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Dumb&Blind........MacBook Question
Old 07-09-2017, 04:12 PM   #1
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Dumb&Blind........MacBook Question

I have an old white Macbook used only as backup spare. The battery has
deteriorated so that when last measured it could only go about 15min before
battery dropped to 80%. The back battery cover which used to be flush w/the rest of the Mac when closed was a little bit raised but dumb & blind didn't think much of it.

Yesterday I imported a few pic to i-photo which appeared to go fine but when
I tried to click to select things, the clicking did not work. I could move the cursor but I could not click . I then discovered that the back battery cover was raised a lot more than previously. A google search of both the raised cover and the no clicking suggested a swollen battery which somehow produced
the failure to click.

I have an appt w/ the Genius Bar at the Apple store on Tues. In the meantime
I got worried about the battery so I unplugged from external power. Should I remove the battery and place it in an isolated place outside? W/o external power & a badbattery will I lose any data/photos or other essential info?
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:09 PM   #2
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I can't remember the last time Apple made a laptop with a removable battery. This must be a REALLY old computer. Is it worth messing with at this point?

I just looked up the used value of my 2012 MacBook Pro with Retina display and Gazelle would only offer me $400 for it. It still works great, so maybe you could find a similar model for around that price if you just want a low cost Mac.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:38 PM   #3
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A swollen battery can be a fire hazard. I would remove it and place it outdoors on concrete. You won't lose any data.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:17 PM   #4
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A swollen battery can be a fire hazard. I would remove it and place it outdoors on concrete. You won't lose any data.
Thanks, much appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:41 PM   #5
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A swollen battery can be a fire hazard. I would remove it and place it outdoors on concrete. You won't lose any data.
Absolutely.

A trick I've seen on some of the remote control sites (they punish the lithium batteries in their drones, race cars, etc), is to put the battery in a plastic bag, and put that in a tin can much larger than the battery, and then fill that with sand.

But getting it outside, on concrete, away from things is a good step. Swollen like that is a bad sign.



It threw fire 10 feet

But then I read that these cells contain their own oxygen, so I guess the sand is to contain the fire?

-ERD50
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:55 PM   #6
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Absolutely.

A trick I've seen on some of the remote control sites (they punish the lithium batteries in their drones, race cars, etc), is to put the battery in a plastic bag, and put that in a tin can much larger than the battery, and then fill that with sand.

But getting it outside, on concrete, away from things is a good step. Swollen like that is a bad sign.



It threw fire 10 feet

But then I read that these cells contain their own oxygen, so I guess the sand is to contain the fire?

-ERD50
Thanks, ERD50........good tips. Just need to locate the tin can and the sand.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:21 AM   #7
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had the same problem with older macbook. Swollen battery - pretty easy to replace (youtube has videos). I'm sure the genius bar can do it for more money quickly.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:33 AM   #8
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I only had a mac book with a job... did not become that old. However windows/linux laptops (same hardware)... if they had removeable batteries, you could remove the battery and power them with the AC adapter.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:54 AM   #9
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I only had a mac book with a job... did not become that old. However windows/linux laptops (same hardware)... if they had removeable batteries, you could remove the battery and power them with the AC adapter.
interesting point...........was going to ask about that but had read something somewhere that wasn't recommended for some reason...........will have to check again.

It surprised me greatly to find that my battery powered Norelco shaver wouldn't work on external power when the battery died.........haven't experienced that yet in reality..........just what I was told by somebody at
Norelco.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:20 AM   #10
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interesting point...........was going to ask about that but had read something somewhere that wasn't recommended for some reason...........will have to check again.

It surprised me greatly to find that my battery powered Norelco shaver wouldn't work on external power when the battery died.........haven't experienced that yet in reality..........just what I was told by somebody at
Norelco.
It really depends on the design of the notebook power system and I'm not familiar with apple's design. I couldn't guess without looking up your exact model. But you could do that as well. It worked for me on an HP and Dell laptop.
I agree with others about the bulging battery. I would be real concerned with that.
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:15 PM   #11
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My mother had the same battery issue with an old 2007 vintage macbook. Had a computer store replace the battery and it was good to go until the internal connection to the laptop screen began to fail. Not worth repairing so we got her a refurbished HP with Win10 that I can access remotely and help her with any issues. Cost: not much more than a repair on that creaky old Macbook would have been. Not impressed with macs after that experience. Yes it was an old computer but I have a cheap windows laptop from 2007 that's still going with original battery (obviously reduced life) and running WIN10 and a snappy SSD. I also have an old ASUS netbook from ~2010 that still works yet spent quite a bit of its life with me in the field troubleshooting instrumentation at sewage treatment plants which is a harsh environment!
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:30 AM   #12
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Update:The Apple store does not carry the battery anymore because it is too old. Not sure if I understood correctly but apparently there is some state law that regulates this. I was told that I could run it off external power w/o a battery if I wanted.

They recommended some other stores that might carry the battery. Mostly from Yelp. I know I can get it from Amazon and Walmart but am concerned about quality. Thinking that a highly rated local store might have more of a
reputation to protect so hopefully , the part will be from a reputable mfg.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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Update:The Apple store does not carry the battery anymore because it is too old. Not sure if I understood correctly but apparently there is some state law that regulates this. I was told that I could run it off external power w/o a battery if I wanted.
I found Apple to be quite uninterested in parts and service for my mother's older MacBook. They want you to buy a new laptop. I doubt it has anything to do with "state law" otherwise woudn't the vendors they suggested be subject to that same law?
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:11 AM   #14
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I found Apple to be quite uninterested in parts and service for my mother's older MacBook. They want you to buy a new laptop. I doubt it has anything to do with "state law" otherwise woudn't the vendors they suggested be subject to that same law?
You really expect computer manufacturers to support 10 year old equipment with parts and service? I think that is quite unrealistic for such a short-lived technology product. If you got 10 years out of your computer, consider yourself fortunate and buy something newer, and vastly superior.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:27 AM   #15
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I found Apple to be quite uninterested in parts and service for my mother's older MacBook. They want you to buy a new laptop. I doubt it has anything to do with "state law" otherwise woudn't the vendors they suggested be subject to that same law?
I wondered the same thing but didn't think about it at the store. They didn't push at all buying a new laptop and seemed sincerely interested suggesting some local vendors.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:04 PM   #16
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You really expect computer manufacturers to support 10 year old equipment with parts and service? I think that is quite unrealistic for such a short-lived technology product. If you got 10 years out of your computer, consider yourself fortunate and buy something newer, and vastly superior.
This was several years ago so the laptop was more like 7 years old. In my case, they had no suggestions whatsoever as to where it might be repaired locally.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:13 PM   #17
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I've usually become pretty dissatisfied with my computer's performance (desktop or laptop) in about 3 years, and was happy to upgrade to a newer model (always Apple). Never went more than four years before getting a new one.

But my current one (MacBook Pro) is three years old and seems just as zippy as it did when new. And DW just replaced hers a few months ago after nearly six years.

So I think they are just making them much more robust than they used to.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:42 PM   #18
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This was several years ago so the laptop was more like 7 years old. In my case, they had no suggestions whatsoever as to where it might be repaired locally.
At the Apple store, the suggestions were basically Yelp whatever they're worth.
Look for 5* ratings w/ "significant" number of reviews. Hoping that's good enough. The scary ones are 4.5* ratings w/ large number of reviews. One I saw has many5* but to drag it down to 4.5* suggests 10% 1* .
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #19
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Are the Macbook "batteries" that are sold the same as what the original Macbook came with? I would have called them a battery assembly since they
apparently contain a battery inside a cover, one side is the external cover for the Macbook and the other side a cover for the battery.

The only local highly rated (Yelp) store that carries them started out saying the battery cost $60 and w/ tax cost $72. I questioned that because tax is less than 10%. The only answer was that's what they sell them for. He then added that assembly was an additional XX$$ /hr. When I asked what assembly was required since I thought it was just a part you drop in and turn the slot a quarter turn , I didn't get a good answer so no warm and fuzzy feeling.
Wonder if they really sell just the battery alone and you actually have to open the old battery assembly to install the battery........requires a special tool that I don't have and who knows what is inside.

Looks like I may try living w/o the battery..............

Also found 2 other local suppliers that carry the battery.....I assume that is the whole assembly since the picture is the same as my part
Batteries Plus has a Rayovac which to me is a brand name......pricy tho

The other is carried by Fry's Electronics......the specs seem to be the same as mine but mine is white while theirs is black.........is there any other difference
besides the color that would make it not work? Brand name is Lenmar....what is their reputation?
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:36 AM   #20
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I have replaced several (ok, 3) batteries in older macbooks. It's not too hard, but it's not just slide in. You can google videos of how to do it. There are about 12 small screws on the back of the case, then a couple of other small screws inside to remove. You have to take off a ribbon connector and replace the battery and then put it back together.

Again - youtube how to videos are all over the place - probably takes about 10 minutes to do. If I was charging someone, which I'm not - probably about $50 for the battery and an hour of labor.

If you are really up to it, you can replace the hard drive that spins with a solid state drive (SSHD). This really speeds up the machine. Again - videos show you how to do it.
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