Water meets MacBook, battery stops working

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Astral Cars, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Astral Cars macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #1
    I was on a long bus ride and woke up in the morning and noticed everything under my seat was wet including about two inches of one end of my black MacBook. It was in one of those ubiquitous neoprene cases and while not submerged in water it was pretty wet. Oh, and I guess I don't know if it was water or not, but it didn't have an obvious color, smell, etc.
    Anyway, I took out the battery and left it out for a little over a day hoping it would dry. When I put it back in and opened it up it seemed everything was working well and I worked on it under battery power for a little while. It suddenly shut off with the battery around 23% (it usually dies at 8%, I don't know why) and when I plugged it in and started up again the battery showed it was charging for about 10 or 20 seconds then said "Not Charging" then I got the little battery with an 'X' in it meaning there is no battery connected. If I take it out and put it back in again it does the same thing (says it's charging for a moment then ends up with the 'X'). The odd things is that the water was on the non-battery end of the computer, it was on the end with the CD drive, which seems to be working.

    Okay, right, so is there anything that can be done? Is this battery just a nice, black paperweight? Is there reason to believe that something other than the battery has a problem?

    If this battery is toast, where is a good place to buy a new battery? Do official Apple resellers sell them? I'm in Argentina right now and I don't think they have real Apple stores.

    Advice on anything is more than welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #3
    Great, but I'm past what that wiki covers.
    The question is more about the apparent effects of the spill (ie an apparently faulty battery).
     
  3. pricej636 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    I dont think anyone can give you a specific answer without knowing what exactly got wet. Could be the battery, could be the connections to the battery, or it could be the board that has been damaged.

    You are probably going to have better luck having it looked at and they can tell you exactly what the machine needs. Anyone here would be speculating.
     
  4. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #5
    I'll speculate :)

    There is a chip in the battery which monitors its status & keeps it safe. It talks to the main Mac logic board.

    Battery not recognised probably means that the battery chip is fried, or that it has made the battery commit suicide since it judged it to be unsafe. ie you need a new battery.

    possibly there is a problem on the Mac's main logic board, which means it can't talk to the battery properly. If everything else works OK this seems quite unlikely. I hope so, logic boards are expensive compared to batteries.

    Even if the water damage was a few days ago you should go through the steps in the guide - it will take many days for water to evaporate out of your Mac. During that time you could do more damage if you use it.

    You can get cheap batteries off eBay or Amazon, expensive ones from Apple. I'm not sure whether there is any difference in quality.


    You could also look in System Profiler under Power, post all the info on here and we'll take a look.
     
  5. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #6
    Thanks for the speculation ;)

    What you're saying makes a lot of sense, but what I don't quite follow is how the battery itself would get damaged when it didn't get wet at all -- it was the other end of the computer. But you're right in that I would expect there to be other issues if the logic board had been damaged.

    Here's the info from System Profiler:

    Battery Information:

    Model Information:
    Device name: ASMB013
    Pack Lot Code: 0001
    PCB Lot Code: 0021
    Firmware Version: 0010
    Hardware Revision: 001f
    Cell Revision: 7a3e
    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 0
    Fully charged: No
    Charging: No
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 0
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 0
    Battery Installed: No
    Amperage (mA): 0
    Voltage (mV): 0

    System Power Settings:

    AC Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Automatic Restart On Power Loss: No
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Wake On LAN: No
    Current Power Source: Yes
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Battery Power:
    System Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Disk Sleep Timer (Minutes): 10
    Display Sleep Timer (Minutes): 3
    Wake On AC Change: No
    Wake On Clamshell Open: Yes
    Display Sleep Uses Dim: Yes
    Reduce Brightness: Yes

    Hardware Configuration:

    UPS Installed: No

    AC Charger Information:

    Connected: Yes
    ID: 0x0100
    Wattage (W): 60
    Revision: 0x0000
    Family: 0x00ba
    Serial Number: 0x004507fa
    Charging: No


    If you can make anything meaningful of that you're a step ahead of me.
     
  6. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #7
    It might be that battery connector end got wet, or some of the high power wiring goes near that end. Looking at my Whitebook the battery connector is kind of under the coin lock thing on the base. If that was the case the battery terminals might have shorted out. I understand that the battery logic programmed to commit suicide in such a case, since a shorted out battery can explode on recharging.

    http://www.batteryuniversity.com, is a good read if you are interested.

    The battery information seems to indicate that it recognises a battery device is connected (ASMB013) but that it refuses to charge it and the capacity is 0. Kind of consistent with the idea above.

    Remember everything I've said is speculation - it's possible that if you get a new battery
    (a) it won't solve your problem, it will still fail to charge, or worse
    (b) there is still a short circuit inside the Mac, the new battery will immediately commit suicide as well.

    I don't see how you can eliminate these possibilities without taking your Mac apart or paying Apple $$$$ to do it. My suggestion would be to buy the cheapest battery you can off Amazon or Ebay. You could of course borrow a friend's, but there is a (small?) chance you might kill it in line with (b) above ;)

    Finally, the area which got wet is where the hard disk is. It sits behind the sleep light. There is a strong possibility you got the hard disk wet. You might want to think very hard about your backup strategy, especially in the next few weeks.
     
  7. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #8
    Hey, thanks a ton for the info. I just turned it on again and now it shows the little lightning charging symbol and when clicked upon it says "Service Battery" and it still shows it's 0% charged, even after a few minutes.
    The battery info has changed as well:
    Battery Information:

    Model Information:
    Device name: ASMB013
    Pack Lot Code: 0001
    PCB Lot Code: 0021
    Firmware Version: 0010
    Hardware Revision: 001f
    Cell Revision: 7a3e
    Charge Information:
    Charge remaining (mAh): 0
    Fully charged: No
    Charging: Yes
    Full charge capacity (mAh): 3774
    Health Information:
    Cycle count: 38
    Condition: Check Battery
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): 2621
    Voltage (mV): 11889

    I'm not sure why this would have changed, but it seems like a slight improvement. Also, what would you say the likelihood is that if the hard drive has shown no issue so far that it might still having a problem waiting to present itself?

    My backup strategy isn't great as I'm traveling right now. Dumping things on DVDs now and then, etc.

    Oh, and now it's back to showing the 'X' battery. So much for that...
     
  8. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #9
    An Apple Store would really be helpful, because it might not be the battery, but the receptors around the battery, so you could order a new battery only to have the same problem.
     
  9. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    #10
    @ Astral Cars

    It sounds like my speculation was wrong. Perhaps your battery is OK, it's the connection to the Mac that is iffy.

    "Charging: Yes" and "Amperage (mA): 2621" on your status panel means that some juice is going into the battery. You might have to leave it for several hours before anything exciting happens. Eventually the "Charge remaining (mAh): 0" number should change up from zero.

    Good advice to take it to an Apple store if you can. Free advice there if you can book an appointment.

    It sounds like the Mac and the battery can communicate, only intermittently. You may have water, or corrosion, on the contacts. I would take the battery out, have a GOOD look inside. Any water at all? Any sign that water was there before? Leave Mac & battery in a warm place overnight to dry. Possibly longer. Also have a GOOD look at the battery contacts. They should be shiny metal on Mac & battery. If you can any gunk on the connectors, you can clean them with something non-metallic (eg a wooden or plastic toothpick). Unplug the Mac first.

    I would hold off buying a new battery until the situation has settled down and the Mac has decided once and for all whether it believes in the battery or not.

    "Also, what would you say the likelihood is that if the hard drive has shown no issue so far that it might still having a problem waiting to present itself". I don't know. But look at it the other way round. Hard drives die, it's a common failure. Your HDD is probably 2-3 years old now. What is your plan for WHEN (not if) it dies? The water can't have made the HDD any healthier, it's probably nearer death than it was before the water. Of course it depends on what's on your HDD. If it's easy to replace stuff then you can be relaxed. But it you would miss it, I really would walk into a computer store and buy a portable hard disc and start backing up every night.
     
  10. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #11
    Some good advice. I'll be back in Buenos Aires in a few days and I think there are some faux-Apple stores there that might be able to help me.

    When I opened it up today it's back to looking like it's charging, but saying to "Service Battery". I imagine it will change back to the 'X' in a little while.

    As for the hard drive, I have an iMac back in the States that has everything on it other than the new stuff since coming down here (lots of photos and photo edits). I think my current approach is probably okay. And I believe the hard drive is newer than what you suggested since I bought this computer on eBay a few months ago with a 500GB drive in it. I'm guessing this was a recent addition since I don't think it came with that. On the other hand, since it was eBay it's probably a crappy hard drive.
     
  11. Astral Cars thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    St. Paul
    #12
    ...Or not

    The battery continued to charge and actually gained power and is now showing that it's 100% charged. It still says "Service Battery" but this certainly seems like an improvement.
     

Share This Page