MacBook Black Screen/Battery Not Charging

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by niiru, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. niiru macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone. I'm new to macs and laptops as well and I have been having a pretty annoying problem with my macbook. At random and sometimes very frequent times my macbook will just go to a black screen as I'm doing something and the white light will just stay lit, not pulsing, so I guess it's in stand by mode? It will take a few seconds for it to start pulsing again and then I will wake it up and the screen will come back on. This gets really annoying when I'm in the middle of a lecture for class and then my mac goes black on me so I was wondering what I need to do to fix this, just send it in? Also, with the macbook power adapter plugged in, it says my battery is not charging and only at 90%. I've only had the macbook for about 8 months or so which has kind of bummed me out. Any kind of help would be awesome. Thanks a lot!
     
  2. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #2
    First thing is first, check the Energy Saver preference in your System Preferences and check the settings for Battery and (whatever the other option says for adapter/plugged in), you might have to click on the Details or Options button, I can't remember.

    Does this happen while the machine is plugged in or only while on battery power? If it only happens while on battery power then there could be an issue with that, which would be good [once it is determined, then in the first year of warranty you can get your battery replaced if it's not working correctly). Do you notice any swelling of the battery?

    One way to "calibrate" the battery (though this is usually only a factor when the battery won't go past 99%) is to, while only using the battery, let the machine run until it hits 0 and hibernates. After that, plug in the charger, hit any key on the keyboard and let the computer wake up, it may take a few seconds longer than normal, and let it charge up fully.

    Take it from there and then update us.
     
  3. niiru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    It happens both when it is just running on the battery and when it is plugged in. I'll try and let it run down to 0% and then try to plug it in and see what that does.
     
  4. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #4
    Ouch.

    Well, if there is a known method you can do to replicate the issue, try doing it without the battery plugged in while the adapter is plugged in. The power adapter can run the machine just fine without the battery (though I probably wouldn't make it a habit), but of course beware as once that adapter gets detatched, it will shut down immediately.

    Hopefully, you won't be able to reproduce the issue at all, and a faulty battery is what is causing the issue. If not in the first year's warranty, it can be a tad pricey so you'd want to be sure.

    Worst case scenerio, either some physical connection is bad and needs to be taken in to be replaced or the logic board is at fault.
     
  5. niiru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #5
    I think I'm just going to send it in for repair since it's still under warranty. Just now, my battery icon is flickering from a normal picture of the battery at about 85% charged to a battery with an X in it. It keeps flickering back and forth really fast. Also, since I have started to type this reply the computer went into the black screen twice already. Sigh...Thanks for all your help
     
  6. Solemony macrumors 6502

    Solemony

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wonderland
    #6
    It's possible that you can get a new battery for free from apple. How many cycles have your MB gone through?
     
  7. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #7
    Is the unit going to sleep or is just the screen (or backlighting) going out? It could be as simple as a lose LVDS or inverter connection, or the inverter board itself. Try to see if you can still see what's on the screen when it goes out, because if you can (barely) it's just the inverter.

    Also, after it does happen, go to the Console (Applications/Utilities) and click system.log (you may have to click the triangle to make it drop under LOG FILES, and post the log of the time around when it happens.

    If all fails, take the unit to the Genius Bar.
     
  8. niiru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    Solemony - How do you find where to see how many cycles your mobo has gone through?
    bizzle - It doesn't go to sleep because when it is in sleep you can wake it up. What happens is the screen goes black and the white light (idk what you guys call it) stays solid and doesnt pulse. Then, after about 15 seconds or so, sometimes less, it will start to pulse and I can wake it up. When I wake it up I can hear the harddrive starting up I guess? I'll try the console thing next time it happens and what is the Genius Bar?
     
  9. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #9
    Easiest method is downloading the free cocnutbattery app.

    http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

    This will tell you all you need to know about the battery.

    While the battery isn't included in "normal" warranty or product replacement when purchased beyond the box (after market, even from Apple) because it is considered "consumable" (or whatever they refer to it as), the battery can easily be replaced under the first year of service. However, even if you have the 3 yearAppleCare, the battery is one of the things that is only included in the first because it naturally degrades over time/cycles.

    If the battery is at fault, regardless of cycles, it should be replaced because it is causing problems and not acting normally beyond the simple charge that it can hold. For example, within that first year, if a battery has 1000 cycles and only lasts for 30 minutes, if it is swelling of bloating or causing your computer to crash/sleep randomly because of a bad connection then it should be replaced without issue.

    The cycles issue is related to a battery replacement issue that affected certain earlier MacBooks that would actually extend the length of time the batteries could be replaced under warranty because they were faulty (and wouldn't last beyond a certain amount of cycles).

    http://www.apple.com/support/macbook_macbookpro/batteryupdate/
     
  10. niiru thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #10
    thanks madog
    I have only 76 cycles on my battery, current battery capacity is at 4992mAh and at 99%, with the age of my mac at only 9months. Should my battery be running okay with only 76 cycles. Also, even whem my mac is running on the power adapter the black screen still happens. So it shouldn't have anything to do with the battery as far as that goes right?
     
  11. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #11
    That's right. Intermittent problems while your computer is under warranty become constant problems as soon as the warranty ends. Make it pay for itself.
     

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