MBP Charging... then NOT charging problem

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by g33, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. g33 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    London, UK
    I have a 13" MBP since last December and over the last month or so have noticed that it doesnt like being charged. I tend to stick it on charge before i go to bed and wait for the light to go amber so that i know its doing its job. i come back the next day and the light is off. I turn it on and seems its not fully cahrged.. For example ive jsut got back from lunch (put it on charge before i left) and realised the light was off when i came back turned it on and says its got 2.5 hours left for a full charge.

    Im not too sure if the adapter/magnet end that is faulty or the part in the MBP itself as jsut now ive tried reconnecting it and all seemed fine until i noticed that the amber light slowly faded to nothing ie. no light showing whatsoever. The top right of the screen by the battery indicator says "not charging'. Moved it a teeny bit and now seems to be charging like it should.

    Has anybody had experienced anything like this? Dont want to go about taking my optibay out and putting an OS on for them to sort it if there is an actual problem with the MBP itself :/

    If it was the MBP would they let give me a refurb as they do with iPhones or would i be MBPless for days+?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    Unfortunately, there is only one thing I can suggest for you. Try resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) Instructions to do so can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964 The SMC deals with power management. So this could be your issue. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then you have some form of hardware issue, and should take it to apple.
  3. phassat macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2010
    I have.... Mine was the adapter which fails. I tried to charge it with different charger and it works fine...

    I bought another charger for $40 for backup...
  4. r00t61 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2011
    I had a similar problem with my T-style Magsafe from my 2,1 MBP.

    Here's my odyssey. For the TL;DR-version, buy a new adapter.

    I began to notice that my charger would sometimes not work. One minute the light would be a happy green or amber, and the next minute, it would blink out. Sometimes, I could get the charger to start charging again, provided I held the end of the Magsafe connector in "just-so" a position (think adjusting the rabbit ears on an old HF/VHF TV). But once I moved about, it would stop charging again, sometimes. Then I'd have to jiggle with the connector again, hoping that it would start charging. Very intermittent and frustrating.

    I tried all the standard remedies. I reset the SMC. I reset the PRAM. I downloaded and installed every appropriate EFI update. I checked to see that the little spring-loaded pins in the Magsafe were clean and had free action. Still nothing.

    I remembered that the charging problem started after I'd upgraded to Snow Leopard. So I went back to Tiger, thinking that perhaps it was a software problem. Nope. Back to the drawing board.

    I considered the possibility that something was wrong with the battery, even though istat was reporting it as healthy. But trying to run the machine on AC power only (by removing the battery) didn't work at all. The system just wasn't drawing power, whether the battery was attached or not.

    I considered the possibility that the left I/O board had failed. To test, I went to the local Best Buy and tried charging my MBP with an L-style Magsafe at the Apple display setup. It started to charge immediately, with no problems whatsoever. I decided that the problem was with my adapter.

    I disassembled the Magsafe connector, and found the problem. The spring-loaded pins in the Magsafe are soldered to a tiny little circuit board, which I assume has some logic built-in to properly charge the lithium-ion-based battery chemistry. In my case, the solder joints had broken completely clean off. In its disassembled state (i.e., with the white plastic Magsafe shield removed), however, I could ensure that the pins were properly contacting the circuit board, and lo and behold, my MBP started charging like there never was a problem. Jiggle the connector just enough to cause the pins to lose contact with the circuit board, however, and it stopped charging; this totally explained the weird charging behavior I'd seen prior.

    The solder joints were way too tiny for someone of my limited electronics skill to repair. I formulated a different plan. I found an orientation in which the natural lie of the pins (i.e., when gravity was acting upon the connector assembly), when attached to the circuit board, were making correct contact. I then used 2-part epoxy to glue the pins to the circuit board in this orientation; 2-part epoxy is electrically non-conductive. Once the epoxy cured, the connector worked just fine; I'm typing this little novel from my MBP right now.

    For the OP, I would suggest using a different adapter. Try going to an Apple Store or Best Buy or similar. If this other adapter works, then you can immediately rule out more complicated problems, like battery or logic board. You'll probably want to get a new adapter and/or perform some surgery on your old one. Since you have a newer L-style Magsafe, the problem may lie in the strain relief, as opposed to the pin connectors; this is a known design flaw that Apple has ignored for years. Just check out the reviews of the L-style Magsafe on Apple's own website. There is also the possibility that your adapter has failed at the power-brick end; the strain relief is also weak on this side as well.

    If the other adapter doesn't work either, then you probably have a more serious problem.

    And I'd be somewhat wary as to what the Apple "geniuses" tell you. Most of them will immediately accuse the battery, so that they can charge you to open up the machine and tinker with the internals. Caveat emptor.
  5. phassat macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Haha r00t61, you were trying the hard way first then the easiest. I was trying with a friend's charger soon after mine failing intermittenly...

    But I haven't tried to open the magsafe and you've made me want to try
  6. harry2110 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2011
    I also have the same issue but this is my second charger and in fact as I was typing this post it did it again without touching the charger. My first charger went up in flames literally. I am on a 15in 2010 MBP and this issue is also causing my external HDD to also come unplugged at the same time as the charger and my power setting allow my hdds to run on battery.

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