Blown ethernet! What do I do?

Beefwitted

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2011
34
0
I had my DSL Ethernet modem connected to my MacBook Pro (15" MB470LL/A). There was a sudden bang and a lightning later, my modem burst. At the same time I noticed a spark at the ethernet port on the laptop. I didn't bother much and bought a new modem. Now, the port isn't working! The modem's ethernet light lights up when connected to any other computer except this one.

What are the possible components that could have failed and would I be able to replace them myself? I don't have a lot of technical know-how and the max I have done so far is upgrade the RAM.

Thanks!
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I had my DSL Ethernet modem connected to my MacBook Pro (15" Late 2009). There was a sudden bang and a lightning later, my modem burst. At the same time I noticed a spark at the ethernet port on the laptop. I didn't bother much and bought a new modem. Now, the port isn't working! The modem's ethernet light lights up when connected to any other computer except this one.

What are the possible components that could have failed and would I be able to replace them myself? I don't have a lot of technical know-how and the max I have done so far is upgrade the RAM.

Thanks!
I'm afraid that's a logic board issue, It's not a self-repir job. Take it to Apple and see what they say...And always use a top quality anti-surge protecter in future.
 
Comment

Beefwitted

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2011
34
0
I'm afraid that's a logic board issue, It's not a self-repir job. Take it to Apple and see what they say...And always use a top quality anti-surge protecter in future.
I believe the outing was through the telephone / DSL cable because none of the other appliances connected to the power supply at my house was affected by the lightning.

Thanks. I will take it to the Apple dealer and see what they say.
 
Comment

Beefwitted

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2011
34
0
Doesn't matter. Phone lines still conduct electricity and should be surge-protected just like your dedicated power lines.
I have no idea how to do that! The phone company just gives us a line into the house.

I doubt Apple will cover it. Perhaps try your house insurance?
But it's just the ethernet port that isn't working. Is it going to cost a lot or something?
 
Comment

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,269
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I have no idea how to do that! The phone company just gives us a line into the house.
You need to buy a surge protector that you can plug a phone line into.

But it's just the ethernet port that isn't working. Is it going to cost a lot or something?
The ethernet port is directly and permanently connected to the Macbook Pro's main circuit board. You cannot "just" fix the ethernet port on it. You will likely be spending several hundred pounds for a replacement logic board.
 
Comment

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,883
898
Manchester, UK
But it's just the ethernet port that isn't working. Is it going to cost a lot or something?
It won't be just the port connector. The lightning strike will likely have blown the PHY chip it's connected to on the logic board, and possibly other stuff nearby. Logic boards typically work on sub 5 volts. Lightening is thousands...
 
Comment

Beefwitted

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2011
34
0
You need to buy a surge protector that you can plug a phone line into.
What search term should I use on eBay? Our phone wires are the ones with two wires, culminating in a ? RJ45 / DSL pin.

The ethernet port is directly and permanently connected to the Macbook Pro's main circuit board. You cannot "just" fix the ethernet port on it. You will likely be spending several hundred pounds for a replacement logic board.
Oh this is bad, very bad. I guess I will just have to use an USB modem from now on.

----------

It won't be just the port connector. The lightning strike will likely have blown the PHY chip it's connected to on the logic board, and possibly other stuff nearby. Logic boards typically work on sub 5 volts. Lightening is thousands...
Could you be kind enough to tell me what these nearby stuff are? As far as I can see, the adjacent ports (power and firewire) work. But what else could possibly be damaged and whose symptoms of failure I can check?

Thanks.

----------

P.S.: Turns out the modem I just bought does not have a USB option. I have a bright idea though. If I purchase a budget wi-fi router, wouldn't that solve all my problems?
 
Comment

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,883
898
Manchester, UK
Could you be kind enough to tell me what these nearby stuff are? As far as I can see, the adjacent ports (power and firewire) work. But what else could possibly be damaged and whose symptoms of failure I can check?
I don't know to be honest. I'd suggest running the Apple Hardware Test off your original system CDs and test every component plus all the external ports.

From experience you might get lucky and just have damaged ethernet. If the surge got back to the chipset then it could have damaged the disk controllers, USB ports, graphics etc.
 
Comment

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
You need to buy a surge protector that you can plug a phone line into.
What search term should I use on eBay? Our phone wires are the ones with two wires, culminating in a ? RJ45 / DSL pin.
Always buy your surge protectors new. I wouldn't use eBay for something like that. APC is a good brand.

Turns out the modem I just bought does not have a USB option. I have a bright idea though. If I purchase a budget wi-fi router, wouldn't that solve all my problems?
You could go the WiFi route. You could buy a USB to Ethernet Adapter.

You may also want to see what Apple has to say about repairing it.
 
Comment

pragmatous

macrumors 65816
May 23, 2012
1,378
99
APC makes quality surge protectors. If Apple cannot help you you could always get a USB to Ethernet adapter.

Meh .. as the others already stated heh ...
 
Comment

Beefwitted

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 27, 2011
34
0
Thanks so much everyone for the suggestions, really!

So, I need to order these two right?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-USB-E...386?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19d13ea672

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-APC-Pro...e_Protectors_Power_Strips&hash=item2ebe9ff9fd

About the APC though, I'm not quite clear on how to set it up. Even the website does not seem to have the exact instructions: http://www.apc.com/prod_docs/results.cfm?DocType=User+Manual&query_type=99&fam_id=145

Specifically I'm not sure where to connect the prong/fork-like tip of the wire. At my house, the phone company gives us a wire that ends in a box. The plastic RJ45(?) pin fits on the socket in that box and the other end of the wire plugs into a splitter which then goes to the modem and the phone.
 
Last edited:
Comment

flatfoot

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2009
1,010
3
What search term should I use on eBay? Our phone wires are the ones with two wires, culminating in a ? RJ45 / DSL pin.



Oh this is bad, very bad. I guess I will just have to use an USB modem from now on.

----------



Could you be kind enough to tell me what these nearby stuff are? As far as I can see, the adjacent ports (power and firewire) work. But what else could possibly be damaged and whose symptoms of failure I can check?

Thanks.

----------

P.S.: Turns out the modem I just bought does not have a USB option. I have a bright idea though. If I purchase a budget wi-fi router, wouldn't that solve all my problems?
You could just get Apple's USB to ethernet adapter they introduced with the newer MacBook Airs. Or go third party; in this case, however, make sure you get one with compatible drivers. The Apple one is just plug-and-play.
 
Comment

Tatonnement

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2012
25
0
The same happened to my iMac and I bought a USB ethernet adapter since my computer was not covered by insurance. The only inconvenient with this is losing Gigabit speed.
 
Comment

7DSniper

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2012
130
0
South Florida
A surge protector will not stop lightning. A surge protector protects your electronics from a surge of electricity that is pulled from in your home. Like when the AC kicks on it creates a surge of power, that is what a surge protector is for. Lightning is millions of volts and there is no little plastic box that will stop it.

Your phone line is not properly grounded on the outside of your house that is why the lightning came into your home and did not go into the ground where it was supposed to.

Call the phone company to come check the ground wire. If it was not properly grounded the phone company owes you a new computer.

Home owners/renters insurance should cover the damage as well.

Most importantly have the phone company and cable company ensure that the grounding is proper on the side of your home. It could have been you that received the shock.

Good luck
 
Comment

bozz2006

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
2,530
0
Minnesota
As others have mentioned, this replacement would be a pretty big job. You'd have to remove the logic board in order to get to the ethernet port. And most parts can be acquired on ifixit.com, but I didn't find that particular part. The most practical thing would be to just use a USB ethernet.
 
Comment

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
The USB to Ethernet Adapter is the right one, but I question it being new since it's an OPEN item.

As for the surge protector, you want both power and phone. So possible suggestions (depending on where you live) are:

As others have mentioned, this replacement would be a pretty big job. You'd have to remove the logic board in order to get to the ethernet port. And most parts can be acquired on ifixit.com, but I didn't find that particular part. The most practical thing would be to just use a USB ethernet.
There is no separate part for the ethernet port, it's part of the logic board.
 
Comment

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,883
898
Manchester, UK
A surge protector will not stop lightning. A surge protector protects your electronics from a surge of electricity that is pulled from in your home. Like when the AC kicks on it creates a surge of power, that is what a surge protector is for. Lightning is millions of volts and there is no little plastic box that will stop it.
Belkin appear to disagree.

BELKIN said:
Belkin will repair or replace any equipment damaged by a surge, spike, or lightning strike while properly connected to a Belkin surge protector.
 
Comment

7DSniper

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2012
130
0
South Florida
Belkin appear to disagree.
Yes many surge protectors come with insurance and will replace the items plugged into it. Again lightning is Millions of volts a surge protector will not stop it. You shouldn't rely only on a surge protector. The OP should have the ground wire checked on the outside of his house not for electronic protection but for his own safety.

----------

Well, it depends greatly on the situation and the surge protector.
No it really doesn't
 
Comment

biohead

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2010
428
6
West Drayton, UK
And although many surge protector manufactures offer these "warranties" they have countless get out clauses. Getting them to actually pay out if it happen will be a long hard fight.
 
Comment

westom

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2009
229
23
So, I need to order these two right?
Most only believe what advertising has told them. One who even designed this stuff will say things the majority did not even know. For example, all phone lines already have a superior 'whole house' protector. Why would your phone lines need a protector?

Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Where does anyone discuss what does protection? Where do hundreds of thousands of joules get absorbed? How does a protector rated at hundreds of joules absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules?

No protector does protection. Best protection for some incoming wires is a direct connection to earth (ie cable TV). No protector required. Best protection for your phone line is that same connection to what does protection. Earth ground. The telco 'installed for free' protector is your best protection. If you have not compromised its earthing. Only you are responsible for what does protection - the earth ground. How many even knew that?

Advertising says to install magic boxes that somehow stop what three miles of sky could not. Reality. An effective protector makes the always required 'low impedance' (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth. Why do Belkin and APC not discuss earth ground? Their products do not do what is provided by far more responsible companies. Such as General Electric, Square D, Intermatic, Keison, Ditek, ABB, Siemens, or Leviton.

Do you want to waste money? Or do you want what is found in every facility that can never have damage? An effective Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. To protect everything including the dishwasher and smoke detectors.

Why is that warranty from Belkin or APC not honored? Read the fine print. They are experts at getting a majority to promote myths. So many who did not even know about the telco 'installed for free' protector will recommend that hearsay.

Why was your ethernet and modem damaged? Typical is a surge incoming on AC mains. Once that surge is inside, then nothing will stop the destructive hunt for earth. It found a best path to earth destructively via your Mac and modem. Because that existing telco installed protector is earthed. The surge was outgoing via the Mac’s Ethernet port.

Protection for Ethernet, DSL, et al is always about protectors earthed at the service entrance. Apparently you have no 'whole house' protector on AC mains. Even 10 APC protectors will leave you with near zero protection.

One 'whole house' protector should connect even direct lightning strikes harmlessly to earth. And remain functional. Protectors that fail (plug-in type) are not doing effective protection. Are grossly undersized so that a tiny surge will damage them. But not damage adjacent appliances. Protection already inside appliances is superior to anything that might be on its power cord.

You also asked how to repair damaged items. We learned this stuff by also doing repair. Tracing the surge path. But if you have to ask, then you do not have the skills necessary to make those repairs. We did those repairs to learn from and avoid future surges. We learned why APC and Belkin recommendations are bogus. Informed homeowners instead install a 'whole house' protector from those other more responsible companies. And upgrade earthing. Because earthing ground is where hundreds of thousands of joules are harmlessly absorbed.
 
Comment

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.