PB heat warp above CD/DVD slot... and more!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by flat6, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. flat6 macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    So, about 9 months ago i got a nice 15" PB. All lovely. Then after a couple of months, through no ill-treatment from me, a little warp in the casing develops above the CD/DVD slot. [See image at bottom of post] Excessive heat, I guessed. Well, functionality seemed to remain at the time, so I ignored the little visual imperfection since I loved the PB so much.

    Fast forward another couple of months to tonight, and the CD/DVD slot no longer works. You know when you put in a disc 3/4 of the way in, a little motor snaps it up to pull it inside? That doesn't happen anymore. Instead, I can push it in 9/10ths, and it still won't accept any disc.

    I'm guessing that either the case just warped a little more to effectively damage the disc mechanism for good, or something else inside the CD/DVD device broke.

    Either way I'm not too happy, since even with warranty this will be a giant pain in the ass to fix. I don't want to transfer all of my stuff to a replacement PB :(

    Anyone have any similar experience with case warp leading to CD/DVD drive malfunction? Has Apple fessed up to the problem, so that I won't have to jump through hoops to get this thing replaced?

    Image of warp as it is now.

  2. the_mole1314 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2003
    Akron, OH
    One big question: did you get AppleCare? If you did, see if they will fix it. If you havn't, go to an Apple store, see if AppleCare will replace it, if so, buy AppleCare. I have a new 15" and bought AppleCare. Good luck and tell us how it went, I'm going to keep an eye on this thread incase it happens to my machine. :eek:
  3. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    I think the store I got it from - Best Buy - has at least a 1 year warranty. Don't recall if I got the 3 year one. That should cover it, methinks. Is Apple Care worth it over the standard warranty?
  4. yoda13 macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2003
    It looks like it has warped where you might rest your right hand, at least that is where I rest mine. I have had mine about the same amount of time and mine, at least to this point, hasn't done that. --knocks on wood--

    I would take that to the store and complain.

    I guess I wasn't aware that Best Buy ever sold Powerbooks, at least in recent history. Are you sure that is where you got it? I guess I must have missed that :confused:
  5. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    It would be pretty amusing if you're not supposed to put your hand there :rolleyes:

    And yep, it was a BestBuy here in Toronto, around Sept. 04.
  6. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    Same thing is starting to happen on mine too!!! Im afraid to put pressure, as I dont want mine to break... It is not anywhere near as bad as yours, but Im afraid it will end up like it...
  7. xinxin macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    That's why I didn't buy 15" pb

    I went to store to check every model with my hand. I found that because too many people held 15" with one hand so the button of the sample 15" is a little bit disformed from its shape.

    You have to be aware that metal case, due to metal's character, it will suffer from certain forms of distort or disformation. (sorry my english)

    I bought a 12" pb. I noticed that via cd copying, it produced heat terribly. Though I haven't found mine got wrap, but what you said "visual imperfection" does exist on every product. My first 12" pb, the screen (lid) was not mount properly, slightly toward the right. Then I had replaced with the existing one, which the display currenlty doesn't work properly.

    Though the design is fantastic, but the "hand work" is not perfect. Visual imperfection!!!

    I reckon your issue will happen on other 15" pb as well even on my 12" pb. I will certainly try not to over use it.

    When we assenbly a PC, we don't really look at each corner of the case and each slot, do we? :)

    Look after your pb, as far as I know, issues in 15"pb is not just that. I got my headache on 12" pb which you might not have. Well..good luck.
  8. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    Which "button" are you talking about?

    I'll put up with a bit of distortion in the metal, but when just regular use makes a warp that destroys my DVD burner... then this is no longer an awareness/acceptance problem... it's now a damn near useless PowerBook.
  9. Mac_Freak macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    I think he meant "bottom". That is wierd. Did you try to straighte it with something that wont scratch the surface of the finish. That warp could be a combination of a heavy hand and heat. Oh, as others have said, just go to apple store and see what they will do/say.
  10. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    I think this is a common problem with the 15 and 17 inch models because of the front-facing media tray. The two 15" users at work in the US both have this problem too. Although their drives are still functional to date, they have noted warpage (fun word, just not for your PB) at the same place as you.

    Yet another arguement for a 12" (sorry), media slot point sideways so when your PB is closed and you 'clutch it' (do people really hold these things one-handed like that? I always but my hand under it like a tray) it doesn't warp.
  11. cavemanclublan macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2004
    There is no way on earth that what you are looking at is from heat. I spend about 15 hours a week at my job at an Apple Service Center tearing apart Powerbooks of all types, and there is nothing remotely close to the optical drive that creates any heat, and the heat pipes don't come even remotely close to that part of the case. What you're looking at is from resting your hand on that part of the case. Approx. half of the Alum. 15" that I see show some warping at that location, but I hardly ever see any with it so bad that the optical drive won't function. Also, I don't know where you were planning on getting it repaired under warranty, but any service center would be able to replace either the top case or the optical drive without touching your hard drive, so you really wouldn't have to worry about transferring your data to a new PB. Good luck with that, but maybe do a little research before you start throwing out reasons as to what is causing your problems. People who self diagnose with little or no knowledge about their computers are the bane of my Service Center existance.
  12. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    Well, in all fairness, I did say "I guess". I appreciate your perspective though, this is pretty much what I wanted to find out when starting this thread... how common this is, and what causes it. I guess Apple techs are the best source of information for that, so thanks.

    The reason that I didn't think it was just from resting my hand on it is because resting one's hand seems like such a relatively small applied pressure. After it warped and the drive broke, even by consciously applying very large amounts of force to that area, I wasn't able to make it sag down more, nor come up. That metal won't permanently budge. It seems odd that consciously applying large pressures can't warp it, but that a relatively gentle resting palm would.

    I'll be taking it in over the weekend when I can get back to the store I got it from; the reason I'm still posting and wondering is that I don't want to have this happen again. I really want to understand what happened here and how I can avoid it in the future.
  13. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    It's not metal

    That part of the computer is not metal - it is carbon fiber... just so you know.
  14. flat6 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2004
    Cool, didn't know CF was in my PB. Which part specifically though?
  15. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    I'm not sure you're right there. On the old TiBooks that part was indeed carbon fiber. Carbon fiber has the nice property of not warping under pressure. It flexes and then returns to its natural position (under normal circumstances). Carbon Fiber will however break under extreme stress. I'm pretty sure that's aluminium!
  16. ricebag macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2004
    12" warping too

    My 12" PB has some major warpage too. But while it makes for an incredibly annoying wobble on any level desk it doesn't hurt the innards (yet!) so Apple won't replace it.
  17. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Guys, here's something -- get a Macally PB stand for your PBs. It takes the pressure off the computer topcase itself when you (neccessarily) need to keep your wrists there in order to work. I learned this lesson the hard way when I worked one 36 hour writing gig straight and got the beginning of carpal tunnel. Any PB stand that is adjustable will take the pressure off your machine AND your wrist, PLUS help with air circulation.
  18. xinxin macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia

    I got a pb 12. I thought about this could happen before I buy. Not matter how much consideration apple make in design. The basic rule is simple, "metal warpable and strechable".

    You might find edges of your pb straight now, but after long time use, they all could be warped. For plastic ibook, edges won't be straight exactly, but they won't be worse or straighter in future, they stay as they came out from factory. My pb's keyboard is not purely flat. Maybe other people are not fussy in stuff's shape like me.

    The heat produced by cd burnning is unacceptible for sure! My suggestion is, bring your laptop and a blank cd to store, burn a big file in front of store persons or maybe yours doens;t work now, that's ok, bring a cd or dvd move and ask them copy one on other powerbook and let them feel the heat in front of you. Or maybe call apple designer "poor knowledge in material engineering", what do u think?
  19. efoto macrumors 68030

    Nov 16, 2004
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    Take a look at the little rubber feet on the bottom of your PB. I noticed then I first got my PB as well, actually within the first four or five times using it and I was quite upset. Being the dweeb that I was and wanting to find the source immediately, I set out to run a few basic tests and found that it was not the PB that needed leveling, but rather almost every surface I had placed it on and felt it wobble. If you have access to a 1/2" thick plate of steel, stick it on that and see if it wobbles. If it does, check for the rubber feet and see if one is noticably loose or shorter than the others. I found on some tables a single sheet of paper completely fixes the problem. I now just throw in a little 1x1 inch sheet of paper and a 1x1 inch piece of cardboard from a cereal box in my Booq Bag for travel (at university, sometimes you find a surface in need of the cardboard :p).

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