Remember – don’t get your MacBook wet!

Good morning,

Water and electronics don’t mix – I’ve talked about it before but I want to discuss a few points again. Is your MacBook waterproof? Not a chance.

It’s more common than you might think; but we receive items in for repair on a daily basis that show signs of liquid damage and without doubt if you get your iPhone wet, you’re bound to see problems unless it is addressed.

My guess is that some of these customers don’t even know that they had a liquid spill or had any contact with water/soda/coffee whatsoever. Sometimes is the unknowing fault of a child or household pet that inadvertently spills or “leaks” onto a keyboard.

For example, here’s a logic board that came out of a 2014 MacBook Pro with Retina Screen; and the device was not displaying video.

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If you look closely, and I know that it’s hard to tell; but can you see that chip that is on the logic board that says “Apple 2010”? (It’s actually upside down) It’s about dead center in the picture…there is an IC that is on top of it with slightly green corrosion that is growing from some sort of liquid that got onto the board.

I know, the picture doesn’t do it much justice, and I even almost missed it. For scale, that component just below it is the headphone jack port, which is very small in itself…this was a minute amount of corrosion on the MacBook Pro Logic Board that was causing a major amount of problems!

So I cleaned it up and guess what? Video displayed back on the screen again. This would have been a $680 repair had this customer went directly to Apple…but it was just took me one hour of labor to complete it. The customer makes out and Mission Repair saves the day.

We offer a full-line of liquid damage repairs; but to be realistic, not all of these are repairable. If your MacBook was sitting at the bottom of the lake for week, it’s probably not repairable. But if you spill a cup of coffee on the keyboard of your computer; turn it off quickly and give us a call. We will do our best to save your day too!

Take care, Ryan

 

I walked into my Mission store and saw this:

Hello there friends,

I made a surprise visit to my Mission location yesterday..unannounced…and found my guys watching cartoons!  Yeah, you may know it.  It was “He-Man” from the 1980’s!

Just as I was getting close to letting my team hear an earful, I calmly asked “why is He-Man running on this customer’s MacBook?”  I’m a fair guy.  I don’t mind the employees listening to music while they work, or even tune the radio to AM to listen to a Royals games now and again.  But watching cartoons while you’re on the clock?  It ain’t happening.  I was looking for the ring leader.

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Carl stepped up and said “It’s me.”  Mmmm boy, here we go!

“Ryan, this customer was having issues with Youtube shutting down randomly, and I’ve pinpointed it to the RAM in this unit.  I diagnosed it, tried it myself after I was able to duplicate the issue, and now it appears to be solved.  I’m now running the first long video that I could find, and He-Man was it.”  He goes on to say “It’s been running for a long time, but this is a 10-hour marathon and I wanted to make sure that our customer didn’t have the same issue after I repaired the computer.”

Well then.  I grabbed a large piece of humble pie and took a bite.  Those guys weren’t messing around.  They were testing a repair.  GREAT!

That means apparently I do condone cartoons while we’re on the clock.  As long as you tell me it’s for “testing” purposes, that’s all I need to hear!

Bonus points…what was He-Man’s tag line? I HAVE THE POWER!”  I can personally remember that opening sequence of the cartoon, apparently it’s a keeper in my mental files.

So rest knowing that if you bring your MacBook Pro in for repair: we may watch some cartoons on it.  But it’s for a good cause, and this customer was thrilled that we did.  It’s a highly technical operation, but someone has to do it 😉

Take care, Ryan

 

 

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

Macbook Pro swollen battery – it’s not a myth!

Hello again and good morning!

We received a walk-in customer that delivered this computer to us:

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The customer’s computer was bulging and you can see the trackpad popping up off of the palmrest. What caused this catastrophe? It was a BAD BATTERY that shorted out, “bulged” and basically bent this computer out of shape.

Unfortunately, there were a few parts that we needed to replace on this unit to get it back to normal working shape; but it’s not a problem for Mission Repair.

The question is “how could have the customer avoided this?”. That’s a tough one to answer; because there isn’t much that could be done. These things can just happen from time to time. I know that’s not a great answer; but it’s the nature of batteries unfortunately. The only advice that I can give is to periodically replace the battery in your computer on a routine basis – before a disaster happens.

If you do have a “meltdown”, give us a call!

Thanks, Ryan