Macbook shuts down when unplugged, battery is good

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by anharper, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    I have a 3 1/2 year old Macbook, my Applecare has ran out. About six months ago my computer began shutting off immediately when unplugged. (Was letting my roomates use the computer, came home one day and it started doing this.) I believe that my battery is OK, it performs between 97% and 99% consistently. When I do the battery test, all of the lights light up.
    I've read through the forums and it seems a lot of people are having this problem, but their batteries are bad. What are some options/solutions to this problem? I am willing to invest money wisely into the computer to keep it running smoothly for a while. Thanks!
  2. macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2009
    Can you start up the Macbook using battery along? (e.g. with the magsafe unplugged)
  3. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2004
    Trying calibrating the battery to get a true sense of it's capacity. If it checks out I would think about replacing the sleep sensor.
  5. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    How do you calibrate a battery if the machine shuts off immediately upon unplugging it?
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    I cannot start the computer without being plugged in to the power adapter. When I try, it starts to "run", and makes a "beep" noise exactly like when it comes unplugged accidently. The only other battery I could try is my roomates, but he has a 5 year old MacBook Pro. I attempted to install the battery update, with no luck. The battery does have quite a few cycles on it, but still runs at 99%, shows that the battery is charged, and all of the lights turn on when tested.
    I was reading through the forums, found someone with the same problem and he said he put the computer to sleep for a couple of nights in a row and slowly got the computer to turn on in increments until it corrected itself. I put it to sleep for a night, and it seemed the shutdown delayed by a few seconds. So I am going to keep trying that, but any other help is appreciated. I am going back to school soon and don't really like the idea of sitting next to an outlet in class!
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010

    Also just ran applejack, did not help. I reset the PMU, that did not help.

    Full Charge Capacity: 4211
    Remaining Capacity: 4148
    Amperage: 0
    Voltage: 12497
    Cycle Count: 343

    AC Charger
    Connected: Yes
    Charging: No

    Could the AC charger be the problem? I just purchased in 2 weeks ago!
  8. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2004
    When was the last time you calibrated the battery? With that amount of cycles it's probably toast.

    The remaining capacity being reported isn't accurate unless the battery has been calibrated in the recent past.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Well, I can't calibrate the battery because the computer only stays on when plugged in. So I have no way to run the battery down.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2004
    This is quite likely because it has almost no remaining capacity to hold a charge.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    Any chance your macbook received a liquid spill?
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2010
    Well it did get liquid spilled on it by me, (tried my best to clean it out) I pretty much cannot use my disk drive. Other than that the liquid has caused no problems. (That I'm aware of)
    BUT, the immediate shutdown started happening a month before this. (Not sure if the roomates made a spill, they wouldn't tell me because I would flip, weren't supposed to use it anyways)
    Should I just give in and buy a battery? At this point, if I purchase a battery and that does not work, I feel the real problem will be much more expensive.
    I dropped $2000 on this (60gb hd ! ) macbook when they first came out so I really don't want to give up on it!
    But myself being a female who does not know a whole lot about computers, I don't want to take it somewhere and get the "girl taking her car to the garage" scam, if that even happens?
  13. macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2010
    Did you ever get this resolved? Our macbook pro is doing the exact same thing and I am trying to figure out what I need to replace or do.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    Can you get to your closest apple store? They'll let you test another battery? Or a friend has a Macbook to let you test another battery?
    Then at least you know if it is the battery - 340 cycles isn't that many, but maybe the liquid spillage fried it. What exactly do you mean by diskdrive? The CD/DVD drive? What are the symptons?

    And re: being a girl - rubbish! It ain't rocket surgery.
  15. macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2010
    It probably isn't the battery

    I am working with a mobile lab of macbooks, and I switched the battery from one that I know is working well. Even with the good battery, it shuts down. I am still looking for a resolution. Will respond if I find one.
  16. macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2010
    Try this -- it worked for me:

    On my particular MacBook, I took out the battery, unplugged the machine and held the power button down for over 5 seconds. It worked. The machine has stayed on for over an hour now. It's called Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC).

    Hope this helps someone else.

    btw, I'm a girl, too - and over 50 :)
  17. macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    I am having this same issue. The battery is good because I tried a brand new one. I also tried a different power adapter. I have reset SMU and PRAM. At this point I have to conclude that it is a motherboard issue. Its just very weird that the computer sees my battery, charges it but won't run off of it. If anyone else has any insight on things to try, i'd love to hear it.

    A summary of the problem:

    * Macbook sees the battery, will charge the battery until full but will shut off immediately if it is unplugged from the AC adapter.

    * Macbook will not boot up unless plugged in.

    * Battery shows up fine in the computer and fully charged. I can run another laptop off of the battery and it works fine.

    * If I put a new battery into the broken MacBook I have the same issues.

    * I tried swapping out magsafe adapters and same problems.

    * Resetting SMU and PRAM does not help.
  18. macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2010
    I hope you try my suggestion just above your entry, tharris. I just did it on another Macbook in that same mobile lab and it has so far stayed on. Good luck.
  19. macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Whoops, I made a typo above. I meant to say that I tried resetting the SMC. That didn't work for me. :(
  20. macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I seem to be having the same problem

    Shut down when unplugged, constant green charge light. System profiler shows not charging. Battery was dead so I bought a new one now light cycles from red to green and the profiler still shows not charging. I have run the reset protocol and no effect. Can the adaptor run the laptop and not charge the battery? What would cause red/green light cycling?
  21. macrumors newbie


    Apr 15, 2010
    To Eleagle1:

    Not clear on your first sentence. Does that mean the adapter has a constant green light when it's not even plugged into the computer?

    Can you get a hold of another power adapter? (Maybe an Apple store would be willing to let you try.) It could be the adapter. It might also be a bad connection. Maybe cleaning with a Q-Tip or small eraser could help. I saw a teacher's power adapter go back and forth -- sometimes green, sometimes red. We cleaned it and seemed to keep it red until the battery was charged. I also calibrated her battery for her. I have a machine that does that, but you can Google it to find out how to do that on your computer.

    Good luck.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    The Green Light...

    Thanks Alioop,

    The green light is on only when connected to the laptop but will only cycle between red an green when used with the battery with a partial charge. When used with the dead battery it always shows a green light. I will check the contacts and try to clean then I'm going to go to Best Buy tonight to try their charger and see if it makes an difference...
  23. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    BAHAH. surgery on a rocket? women...
    ain't that nice.
  24. macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2011
    Battery not recognized....


    I have the same problem as Tharris:
    * Macbook sees the battery, will charge the battery until full but will shut off immediately if it is unplugged from the AC adapter (after 2 seconds to be more precise).

    * Macbook will not boot up unless plugged in (only for half a second).

    * Battery shows up fine in the computer and fully charged. On the screen it seems like it is charged and also on the actual battery.

    * Resetting SMC does not help.

    Does anyone have a clue what to do???

  25. macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    I followed this link which was posted by AlliOop... reset the SMC for macbooks with a non-removable battery and this baby is now working again.

    Seven months ago my macbook stopped charging and then the battery ran out of juice. I put it away and forgot about it. This week my brother said the Apple Store where he lived gave him a free battery and charge years ago so I should give it a shot. When I got there on my lunch break they said it was a three hour wait. I asked to at least plug it in there and see if it would charge. Their charger showed a green light and the macbook turned on. It would then turn off when unplugged. Would not charge at all. Then I plugged my old charger in and it did the same thing. That old charger of mine would not even light up seven months ago. When I got home it turned on again when plugged in so I started researching and found this thread. The above link fixed it and it is now charging, up to 48% as I type.

    The battery health stats are as follows:

    Current Max: 4762 mAh
    Original Max: 5770 mAh

    Cycles: 827
    Age: 4.9

    I will reply back if this ends up not working in the long run.

    Thanks AlliOop!!!

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