A MacBook mystery: Why isn’t this new battery working? [Updated] – seattlepi.com (blog)

A couple of weeks ago, my wife got a notification on her MacBook Pro that said “Service Battery”. If you inspect the guidance files for OS X, you locate this explanation:

Service Battery: The battery isn’t functioning normally, and you could or could not notice a adjustment in its behavior or the quantity of charge it holds. Take your computer in for service. You can easily keep on to usage your battery prior to it’s checked free of harming your computer.

Her Mac is concerning 6 years old. It’s a mid-2010, 13-inch model, the initial of the unibody MacBook Pros that don’t consist of an easily removable battery. That doesn’t mean the battery can’t be replaced, yet you have actually to open the case to do it. Apple says it’s not “user serviceable”, yet replacing it is a fairly trivial thing to do, as this video indicates.

While the “Service Battery” notification doesn’t necessarily mean she requires a brand-new battery – there are “Replace Soon” and “Replace Now” status messages that could appear – I decided that, because this computer was fairly old, I’d go ahead and swap it out.

I could have actually bought a third-celebration battery online and saved very a bit of money, yet often those are knock-offs that don’t last long and, in some cases, can damage your MacBook. Instead, I opted to buy a real Apple battery from iFixit, the people known for their teardowns of electronic products and detailed repair manuals, for $99.

The battery arrived a few days later and I installed it, which took only a few minutes. yet as soon as I did, it didn’t job as I expected. Here’s just what happened:

  • The MacBook Pro would certainly not turn on unless the AC adapter was connected to it. as soon as I removed the MagSafe connector, the computer blinked off.
  • Normally, the MagSafe adapter’s indicator light shows green as soon as initially connected, after that switches to orange to indicate the battery is being charged. as soon as it’s fully charged, the light turns green again. yet in this case, the light stayed green.
  • Battery indicator showed it was 47 percent charged. yet it additionally said “Not charging”, and no matter exactly how long I left the adapter connected, the indicator stayed at 47 percent.

I put her old battery spine in, and it worked fine. It charged, the MacBook Pro could be powered off the battery, and the indicator prove to charging progress. It still said “Service Battery”, though.

I contacted iFixit via support email and explained the issue. This was on a Saturday afternoon, and I got a response the next day, although iFixit’s contact info says weekend queries won’t be answered until Monday. (Kudos, iFixit, for the terrific service!)

Joe, the tech, suggested I do several points along with the brand-new battery installed – run a Repair Permissions (or Disk initial assist on OS X 10.11, the version on my wife’s Mac); reset the NVRAM, a memory cache that stores some settings; and reset the SMC, which controls hardware configurations on the Mac. I tried his suggestions, yet none worked.

He additionally asked me to send your man some screenshots if those failed. Joe had me install Coconut Battery, an outstanding (and free!) battery diagnostic for OS X, and screenshot that also as a capture from the Power tab on the Activity Monitor. Here are those screenshots.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 4.11.54 PM


One interesting thing to note from the Coconut Battery results: The brand-new battery is 1,461 days old, or four years. That’s not necessarily surprising, because this is an old model and Apple probably isn’t making fresh ones. Joe assured me this particular battery had been bench-tested prior to it was shipped, and it tested well.

I’m still waiting to hear spine now that Joe has actually these screenshots. yet this is an interesting puzzle. What’s going on here?

There are a few possibilities:

  • The brand-new battery is defective. That’s the simplest and mostly most likely explanation, yet the truth that iFixit supposedly tested it prior to it left their warehouse is a caveat.
  • The logic board or energy converter on the MacBook Pro has actually problems. yet if this was the case, I would certainly believe the old battery wouldn’t work, either. That is, unless the problem manifests itself in the old battery along with a “Service Battery” notification, yet along with the brand-new battery, the symptoms are a lot more acute.
  • Something else I am not curious about or discovering is going on.

It’s pretty feasible that I ought to have actually bit the bullet and taken my wife’s computer to Apple for a look-see. I could have actually assumed also considerably by simply replacing the battery. And I could yet end up executing that.

I’ll update this blog write-up as soon as I have actually a resolution, yet in the meantime: just what do YOU believe is going on? Let me understand in the comments, or reply via Twitter.

Update 3.21.2016: After leaving the brand-new battery in the MacBook Pro for a while and operating it strictly off the AC adapter, my wife discovered that the computer wouldn’t sleep properly. as soon as she closed the lid, it went in to the suspension mode typical as soon as a battery runs from charge and the RAM image is saved to the hard drive.

She doesn’t trust it in this state, so I put the old battery spine in and now the computer is functioning fine.

A commenter on Facebook that functions for a battery manufacturer suggested that, due to the age of the battery, it has actually gone “under voltage”. Sounds plausible.

Update 2.0: iFixit’s tech now thinks the battery is indeed faulty. A brand-new one is being shipped. remain tuned . . .

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