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vdub12
09-14-2010, 06:44 PM
I had a Macbook A1181 today that I think is a bad Magsafe jack. The system runs with or without the battery but the battery is stuck at 35%, the lady said it looses about 1% a day. The system detects the power adapter is plugged in but will not charge and the light on the adapter does not light up. I ran coconutbattery and it reports the battery as 93% of original capacity. The lady also took it to an apple store and they tested another power adapter on it and it didn't work.

I have two questions for the MAC pros here

First do you agree that its probably the Magsafe connector?
and
Where do you guys get the replacement connectors at?

14049752
09-14-2010, 06:48 PM
If it runs without the battery, I doubt that it's the magsafe. Before you try replacing it, try to clean it first.
To me, it sounds like a logic board problem. I've heard from other guys that they've had a lot of them that won't charge the battery, but I've only had one that I remember like that. (and it was a liquid spill, so it doesn't really count.)

Having said that, if you're uncertain, you might want to try the magsafe, just to be sure...because you can get a new one for like $5... I just don't think that's it.

anonymous Mac Tech
09-14-2010, 06:54 PM
If it runs without the battery, I doubt that it's the magsafe. Before you try replacing it, try to clean it first.


+1. Also look for stuck pins on the end of the AC adapter. The macbooks have separate battery connectors also that run to the logic board. So another good thing to check is to see if it runs on battery alone. Very well could just be the battery itself also. What does system profiler say under power with the AC adapter plugged in? Is the charger green or orange?

vdub12
09-14-2010, 07:42 PM
+1. Also look for stuck pins on the end of the AC adapter. The macbooks have separate battery connectors also that run to the logic board. So another good thing to check is to see if it runs on battery alone. Very well could just be the battery itself also. What does system profiler say under power with the AC adapter plugged in? Is the charger green or orange?

I tried cleaning the plug. I removed the magsafe and it looked fine, but that doesn't mean much.

It does run on batteries alone. But it will not once it dies.

I didn't look at system profiler. According to coconutbattery it says AC adapter plugged in battery not charging.

There are no lights at all on the power adapter. The light is there but nothing lights up.

I plugged it in and unplugged it while running multiple times and each time the system detected the adapter unplugged and plugged in respectfully. Everything on the system works fine that battery just will not charge. Battery is an Apple replacement thats a few years old with like I said before 93% capacity left.

14049752
09-14-2010, 07:46 PM
Battery is an Apple replacement thats a few years old

Based on just that alone, I'd definitely try a new battery first. I don't really care what a piece of software says about its capacity...(it can't really know that, anyway, without actually doing a full drain/recharge cycle)...that battery's probably hosed if it's that old.

anonymous Mac Tech
09-14-2010, 07:52 PM
I tried cleaning the plug. I removed the magsafe and it looked fine, but that doesn't mean much.

It does run on batteries alone. But it will not once it dies.

I didn't look at system profiler. According to coconutbattery it says AC adapter plugged in battery not charging.

There are no lights at all on the power adapter. The light is there but nothing lights up.

I plugged it in and unplugged it while running multiple times and each time the system detected the adapter unplugged and plugged in respectfully. Everything on the system works fine that battery just will not charge. Battery is an Apple replacement thats a few years old with like I said before 93% capacity left.

If the power adapter doesn't light, that in and of itself is no big deal as long as the system is seeing it. But still that is a sign of the adapter and not the magsafe board. I'd check the thin AC adapter cable going from the charger to the machine, particularly near the end that plugs into the machine and make sure the cable is nice and straight and not kinked with the protective covering peeling or anything like that.

My gut feeling is the battery is going south. System profiler has the battery cycle count and if its anywhere around the 300 cycle range its just ready for a replacement. Most Apple authorized shops actually have software from Apple for checking adapter and battery health that they will run on the machine.

EDIT:
Based on just that alone, I'd definitely try a new battery first. I don't really care what a piece of software says about its capacity...(it can't really know that, anyway, without actually doing a full drain/recharge cycle)...that battery's probably hosed if it's that old.

Missed your post before mine. Yeah, I agree...

vdub12
09-14-2010, 07:54 PM
Based on just that alone, I'd definitely try a new battery first. I don't really care what a piece of software says about its capacity...(it can't really know that, anyway, without actually doing a full drain/recharge cycle)...that battery's probably hosed if it's that old.

A few years is not old. At least on a PC its not. Do MACs have a problem with battery's dieing quick?

The battery in question I think according to the program I was using has had a total of a little over 200 power cycles.

vdub12
09-14-2010, 07:56 PM
If the power adapter doesn't light, that in and of itself is no big deal as long as the system is seeing it. But still that is a sign of the adapter and not the magsafe board. I'd check the thin AC adapter cable going from the charger to the machine, particularly near the end that plugs into the machine and make sure the cable is nice and straight and not kinked with the protective covering peeling or anything like that.

My gut feeling is the battery is going south. System profiler has the battery cycle count and if its anywhere around the 300 cycle range its just ready for a replacement. Most Apple authorized shops actually have software from Apple for checking adapter and battery health that they will run on the machine.

She took it to an Apple store and they tried another ac adapter on it and had the same problem.

The battery has a little over 200 power cycles.

Will the battery going bad just not charge? Right now its at 35% but if I let it fall to 30% it will stay there. I am fairly new with MAC's but I know ON PC's when a battery is going bad its cycle gets shorter but it still charges.

anonymous Mac Tech
09-14-2010, 08:00 PM
She took it to an Apple store and they tried another ac adapter on it and had the same problem.

The battery has a little over 200 power cycles.

Will the battery going bad just not charge? Right now its at 35% but if I let it fall to 30% it will stay there. I am fairly new with MAC's but I know ON PC's when a battery is going bad its cycle gets shorter but it still charges.

The battery is toast...It's just going to progressively get worse until the system doesn't recognize it and it won't even run on battery at all..

Also, just like a failing HDD, there is no set way or set of symptoms when a battery goes bad. But the really depleted ones have the symptoms of that battery.

14049752
09-14-2010, 08:02 PM
A few years is not old.

A few years is very old. You're lucky to get a reasonable amount of life after about two or three years for most laptop batteries. I've never heard otherwise.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/batteries_sitelet/en/batteries_faq?c=us&l=en&cs=04#faq1

http://www.prioritylaptopbattery.com/faq.htm#last

http://www.abatterypack.com/notebook-battery-FAQ.htm#FAQ6

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

vdub12
09-15-2010, 04:00 AM
The battery is toast...It's just going to progressively get worse until the system doesn't recognize it and it won't even run on battery at all..

Also, just like a failing HDD, there is no set way or set of symptoms when a battery goes bad. But the really depleted ones have the symptoms of that battery.

The part that has me on the fence is the fact that the plug on the power adapter does not light up.

Your the MAC pro could this just be the computer not even trying to charge the battery because it has determined its failing?

Does this light light up with the battery removed?

I know the light has two different colors, whats the lights purpose?

Sorry about the stupid questions, I am a wizard when it comes to a PC but my MAC experience consists on what I have learned in the last 6 months. PC's I have about 15 years on that.

vdub12
09-15-2010, 04:11 AM
A few years is very old. You're lucky to get a reasonable amount of life after about two or three years for most laptop batteries. I've never heard otherwise.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/batteries_sitelet/en/batteries_faq?c=us&l=en&cs=04#faq1

http://www.prioritylaptopbattery.com/faq.htm#last

http://www.abatterypack.com/notebook-battery-FAQ.htm#FAQ6

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

I think it all depends on how it was taken care of. I have an Inspiron 8600 in the shop right now that the lady purchased 6 years ago that still has the original battery in it. The wear level is about 25% but thats not bad in my opinion since my Dell Mini 10v is only 6 months old and already has a 12% wear level, but then again it was refurbished and came to me with a 10% wear level in the first place.

If you always use a notebook on battery power and only charge it when it gets low then the battery can last a long time. I have an Inspiron 600m that is on its second battery and that ones junk lasting only about 15 minutes, but then again I always used that notebook plugged in.

Battery's are like rubber bands. If you always stretch them through there full charge cycle they will last longer. However, if you never let them fully charge and discharge then they will fail quick.

vdub12
09-15-2010, 04:20 AM
http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

Good article.

My thoughts may be a little old school and more applicable to nickel-cadmium battery. I will have to put more research in to this. Personally I always totally kill my Dell mini before I charge it, this may be a practice that I should not do.

Thanks for the FYI

14049752
09-15-2010, 04:22 AM
The part that has me on the fence is the fact that the plug on the power adapter does not light up.

Agreed, that's why I originally suggested a logic board problem. Although, with more facts, I still think it's the battery. If it's a brand new battery and it's not charging, I'd say logic board. If it's the old battery, I'm saying battery.

Your the MAC pro could this just be the computer not even trying to charge the battery because it has determined its failing?

Yes

Does this light light up with the battery removed?

Yes, it stays green.

I know the light has two different colors, whats the lights purpose?

The light is to tell you if it's charging or running on AC power only. Green is ac power, amber/orange is charging.
Having said that, have had times where my brand new adapter will not light up but will power my system...partially because my magsafe connector is a bit dirty and old. Wiggling it a little makes it light up.

Sorry about the stupid questions, I am a wizard when it comes to a PC but my MAC experience consists on what I have learned in the last 6 months. PC's I have about 15 years on that.



As far as the batteries, the lady with a six year old battery is far and away the exception. There's absolutely no way you could convince me that a battery under normal usage is going to last even three years and be decently useful. It just doesn't happen in 99% of the cases. Most people don't take care of their battery and you certainly don't know that the lady with the macbook took care of it...you're only going on very extreme examples, despite all of the information I linked to. I'm not arguing that with proper care batteries can last a while, I'm just saying that there's plenty of evidence that shows that they usually don't last more than a few years.

vdub12
09-15-2010, 04:51 AM
The light is to tell you if it's charging or running on AC power only. Green is ac power, amber/orange is charging.
Having said that, have had times where my brand new adapter will not light up but will power my system...partially because my magsafe connector is a bit dirty and old. Wiggling it a little makes it light up.

She did tell me that it use to light up but then one day just stopped. She does not know if it was the same time that this problem started happening. I tried wiggling it, unplugging it and even directly cleaning the magsafe. I never once saw and light come from it.

anonymous Mac Tech
09-15-2010, 01:49 PM
The part that has me on the fence is the fact that the plug on the power adapter does not light up.

Your the MAC pro could this just be the computer not even trying to charge the battery because it has determined its failing?

Does this light light up with the battery removed?

I know the light has two different colors, whats the lights purpose?

Sorry about the stupid questions, I am a wizard when it comes to a PC but my MAC experience consists on what I have learned in the last 6 months. PC's I have about 15 years on that.

There could be absolutely nothing wrong with the AC adapter. I've seen enough of them that work fine but don't light up. I've got one or two laying around the shop that are like that. But the purpose of the light is to show charging. Amber = charging, green = fully charged or not charging. I've also seen one or two that will show green regardless of charging or not. Just like I stated earlier, just verify the adapter is working (besides the fact it won't charge that junk battery) and inspect the gold pins and cable. I almost guarantee that you put a replacement battery in that machine it will work fine, but still the AC adapter light isn't going to show. But the battery should have no bearing on what the light on the AC adapter is doing when the light isn't on at all. But still from what you are describing the adapter is working fine minus the light, but the battery is toast.