Spontaneous MacBook Death?

jimmypod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2017
8
3
Earlier today, my MacBook Pro 13" nTB spontaneously died. The screen flickered and the computer shut off. No matter what I did, I couldn't power it on. After calling Apple Support, I was able to go to the nearest Apple Store and get my laptop replaced for a new one.

But now I'm paranoid.

When I was using my MacBook when it spontaneously died, I was charging it through a USB-C hub. Is it possible for this to be the culprit of the MacBook dying? Is it even remotely possible for something wrong with a USB-C hub to result in the complete and utter death of a MacBook? Short-circuiting? Power surge? I just want to avoid this outcome again 1000%.

Thanks.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
635
United States
I understand being a little paranoid. Anything's possible in your scenario... even the best products, whether a laptop or a hub, can be defective. No way to avoid anything 1000% (or even 100% ;)). However, with a reputable hub, the chances of the hub being the cause are pretty tiny.

What model USB-C hub? Reputable brand or never-heard-before knockoff? Are you using the original Apple charger to power the hub, or did the hub come with its own? Were you using a surge protector? How long have you had been using the hub (i.e. since you bought it)? Have you done any googling to see if anyone else has had the same thing happen with that hub?
 

jimmypod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2017
8
3
I understand being a little paranoid. Anything's possible in your scenario... even the best products, whether a laptop or a hub, can be defective. No way to avoid anything 1000% (or even 100% ;)). However, with a reputable hub, the chances of the hub being the cause are pretty tiny.

What model USB-C hub? Reputable brand or never-heard-before knockoff? Are you using the original Apple charger to power the hub, or did the hub come with its own? Were you using a surge protector? How long have you had been using the hub (i.e. since you bought it)? Have you done any googling to see if anyone else has had the same thing happen with that hub?
I purchased the "CERTIFIED USB-C Hub CharJenPro USB-C 3.1 HUB / ADAPTER" - It's made by CharJenPro, has a 4.3/5 on Amazon from 239 reviews, costs 79.99, and includes a bunch of connections so it seemed trustworthy. I had been using it for two days or so with it connected to my MacBook charger the whole time.

I was using the original Apple charger to power the hub, and it was connected directly to the wall outlet so no surge protector. That might have been the cause of the problem as opposed to the usb hub. I don't think anyone else had this problem with the hub, and I can't seem to find anyone else with this mysterious MacBook problem either.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,119
635
United States
I purchased the "CERTIFIED USB-C Hub CharJenPro USB-C 3.1 HUB / ADAPTER" - It's made by CharJenPro, has a 4.3/5 on Amazon from 239 reviews, costs 79.99, and includes a bunch of connections so it seemed trustworthy. I had been using it for two days or so with it connected to my MacBook charger the whole time.

I was using the original Apple charger to power the hub, and it was connected directly to the wall outlet so no surge protector. That might have been the cause of the problem as opposed to the usb hub. I don't think anyone else had this problem with the hub, and I can't seem to find anyone else with this mysterious MacBook problem either.
Yeah, if it had anything to do with power delivery, it was almost certainly a surge from the outlet... though you would typically notice something like the lights flickering or other appliances. Always best practice to use a surge protector, but more likely than anything, you just got a defective laptop. It happens. Good luck with the new one!
 

ANDJOE

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
121
74
This happened to me when my machine was a few weeks old. I was using the standard power charger out of the box.
Apple replaced it without hassle.
 

westom

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2009
229
23
I was using the original Apple charger to power the hub, and it was connected directly to the wall outlet so no surge protector. That might have been the cause of the problem as opposed to the usb hub.
If a surge was incoming to a charger, then it was also incoming to every other appliance - powered on or off. How many others were also damaged?

Surges occur maybe once every seven years. Worse, a protector too close to electronics and too far from earth ground can even make surge damage easier. If anything needs that protection, then everything needs that protection. Informed homeowners spend about $1 per appliance for protection of all appliances even from direct lightning strikes.

Sounds like a classic manufacturing defect. Most all failures (even years later) are due to manufacturing defects. Only wild speculation then blames surges - since that fable is promoted by adverting that easily manipulates the less informed and massively increases profits.

How many other unprotected and less robust appliances were also damaged? Dishwasher, clocks, furnace, toaster, GFCIs?
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,644
1,809
Sounds like a classic manufacturing defect. Most all failures (even years later) are due to manufacturing defects. Only wild speculation then blames surges - since that fable is promoted by adverting that easily manipulates the less informed and massively increases profits.

How many other unprotected and less robust appliances were also damaged? Dishwasher, clocks, furnace, toaster, GFCIs?
So you’re saying the laptop was only mostly dead when it arrived? :)
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,494
3,881
The previous generation of MBPs had surge protection on the USB ports, it seems to be missing from the USB C ports of the new generation (which is a big oversight considering they're now the charging ports too!)
 

jimmypod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2017
8
3
The previous generation of MBPs had surge protection on the USB ports, it seems to be missing from the USB C ports of the new generation (which is a big oversight considering they're now the charging ports too!)
Really going to need a source on that as it's the first time that I have ever seen that statement.

How many other unprotected and less robust appliances were also damaged? Dishwasher, clocks, furnace, toaster, GFCIs?
Good point. Nothing else in the house was damaged. It was only the MacBook Pro that spontaneously died. Apple replaced it without any questions asked, so I'm sure it was some kind of manufacturing defect now.
 

westom

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2009
229
23
The previous generation of MBPs had surge protection on the USB ports, it seems to be missing from the USB C ports of the new generation
It cannot be a USB port if it does not conform to USB standards. All USB standards define protection. Otherwise a USB symbol (the equivalent of a trademark) cannot exist on that port.

USB has many definitions. For example, one even says how long a USB cord may be.
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So you’re saying the laptop was only mostly dead when it arrived? :)
Never assume defects and failures always coincide. Normal is for defective hardware to work for months. Then eventually create a failure.

We all learn from a classic example. Electronics of all types were sold with defective electrolytic capacitors - due to counterfeit electrolyte. Those defective capacitors caused failures years later.

Defects and failures need not coincide. A system even with all good parts can fail. (A perfect example were 1980s Ford Taurus transmissions. Those made (with all in spec parts) in America failed constantly. Same transmissions made in Japan did not.) A system with defective parts can work fine for years.

These concepts were even taught by William Edward Deming in the 1950s. Or learned the hard way in White Sands Missile range - during that same period.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2013
307
392
Earth
I think people need to start coming clean about what 'exactly' they are telling Apple support about their mac book dying. Unless you have Apple Care +, Apple will not replace a machine under warranty if the result of it dying was due to faulty 3rd party equipment.

With regards to the OP's situation, it is more than likely a faulty usb device was plugged into the hub which caused a voltage surge through the hub in to the mac, thereby killing it.

All this 'i took my faulty mac to Apple and they replaced it for free' gives viewers the wrong impression because thread starters are never forthcoming with ALL the information about what they actually told Apple Support and thereby misleading people into believing they can also get their faulty mac repaired for free.
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,644
1,809
Never assume defects and failures always coincide. Normal is for defective hardware to work for months. Then eventually create a failure.

We all learn from a classic example. Electronics of all types were sold with defective electrolytic capacitors - due to counterfeit electrolyte. Those defective capacitors caused failures years later.
I was making a play on a scene from The Princess Bride where they go see Miracle Max.

As for the bad caps, I had an iMac G5 with the bad caps made from the stolen recipe where they didn’t steal the whole recipe. The story was laid out at https://www.badcaps.net/index.php?s=4c4d5977f695eead0e529d18099203cd&pageid=causes at one time.
 

GtrDude

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2011
388
426
Hope you didn't have anything valuable on the hard drive........in case it also got fried.
 

jimmypod

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 2, 2017
8
3
Hope you didn't have anything valuable on the hard drive........in case it also got fried.
Haha thankfully I only had the MacBook for like 2 weeks. I think that's one reason the Apple folks were sympathetic. I replaced it entirely with a new MacBook Pro.

Seriously skeptical about using this USB-C hub, but I'll be using it and will report back if this new one dies.
 

westom

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2009
229
23
... I had an iMac G5 with the bad caps made from the stolen recipe where they didn’t steal the whole recipe.
Design stuff. Then be amazed that these things always work. If any one of billions of transistors inside a microprocessor goes bad, then an entire computer does not work. Or crashes often and intermittently. Amazing how CPUs rarely fail.

That manufacturing defects do not occur more often is amazing. Unfortunately, many want to blame what hearsay promotes as a greater threat. Since advertising does not discuss the source of most failures (manufacturing defects), then most do not want to blame manufacturing defects.

BTW, what is a source of most manufacturing defects? Top management that does not come from where the work gets done. Management that, instead, wants to make profits; not products. All should be familiar with the name Takata.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Haha thankfully I only had the MacBook for like 2 weeks. I think that's one reason the Apple folks were sympathetic. I replaced it entirely with a new MacBook Pro.

Seriously skeptical about using this USB-C hub, but I'll be using it and will report back if this new one dies.
Just send the USB C hub back, amazon have a great returns policy, and get something else

Hootoo look pretty good.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073WW6H9H/ref=sr_ob_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508840165&sr=8-3