13" MBP sparked and smoked, now what?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jeremy.Gray, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Jeremy.Gray macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Maine
    #1
    So here's what happened:

    A staple got pulled into my magsafe port and I didn't realize this, because it was rather dark in my room and I didn't examine the port before attempting to plug my cable into it. I tried to plug the charger cable in and it felt kind of strange, but I thought I'd just hit it at some weird angle, no big deal, so I tried it again and sparks shot out of the port and my laptop (which was on) went dark.

    I immediately stopped trying to plug the thing in and unplugged everything, because I wasn't sure if it was the wall outlet or the charger itself or the laptop that was the culprit. I take my laptop out into the other room and see, now that there's light, that there's a piece of staple in there. I try turning on my laptop to no avail. I then get a piece of plastic to pry the staple out and I break it loose. Then I try my laptop again and it turns on. Everything except for the date and time works fine, I'm on my laptop right now. I haven't tried to plug it in again because I'm not sure if it's safe. The port appears to be fine as does the charger cable.

    So, was this just a freak thing that likely didn't create any additional risk? Is it safe to continue to use and charge my laptop? And if not, what would Apple do for me?

    Additional info: The laptop is only a few months old and it was purchased from the Apple store here in Montreal. So it is under warranty and I have the additional AppleCare for it as well.
     
  2. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #2
    keep using it, if it fails, it was faulty when you bought it right? ;)
     
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    The sparks were the fault of the adaptor, and the computer not turning on was probably a safety thing. I'd say your computer is safe, however the charger could be a different story... Try it, and see if it works though.
     
  4. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #4
    It was definitely a freak thing, but on reflection it's surprising it doesn't happen more often.

    You're probably okay. Good-quality batteries nowadays contain short-proofing circuitry to help prevent fires. The staple probably triggered that. But even if there's damage, I'd say this was partially due to the design of the MagSafe connector, which will attract metallic objects such as staples. Picking up an errant staple is a foreseeable consequence of the design, in other words. If your computer were harmed by this event, I'd take it to the Apple Store with a clear conscience. (And I tend to be hyper-ethical about such things. But I'd probably neglect to mention the staple incident...)
     
  5. inaudible macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #5
    i know it's tempting to lie and say that it malfunctioned on it's own, but trust me - the genius you work with will be MUCH more willing to go the extra mile for you if you tell them the truth. a short caused by a foreign object in the magsafe would be pretty easy to spot.

    i worked in computer repair for another company for years - any time we found out someone was lying we would stick it to them. there were times i covered repairs that were blatantly accidental because the customer was totally honest.

    technically, it's considered accidental damage and wouldn't be covered, but it's really at their discretion - i would level with them and just let them know the deal - they will understand - especially if you just bought the computer recently and bought applecare.

    you should be alright if it still boots, but i would bring it in and just have them run a hardware diagnostic just to make sure none of the boards got fried in the process.

    hope it goes well!
     
  6. Jeremy.Gray, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

    Jeremy.Gray thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Location:
    Maine
    #6
    Wow, thank you all so much, all great replies.

    Well, here goes nothing, I'm gonna try and charge it...

    Appears to be working fine. Nothing is sparking or smoking and it does appear to be charging!

    :D

    Edit: I will still be taking it to the Apple Store later for them to just run some tests, to be safe. And I will be completely honest with them, I'm sure they will understand and not give me any trouble.
     
  7. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Location:
    Behind you
    #7
    I'd have to disagree with that.
     
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #8
    Could you post a picture of the magsafe port? To see if there is any visible damage. Thanks :). I will be checking up on this thread throughout the day :)
     
  9. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #9
    Looks like everything is fine. I thought your adaptor would get fried, which would have been a bit of a bummer since they cost $95 NZD... Nothing bad happened at all though :)
     
  10. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #10
    Agreed. OP said everything looks ok but he/she is just cautious because they're unaware of what might happened. If there is no evidence, like marks near the MagSafe port, I highly doubt the Genius or whoever works on the computer is going to determine that it was the users fault.
     
  11. deeesea macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #11
    Agree with Mulo.

    Tell apple to suck it, It was broken on the day you got it ;)
     
  12. nospeed411 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    east coast
    #12
    I had a very similar experience recently. I had purchased a an HDMI adapter for my TV and had it all plugged in to the tv while attempting to plug it in to the Macbook. I accidentally touched it to the Firewire port and "ZAP"...oh crap. My laptop immediately shut off. I was panicked it would not turn back on. I left it off and plugged into the power adaptor and after a minute or two it restarted. I noticed the battery was completly drained to nothing and the clock and date reset to default. :confused::confused::confused: Reset the clock and date, left it charge and all has been well for 6 months. I will say that my battery has now gone to 80% and only 134 cycles so I believe it did do some damage to the battery. Glad it's under warranty till Jan .
     

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