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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue Laptop Macs
I have a six-month-old Macbook pro (2.16 GHz). It is by far, the best computer I have ever owned and used, but twice during this period, the battery has died on me ... sort of. It's the now-classic "charged battery laptop that shuts down when unplugged" syndrome. Sometimes this happens immediately after unplugging the machine from the wall, with a 100% battery charge. Sometimes it happens only when the battery reaches a specific charge level after being unplug. I have had both. When you reach this point, trying to restart the laptop on the battery immediately shuts down the computer after a fibble attempt at startup. You can't even go into single user mode.

I have looked around the web for a solution to this, but nothing. Apple recommends resetting the power manager, and the PRAM. For me, these have not helped. I have run Applejack to remove all cache and repaired permissions ... nada. Some blogs state that the only solution is to have Apple replace the logic board or some other components, but since that would be a long process for my machine (which belongs to my employer), I did not want to do this.

Each of the times this has happened, I have been able to bring the computer and battery back to normal operation, yet I have not come across anyone explaining similar instructions, so I thought perhaps posting it here could help a few.

The first time this happened to me, a couple of months ago, I was at the office. Out of desperation I asked a coworker who has an identical machine to swap batteries for the morning. Believe it or not, this worked. My battery behaved normally on his machine and his worked just fine one mine. Swapping them back and forth a couple of times did the trick. Yes it took a couple of times for some reason. Each time I reset the power manager and plugged and unplugged the machines several times.

The second time it was on a Saturday evening at home, where I had no access to a second similar machine. This time, again out of a desperate attempt at something magical, I realized that, even though the machine would immediately shutdown when unplugged, it would not do so if I closed the lid and put it to sleep. Like that, it would stay on indefinitely. So I left it like that all night to push it beyond its shutdown charge limit. The next morning, the machine was at 87% charge when I lifted the lid back up. It did not shut down right away, but about 10 minutes later or so. So I plugged it back in and rebooted, closed the lid again, and unplugged it for another couple of hours. When I opened the lid again, it never shut down again. I put a CD into the slot and ripped it in iTunes several times until I drained the battery. It has behaved normally since.

Hope this help some of you get your laptops back up.

[robg adds: I would strongly advise warranty service for a six-month-old machine exhibiting these symptoms, but if you're in a crunch, perhaps these tips will help.]
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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: lihtox on Apr 03, '07 07:50:26AM

The actual problem (for my MacBook anyway) was a wire on the heatsink whose insulation had melted and was shorting; I don't know if it's a safety hazard, but melted, shorting wires doesn't sound good to me. I had it repaired at a local repair shop (shoutout: ProComputing in Dallas) very easily: they pre-ordered a new heatsink for me, and when it came in I dropped my computer off and had it back within a day. Granted, you have to deal with red tape, and the Mac Book Pro might have a completely different problem, but look into the repair.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: amro on Apr 03, '07 08:13:48AM

I suffered through almost the same symptoms a few months back using a 6-month old mac book Pro: battery is fully charged, but the machine shuts down as soon as it is unpluged. Every once in a while through some random combination sleeping/charging/unplugging, the machine would operate using the battery. Took it to the Apple store, they fiddled with it for a couple of hours. The final solution: battery replacement. A new battery (free) has behaved flawlessly for the last 3 months.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: phlops on Apr 03, '07 08:16:56AM
I work at an Apple Authorized Repair Shop and I can guarantee that there is nothing "magical" about solutions to problems such as these. I dealt with two suddenly shutting down MBP's yesterday alone (dozens more in the last year) and there is nothing about the problem that becomes "fixed" by "Swapping them [batteries] back and forth a couple of times [...] Each time I reset the power manager and plugged and unplugged the machines several times." This worked on the writer's machine because it's an intermittent problem and with enough patience he was able to finally hit upon some good luck where his machine stayed on for a prolonged period. As he himself admits, the problem was not permanently gone.

If you are having this problem take your machine to an Apple Store or an Authorized Apple Repair Center. We can and will fix your problem.

---
/phil

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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: drdocument on Jan 08, '08 05:18:03AM

I did take my MBP to an authorized service center, where it was thoroughly evaluated and no hardware problems found, but it continues to power off (not shut down, but simply power off) within 10 to 30 minutes after disconnecting AC power.

I have a case with Apple Support now and will be calling them again this morning.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: stockliasteroid on Apr 03, '07 08:38:17AM

I had an identical issue, and my problem was simply a bad battery. I participated in the Apple battery recall last summer, and apparently the battery they sent was no good. Unfortunately I had to get AppleCare to get them to replace the battery, but at least everything is working fine now. I tried all of the standard PRAM resets, but to no avail... Everything is all fine now!



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: statbit on Apr 03, '07 09:06:47AM

This problem occured as well on my MBP. The machine would unceremoniously turn off reaching about a 70% charge or so. As I have a spare battery around, I swapped it for the spare, and everything was fine. Apple replaced the battery.

In my case, the battery was visibly swollen about 5mm.

The same thing happened to my friend's machine twice, in both cases, fixed by Apple replacing the battery.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: StevenRiggins on Apr 03, '07 10:00:25AM

A friend of mine had this happening to her MacBook Pro, but mine is fine. She had it in the shop 4 times or so, and Apple replaced part after part, until they finally swapped the machine with a new core 2 duo unit, which works just fine.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: phicks172 on Apr 03, '07 11:27:16AM

I've tried most of the fixes above. The only thing that worked was a battery replacement. I'm on my third battery now. The problem returns.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: simX on Apr 03, '07 01:12:47PM

I have to agree with some of the other posters here. Posting hints like this is not helpful and detracts from the usefulness of MacOSXHints.com -- the "solution" offered in this hint just coincidentally fixed the submitter's problems and will not likely work for every user or even for a majority of users.

This hint should be pulled and in its place should be "If you are having hardware troubles with your machine, bring it into a shop to have it repaired!"



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 04, '07 02:48:24PM

I disagree about the usefulness of this hint -- I am glad its here BECAUSE it generates comments like yours and teaches our readers a bit more than we'd learn if the tip had been rejected in the first place.

I think it's great that your comment is here on the same page with the tip, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Anyone who uses tips from this site should read all the comments, and will see yours.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: drdocument on Jan 08, '08 07:40:34AM
This hint should be pulled and in its place should be "If you are having hardware troubles with your machine, bring it into a shop to have it repaired!" I respectfully disagree. I think hints like this help more accurately identify whether the problem actually needs professional help or can be remedied by user.

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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: clayhinson on Apr 03, '07 08:04:28PM

I began having these shutdown problems recently with my 10 month old MacBook Pro 17" - then my battery life drastically decreased. The battery also began to swell, and so Apple did a warranty replacement on the battery, and all related problems have disappeared.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: joe40 on Apr 04, '07 05:35:26AM
15-inch MacBook Pro
Battery Exchange Program
https://support.apple.com/macbookpro15/batteryexchange/
I have a Macbook Pro 2.16 as well and had shutodown issues as well.
This website will let you enter the serial number for your machine and battery(s) and get them replaced if eligible.

"Apple has initiated a worldwide battery exchange program for certain rechargeable batteries that were sold for use with 15-inch MacBook Pro computer systems from February 2006 through May 2006.

We recently discovered that some 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance. To give our users the best experience possible, we will replace these batteries for customers free of charge.

Identifying your battery
The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC. "

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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 04, '07 02:38:39PM

I'm with robg on this: if you're covered by warranty service, use it.

I experienced precisely the same symptoms, and went through an AppleCare service call that led to my choosing to meet someone at a local Apple store.

It took me almost a month to decide when to do it, but I am glad I did. After a few minutes examination at the "Genius" bar, the genius ordered a new battery for me. About 10 days later, the battery was at the store, ready for me to pick it up. The problem disappeared .... but if it reappears, I'm glad I have the service record with Apple showing that it's been a problem since that date. It's been a few months since the fix. When the new battery's been in 6 mos., it'll be interesting to see if the probs return.

Some suggest that heat causes slight warpage [of the battery or of the MBP -- suspicions vary], and that the slight warpage causes the battery to fail to align properly with electrical contacts. I don't see how that would explain the fact that the battery reported a full charge, yet the MBP still shut down within seconds of having its power adapter unplugged.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 04, '07 02:41:22PM

BTW, my MBP probs started almost precisely 6 months after I began using it. That is, it was in use almost every day for 6 months, and then, the problem began occurring. That's why I'm curious to know what'll happen when this new battery reaches its 6 month milestone....



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: blurred on Apr 07, '07 02:34:45PM

battery replaced, no more problems...



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: pbraconnot on Aug 23, '10 04:50:58AM

I disagree with the ones against this post. This battery problem is for sure a system bug. 10.6 is forcing us to replace battery with these sudden power failures. I just did what he told in the last paragraph here and worked for me. I am in Brazil and it's hard for me to use warranty and replace battery, nevertheless my macbook is almost one year old now and if you use it just to go from the dining table to the office without having to shut down, for me it's fine to have an old battery to work for 30 min. The sleep trick works! It's up to you about replacing or not the battery, in my case I don't want to do it now...



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: theosib on Oct 09, '10 12:38:12PM

This is a really old thread, but I have one of the affected MBP models that suffers from this problem.

This is a design flaw in MBP models from some time in 2007 until some time in 2008.

Apple doesn't acknowledge the problem, but clearly they know about it since later models have been fixed. I've gone through 5 battery replacements, two power adapter replacements, and a main board replacement. None of these things have fixed the problem. Whatever it is, the hardware is ruining the batteries. They work find for a few tens of power cycles, and then we start seeing issues where the charge level will reach 20% or so, and the machine will suddenly power off cold. Recalibration doesn't help at all, because basically the battery has been damaged.

If you still have one of these models, please go to "http://www.apple.com/feedback" and voice your frustration and ask that Apple find a firmware or software work-around.



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Possible fixes for a MacBook Pro sudden shutdown issue
Authored by: pmanster on Jan 11, '11 04:37:02AM

I just went through this whole process and took many suggestions from various forums. My issue was that my 15" Mac Book Pro was functioning fine when connected to power. But using my battery, the power would work for a very short time, with the battery life showing anywhere from 40-80 percent and then suddenly my laptop would shut down. No warnings or other indicators. I would recharge the unit and see that the battery register was still showing a high percentage of charge.

As possible fixes I tried a free anti-virus that found several Trojan horse programs that would be an issue if I was using a PC but nothing Mac related. I also installed and ran AppleJack but it did not help my issue.

I took my Laptop to an Apple store where the Genius showed me that my battery was holding less than 1/2 the charge of its original capacity. It also showed 356 charge cycles which my battery was rated for a life limit of 300. I already knew this from checking the system profiler. But I was still surprised at the fact that the laptop shut down without warning with what appeared to be a decent charge.

So my advice to anyone experiencing this same thing is to check the Power section of the System Profiler before doing all the things I did. If it shows that your cycle count is above the total number of charges for your battery is rated for (my Sony battery was 300) and or the charge capacity was well below the original capacity of a new battery (mine was at 2456 when the capacity of a new one is at 5455 mAh), then you should simply bite the bullet and buy a new battery. I did and my issues vanished. I bought the 90 day warranty version which takes your old battery in exchange instead of a boxed battery with the 1 year warranty. This saves you $30.

Another thing I learned is that my wife has a regular MacBook (not a Pro) and her power charger / supply looks just like mine but is slightly smaller and lighter. It is a 60 Watt power supply and my Pro uses an 85 Watt. I was using her power supply at times and vice versa. Apparently it is not good for the battery for me to use the lower rated power charger. She can safely use a larger power supply but my Pro is not supposed to use a lower power supply. So bigger is no issue bit smaller is. At least that's what the Genius and my wife tells me.

I see plenty of issues regarding this but did not see anyone post a real conclusion. I hope this helps anyone with a similar issue using a Mac laptop.



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