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Power supply woes 9 May 2008

Posted by Oliver Mason in Apple.

Yesterday the power supply of my MacBook started playing up; intermittently it would stop either charging the battery, or would come up as disconnected (ie fail completely). The cable from the brick to the laptop is rather ‘molten’ near the brick-end, and by bending it and winding it around the two fold-out hooks I could get it to remain stable. But today it suddenly looks brown as well–it obviously can’t cope with the heat.

On the web I’ve read that the power supply (which provides 60W) was originally designed for 50W only, which would explain why it gets so hot, and why lots of other people have had problems. With my Sony Vaio I never had any issues with the power supply, apart from the plug becoming wobbly after the kids ran into the cable a couple of times (which is an advantage of the MagSafe plug!).

I also read a recommendation to use a MacBook Pro supply, which has a 85W rating. This is supposed to remain cooler. So when I noticed the alarmingly brown/black cable I went straight to the local Apple Store in town and asked for one of those. But the ‘geniuses’ said it would mess up the battery by overcharging it, so I went for a 60W model again to be on the safe side. Of course my MacBook is 22 months old and beyond warranty, so I had to shell out the £60 for the new power brick. The genius also said “this should not happen”, and looked at me as if I had submitted the cable to a barbecue or something. However, I never even wound it up on the hooks, as the cable seems so feeble. Stylish looks, but rather impractical. I’ll have to think of some cooling solution, I guess.

I’ve kept the dodgy supply to repair the cable at some point, and when I do so I’ll post some photos here. One thing that I find amazing is how grubby the cable looks after almost two years of constant use.



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