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Old Jul 2, 2011, 11:03 PM   #1
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Why do my MBP chargers keep breaking?

I bought my MBP in October so it's less than a year old. Sometime this spring the power adapter stopped working, they replaced it. About a month ago it stopped working, however the genius magically got it working again (WTF?!) and now again it's not working. How the hell can such an expensive piece of equipment break so much? Ive also had to have the mother board replaced, and my trackpad is sticking. Does anyone else have this issue?
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 11:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like a physical damage issue. Do you think you joggle with your Mac too much?

Seriously, I haven't had any issues, hardware or software/firmware related, with the Macbook Pro itself, but I have dropped the power adapter pretty hard once. Since that incident, every now and then (though it happens very rarely) it fails to begin charging the laptop when I plug it in.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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OP, when you say the adapters are breaking, are you saying it's physically breaking like falling apart or do you mean it stops working?

If it's a physical issue, then I'd suggest buying it from a different vendor. Products are shipped and handled by people, there's no telling what kind of trauma the package went through before it gets to its final destination.

However if you're referring to how it stops working, I'd start looking into where it's being plugged into. Some homes/offices have poor quality lines or power that fluctuates way too much in general. It's possible that a standard surge-protector power strip may not be the best solution for you.

For power measurements, I use a simple product called P3 Kill-A-Watt when I suspect power at the outlet isn't very good. You can find it here.

A big power spike or surge can destroy any AC adapter, Apple-made or not, however there are situations where "sags" where power constantly drops to or below the operating electrical threshold of your device can eventually kill it. For that I'd suggest considering using a UPS like a BACKUPS from APC, however if it's really bad, I'd invest in a SMARTUPS which has circuitry to alter/re-rectify incoming electricity without imposing much on the internal battery. If you are military and use generator power a lot, a power-conditioner is almost mandatory to stabilize the erratic output from being on generator power.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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A common issue with power strips and blowing devices (ac adapters) have a lot to do with how the power protection works.

On cheap power strips with circuit breakers, electrical surges have to meet the threshold of whatever triggers the breaker. If it's set to pop at 150VAC, surges, spikes and bumps in power that amounts to 140-145VAC may not trigger it for example. Some of the more expensive ones have multiple triggers that aren't just voltage-based but can actually bleed off extra power from surges by using slow-blow fuses, which is actually a lamp inside of the unit that glows/illuminates and burns off the additional power through light and heat.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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Do you live in an older home or work in an older building? I'd recommend what others have said above and get a UPS to help control spikes and regulate voltage.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 04:13 AM   #6
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Apple powerbricks are notorious for being finicky, and easily break. I've used a laptop plugged into the same power outlets in my house since ~2002, and I've only had problems with 1 power brick in the past 9 years; a macbook pro... which incidently I had about 5 problems with.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 04:21 AM   #7
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I haven't had a problem with my MBP charger. I'm assuming you use a good surge protector.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 07:23 AM   #8
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I bought replacements from ebay for $48.50. They are the Apple kind - not OEM.

I always keep one at home and one that I travel with.

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Old Jul 3, 2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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They just stop working, no actual breaking. 3rd visit to the GB. they're sending it away, possibly to replace the logic board forva second time this year.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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I know three MacBook's that have all had the same problem with the Magsafe charger. It breaks inside the connector. Apple has replace them all but who knows how long they'll last.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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In the case of my M13" MacBook Pro, it was not the charger but the power port and logic board that were the problem.

The machine arrived with a full charge on the batt, but would not recognize the adapter nor charge the battery, so it might as well have been DOA. I had six hours to play with it and then back to Apple for repairs... They replaced the port and the logic board, since then no charger issues.

I do like MagSafe better than the powerbook type of chargers, but they still don't seem to protect well against bending of the cord as it exits the region of the connector that goes into the notebook port.

If only we could get innovators with the same kind of passion for developing wireless chargers (or WHATEVER.. some kind of chargers that JUST WORK, and JUST KEEP WORKING) that they seem to have for designing iPod cases, skins, socks... I dream of some visionary who discovers how to get ten hours of juice into a notebook in sixty seconds. Then they can charge me $80 for an charger and I'll smile when I pay for it.
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