or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple to repair shutdown-plagued MacBooks under warranty
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple to repair shutdown-plagued MacBooks under warranty

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer has acknowledged that a problem exists with some of its Intel MacBooks where the notebook computers may intermittently shut down, but has vowed to fix those systems free of charge.

"Some MacBooks may shut down intermittently under normal use," the Mac maker wrote in a memo to some of its service providers this week. "If this issue occurs on your customer's MacBook and the computer meets certain requirements, Apple will cover replacement of the affected parts under warranty."

For more details on the repair program, Apple told providers to check this knowledge base article, which ironically contains only the following line: "If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service."

Complaints from disgruntled owners of the 13-inch widescreen notebooks began pouring into online forums in recent weeks, all claiming that their new Apple notebooks would "randomly" lose power and shut down. The uproar also fueled the creation of a Web site purely dedicated to bringing attention to the issue, appropriately titled MacBookRandomShutdown.com.

In its memo to service providers, Apple mandates that affected MacBooks be repaired with a matching logic board and heatsink set. This new logic board and heatsink combo part should be available to service providers by the end of this week, the company said.

In the meantime, Apple is channeling all "business-critical" MacBook repairs through its Austin, Texas repair depot for a faster turnaround times. Individual customers who filed complaints with AppleCare have also been able to send their machines into the depot, but some have been waiting in excess of one week to get their computers back.
post #2 of 36
14 days is the longest I'd find acceptable to get a warranty repair done.
post #3 of 36
Finally! I've had this problem for over a month now. I already sent it to Apple to fix it, but when it came back I still had the problem. It took two weeks for them to "repair" my Macbook but now I have to send it back in for them to repair it again. They said that they knew what was causing the problem, but I'm not so sure.
post #4 of 36
I've never even heard of this issue. Makes you wish you just had the moo-ing sound.
post #5 of 36
The title of this article is curious: Apple to repair shutdown-plagued MacBooks under warranty. Is there really another option in this situation? I don't think so. The product is only a few months old and it comes with a one year warranty, ergo the problem will be covered via warranty repair.

The shurtdowns happened to me after less than a month of use. I was pissed... so pissed that I dropped it off at my local Apple store and after two weeks without it, I reversed the charges on my credit card. Problem solved.
post #6 of 36
http://www.macbookrandomshutdown.com/ seems to be a really overblown site though for just 295 reported users having the problem reported on the website.

I empathise with those with the problem though and getting lemon MacBooks. How many perfectly fine ones have shipped though by now... 300,000 ??
post #7 of 36
The dodgy Apple service centre in Malaysia refused to fix the modem dying on my iBook, claiming it was a "burn effect" which can happen due to lightning but at no stage was the iBook connected to the phone line when storms or lightning was going on. F*ckers. In 2003 I got a 23" cinema display and it had 3 dead pixels right off the bat. Too late did I realise they wouldn't fix it. I should have returned it. But anyway eventually I sold off the PowerMacG5 and CinemaDisplay via a small, decent Apple reseller in Sydney.
post #8 of 36
Macs are awesome. Except when they are not \
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

The dodgy Apple service centre in Malaysia refused to fix the modem dying on my iBook, claiming it was a "burn effect" which can happen due to lightning but at no stage was the iBook connected to the phone line when storms or lightning was going on. F*ckers. In 2003 I got a 23" cinema display and it had 3 dead pixels right off the bat. Too late did I realise they wouldn't fix it. I should have returned it. But anyway eventually I sold off the PowerMacG5 and CinemaDisplay via a small, decent Apple reseller in Sydney.

That's quite a story!
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

http://www.macbookrandomshutdown.com/ seems to be a really overblown site though for just 295 reported users having the problem reported on the website.

I empathise with those with the problem though and getting lemon MacBooks. How many perfectly fine ones have shipped though by now... 300,000 ??


Yes but that's assuming that most/all of the macbooks that have the problem were reported to the site.

295? multiply it by 10-20 to get the real figure, at the very least.
Mac user since before you were born.
Reply
Mac user since before you were born.
Reply
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by baygbm

The title of this article is curious: Apple to repair shutdown-plagued MacBooks under warranty. Is there really another option in this situation? I don't think so. The product is only a few months old and it comes with a one year warranty, ergo the problem will be covered via warranty repair.

The shurtdowns happened to me after less than a month of use. I was pissed... so pissed that I dropped it off at my local Apple store and after two weeks without it, I reversed the charges on my credit card. Problem solved.

That's amusing, because in most places, it's illegal.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by slughead

Yes but that's assuming that most/all of the macbooks that have the problem were reported to the site... 295? multiply it by 10-20 to get the real figure, at the very least.

Multiply it by 100 and you get 29,500 shutdown-defective MacBooks
Not being sarcastic, but yeah if 295 reported to this "obscure"? site, then multiply by 10-100 you get 2,950 to 29,500 shutdown-defective MacBooks.
post #13 of 36
Maybe if it's a bad chip or chipset on the board then maybe lots of 5,000 in a production run are affected. Just pulling numbers out of my a55 here.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

Multiply it by 100 and you get 29,500 shutdown-defective MacBooks
Not being sarcastic, but yeah if 295 reported to this "obscure"? site, then multiply by 10-100 you get 2,950 to 29,500 shutdown-defective MacBooks.

Out of how many? I believe that, as of the last numbers estimated several weeks ago, over 300,000. That would mean between 1 and 10%.

1% is nothing, but 10% is meaningful.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

Maybe if it's a bad chip or chipset on the board then maybe lots of 5,000 in a production run are affected. Just pulling numbers out of my a55 here.

Why don't you post these things in one post? Trying to catch up?
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Why don't you post these things in one post? Trying to catch up?

It's a separate "thought stream" so it should be in separate posts. And yes since I was out in no-broadband wildnerness for 3 weeks it seems I'm watching you and Placebo's tail-lights. Last one to 6000 posts is a rotten egg...!!
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

It's a separate "thought stream" so it should be in separate posts. And yes since I was out in no-broadband wildnerness for 3 weeks it seems I'm watching you and Placebo's tail-lights. Last one to 6000 posts is a rotten egg...!!

Smells like my old chem lab.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood

14 days is the longest I'd find acceptable to get a warranty repair done.

For a product purchased so recently, I wouldn't accept that at all, I would demand a replacement. I would be pretty upset if it was my only computer and it was simply gone for two weeks only a month after purchase.
post #19 of 36
Taking a statistic then multiplying it by a random figure you've though up is kind of pointless...
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi

Taking a statistic then multiplying it by a random figure you've though up is kind of pointless...

There is some merit to it though, and in some cases, I think it has been studied with regards to customer and constituent complaints, I just don't know how I can dig that up.

I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that for every person that's reported a problem on a particular obscure site that there must be at least ten other people that has experienced the problem but don't go to the bother of going to said obscure site.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

There is some merit to it though, and in some cases, I think it has been studied with regards to customer and constituent complaints, I just don't know how I can dig that up.

I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that for every person that's reported a problem on a particular obscure site that there must be at least ten other people that has experienced the problem but don't go to the bother of going to said obscure site.

And a certain number who don't go to any of these sites, and who don't even know that this is something unusual. They will continue to have these problems and think it is annoying, but normal.

That's the worst part. In their ignorence, they might never buy a Mac again, especially if they are a first time user. Getting to them is very important.
post #22 of 36
I really don't think anyone no matter what level of experience they have with computers would think it normal for their computer to shutdown while using it.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by awinn233

I really don't think anyone no matter what level of experience they have with computers would think it normal for their computer to shutdown while using it.

Oh yes they would. You would be surprised at the things I've seen with some of my customers over the years.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by awinn233

I really don't think anyone no matter what level of experience they have with computers would think it normal for their computer to shutdown while using it.

If they're coming from the PC world, they might think, ah, well, at least the OS X thing is nice and my MacBook looks cool. People from the PC world are quite forgiving. "Ah, well, this popup always comes up, whatever, I just ignore it and hit close, it's all second nature..."
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

And a certain number who don't go to any of these sites, and who don't even know that this is something unusual. They will continue to have these problems and think it is annoying, but normal.

That's the worst part. In their ignorence, they might never buy a Mac again, especially if they are a first time user. Getting to them is very important.

[Insert reference to AppleDiscussions @ AppleSupport being overhauled]
post #26 of 36
Owners of Powerbook G4s with THEIR random sleep problems - also very likely heat-related, and caused by a particular build or design - are not offered a reduced or free repair, even though Apple is as much the culprit there as much as they are for MacBook Pro. They get you through precisely one year of warranty, and then you're on your own, and how much on your own you are you can realize pretty harshly.

Furthermore, they wait until pressure is very high - rather than admitting failure right then and there, or offering information and fixes. In other words, Apple management lets users troubleshoot Apple's own design problems despite a rather costly price, and I find that extremely cheap. If it's me troubleshooting ANYWAY, I may as well do that with something cheaper.

So... this offer here doesn't do it for me.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

Owners of Powerbook G4s with THEIR random sleep problems - also very likely heat-related, and caused by a particular build or design - are not offered a reduced or free repair, even though Apple is as much the culprit there as much as they are for MacBook Pro. They get you through precisely one year of warranty, and then you're on your own, and how much on your own you are you can realize pretty harshly.

Furthermore, they wait until pressure is very high - rather than admitting failure right then and there, or offering information and fixes. In other words, Apple management lets users troubleshoot Apple's own design problems despite a rather costly price, and I find that extremely cheap. If it's me troubleshooting ANYWAY, I may as well do that with something cheaper.

So... this offer here doesn't do it for me.


It's not just pressure, they want to start selling to a larger audience. They know that most powerbook buyers love mac so much, they'll never switch. However, a large portion of macbook and macbook pro owners are first-time Apple buyers, and therefore they need to be 'nicer' to make headway into the marketplace.

Quite simply, they know you're not going to buy a PC just because your PB failed. They can't say the same for Macbook (pro) owners.
Mac user since before you were born.
Reply
Mac user since before you were born.
Reply
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

Owners of Powerbook G4s with THEIR random sleep problems - also very likely heat-related, and caused by a particular build or design - are not offered a reduced or free repair, even though Apple is as much the culprit there as much as they are for MacBook Pro. They get you through precisely one year of warranty, and then you're on your own, and how much on your own you are you can realize pretty harshly.

Furthermore, they wait until pressure is very high - rather than admitting failure right then and there, or offering information and fixes. In other words, Apple management lets users troubleshoot Apple's own design problems despite a rather costly price, and I find that extremely cheap. If it's me troubleshooting ANYWAY, I may as well do that with something cheaper.

So... this offer here doesn't do it for me.

From what I recall, those sleep problems, which is a completely different issue, is mostly software related, or third party hardware/software related. It affected, in different ways, all Mac's, not just laptops.

This is an Apple hardware problem.
post #29 of 36
- Narcoleptic Powerbook Syndrome is not software related. You can install everything from scratch and it'll still fall asleep. It can be systematically traced to defective hardware.

- I am currently moving to PC laptop hardware. It's a bit of a haul, but I guess I'll get there :-)
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

- Narcoleptic Powerbook Syndrome is not software related. You can install everything from scratch and it'll still fall asleep. It can be systematically traced to defective hardware.

- I am currently moving to PC laptop hardware. It's a bit of a haul, but I guess I'll get there :-)

Really? Which part of the hardware was defective? The problems were with the OS, as I remember.
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Really? Which part of the hardware was defective? The problems were with the OS, as I remember.

The part, that is defective, contains at least the trackpad temperature sensor. This can be isolated as problem and shown, and it's most definitely not an OS or software problem. It is as pure a hardware issue as they come.

For a repair, apparently the top case part is the least amount of hardware that has to be replaced, and likely some more (logic board, heat sink, ..). The repair is thus likely to be rather costly.

Since it is a rather costly hardware repair that is really expensive - and in no way just to be ""fixed"" by "just" installing some "software" -, it is really an issue.

Only because Apple doesn't acknowledge it doesn't mean it's not an issue ;-) ;-)
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

The part, that is defective, contains at least the trackpad temperature sensor. This can be isolated as problem and shown, and it's most definitely not an OS or software problem. It is as pure a hardware issue as they come.

For a repair, apparently the top case part is the least amount of hardware that has to be replaced, and likely some more (logic board, heat sink, ..). The repair is thus likely to be rather costly.

Since it is a rather costly hardware repair that is really expensive - and in no way just to be ""fixed"" by "just" installing some "software" -, it is really an issue.

Only because Apple doesn't acknowledge it doesn't mean it's not an issue ;-) ;-)

Trackpad temp sensor? I've never heard of that one. You mean a sensor that happens to be under the trackpad? Is it an HD temp sensor? Or one for the memory, or cpu? Do you know what was causing the actual problem? It couldn't have just been a sensor, unless it was embedded in some device, or the board itself.

Now, I'm curious, since I've never read of this anywhere.
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Trackpad temp sensor? I've never heard of that one. You mean a sensor that happens to be under the trackpad? Is it an HD temp sensor? Or one for the memory, or cpu? Do you know what was causing the actual problem? It couldn't have just been a sensor, unless it was embedded in some device, or the board itself.

Now, I'm curious, since I've never read of this anywhere.

You can run a program called Temperature Monitor on a narcoleptic Apple Powerbook G4 that has this particular hardware defect (as my now defunct Powerbook G4 had), you can then software-disable the PMU (to prevent the defective Powerbook from falling asleep), and then watch the Trackpad Temperature Sensor read out fantasy temperature figures as high as 200 degrees Celsius. At that moment, you can be pretty sure of a true hardware problem, particularly if you already tried one or the other OS re-install. Once you find many other people with the same type of defective Apple Powerbook G4, you can be pretty sure about an Apple-based design issue that is not resolved by Apple, rather than a single incident.

Normally, a healthy Powerbook would be triggered to fall asleep when a particularly high temperature is read out from one of the temp sensors - but in case of a defective sensor that will yield fantasy temperatures such as 200 degrees, you will experience what is nicknamed "Narcoleptic Powerbook". So, faulty hardware will cause the Powerbook to loose some of its functionality, which is particularly "entertaining" when it starts falling asleep while you try to prepare a presentation (which is what happened to me), or conduct a presentation (which is what happened to someone else). At that moment, you can't accept this defect of your defective Apple Powerbook any more.

The real cause of the Apple Powerbook G4 defects appears to be not known to the public; it has been speculated that cables are fried because of too much dissipation of heat due to the way Apple constructed these computers, but I have examined my machine and there was no indication of a fried cable.

It is likely a complicated issue. Some people get their fautly Powerbook G4s repaired on warranty (if they still have warranty) - but some other people report some more costly repairs. Parts that Apple is known to swap in these instances include logic board and the top case unit that includes the trackpad (and the faulty sensor). Such an extensive hardware repair by Apple indicates a rather serious hardware problem. If Apple's trackpad temperature defect in some of their Apple Powerbook G4s was software-based, would you think Apple would conduct a repair that costs some 1000 US dollar?
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

You can run a program called Temperature Monitor on a narcoleptic Apple Powerbook G4 that has this particular hardware defect (as my now defunct Powerbook G4 had), you can then software-disable the PMU (to prevent the defective Powerbook from falling asleep), and then watch the Trackpad Temperature Sensor read out fantasy temperature figures as high as 200 degrees Celsius. At that moment, you can be pretty sure of a true hardware problem, particularly if you already tried one or the other OS re-install. Once you find many other people with the same type of defective Apple Powerbook G4, you can be pretty sure about an Apple-based design issue that is not resolved by Apple, rather than a single incident.

Normally, a healthy Powerbook would be triggered to fall asleep when a particularly high temperature is read out from one of the temp sensors - but in case of a defective sensor that will yield fantasy temperatures such as 200 degrees, you will experience what is nicknamed "Narcoleptic Powerbook". So, faulty hardware will cause the Powerbook to loose some of its functionality, which is particularly "entertaining" when it starts falling asleep while you try to prepare a presentation (which is what happened to me), or conduct a presentation (which is what happened to someone else). At that moment, you can't accept this defect of your defective Apple Powerbook any more.

The real cause of the Apple Powerbook G4 defects appears to be not known to the public; it has been speculated that cables are fried because of too much dissipation of heat due to the way Apple constructed these computers, but I have examined my machine and there was no indication of a fried cable.

It is likely a complicated issue. Some people get their fautly Powerbook G4s repaired on warranty (if they still have warranty) - but some other people report some more costly repairs. Parts that Apple is known to swap in these instances include logic board and the top case unit that includes the trackpad (and the faulty sensor). Such an extensive hardware repair by Apple indicates a rather serious hardware problem. If Apple's trackpad temperature defect in some of their Apple Powerbook G4s was software-based, would you think Apple would conduct a repair that costs some 1000 US dollar?

That's interesting. But, from what you are saying, they aren't certain, even now, as to what the actual problem is. Odd, don't you think?

It could be an interaction between the hardware and the temp functions in the OS, that has happened before. That would be why a re-install won't fix the problem. That has happened before as well.

If they can't seem to track the entire problem, I can see them replacing the board with a later version.

Was your problem solved by that?
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Was your problem solved by that?

No.

After I had identified that a considerable amount of such problems with Apple Powerbook G4 defective temperature sensor were reported, all pointing to heatsink / trackpad temperature sensor issues, all pointing to Apple not acknowledging or being sure what it was (neither of which would be good), with repairs ranging from a raging 1000 to 1300 US$, and seeing as if I was out of luck with my warranty gone, I decided to reevaluate my options.

After all, laptop computing is mainly about running software such as IDL, OpenOffice, Gimp or Firefox on reliable and fast hardware - not about making sure Apple employees are well fed beyond all naive belief in this brand. Really, getting X11 for OS X to perform well was typically more difficult than running Linux stuff on a PC, and finding stable LaTeX software is as even more a lottery on OS X than it is on Windows or Linux. If you end up with strange problems - and you very well may - , PC user base on this planet is huge, whereas the Mac user base and technical proficiency is very small compared to that. That's why I decided to try a PC notebook for right now.

So, I am currently busy setting up an Asus A6T AMD Turion 64 X2 64-bit notebook with an NVIDIA Geforce graphics card, that cost me 1600$ configured with 2 GB of RAM, runs the specific software that I need to run just about in 25-30% of the time it takes on a 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo laptop (it's extremely fast for floating point array operations), and I have an included onsite (!) 2-year warranty with that. A better deal than an almost similarly priced and really risky Apple repair of a technically somewhat outdated Apple Powerbook G4, with Apple being reluctant to show us they even understand the issues, obviously.

So far, so good. And, who knows, maybe one sunny day, Apple may release their own OS X for PCs and PC laptops. Who knows.
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisswuff

No.

After I had identified that a considerable amount of such problems with Apple Powerbook G4 defective temperature sensor were reported, all pointing to heatsink / trackpad temperature sensor issues, all pointing to Apple not acknowledging or being sure what it was (neither of which would be good), with repairs ranging from a raging 1000 to 1300 US$, and seeing as if I was out of luck with my warranty gone, I decided to reevaluate my options.

After all, laptop computing is mainly about running software such as IDL, OpenOffice, Gimp or Firefox on reliable and fast hardware - not about making sure Apple employees are well fed beyond all naive belief in this brand. Really, getting X11 for OS X to perform well was typically more difficult than running Linux stuff on a PC, and finding stable LaTeX software is as even more a lottery on OS X than it is on Windows or Linux. If you end up with strange problems - and you very well may - , PC user base on this planet is huge, whereas the Mac user base and technical proficiency is very small compared to that. That's why I decided to try a PC notebook for right now.

So, I am currently busy setting up an Asus A6T AMD Turion 64 X2 64-bit notebook with an NVIDIA Geforce graphics card, that cost me 1600$ configured with 2 GB of RAM, runs the specific software that I need to run just about in 25-30% of the time it takes on a 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo laptop (it's extremely fast for floating point array operations), and I have an included onsite (!) 2-year warranty with that. A better deal than an almost similarly priced and really risky Apple repair of a technically somewhat outdated Apple Powerbook G4, with Apple being reluctant to show us they even understand the issues, obviously.

So far, so good. And, who knows, maybe one sunny day, Apple may release their own OS X for PCs and PC laptops. Who knows.

That's an odd problem, as I said, I've never heard of it. There would have been a lot of howling if it were widespread.

But, good luck with whatever you choose to do.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple to repair shutdown-plagued MacBooks under warranty