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April 20, 2010

Macbook pro battery problem

My MacBook Pro battery blew up. Kind of. See for yourself - it sure doesn't look too healthy, does it?

I have had my Macbook Pro (MBP) for over 2 years (2008-2010) and I have loved it the whole time. In fact, I still do. However, what I obviously failed to realize, is that the battery on a MacBook Pro (I assume the same goes for other brands too) doesn't last forever. A few months ago, my MBP started sounding a bit strange, and when the battery charge was down to 20% or so, it would just automatically shut off. Within a few days, this started happening at 35% charge, so I assumed the battery was not healthy.

I contacted Apple, and they asked me to check how many recharge cycles my MBP has. Turns out mine had 442 recharge cycles. The lady on the phone said "oh... that's a lot". I said really, is it? I've had it for over 2 years, and it is a laptop, after all. She said, "we always recommend leaving your MBP plugged in as ofter as possible. Warranty only covers 300 recharge cycles, so I don't believe you will be covered by warrant, since you have so many recharge cycles in only 2 years. However, I will connect you to sales person and they can take it from here. Needless to say, I was screwed on the warranty. The sales guys politely and apologetically said they will not be able to provide me with a replacement battery for free, but they could send out a new battery right away for $150.

Well, I realize a battery doesn't last forever, but I never felt informed about how long the battery would last, and I never really thought about it. I think Apple should have a big sticker on the box, or more prominent info somewhere about how to make the most out of the battery life. If I had been smarter or been informed about how many charge recycles the battery could handle, I would have plugged it in more often.

Macbook Pro Battery Explodes

I was typing on my Macbook Pro one day, and it was so wobbly. I thought the wobbliness was because of some cables and other stuff I had placed the laptop on top of. So, I took all stuff off the table. Still wobbly! I thought, uh oh, what's going on? I looked under the laptop, and I see a HUGE bulg where the battery is located. It looks like it's about to explode! Well, it didn't. I carefully disconnected the battery, and everything looked okay where the battery had been attached on my MBP. No leaks or damage there. However, the battery itself didn't look that great! Or what do you think?

macbook pro battery explosion

Needless to say, I bought a new battery and all is now good. Now, I'm almost afraid to disconnect the power cord! Funny how one's perspective changes so fast... I am sure I will get more than 2 years out of this 2nd battery, now that I know what to expect.

Look at what the macbook pro battery looks like in July 2010 - only 3 months later.

Read more about the batteries in Apple's products.

How to check how many times your battery has been charged

  1. Open Apple System Profiler (Choose About this Mac from the Apple menu and then click on the More Info button).
  2. Click Power in the Contents list.
  3. Cycle Count is listed under the Battery Information section.

Notes

A properly maintained Apple notebook battery is designed to retain up to 80 percent of its original capacity after 300 full charge and discharge cycles.

A charge cycle means using all of the battery's power, but that doesn't necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could use your notebook for an hour or more one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on April 20, 2010

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