MacBook Battery Woes...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    I recently bought a really nice condition late 2006, black MacBook (2Ghz C2D) - bought mainly because of the condition - none of the usual cracked plastics!
    Didn't come with a charger, so after buying one and plugging in this was the outcome:

    After connecting power there was a brief flash of the battery charging indicators then nothing - pressing the test button showed nothing either.
    The MagSafe plug light was green too - presumably showing it wasn't charging the battery?
    Turning on, the MacBook had no OS, so I installed Lion and once up and running it showed the battery as present, with 36 cycles on it but not charging.
    I reset the PMU - now the MagSafe plug light was at orange (charging?) but the battery was still showing up as not taking a charge.
    Leaving the MacBook off but "charging" for a few hours, I turned on again and the result was the same..another PMU reset however returned the black cross battery icon top right and the system couldn't see the battery at all.
    After another break, I booted from an Elementary OS live disk - that showed the battery as charging and on 1% but after half hour went to 0% and not charging.

    Whatever the problem may be, the MacBook seems to be stepping down the CPU - this is evidenced by a poor Geekbench score (1000 less than it should be) and poor video playback - which I gather is an Apple "safety feature."

    Is there any way to bypass this?
    I found that running another Linux live disk, Terminal reveals the CPU isn't being clocked down in Linux (apart from normal scaling) so it must be an OSX feature not hardware based.

    From what I've seen, anyone have a clue whether it's simply a bad battery or a charging circuit problem?

    Such a shame on an intact black MacBook!
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    99.9% sure the battery is duff. OS X will clock down performance when the battery won’t hold a charge, no way around that I’m afraid.

    New battery should fix the issue. :)
     
  3. miksat macrumors member

    miksat

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    Jan 27, 2018
    Location:
    Republic of Serbia
    #3
    I actually had this exact issue with my 2006 MBP. I ended up just ordering a new third party battery as the only way to bypass this problem is using a paid OS X app that I don't think you can even purchase anymore.

    I have the original battery for it at only 6 cycles but it hasn't been charged since May 2006, as the laptop was sitting in storage. I really want to find a way to bring the original battery back to life, since the third party battery gives me only about 2 hours of use. Also the third party battery ruined my magsafe charger by overheating it to the point where it almost caught on fire.
     
  4. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #4
    This is why I thought the battery wouldn't be bad at 36 cycles...but guess there's no way of knowing how long it's been dormant?

    Not currently inclined to get a new battery...the more investment the less of a bargain it is ;)
     
  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    there are ways to force "feed" a battery some electricity and try and revive it however its a very risky procedure and I dont think many people here have a bench top CC/CV DC PSU

    your best bet here is to just buy a new a battery of some kind, that will resolve your throttling issues (as mentioned, with no battery/a bad battery a MacBook2,1 will throttle it self to 1Ghz)

    (Also PS: MacBooks have SMCs not PMUs :) )
     
  6. Dronecatcher, Sep 30, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018

    Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #6
    Funny things laptop batteries...I've had a couple left for dead that somehow return again after being stored away for months...
     
  7. philgxxd macrumors regular

    philgxxd

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    Feb 11, 2017
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    Malaga, Spain
    #7
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2018 ---
    This quote is from another thread...
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...and-general-faqs.2059200/page-3#post-26025376
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2018 ---
    Maybe it could be done with that Coolbook app?
     
  8. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #8
    Thanks, I'll look into that :)
     
  9. Adamscomputerrepair macrumors 6502

    Adamscomputerrepair

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2015
    #9
    Kinda slightly off topic, but does anyone here know if the 2010 unibody MacBook throttles without a battery?

    I was given one with a swollen (literally almost exploded) battery. I immediately took the battery out but I’m not sure if the computers throttling or not seeing as until now the newest Mac I’ve ever owned was my 09 MacBook 5,2.
     
  10. miksat macrumors member

    miksat

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    #10
    Yes it does, every Macbook throttles to half CPU clock without a battery.
     
  11. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #11
    This is stupid. Until I read this thread I was unaware they did so. I bought one when it was new and immediately removed the battery as it primarily remained stationary. Little did I know I was losing almost half of its performance as a result.
     
  12. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #12
    I find it a very strange concept that the power supply alone isn't enough to power the laptop...afterall, weren't the Intels meant to be so less hungry than PPCs? I'm pretty sure iBooks/Powerbooks don't throttle on a dead battery?
     
  13. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    London UK
    #13
    its generally just a safety thing, I know some PC laptops do it too.

    and yes PowerPC laptops do it too

    (I had to remind @weckart of that fact when he did a performance shootout between his 1Ghz 17 inch AlBook and his 1Ghz TiBook :) )
     
  14. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #14
    Really? My old Clamshell had a completely defunct battery but there was no indication of throttling - in benchmarks or performance. Maybe G4s only?
     
  15. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #15
    How does reducing clock speed increase safety when the battery isn't present?
     
  16. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    #16
    indeed its mostly a G4 thing

    the PPC750L in the first gen Clamshell does not support any sort of multiplier control on the fly.

    reducing clock reduces power draw, so you avoid over loading the PSU or any sort of VRM.

    (under very intensive loads a Mac will actually draw power from the battery if the main PSU cant keep up, esp if someone uses a 60W charger on say an 85W MBP etc)
     
  17. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #17
    IOW Apple didn't properly design the MacBooks power supply.
     
  18. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    West Virginia
    #18
    Just wanted to echo the confirmation that a new battery will almost certainly solve the problem. I had a very similar issue with a late 2008 white Macbook. It similarly reported a low-cycle count on the battery, and even claimed to have ~80% of original capacity, but would not charge for any reason. I also bought a new third-party battery from Amazon which wouldn't charge, so really started to think there might be something wrong with the charging circuitry on the laptop. However, after changing the Magsafe board and the battery connector, I got the same behavior, so I ended up sending the battery back for another and it charged with no issue.
    See this thread for that saga:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/a1181-wont-charge.2122182
     
  19. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #19
    Indeed it does on TiBooks for one. You can see all the gory details in the About This Mac screenshots thread from post #416 onwards. Other manufacturers harbour different power idiosyncrasies. I have an old HP laptop I rescued from an office clearout. When the battery is flat, it doesn't pay to start using the laptop until it is charged otherwise the charger gets super hot and switches off.
     
  20. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #20
    I'm just going to sell it on - false economy buying a Russian roulette Chinese battery for it...
     
  21. dbdjre0143 macrumors 6502

    dbdjre0143

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    #21
    Fair enough. That's why I like to buy the batteries from Amazon rather than eBay, even though they're usually a couple dollars more. Can't speak for how they are across the pond, but in the U.S., Amazon customer service and returns are arguably the best in the business. If you get a bad one, its trivial to send it back, with free shipping.
     
  22. Adamscomputerrepair macrumors 6502

    Adamscomputerrepair

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    #22

    How sad, half the clock speed it should be, underpowered in RAM, still using a mechanical hard drive and it’s still the second fastest laptop I own. (Unless you count the surface pro as a tablet. Honestly right now I’m using it as a nice paperweight.)
     
  23. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #23
    FWIW, I've given up on no-name batteries. I only buy Apple OEM or NewerTech. I've been generally happy with both.

    My most recent battery replacement was in a MacBook Pro 5,1-this is the first 15" Unibody, and has a battery that is officially user replaceable. I went the NOS route, and so far it's working great. I did the same in an aluminum MacBook. Both were in the ~$40 range. The last NewerTech I installed was in a MacBook Pro 9,2(last of the non-retina 13" unibodies), and it was $90.
     
  24. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #24
    Genuine Apple replacements for my BlackBook start at £85 - more than twice price I paid for it - hence, never going to happen!
     
  25. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #25
    A constantly "black-cross battery icon" often indicates a failure of the MacBooks side ...
    I had a similar black MBP 2y ago with black-crossed battery icon that didn't load even a brand-new battery. Did some research on the problem and finally sold the MBP clearly indicated as a defective unit because of the defect of the battery-loading-function and therefor only to be used tethered like a desktop-computer. The buyer afterwards caused me a lot of trouble, because he thought it was only a problem of a dead battery ...
    But maybe it's only a matter of the connectors?
    Good luck!
     

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32 September 30, 2018