MacBook Pro Kensington Lock Slot: Reamed!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cormandy, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. cormandy macrumors newbie

    cormandy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    #1
    MacBook Pro Kensington cable lock slot problems: who is at fault here?

    I purchased a MacBook Pro for my wife in Nov 2006; although I am not sure of the model number, it is the first generation to use the 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The laptop has never left our flat, however it is usually cable locked to the radiator when we are away for extended periods. I have been using “older” generation of Kensington cable locks for many years now on many different types of laptop, mostly IBM Thinkpads, but I recently replaced my older generation (late 90s) Kensington cable locks (thin cable, smallish lock mechanism with a barrel/cylinder style key) with the new Kensington Microsaver DS notebook locks, which use a new “disc lock” with a different key and are generally way sturdier. However, after 2 months of intermittent use with the MacBook Pro, the Kensington security slot on the right had side has been completely reamed, and the Kensington DS lock now simply falls out when supposedly “secured”.

    Thinking that I am not alone, I Googled my observations and discovered many postings of other users who have experienced the same problem. I also found poor feedback for another Kensington lock on the Apple online store. I am not exactly sure who is at fault here. Is it a design issue with the security slot, or are the new Kensington Microsaver DS locks just too brutish for the dainty and precious MacBook Pro???

    For over a decade I have owned or been in possession of (via work) numerous laptops, including Toshibas, Dells, Compaqs and, for over 6 years, Thinkpads (both IBM and Lenovo). For all of this time I have religiously secured them with Kensington cable locks, at the office, at home (when out), in the car and at the pub. This was done partly for peace of mind, but with company issued laptops, it was a requirement for insurance purposes. No cable lock, no reimbursement if nicked. Besides, too many stolen laptop stories vindicate this behaviour, and I did have a Thinkpad power supply stolen from my second-floor desk while away at a meeting many years ago; if my laptop was
    not locked up, I am sure it would have gone walkabout as well. Although I just gave 3 older Kensington locks away, I currently own 4 new Kensington locks, including 3 Microsaver DS locks and 1 Microsaver Twin, which I use to lock up a Tektronix MSO4000 oscilloscope up on my workbench. (Yes, even oscilloscopes now come with Kensington security slots.)

    To this day, I have never, never, never had an issue with the security slot failing so catastrophically with any PC, and in fact the Thinkpad security slot has no issues with the new Microsaver DS locks I have been using for the past 2 months. Upon closer inspection of the MacBook Pro security slot, it appears that there is a metal locking plate that is supposed to sit in the back of the security slot, with which the Kensington cable lock mechanism meshes with when turning the key to the locked position. This metal plate is now “floating around” inside the laptop, albeit near the slot. Sandwiched between the precious aluminium casing and this plate is grey plastic. It appears to me that the Kensington lock mechanism has managed to wedge itself between the grey plastic and the locking plate, both shredding the plastic and dislodging the plate!

    It looks like the MacBook Pro will have to go to Apple for repair (I did purchase the Applecare Protection Plan), however IMHO this appears to be a design issue with the security slot. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    近畿日本
    #2
    Hiya, Care to take some photos of the damaged area? I'd like to see..
     
  3. Snips macrumors regular

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Suffolk, UK
    #3
    This implies that you believe a thief will have had access to the machine but has been prevented from stealing it due to the lock - is it possible that they have physically damaged the lock through one or more attempts to steal it?
     
  4. DocSmitty macrumors regular

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #4
    That was a different laptop (hence the thinkpad power supply and "many years ago."

    This is an interesting thread, I too would like to see photos if possible. My first thought was that if you went from an older cable lock that worked fine to a new one, which quickly broke the slot, that the new lock was to blame - but if it's working just fine on other laptops then it's probably the MBP. Apple may have designed the lock slot based on the locks that were available at the time, has there been any change to the specs Kensington suggests since that revision?
     
  5. cormandy thread starter macrumors newbie

    cormandy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for your replies. I could upload pictures in the next day or two, including the locking mechanism of the new lock, but I no longer have the old Kensington locks (however, my brother does as I gave them to him, so it may be possible).

    Your replies have me thinking. Although I would imagine that Kensington did not change the dimensions of the locking mechanism from the "older 90s style" and the latest Microsaver DS, this newer lock does have a large rubber "bumper" where it butts up against the laptop. I wonder if this rubber bumper is causing the user (uh, that would be me) to not insert the lock in into the slot as deeply as it should be inserted. (No double entendre intended!) This would result in the user (yours truly!) turning the lock thus causing the described damage as the mechanism would not be in deep enough. Both the new Kensington DS and Microsaver Twin locks have this new, fat rubber bumper, which the older 90s generation locks do not have.

    cormandy

    PS Damage would not be caused by thief as laptop has only been locked up at my flat.
     
  6. cormandy thread starter macrumors newbie

    cormandy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    #6
    All,

    I have uploaded 5 pictures: 1 of the MacBook Pro slot; 3 of the Kensington Microsaver DS cable lock in the "locked" position; 1 of a security slot from my Lenovo Thinkpad T60p. (Cropped, reduced, etc. thanks to Photoshop Elements 6.0...)

    Referring to the MacBook Pro slot pic, you can see the black locking plate "floating" around in the back.

    I called Appledontcare today who suggested that the damage may be "wear and tear", and was asked book a time to bring it into the nearest Apple store in order for the condition to be assessed by Apple... However, as the call centre could only book two days in advance, the chap on the phone recommended that I book online at midnight in order to secure an appointment on Friday! My nearest Apple Store is Regents Street London, which I imagine to be quite busy...

    cormandy
     

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  7. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    近畿日本
    #7
    OUCH... That looks nasty! :eek::eek::eek::eek::mad::mad:
    I'm sorry your going through this..

    There shouldn't be anything giggling inside your MBP, so if it's the metal thing from the security whole that's floating around in there, I would imagine Apple won't mind to replace the unit, cause it's a faulty/defective unit...


    Wish you all the best! ;)
     
  8. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a

    marykay9507

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #8
    That looks horrible-- hope they are able to fix it for you-- have you had any luck in contacting Kensington? I personally have never used their locks, but have had friends use them who say they are horrible-- since you seem to have used them a lot, perhaps what DocSmitty suggested (ie: the design change) could be contributing to the poor fit?
     
  9. tsice19 macrumors 6502a

    tsice19

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #9
    That looks bad!

    I'd call up Apple and complain and see what they can do.

    Or I'd take the MBP with the lock to the Apple Store and freak out.
     
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
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    Isla Nublar
    #10
    I wouldnt use a kensington near anything I own. Not only are they easy to clip off and take what you want (try and old lock with garden shears, its REALLY easy. We used that all the time to get them off when people forgot the combinations to them at work), but they (or any lock) usually ends up damaging what your locking up if there is any movement.

    A better solution would be to buy some sort of lockable computer desk so if your not home you can pull the sides in and lock the whole desk.
     
  11. DaveTheGrey macrumors 6502a

    DaveTheGrey

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    #11
    I was also thinking about getting one of these locks, but after these fotos and this video i'm not sure anymore...
     
  12. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    Roskilde, DK
    #12
    That video was highly disturbing...
     
  13. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #13
    get the combination lock version from Targus.
     
  14. tremendous macrumors 6502

    tremendous

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    Location:
    UK? Yeah I'm OK. Stop asking.
    #14
    if i were going away on holiday i wouldn't leave a laptop out, kensington lock or not. this is what the space under beds or the back of kitchen cupboards are for.
     
  15. killerwhack macrumors regular

    killerwhack

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    Los Angeles, California
  16. tremendous macrumors 6502

    tremendous

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    UK? Yeah I'm OK. Stop asking.
    #16
    Yeah the Chinese can't make anything...
     
  17. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #17
    It is very clear from your photos that the design of your lock is at fault and is clearly not suitable for the MBP.

    Under the locking T-bar are two prongs, which are in contact with the aluminium side of your MBP. Any slight movement will create friction with the result that your lock is slowly sawing into your MBP. Most locks have a T-bar going into the slot with rubber grommets in contact with the sides to prevent such external damage.

    You should look for a lock that on opening retracts the T-bar into an I-bar, rather than one that rotates the T-bar to lock. Trust makes such a lock and is usually much cheaper than Kensington to boot.

    http://www.trust.com/products/product_detail.aspx?item=14128

    Kensington locks are about the worst on the market and too easy to break into.
     
  18. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #18
    i would have to agree. my targus doesnt have those two prongs. Its a flat surface below the "T" looking lock.
     
  19. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #19
    I don't use any type of lock for my computers but I thought the prongs were unusual too. I've never seen such a lock.
     
  20. Primusz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #20
    I have exactly the same issue.

    Have exactly the same kensington lock, and this morning, suddenly I was not able to lock it. Put a little more force on it and I heard a sound like something ripped. It seams some metal is blocking the T from turning.

    Called apple, they told me to go to a nearby apple store and suggested this would not be covered by warranty as it is "usage" related.

    How can they claim this is not falling under warranty, when I use a kensington lock for a kensington hole and use it normally???
     
  21. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

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    May 25, 2008
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    Apple state
  22. NODEraser macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2008
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    Gladstone, Oregon
    #22
    Perhaps Kensington would cover this damage? Don't they claim insurance on computers protected by their locks?
     
  23. Primusz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #23
    well indeed, it's either Apple's fault or Kensington's, since either the lock-hole/plate is not properly manufactured (shouldn't be bendable like that)

    or the lock Kensington sells (and Apple for that matter) is not suitable. I called Kensington and they offered to send me a new lock.

    Now I told them that the problem might be that due to the rubber protection ring, the T does not get deep enough and in this case made it between the allunimium casing and the steel plate, bending the steel plate to the inside.

    What do you know, the newer model locks don't have that ring anymore...

    Anyway, they said they would not take responsibility for any costs involved in repairing, they would only provide a new lock. I could write them a letter to claim that they should, but it's going to take a lot of time and effort.
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #24
    You can try to get around this...
    But likely all you'll get is a replacement and a refund of the purchase price.
     
  25. Chromako macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2007
    Location:
    The Wired
    #25
    Funny. I use the same model Kensington lock with my MBP and never had a problem like that. The rubber ring does make it more snug than other models and I was worried that it would damage the computer at first, but it never has. I have a feeling that perhaps Apple forgot to put the steel plate in yours, or something like that... but bleh... that's ugly... sorry .
     

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