Intermitten Charging From New Style Magsafe on 2007 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by steiney, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. steiney, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    steiney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #1
    Hello All,

    I recently had my old "T" style magsafe adapter switched out by Apple for a new "L" style magsafe adapter. Since I began using this new adapter, I have been having a problem that occurs randomly. (I am using a 2007 MBP 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM).

    Every 2 - 3 days, the magsafe light will start to flicker and turn on and off, about every 5 seconds or so. Also, the charging indicator switches back and forth between "plugged in" and "battery power". After going back and forth for about 15 to 20 minutes, the computer will either turn off or restart itself. The only temporary remedy I can seem to find is to leave the computer off and let it sit until it is cool to the touch, and then resume using it. This usually makes it last another 2 - 3 days before having the problem again. It's pretty annoying because it basically interrupts my work for about 30 minutes while the computer cools off. Also, I never know when it's going to happen, so I feel like I'm walking on eggshells when using the computer.

    I'm about to run the "Apple Hardware Extended Test" from the install disc and see if that turns up anything, but it seems like it is a problem with the charger working properly with my old MBP. Maybe the new charger isn't meant to be used with a 2007 MBP? I say this because I never once had a problem for 3 1/2 years using the old "T" style magsafe adapter. I called Applecare and all they would tell me is to run the hardware test or take it to an Apple Certified Technician.

    Anyway, I'll post back here if I get anything conclusive from the hardware test. If anyone knows anything or has any ideas, I would really appreciate hearing them!

    Thanks,

    steiney

    UPDATE: I just finished running the Apple Hardware Test and it said there were no problems. I really think it must be a problem with the new style charger working with an old Macbook Pro. I really wonder if anyone else with an old Macbook Pro has had this problem.

    UPDATE 2: I just finished reading about posts from about 100 different people on Apple support site that are having the exact same problem. It seems that Apple designed the new charger in such a way that it doesn't perfectly fit the older Macbook and Macbook Pro models. Pretty terrible quality control on Apple's part. I'm pretty disappointed with them. If it weren't for the fact that the only alternative to Apple is Microsoft, I would strongly considered buying a different brand for my next computer.

    The thing is, Apple is very well informed about the problem. They have just decided to ignore it and hope that it goes away. That's the kind of thing I would expect from Microsoft or a PC manufacturer, not from Apple.
     
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #2
    What you read is misinformation. There was a real problem with the MacBook SMC not being able to talk to the adapter, and people incorrectly assumed it was related to the length of the pins, but that was fixed with a firmware update. I've never seen a problem on a MBP related to these adapters.

    Your machine is shutting down when it gets hot. That's unrelated to the adapter.
     
  3. steiney, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I figured that it is a problem with the adapter talking to the computer, rather than a physical problem with the connector, mainly because the connector still has a little bit of clearance on my computer (2007 MBP), and if it was making a poor connection, I figured it would be a more constant issue than every 2-5 days or so.

    In reference to the computer shutting down due to overheating, I know it has that capability, but in this case, I don't think it is due to overheating. The last two times that the computer shut itself down, it was only relatively warm, whereas it has for days on end while being blisteringly hot before, without shutting down. It seems more likely that the computer gets overwhelmed by trying to work with the power adapter that was not intended for it, and maybe shuts down in an effort to reset itself.

    I haven't had the problem again since I learned about removing and replacing the battery to reset the SMC and temporarily remedy the problem, so I have been able to test whether or not it works in my case.

    I heard about the firmware update from a friend, but I am still running 10.4, so there was no firmware update offered to me :( I contacted Applecare about it the other day, but they weren't very helpful. They said the firmware update didn't apply to my computer (obviously, because they didn't write one for 10.4) and all they could say was to take it to an Apple Certified Technician. What good is that going to do? An Apple Certified Technician is going to be able to pull a firmware update out of thin air!

    The way I see it, my options are:

    1. Update to 10.5 or 10.6, which I don't really want to do right now. If I did that, I would want to do a clean install, and I don't really feel like taking the time to set everything up again. It will take at least 15 hours of work getting everything the way it is currently.

    2. Buy an old style adapter that works properly with my computer. I don't want to do this because, the way it is designed, it sticks out of the side of the computer and gets pushed off when I'm sitting cross-legged or if I set the computer down on the left side first. The new style adapter is so much slimmer and less protruding.

    3. Just deal with it, and do the battery removal trick whenever the problem pops up. The only problems with this option are that it is annoying to have to deal with, and if I'm not around when the problem starts, I can't fix it and keep the computer from shutting off. This could be a problem if something is in the process of downloading or some other process is running.

    It's not the end of the world though. With things like this, I try to remember that at least I'm lucky enough to have the privilege of having this problem. I could just as easily be a starving Somalian child with a missing leg, or whatever.
     
  4. dashcs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #4
    So at this point you have 10.4 and you need http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1311
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3499

    Heres another options from that article ontop
    Note: If you do not wish to update the operating system on your computer, you can install one of these operating system versions on an external drive and start up from that device

    So you can have a external HD with a bootable OS with a retail copy of 10.5 or 10.6 and just boot up to that OS and do the firmware update.
     
  5. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the reply. I found those pages before but it seemed like a serious hassle to install the new OS on an external, boot from it, etc. That might just be because I've never done it before. That certainly has been the case before.

    If you wouldn't mind explaining the process, I'd be interested in knowing what is involved. The way I understand it:

    1. Somehow install 10.5 on an external HD.
    2. Do all available updates so that it meets the 10.5.4 requirement to install the firmware update
    3. Boot from the external HD
    4. Run firmware update (which I assume would need to be stored on the same external drive
    5. When firmware update is finished, restart computer, booting from internal disk
    6. Firmware will be updated and will work with OS X 10.4

    Basically, I am unsure of how to install 10.5 on an external HD. My knowledge of installing an OS is putting in the disc and letting it run. Also, I am unsure about where to put the firmware update file (external HD, I'm assuming).

    If you have answers to any of those questions, I'd appreciate the information. My computer has been behaving for the last four days, so I've become complacent.
     
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #6
    If it comes back I'll just trade you one of the original AC Adapters for your goofy one. I hate the new ones (it came with this 2010 13 MBP) but still have 3 others that I have as spares for my other offices. Let me know if you need one.

    Cheers,
     
  7. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #7
    Did you mean to say you hate the old style adapter? I have the new one, so if we traded, you would be getting a new style adapter. I really like the new style adapter except for the fact that it doesn't work 100% of the time with my older Macbook Pro.
     
  8. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #8
    You know Apple is a brand of computer, while Microsoft is a operating system group not a brand of computer?
     
  9. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #9
    I don't like the new ones as much (mainly just the fact that it has a "preferred" way to connect) but since I have 3 of the older style I don't mind sending you one if you need it.

    Cheers,
     
  10. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #10
    Well I really appreciate your generosity. I will let you know if I can't get a hold of one. As of now, the computer has been behaving for about 5 days straight, so I'm telling myself that the problem went away :) We'll see how long that holds true.
     
  11. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #11
    Boot from the DVD. Select the external drive as the install destination. When it's done, it will automatically boot from the external. Run software update. The second time through (10.5.8 will be in the first time through), the firmware update will show up. Install only the firmware update. When you quit software update, the firmware update will launch and give you directions. Follow them. After this is done, you can change the startup disk in the system preferences.
     
  12. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #12
    Awesome. That's way easier than I thought it would be. Thank you.

    How many GB's should I expect to need on the external harddrive to hold the new OS?

    Also, as a side question: if I were to just upgrade my internal harddrive to 10.5/10.6, would all my intel tiger apps work under the new OS? I'm pretty sure that the PPC apps wouldn't, because my understanding is that 10.6 dropped support for PPC.

    Thanks!
     

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