Macbook Pro Battery + Heat = Bad!

Hello everyone –

MB Battery

Having worked around Lithium batteries for several years now it’s always interesting to see one swell up with no apparent physical damage to it. With news stories of iPhone batteries spontaneously combusting on airlines and in people’s beds, it makes you wonder what caused these events. I’m no scientist, but what I do know is that heat can play a big role in the health and life-span of batteries. Laptops, cellphones and tablets are great portable devices that people literally take with them everywhere. However, the worst abuse I see and hear about is people who use their laptop in bed and lay them on a blanket or pillow as they watch a movie. Guilty as charged… I forget sometimes myself! This becomes somewhat of the perfect storm of “heat” for lithium batteries.

Watching videos and especially movies can push a computer to near 100% sustained useage of the CPU and graphics card for hours on end. Given the fact the CPU and GPU (Central Processing Unit) or as some call it the “chip” and the Graphics Processing Unit which handles and decodes all graphics and video. Pushing these two components generate a lot of heat, as in pushing upwards of 180 to 200+ degrees farenheit. Typically at 212F the computer will shut itself down to protect itself.

In addtion to the fans running full speed, the design of say a macbook aluminum body will try to dissipate heat, and now in contact with a blanket or pillow, is effectivly acting like a layer of heat trapping insulation! Not exactly what the engineers had planned on. This all adds up to a lot of heat that the computer cannot dissipate fast enough to keep things nice and cool. Over time this takes its toll on many parts of the computer from the battery, graphics card, fans and other heat sensitive components. Bottom line heat is the enemy of pretty much any gadget with a battery and CPU so some small steps to keep the gadgets cool can prevent all sorts of nasty things!

So when things go wrong and your battery fails come see us at Mission Repair to your gadgets back in working order. We service many models of Macbook Pro’s and can get you a new battery and make sure your battery never looks like the one above.

Have a great day!

Jeff

 

 

Now THIS is a bad MacBook Pro battery!

Hello there and good morning!

We’ve been receiving an unprecedented amount of blog reads in this first month of 2016, thank you and I really appreciate it.

I’ve blogged before about MacBook batteries “puffing up”, or even popping open and leaking.  It becomes more and more common the older these units get.  We have even seen batteries fail in the MacBook Air as I posted earlier.  Take a look at this recent battery that we removed from a customer’s MacBook Unibody (this is an Apple OEM battery I will add, not a 3rd party or “copy”):

 

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I visited my Mission Store yesterday and was helping solve a few problem when I came across this unit that needed to be removed from the premises immediately.  Not only is an exploding battery like this just terrible for the computer (it needs further repairs now too!) but if the gasses from this battery leaked out and into our tech lab it would be smelling and toxic.  This is one that need to get to the recycling depot asap.  We don’t want to cause a fire or make anyone sick at the office that’s for sure!

Here are some tell-tale signs to look for if you suspect that your battery might be heading in this direction:

  1.  The computer stops taking a charge or won’t run off of battery power.
  2.  The trackpad on your computer stops clicking.
  3.  The spacebar or the “lower” keys feel different when you depress them.
  4.  Your trackpad pops out of the case, from the bottom up.

The Apple software will also tell you when your battery should be replaced, and it’s a good idea to follow through with that advice and have your battery replaced.  I mean, it is a portable computer so you’re going to want the battery to be as good as possible, right?  Right!!

We can most certainly replace the battery for you at Mission Repair – just check out our website or give us a call and we’ll be happy to set the service up for you so you can get back to doing your emails from the coffee shop, the living room or even the beach.  Wherever you’d like to be…

Have a good morning, Ryan

I’m a fan!

Hello there, I just talked a few minutes ago about liquid damaged units, but let’s move on to something that most people never think about:

DUST.

Yes, I’m sure you clean the outside of your computer from time to time…or at least the cleaning lady does it, right?  Well I bet you’re one of the millions of computer users that never opens their laptop to clean the inside.  Why would you want to?

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Did you know that simply having dust inside of your computer can cause it to fail?  I spoke to a former PCB designer who stated “Dust causes arcing and can cause shorting and certainly fail an entire electrical circuit (LIKE A MOTHERBOARD!).  Additionally while it wouldn’t conduct full current flow per se, the suspended particles are able to carry electric charge and differences between the charges of the particles allows dust to have conductivity.”

So above is a picture of a fan inside of a Mac laptop…you can visually see the dust buildup on the blades.  Also, take a look at this logic board from the same unit:

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The “dust bunnies” are accumulating and can simply cause issues in the long run.  Remember, dust CAN conduct electricity (similar to water, metal or human skin!) and that’s BAD for all of these exposed solder points. Why not open up your computer and blow it out once in a while?  If you’re not up to it, we’ll be happy to take care of it here at Mission Repair…and we can even do it while you wait – for a small service charge.

However, don’t wait until it’s too late…once the dust shorts out your logic board, you’ll be in for a much bigger repair bill; over something that should be considered preventive maintenance.  Now even Apple, Inc. doesn’t expect you to do this on your own…but they should.  Cleaning the outside of your computer is important, but cleaning the inside could double the life expectancy.  Take it from me, I’ve seen thousands of units just like the one above and dust can be the worst silent killer of your computer.

Have a good night, sleep tight, don’t let the dust bunnies bite!

Ryan

MacBook Pro Unibody – known problem.

Hello friends,

The MacBook Pro Unibody laptops that don’t have a “user replaceable battery” (there is a version that a customer can easily repair the battery themselves) – have a problem that you might want to know about.

After a few years of use, the battery can tend to have issues; but sometimes the symptom starts as a failing trackpad…let me explain. When one of these batteries fails, it can “puff up”.

Although I’ll be talking primarily about Mac laptops in this post, swollen batteries can be found in many devices that use lithium batteries, including Smartphones. There’s also no single cause for a swollen battery. Some are due to manufacturing defects, others are caused by the age of the battery, and still other cases can be caused by misuse, such as not properly exercising the battery over time, or by using the wrong power charger.

In general, a swollen battery occurs when the battery’s cells are overcharged.  This can lead to warping of your case, and pressure under your trackpad that can cause it to stop clicking or even pop up and out of the palmrest.

Here’s what a failed battery looks like when I pulled one out of a MacBook Pro yesterday:

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Just check your battery meter in the top tool bar on your Mac.  If it ever warns you to “replace battery soon”, then run (don’t walk!) to your nearest Mission Repair for replacement.  We can take care of you fast, and save you potentially costly repairs before the battery pops.

Take care, Ryan

Computer logic board repair at Mission Repair.

Hello there friends,

Every day we receive Macs and PC’s in for repair; and some times there are subtle issues that are bigger than one might think!

Recently I had a very nice customer that was simply trying to install a new solid state storage drive into his 17″ MacBook Pro; but the computer wasn’t wanting to install any new software.

He brought the unit into us, and at first I was sure that he just had a bad drive cable. So I tried a new cable but had the same issue. I tried another new hard drive with the same result. I tried the RAM, isolating everything that I could but drilled it down to a logic board (mother board) issue. Once I pulled the logic board from the unit, it was easy to see a burnt IC and resistor (center of the pic!):

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The tricky part about this computer is that pretty much seems like it’s OK until you try to install software. Wow…there is just something wrong with the “logic” in this logic board!

So a little bit of surface mount rework and we will have this unit back and running perfectly for the customer.

I just want to let you know that a failing logic board can show it’s ugly head in a lot of ways. It can have no power, distorted video, not reading the memory or hard drives correctly and a myriad of other possible issues. Just keep these things in mind if you’re having computer problems, and that Mission Repair can solve them.

Have a good Wednesday! Ryan

Football season has arrived!

Hello everyone, it appears that we are in for some real fun this week as the the NFL season starts tomorrow!  I can’t believe that another week is in the books and we’re heading into a great game with the Steelers and the Patriots tomorrow evening.

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I know, it still seems early to me, but the NFL preseason games are over! This is an awesome time of the year for us because we have a good group of football fans at Mission Repair, and I usually sneak out with a few employees for some tailgating here in Kansas City, Denver, and we’ve even travelled to California to see a game or two.

Dandra sees these weekends as “the days that we get to eat cheese dip”, but I like to think that I’m more of a true football fan than her. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese dip…as long as it comes with some professional hits, runs, tackles and touchdowns.  And some chips 😉

To all of those that are in fantasy leagues: Best of luck. I needed to stop playing fantasy football for two reasons:

1. I was distracted by the fantasy play. It took me away from the games that I really wanted to watch and I was focusing on the wrong parts of what was really important to me.
2. I never won 😉

So I’m back in “couch potato” mode on Sundays for a while…unless of course I need to be at the office to help repair the stacks of laptops we have in the repair queue. I better assist tomorrow through Saturday…I need this Sunday off!

Good luck, and happy NFL 2015!

Ryan

Toot toot!

Hello friends, that’s me blowing my horn. It’s not a huge horn, it just goes “toot toot!” I try not to do that too much, but I just got this email sent over via our Mission Repair Website today:

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Website Visitor Request

Requester email: XXXXXX@gmail.com
Description: I was very pleased with my recent experience with Mission: Repair in Olathe. Not only did you save me a lot of $$, but I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. I feel as if you are very honest & reliable. I was telling my friends about my experience and one of them chimed in with a similar positive experience. Thank you, Bobbi L.
Website address: http://www.missionrepair.com/Articles.asp?ID=642
Location: United States
Visitor environment: Browser: Safari (534.59.10)
OS: Apple MacOS 10_6_8
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I remember this customer. I was in the front office at the time, saw her bring in her MacBook Pro…and stated that it was making a “whining” sound. The Apple Store said that it “wasn’t” the hard drive, so I opened it up!

What I found was a failing logic board fan. The bearing can go out on these guys faster than you’d like, and I had a new one in stock. I cleaned the inside of her laptop out, showed her the failing fan, installed a new one, powered it up and “VOILA!” the annoying sound was gone.

It was a good lesson for me too because it’s a reminder to all that those fans are there for a reason. When they start “talking” to you like this one did, it’s time to have it replaced. Once they fail it could cause the entire system to overheat and shut down permanently. Bobbi did the right thing and nipped it in the bud. She brought it here (after the Apple Store 😉 for a repair that was not only fast but affordable. Thanks for your business Bobbi!

Take care, Ryan