MacBook Charger Only Working Sometimes

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by SteveK1230, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. SteveK1230 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    I know Macbook Charger/Battery issues are not new, but I think I have a problem I've yet to see on any forum.

    (Late 2008 Black MacBook)I'll start with adding that I've calibrated my battery AND downloaded Coconut Battery, which has determined after roughly 290 cycles my battery still operates at 97% efficiency. I've cross-referenced that data with iStat Pro, and it concurs.

    So, about 3 weeks ago I tried plugging my charger into my MacBook, and it was totally unresponsive. (no light of any kind, and my power preferences confirmed it wasn't establishing any connection whatsoever) My sister also has a similar aged MacBook and I tried her charger, which worked perfectly.

    Now, after about another week, my sisters charger also stopped working. So, I tried plugging my charger in again and still nothing, and once again the same with my sisters. To quit rambling, basically whats going on now (and this is happening with both computers and chargers) if I unplug and plug in the charger and over and over again it will "hit" on one of the tries and start working. I can't explain it, there is no sort of procedure, but if i keep repeatedly unattaching and reattaching the charger it seems to work. I've cleaned the contacts on both computers and chargers, and reset the SMC for both. Yet the problem still persists. I wouldn't mind replacing a part to remedy this issue, but I can't figure out whats what. When my battery does charge it works fine, but it's becoming quite bothersome to have to unplug and plug in my charger 50 times before it works (which isn't always the case). Someone please help.
  2. dubels macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2006
    Take it in and have it replaced. Apple Care will replace it for you. I had one where it caught on fire and they replaced it out of apple care. I had the same symptoms as you before I notice small burn marks on the mag safe connector. Then one day I smelt burnt plastic and it was done for.
  3. creon macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2009
    I agree with the previous post, yet there if it is out of applecare or out of the original one year warranty then you are SOL.
  4. SteveK1230 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2009
    So, after getting my hands on yet another Charger, I realized it was in fact just BOTH of the chargers had gone bad. Considering they were both over a year old and roughly the same age I suppose it makes sense, just thought it was a bit strange both had gone bad about almost exactly the same time, no big deal. Just thought I'd respond in case anybody else had the same issue.

  5. iampanx macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2009
    I'm currently having this same problem. Did you have to change the battery and the charger/adapter? Or just the power supply? Also, can you get it covered through apple care online, or do you have to go to a store?
  6. vintagegeek888 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    MacBook Charger Intermittent Issue

    I just started having the same issue with my 1st gen MacBook. Sometimes no charging lite...unplug and plug a couple times and it starts charging. Based on the notes in this forum sounds like a new charger should resolve my issue. My battery holds a nice charge even though its a couple years old. The charger is the original one that came with the MacBook in 2006 so I guess I got some good use out of it. to the Apple Store for a new charger. :rolleyes:
  7. harry*333 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    my dad had this with his 2006 mbp, what happened was the wires inside the magsafe plug had become loose, and the contacts on the outside lost their springiness, but apple wouldn't replace it because it wasn't a known problem
    also my 2006 mb charger almost caught on fire, i noticed about a day before that it was getting very hot, and then one night when i was working i smelled smoke and the wire insultation right by the plug was melting off and smoldering. took it to apple and they just handed me a new one. what i'm very surprised about is that apple didn't make any recall or anything on these, if it happened at night it could've caused a house fire
  8. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2007
    I have a Macbook that I bought in summer 2007. The charger stopped working after just a year or so. It still works to power the computer, but it will not actually charge the battery. So my Macbook is effectively a desktop computer right now (battery at 0% charge), although a bit more convenient than a desktop obviously. I am almost afraid of getting a new charger from Apple. My computer is covered under Apple Care for a while longer, but the reviews I've read of their chargers at make it seem like one of the worst products ever. It's almost as if they've gotten even worse in the last 1.5 years since I first bought my Macbook. I don't want to get a new charger and have it damage the computer. In fact, my next laptop will probably not be a Mac due partially to this charger nonsense but also because I had a catastrophe happen in the spring of 2008, around 1 month before I was supposed to graduate from college. The hard drive on this one crashed after just 7-8 months of usage. I found out after the crash from a classmate that Apple had admitted in the fall of 2007 that they had a bad batch of hard drives. Guess I was one of the lucky ones that ended up with one of the duds. I lost a bunch of stuff for a law class that I had to re-do (pain in the ass).
  9. gorillafood macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2010
    Intermittent charging White Macbook

    I purchased an early 2009 13 inch white macbook June 2009. First off the computer came with a black cloth that stained various parts of my computer within days of owning it. Within a few months I noticed that the computer was only charging intermittently. At times the light would turn orange then green and no light at all within minutes. Other times there is no light at all. Unplugging and plugging back in would work most times though many times the battery would not charge to 100%. I also noticed that at times, my power adapter would get extremely hot and would create sparks regardless of which outlet I would use and that many times the prong piece would get detached from the adapter and would have to be removed seperately. Throughout the next few months the same problems with charging continued and my display bezel was completely loose around the bottom of my screen.

    I took the macbook to an apple bar about a month ago which was seven months after I purchased it. I told the "genius" about the cloth staining my computer. He told me that they never have come with cloths. When I insist that it did, he tells me that cloths are for cleaning screens and that the have no place being left near the computer. I tell him that a $1000 white computer should not come with a black cloth that leaks dye. He then runs a battery and charger test telling me that they are both working well and that I am not unplugging the adapter properly. As in, I don't know how to unplug something from an outlet. And that all macbook display bezels are loose like mine. He then notices that the light in the magsafe went out while at the bar. Proposed resolution was to replace the magsafe board and battery connector. If problem not fixed, replace the logic board. I leave my computer there for a week and when I picked it up it is confirmed that they had replaced the logic board, top case w keyboard, battery connector w sleep switch, board magsafe DC in, display bezel and hardware repair level 2. I take the computer home only to have the same intermittently charging problems in addition a loose snap in bezel that can easily be pulled off.

    I take the computer back a week later now with a different "genius". I explain how I was previously in and he sees that everything has been replaced pertaining to charging issues. I ask him if maybe a new adapter would solve the problem. He does a battery and adapter test and says they both are working with no problems. He tries my original adapter, the house charger and a brand new one and notices that all three chargers are intermittently charging my computer. Once the green light remains on for quite some time, we decide that I will take it home again with a new charger. To my mistake, I take it home once again and have the same intermittent problems in addition to noticing a hairline crack in my bottom casing.

    Another week passes and I take the computer to the Apple store again. Unfortunately, I had to deal with the first genius that I filed unsatisfactory complaints against. He plugs my computer in only to see that the computer is not reproducing the charging problem at the bar. He doesn't even bring up my previous file and he goes into their back room and leaves me at the bar for about 10 minutes only for another genius to come out and take over. He continues to say that they have changed everything that they can think of and that there could be a small but doubtful chance that one of the replacement parts were faulty. Regarding the hairline crack he claimed that Apple does not take responsibility for cosmetic flaws such as and that the crack will not cause any future problems for me. I tell him that it is unacceptable for me to be taking home a cracked computer when I never brought it in that condition. After many minutes of not giving up, he now says that they will replace my casing (that they don’t carry in stock) at no charge and that I have to leave my computer for them to run a ASD diagnostic check on overnight. They call me the following day stating that they ran the test and that they found no problems with my computer. Even though they have replaced nothing since the intermittent charging at their genius bar until now. He continues t say that they are waiting for the replacement casing to come and want to see if that could be contributing to the problem which is such a joke. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?! I have now owned this computer for 8 months and it is all replacements parts with gaps and spaces everywhere. Not even close to factory condition and most important, still not charging properly. Will diagnostic tests detect problems if they are intermittent? I am disappointed in the product as I am also disappointed at the customer service that I have experienced. I would have been grateful if my computer was 2-3 years old but this is barely even a year old. I want a new computer. Justified?
  10. CountrySoul macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2010
    I have the *exact* same problem. Except that for me, the intermittent-ness seems to indicate the battery is on the decline. I'm on my second charger, which is behaving exactly as my original charger did. It works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. If i unplug and replug it several times, eventually it will work. Until it quits completely. Kind of a ridiculous problem to have with an expensive machine.
  11. officials macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2010
    Do not buy a new charger!

    Okay, so it's probably too late.
    I have a Black 2008 Mac as well and had the exact problems as the original post. My charger wasn't registering with my laptop (no light, and absolutely no charge. as in the battery would go completely dead even while plugged in). My roommate has a slightly older MacPro, and her charger worked perfectly with my laptop, so I assumed it was my charger. The new one I bought today worked the very first time I used it, but hasn't worked again since. I've tried every outlet, unplugging and replugging, nothing. The new charger works with my roommate's laptop, and her charger still works with mine (for now). I'm guessing that won't last long and I'll eventually have to take in my laptop so they can get to the root of the problem. Probably by bending me over the genius bar.
    Anyway, save yourself 80 bucks and just take your laptop straight in.
  12. bim macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2010
    I have the same problem....(see original post).
    Then I buy new macsafe, but the problem still hapen right now (it just work for the first time after I bought the macsafe).
    Does anyone have solution for this problem?.......
    I like very much my mac (and I have plan to buy new one)......but if this problem doesn't have solution. I'm afraid that my new mac will have the same problem like my mac now.
    Should be I cancel to buy new mac?......
  13. Pinkstiletto66 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2010
    New York City.
    My brand new charger stopped working after less than a week. So before this comp dies. I'm on 5 percent, I'm going to watch this thread like a hawk for solutions, and watch in from my iphone. Sighh...
  14. hannah :) macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2011
    same problem as everyone else :( but i have a temporary solution :)

    I have exactly the same problem.i too initially thought it was my charger so i bought a new one which still didn't charge .
    When this happens you need to turn off your mac, take out the battery and while the battery is out you need to press the start button for 10 seconds then re insert your battery and your mac will charge again... i have to do this a few times a month its called resetting the SMC or something like that.
    Ive since spoken to a computer technician and this problem with it not charging is apparently a sign the battery could be faulty/need replacing , hope this helps everyone till they can change their battery. :) xxx
  15. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    Yea my Macbook had the same problem, had to take out and reinsert the battery for it to charge. After a week of this happening the charger crapped out and I got a new one and the problem disappeared.
    I blamed my problems on goblins.
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  17. rbarclay macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    Hello my friend,

    Currently experimenting the issue you describe here. Please let me know how did you handle it.

    Thanks and regards,

  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Look at the "Apple Portables: Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters" link in the CHARGING section of the Battery FAQ I just posted, as well as the link below that on resetting the SMC.
  19. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    My girlfriend had this EXACT same issue a few months back with her MBP. None of the help on the Apple support site helped. It turned out that there was an issue with the magsafe adapter AND the circutry in the battery had shorted out. Pointed towards some sort of power surge as the cause.

    If its still under Applecare it should be fixed under warrently, otherwise it would have costed well over £100 for us.
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Actually, the information on Apple's support site addresses that:
  21. Funkenstien macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    I've been having identical problems, I tried cleaning the contacts on all parts with electrical component cleaner and that helped some. I finally realized that the four prongs in the magsafe connector were not all level. I lubricated it with Wd-40 and worked the prongs in and out with a toothpick until they all moved in and out uniformly. Problem solved. I also noticed that if the LED stays on upon disconnect, it is caused by one of the pins staying compressed.
  22. MR.BUTTON macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2012
    Vancouver,Canada and Shanghai,China
    I have the same problem got solution

    Don't know I fits everyone's computer...
    Sometimes It doesn't work, but if you change the angle of the charger,it will work most of the time.
    My adapter Is a MagSafe one
    Hope it helps:)

    Mid-2010 MacBook
  23. Papachonga macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013

    My charger wouldn't work with any of my MacBooks. Only randomly. I did this and it started working. Thanks!! (Both are mid 2011).


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