Charger issues

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My parents bought me a 2009 macbook pro for graduation in June of this year (2011). It was cheaper to buy an older model. The laptop and the charger were both new, they're just older models. The charger worked great, and gave me no problems, until November of this year. For some reason it began to be temperamental and would only work some of the time. Then it began to shut off my computer at random intervals, with no warning. It would be working just fine, charging or just powering the laptop, then both the charger and laptop would go dead. I have no idea why this is happening. After this happens, the macbook pro won't turn on for about 20 seconds. Every once in a while, if I can get it to work, I'll just turn off the laptop and let it charge so I don't lose anything if it conks out again, and hopefully get a full battery to last me until the stupid thing decides to work again. I recently discovered that, sometimes, if I set the laptop down on a hard surface with the charger plugged in, the impact makes the charger begin to work. This does not affect the laptop in any way, just the charger. This is extremely frustrating because 1) it's only 6 months old and 2) my parents spent quite a bit of money on a product that costs more than competing computer products and claims to "just work." I have 6 months remaining on my warranty, so I can get the charger replaced if that's the problem, but if I'm doing something wrong or if there's a way to know why this is happening I would very much appreciate the knowledge.
 

chscag

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If it's under warranty, by all means have the MagSafe Charging unit replaced.

However, I'm wondering where your parents purchased a new 2009 MBP in 2011? Apple does not sell new machines that are two years old.
 
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Check your Mag-Safe contacts on both ends as well to make sure they are free from debris. If you have warranty get it in to be looked at. I recently had a charger issue and they sent me out the door with a new one.

On a 2009 machine you probably have a T-style adapter which they would likely replace anyway due to the issues with that particular model.
 
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They bought it from the University I'm attending. They didn't buy it directly from Apple. There's nothing clogging the port, but I cleaned it just to be sure and the problem remains. :(
 
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Sounds like your charger crapped out..

The place I'd look for a new charger (if you do not have a warranty) is eBay, you can get them for $20 compared to the $80 Apple charges.

Just make sure that it's the correct type for your MBP though. I think a 15" MBP uses an 80W Magsafe if I'm not mistaken..
 
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The 15" MBP uses an 85W adapter. Please, if you end up buying a new charger use OEM. The knock-off chargers have been known to cause issues, and they are not worth the savings in the long run.

What kind of connector do you have on your charger? You say here that you have a 2009 machine which would have a T-connector charger, but your machine specs say you have an i5 processor which would mean a 2010 model machine with a barrel connector on the charger.
 

chscag

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Good catch John! It appears he has a late 2010 i5 model. I just double checked with Mactracker after reading your post.

It had me wondering how his parents purchased a new 2009 model in 2011, buying a new 2010 model from the university bookstore makes more sense.
 
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Oh my bad it's a 2010. It has a barrel charger on it.
 
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Oh my bad it's a 2010. It has a barrel charger on it.

Good stuff! Is your charger squealing or making cracking sounds when it is under load? When it does charge does it get excessively hot? I just had mine replaced last week (also a 2010 15") due to the fact that it darn near burned me when I picked it up. It was making all kinds of noise too. If you have an Apple store near your location I would take it in and get the charger and the machine checked for issues.

Good luck!
 

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