mid 2010 Macbook won't charge battery

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dintymoore, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. dintymoore, Jul 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016

    dintymoore macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    I bought a mid 2010 Macbook recently and was told it had no battery - the original battery had swollen and caused a tiny amount of damage to the case.

    It will not charge the replacement battery I just put in. Why?

    It sees the battery in the System Profiler and in Coconut but up top by the battery icon it says it isn't charging (in grey). The Coconut app says the battery is at 74% but when I pull out the ac adapter it dies.

    So far I installed the OS (I'm running 10.6.8 because I use an older Photoshop, it had been running Yosemite) and tried the ac adapter from another mid 2010 Macbook. I tried taking out the battery and holding down the power button for 5 seconds as I read that resets something. I tried leaving it plugged in overnight. I cleaned the adapter contacts with Deoxit. My next step is probably to take the battery out of that second Macbook and install it in the new laptop with the thinking that perhaps the new battery is bad.

    Any ideas?

    7/21/16 UPDATE: after reading some other threads here and seeing that a magsafe board is only $12 I'll probably order one to take the chance that it is the culprit.

    UPDATE: I found one for $8 (including shipping) and will post the results when it's installed.
  2. dintymoore, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016

    dintymoore thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    I installed the replacement MagSafe and there is no difference, it still says "battery not charging" in grey when I click on the battery icon and the computer will not run off of the battery.

    I guess there is a chance that the battery I bought is bad and I probably will swap it with the known-to-be-good battery in my other identical Macbook to rule that out.

    BTW RE: the iFixit guide for replacing the A1342 13" Macbook's MagSafe board - if you scroll down to the comments on the iFixit guide you'll see that some people have skipped from step 6 to step 16 and that is how I did the MagSafe replacement. Not only is that method faster and easier, it prevents the damage that might occur in the other delicate skipped steps.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this please post them.

    UPDATE: I swapped the battery from the second MacBook and the new battery wouldn't charge in the second MacBook and the known-to-be-good battery worked in my MacBook. So the "new" battery is bad. It seems another case of getting what you pay for. I know lots of people will chuckle at my buying a $27 knockoff battery but over the years I've bought several and this is the first time I've had a problem. So I contacted the seller and hopefully he will send a replacement without my sending the bad one back.
    I really don't like the way they put the batteries in these Macs. It should take dealing with 30 tiny screws to swap batteries between two Macs. If it were the older MacBook/iBook I would have swapped batteries in a minute and never went down the road of replacing the MagSafe board.
  3. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2015
    No ideas but thanks for posting your findings. I recently upgraded a mid-2010 MacBook with RAM and SSD and it is now my main machine after my 2011 iMac died.
  4. dintymoore, Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016

    dintymoore thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    They are the first (to me) Mac laptop that was finally "good enough". For some reason, when you look at memory upgrades, the Macs made before and after it only can hold 8GB RAM whereas the mid-2010 holds 16GB.

    I post this stuff for help and to help the next guy. I took several pics and with a detailed explanation told the seller I bought the battery from what had happened, explained what a hassle I'd gone through and at the end said I didn't want to pay the return shipping to return the bad battery. Faced with that he said he'd send out a replacement without receiving the bad one back.

    I have had, over the years, several times where I bought something that was defective where the eBay listing had stated "buyer pays return shipping" and with the above approach did not pay the return shipping. My method is to take lots of pics and include a detailed explanation. If you just send a note saying "you sold me crap and I want another and I'm not paying return shipping" I doubt that that would work. You need to be civil and detailed. The idea is that nobody lying does that. It also proves that important notion they didn't teach us in school: Everything Is Negotiable

    RE: the ifixit guide for MagSafe replacement step 17 here: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/MacBook+Unibody+Model+A1342+MagSafe+Board+Replacement/1676

    I've done lots of repairs using iFixit guides over the years and this is the first one that I would call "wrong". I'm sure the intentions were good and the pics were helpful, but you shouldn't do steps 7 through 16. Do step 6 then skip to step17. Doing the extra steps involves taking unneeded risks. The "display data cable lock" took me about 15 min to figure out what the #%&@$!!! they were talking about. I've attached two pics of that cable when disconnected. It has a metal loop that flips over - that's what you pull to remove it. The pics show that loop in two different positions. As usual, when you know how, it's easy.

    Likely several Macs were permanently damaged by following the instructions in that guide.

    Also, when I reinstall small connectors like on this job, and sometimes when I take them apart, I'll spray some Deoxit D5 on a Q-tip and apply a tiny amount to the connector. That probably saves many from breaking. I do the same with car electrical connectors.


    Attached Files:

  5. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I had nothing but issues with my MacBook third party battery. Put in a brand new apple battery for $43 and it works perfectly, easily get 5+ hours in El Capitan. Worth the extra $10 :)
  6. dintymoore, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016

    dintymoore thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2008
    That's probably a better choice for most people. I use my battery for less than an hour a day so cheap ones have worked over the last 20 years or so until I hit the snag on this one.

    I got the replacement battery and it works fine. I got to keep the bad battery and since it was charged when I got it probably the cells are good and the small pc board (likely a voltage regulator) in the bad battery is the likely culprit so I could swap a good card in there sometime and get another battery, it's just 5 or so easy-to-solder wires to swap.

    Now I get to enjoy my $100 8GB RAM mid-2010 Macbook. It's in very good shape. It came with a snap on Speck case (pink!) and I wouldn't be surprised if that contributed to the battery's swelling up. No doubt the bad design of putting the battery inside the Mac contributed to failure. I like the "battery inside" design about as much as I like the tri-head screws they use to hold the battery in that the "free" screwdriver doesn't fit. :(

    One thing that I did per someone else's post was to use sandpaper to round the sharp edge off of the front on the Mac (where your hands rest) and around the screen, a feature that I didn't like on my wife's mid-2010 MacBoo. I used 220 grit and finished with 400 grit and now it's way better.

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