3 problems in a short amount of time with 2011 MBP

caspian915

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2006
56
4
New Orleans, LA, USA
hey all - Getting a slew a of issues with my 2011 MacBook Pro recently.

MacBook Pro details
13 inch, Early 2011
2.7 GHz Intel Core i7
4GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB
OS X 10.9.5 (13F34)

1) MacBook Pro is not charging or is not registering that it is (and now won't turn on)

The most recent, as in discovered the other day and wasn't an issue as recent as yesterday or two days ago. The computer gave me a warning that it was about to shut off due to lack of power (1%). It has been plugged in since then and now shows 2% and the battery charging symbol. The charging indicator light on the magsafe is green and nothing looks damaged. However, when I disconnect the cord the computer warns me that it needs to be charged. How do I figure out what's going on here?

Update to this original draft: the computer was operating on 1% battery while plugged in and then accidentally disconnected and now it won't turn on at all despite being plugged in for a few hours and the green light showing on the MagSafe.

2) The trackpad has been acting erratically and is *very* shallow and soft while pressing.

This "clicking" issue has been around for awhile, and I changed the settings to allow for tap to click. But recently the trackpad started acting erratically, selecting things, dragging, etc at random. I turned off the tap to click option but issues persisted and actually got worse.

I did some googling and saw that it could be the battery swelling, so I bought some tools and opened the case only to find the warning sticker on the battery about not removing it. I'm 99% sure it's no longer covered by AppleCare but I left it alone and reattached the bottom of the case for now. I'd call apple support but I figure I won't get very far without paying them money.

I suspect these first two problems are related based on my reading, but I'm not sure if I should waste my time taking it in to the Apple Store just to get turned away (I don't own a car and live in a city with basic public transport and the store is in a mall outside the city, it would be half my day at least). At the same time I do want to be sure that if I attempt my own fix that I'm getting it right and not dealing with the wrong part.

3) Beyond these two issues this machine is running disturbingly slow. I know Chrome is a RAM hog but even opening it takes 30 to 60 seconds, opening a new tab is time consuming and even after that loading a site can take over 30 seconds and often more. The site will look loaded but I can't scroll or do anything on it because the tab still shows the loading circle spinning nearly a minute in.

Then of course there's the beach ball of death which spins regularly in chrome and while waiting to load other apps or even when switching between apps using the keyboard shortcut. All of this is maddening when you're trying to get work done. I do want to upgrade the RAM and get an SSD but that has to wait for now money-wise. Still, 4 GB of RAM and an i7 processor shouldn't be lagging THIS much given the pretty basic tasks I'm executing.

Is a four year old MacBook Pro that cost nearly 2k really that far behind in processing power when using Chrome, iTunes, iPhoto, MS Office, etc? I feel like my 2004 PowerBook 12inch outlasted this machine relative to the times.

Thanks for any help!
 

cosmicjoke

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2011
484
1
Portland, OR
seems like your battery is cooked, your trackpad feels stiff because the battery is bulging... you need to get that replaced, pronto. lastly get that ssd, will make a tremendous difference in your life.....
 

caspian915

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2006
56
4
New Orleans, LA, USA
So, considering it was purchased in the summer of 2011, no extended AppleCare, I presume correctly that it's probably not worth taking to the Genius Bar? I can safely ignore that sticker at this point and just do most straightforward repairs myself.

Anything else I should look for when taking out the battery?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,502
Boston
So, considering it was purchased in the summer of 2011, no extended AppleCare, I presume correctly that it's probably not worth taking to the Genius Bar? I can safely ignore that sticker at this point and just do most straightforward repairs myself.

Anything else I should look for when taking out the battery?
I'd swap the battery and see if that fixes the issues, you are correct, you can avoid a genius appointment by doing the replacement yourself.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,631
775
Yeah, definitely the battery.

The slowness might be caused by throttling. When the battery is very low, or not present, the system will throttle CPU usage quite dramatically since, at full power, the laptop will draw power from both the magsafe and the battery.

The battery isn't hard to replace on the 2011 MBPs, just be careful (it has no hard coating so be VERY careful not to drop/puncture the battery). You will need a tri-wing screwdriver.

FWIW, Apple charge $129 (+ tax) for a new battery, including fitting. That might be easier than doing it yourself, and you know that you're going to get a genuine battery. Plus, if they damage something when they're in there - they'll cover it :p.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,910
1,603
I agree with the others. Replace the battery and see if that fixes it.

That Sandy Bridge i7 is still very capable by today's standards. It's actually slightly faster than the base model 2014 MBAs, and nobody says that they are underpowered for those tasks.
 
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