trackpad button or the metallic area surrounding the trackpad, I'd feel a very strange vibration... as though I could feel a current running through it. So, I took the regular charger and used the extension cord with the grounding plug and the problem was gone.

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remedy

 
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Can I use a grounding plug? because my house doesn't have grounded sockets and I cant upgrade its a rental property. Is there any solution for me?

If I use a grounded plug can I attach the grounding pin to a wire or something?
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Sherman Homan

 
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The ground has to go to ground. If your house electrical doesn't go to a ground, if the neutral doesn't bond to a ground, then I suppose you could rig your own. The concept is simple enough, a water pipe made of copper, zinc, stainless, even lead (!) is usually enough. The trouble is in making sure that somewhere along the way that no one used a nice length of PVC to splice a leak. That would break the circuit.
A radiator might work too. But this only concerns a legitimate ground, the third tab on a plug. Plugs and outlets with two tabs have the neutral bonded to ground. You could create quite the sparkler trying to ground out the neutral in a room where some sloppy electrician cross wired a circuit!
Be careful, your landlord really needs to be alerted of this, bad wiring is a really good way to start a house fire. And a non-existent ground with cross wired mains is an excellent way to get shocked.
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