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Apple discovers issue with MacBook batteries, offers solutions

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Apple said Friday it has discovered that some batteries used in its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks may have performance issues and is offering a software update that is designed to improve performance.

The 244KB Battery Updater will check to see if a battery needs to be updated on startup, wake from sleep, and when a battery is inserted.

"If in these cases there is no AC power supplied, it will then wait until AC power is present and then check to see if the battery needs to be updated," Apple said. "If the battery needs to be updated it will update it automatically. Wait 30 seconds before you validate the installation."

The update supports essentially every MacBook system produced by the company thus far, including: MacBook, MacBook (Late 2006), MacBook Pro (15-inch), MacBook Pro (15-inch Glossy), MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo), MacBook Pro (17-inch) and MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo).

Apple notes that after Battery Update has been installed, each battery inserted into the MacBook or MacBook Pro will be updated automatically.

If, after installing the battery update, the battery has any of the symptoms listed here, Apple urges MacBook owners to make a reservation to bring their computer with its battery to a local Apple Retail Store, or contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP), or call a local Apple Support Contact Center.

If Apple or an AASP determines that a battery is eligible for replacement, MacBook owners will receive a new battery, free of charge, even if their MacBook or MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

The repair program extends repair coverage on the battery for up to two years from the date of purchase of the computer for Intel Core Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro computers.

Apple said it will continue to evaluate the battery update program and will provide further extensions as needed.
post #2 of 63
First post! w00000t! ...... Apparently my MacBook Core[1]Duo had it's battery replaced for a brand new one about 3-5 months after the first owner bought it. It also had its palmrest (discoloration issue) replaced. At about 9-10 months of its life I got the LCD replaced under AppleCare... This was all in Australia. Thumbs up to the Melbourne Apple reseller peoples. The cloth-type fabric tape that channels the air from the CPU/heatpipe out through the fan/heatsink exhaust at the back appeared to be worn out, after the LCD was replaced I actually did a bit of a duct tape mod, dropped peak load temps by about 3 to 5 degC (41 degF).

No battery issues so far though. 99 cycles after almost 1 year, iStatPro and Coconut Battery is showing 100% health. In fact, as probably some of you have, Coconut Battery shows 5248 current capacity over the original 5200 mAh.

Now. When shall I get my Matshita DVD-burner fixed? ...DVD burning bit the dust after I tried to use the latest 16xSony* media a few days ago (of course, I was only burning at the stock 4x speed)... weird... DVD single-layer (or even dual layer) burning is passe now though. ...Heh... the CD reading/ CDRW writing (save the environment!!!) is okay as is DVDROM reading/ DVDVideo ripping... I don't think I can really go more than 24 hours without my MacBook though, so, meh. Got AppleCare extended for another two years at a nice low price recently ($200 USD)... May not sound like much but it's a significant discount when dealing in my local 3rd-world-country currency here on the equator.

*I'm starting to get more ambivalent about Sony. I love my SonyEricsson phones (T630 previously, now v600i) -- they've survived numerous drops and the T630 took a dip in the laundry for several minutes... But I *hate* the new 1080p video cameras and Bravia HDTVs. Now there are reports of the Sony 16x DVD+R media not working in older burners, though it is supposed to be all the way to 1x backward-compatible. That it screwed up *all* DVD-burning (on media I could previously burn easily like 4x Apple DVD-R, 4x TDK DVD-R, "MTV" branded 8x DVD+R, is weird. My TDK "pseudo-DJ-esque" headphones seem to have lasted a lot longer than my brother's Sony's, which has that flaking issue with the fabric of curved part of the DJ-style headphones that go around the top of your head.
post #3 of 63
This is one thing I just love about being a Mac owner. With every other OE you have to rely on a really crappy Windows program--which you probably deleted anyway because it was a resource hog--to check for firmware updates or occasionally go to the OEM's website and do a search for your system to find firmware updates.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

First post! w00000t! ...... Apparently my MacBook Core[1]Duo had it's battery replaced for a brand new one about 3-5 months after the first owner bought it. It also had it's palmrest (discoloration issue) replaced. At about 9-10 months of its life I got the LCD replaced under AppleCare... This was all in Australia. Thumbs up to the Melbourne Apple reseller peoples.

So far I've had no problem with my C2D BlackBook. Considering how abusive I am toward my CEs I have to say that is a good sign.
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post #4 of 63
Off topic, but I would strongly suggest everyone here NOT use any 16x media. Stick to 8x for all your 8x or lower rated DVD-burners.
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

....So far I've had no problem with my C2D BlackBook. Considering how abusive I am toward my CEs I have to say that is a good sign.

Yeah the rev B (core2duos) MacBook black/white seem to be much better. It's cool, I bought the MacBook Core[1]Duo off eBay knowing full well of its at-that-time and potential rev A issues. The eBay one I bought, to quote the ol' Jerry McGuire movie,.... it had me at 2GB of RAM. Heh.
post #6 of 63
Sometimes when I close the lid on my MacBook it'll reboot for no good reason. Anyone heard else having this problem?
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post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is one thing I just low about being a Mac owner. With every other OE you have to rely on a really crappy Windows program--which you probably deleted anyway because it was a resource hog--to check for firmware updates or occasionally go to the OEM's website and do a search for your system to find firmware updates...

Yes, this is generally a good thing with Macs. Though I suspect if I actually could find the original firmware for my internal DVD-burner I could flash it back to factory firmware and it might reset the firmware that could have been corrupted by trying to burn 16x media... Though this is a total pull-out-of-my-arse idea on how to fix my DVD-burner. AppleCare would probably just replace the whole SuperDrive anyway.

....Yeah resource hogs is the main issue still with Windows nowadays. Not *so* much the crashing, but the general "glugginess" of everything that sets in after a few weeks/ months. Or even at the start .... http://corybohon.wordpress.com/2007/...a-mac-stuffed/ ...
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

....Yeah resource hogs is the main issue still with Windows nowadays. Not *so* much the crashing, but the general "glugginess" of everything that sets in after a few weeks/ months. Or even at the start .... http://corybohon.wordpress.com/2007/...a-mac-stuffed/ ...

That commercial was posted on Digg. It was fun to read the replies about how OS X comes with just as much bloatware as a OEM version of Windows.
The offending programs.....
- Trial: MS Office for Mac Test Drive
- Trial: iWork
- Crippled: Quicktime, Nanosaur (no longer offered)
- Excessive: iLife apps, like Garageband loops.
The informed replies basically stated.....
- Win OEMs add many, many more than Apple.
- These do not auto-run at startup.
- These do not constantly bother you about purchasing the software.
- These are easily removed, unlike MS's Add/Remove Programs.
- The desktop isn't littered with subsided program advertisements.
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post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

to quote the ol' Jerry McGuire movie,.... it had me at 2GB of RAM. Heh.



I like that
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post #10 of 63
This thread is about the battery firmware update, not optical drive speeds, included bloatware, or flashing firmware on DVD drives. Sheesh.
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post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Off topic, but I would strongly suggest everyone here NOT use any 16x media. Stick to 8x for all your 8x or lower rated DVD-burners.

I'm lost on that one. I've used 16x media in my 4x drive with no troubles whatsoever, I think I've burned about 75 DVDs in it. It's not going to make the drive try to spin any faster. I think there was something messed up with your particular drive, I doubt it's an epidemic problem.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I'm lost on that one. I've used 16x media in my 4x drive with no troubles whatsoever, I think I've burned about 75 DVDs in it. It's not going to make the drive try to spin any faster. I think there was something messed up with your particular drive, I doubt it's an epidemic problem.

Hmm... Yeah, I don't think it's "epidemic" as such. There is a vocal movement which I am thrust into by the decreptitude of my SuperDrive. Nothing personal, but just the nature of my drive which died. Perhaps my call for NOT to use 16x was premature.

But anyway here be links:
http://superdrive.crc.id.au/
http://www.crc.id.au/2005/08/07/faul...e-superdrives/

I can't find the complain website ones at the moment which are specific for the UJ-857 currently in MacBooks and MacBookPros.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

This thread is about the battery firmware update, not optical drive speeds, included bloatware, or flashing firmware on DVD drives. Sheesh.

Heh. Okay I quiet now.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


I like that



Quote:
Originally Posted by fahlman View Post

Sometimes when I close the lid on my MacBook it'll reboot for no good reason. Anyone heard else having this problem?

Reset NVRAM, PRAM? Wipe hard disk and reinstall? After that, it be dodgy logic board that needs replacement if it keeps happening. AFAIK.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple said Friday it has discovered that some batteries used in its MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks may have performance issues and is offering a software update that is designed to improve performance.

The 244KB Battery Updater will check to see if a battery needs to be updated on startup, wake from sleep, and when a battery is inserted.

"If in these cases there is no AC power supplied, it will then wait until AC power is present and then check to see if the battery needs to be updated," Apple said. "If the battery needs to be updated it will update it automatically. Wait 30 seconds before you validate the installation."

The update supports essentially every MacBook system produced by the company thus far, including: MacBook, MacBook (Late 2006), MacBook Pro (15-inch), MacBook Pro (15-inch Glossy), MacBook Pro (15-inch Core 2 Duo), MacBook Pro (17-inch) and MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo).

Apple notes that after Battery Update has been installed, each battery inserted into the MacBook or MacBook Pro will be updated automatically.

If, after installing the battery update, the battery has any of the symptoms listed here, Apple urges MacBook owners to make a reservation to bring their computer with its battery to a local Apple Retail Store, or contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP), or call a local Apple Support Contact Center.

If Apple or an AASP determines that a battery is eligible for replacement, MacBook owners will receive a new battery, free of charge, even if their MacBook or MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

The repair program extends repair coverage on the battery for up to two years from the date of purchase of the computer for Intel Core Duo-based MacBook and MacBook Pro computers.

Apple said it will continue to evaluate the battery update program and will provide further extensions as needed.



Well i installed the update, and my batter circle count is 86 .. i bought my MBP C2D in november. is everything ok?
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saud View Post

Well i installed the update, and my batter circle count is 86 .. i bought my MBP C2D in november. is everything ok?

Download and run http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/ and let us know what it says...
Where do you use your MBP? Can you have it connected to the power outlet at most times? That saves using battery cycles.
post #17 of 63
After-Update-Report:

MacBook 13", Core Duo.

System Profiler gives me these values:
Full Charge Capacity (mAh)t4387
Cycle Countt76

I think this warrants a call to Apple...
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post

After-Update-Report:

MacBook 13", Core Duo.

System Profiler gives me these values:
Full Charge Capacity (mAh)t4387
Cycle Countt76

I think this warrants a call to Apple...

Hmm... Yeah that's a 15% drop in battery capacity.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

This thread is about the battery firmware update, not optical drive speeds, included bloatware, or flashing firmware on DVD drives. Sheesh.

I was beginning to think that myself.

At work a couple of people have bought Macbooks and both their batteries have failed. the first within two weeks of buying, the second within a month. Could it be that this is the new logic board problem?

At least it's nowhere near as serious and people just have to request a new battery and send the bad one back but why is it so hard to get batteries right? Is this Sony's problem again?

It's definitely time for some battery technology improvements. Smaller, lighter, longer lasting.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Hmm... Yeah that's a 15% drop in battery capacity.

how would i know if in my case, i should have a battery recall?
MBP C2D
Battery Information:

Battery InstalledtYes
First low level warningtNo
Full Charge Capacity (mAh)t5348
Remaining Capacity (mAh)t2866
Amperage (mA)t-1806
Voltage (mV)t11371
Cycle Countt87
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saud View Post

how would i know if in my case, i should have a battery recall?
MBP C2D
Battery Information:

Battery InstalledtYes
First low level warningtNo
Full Charge Capacity (mAh)t5348
Remaining Capacity (mAh)t2866
Amperage (mA)t-1806
Voltage (mV)t11371
Cycle Countt87

I would say your battery is doing fine, at 5348mAh, after 87 cycles, that's about fine.
Don't worry about it

One thing though, if you are actually in one spot near a power outlet, keep your laptop plugged into the electric outlet.

Also remember, if you use your battery, use it fully (full discharge cycle) before then charging it all the way up to 100%.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I was beginning to think that myself.

At work a couple of people have bought Macbooks and both their batteries have failed. the first within two weeks of buying, the second within a month. Could it be that this is the new logic board problem?

At least it's nowhere near as serious and people just have to request a new battery and send the bad one back but why is it so hard to get batteries right? Is this Sony's problem again?

It's definitely time for some battery technology improvements. Smaller, lighter, longer lasting.

At this stage I think they would do well to start of FIRST to focus on batteries not exploding and stuff.
post #23 of 63
I had no issues with my mbp battery. I have it 3 months and it is about 97-98%.
Should I use the updater? Is it safe? Do I need it?
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool11 View Post

I had no issues with my mbp battery. I have it 3 months and it is about 97-98%.
Should I use the updater? Is it safe? Do I need it?

I used to have 3 hours of battery life before this update and now it's down to 2 using exactly the same configurations..if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The 244KB Battery Updater will check to see if a battery needs to be updated on startup, wake from sleep, and when a battery is inserted.

I'm confused. Again. (Still?)

What the hell is this update supposed to do? It added time to my boot up but that's it (as far as I know).

Is it supposed to do something?

You know, "Your battery is good," or "Your battery is screwed," or, "DUCK! Your battey was made by Sony and it's gonna explode!!!"


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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by majordude View Post

What the hell is this update supposed to do? It added time to my boot up but that's it (as far as I know).

Is it supposed to do something?:

It's to improve the functionality of the battery.

A longer restart after installing any firmware is expected, but after that I noticed no change in startup time. The firmware notes indicate that it does do a check at startup, but the being a simple battery firmware check, this time is likely to short to be noticed.

If you are having issues after the firmware update--which is rare, but possible--it means you need to update again as it didn't install correctly.
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post #27 of 63
After a full charge my cycle count is 100.

Has anyone with a cycle count under 300 returned their laptop to Apple for inspection? Did you get a new battery?
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool11 View Post

I had no issues with my mbp battery. I have it 3 months and it is about 97-98%. Should I use the updater? Is it safe? Do I need it?

I think it will be fine to use the updater. That is my 2 cents. ...Have you been using 1 battery cycle *every day* for the past 3 months??

Do download Coconut Battery (it's very good and very free) and let us know what results that reports.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's to improve the functionality of the battery.

A longer restart after installing any firmware is expected, but after that I noticed no change in startup time. The firmware notes indicate that it does do a check at startup, but the being a simple battery firmware check, this time is likely to short to be noticed.....

Bingo.
post #30 of 63
I have a Core2Duo MacBook that had very serious battery problems early on. After six months I was only getting about half the normal battery life. Guess I had one of the bad batteries which was, of course, promptly replaced at an Apple Store as soon as I noticed the problem.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's to improve the functionality of the battery.

So, no news is good news?

Am I supposed to check on something or will it signal me if there is an issue?


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post #32 of 63
I just had my C2D macbook battery replaced this week. In my particular case my battery was low <5%, and I thought that I had powered it off but I had just put it to sleep. I left it in my office for a few days unplugged while I was out of town and the machine went completly dead.. When I powered it back up the computer would no longer recognize the battery.


AppleCare had me reset the PMU. I did that, but the battery didn't come back so I recieved a new one in about 2 days via DHL.

It seems to me that the battery has it's own pmu or something similar, and when the battery was completely drained that unit crashed and couldnt' be revived..
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

AppleCare had me reset the PMU. I did that, but the battery didn't come back so I recieved a new one in about 2 days via DHL.

Since switching to Intel, Apple has droppped PMU and in favor of System Management Controller (SMC). as far as I can tell, it the same fricken thing. Anyone know why they changed it?
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post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadMilkman View Post

I have a Core2Duo MacBook that had very serious battery problems early on. After six months I was only getting about half the normal battery life. Guess I had one of the bad batteries which was, of course, promptly replaced at an Apple Store as soon as I noticed the problem.

Good stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majordude View Post

So, no news is good news?
Am I supposed to check on something or will it signal me if there is an issue?

Yeah I had no notices or nothin' so no news *is* good news in general when it comes to the Mac.
<excuse to bash Windows>Unlike Windoze when no news means your PC is rotting away and getting laggier</excuse>.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Since switching to Intel, Apple has droppped PMU and in favor of System Management Controller (SMC). as far as I can tell, it the same fricken thing. Anyone know why they changed it?

Yeah I got them confused.. Even the applecare rep said pmu once on accident..

Old habits..

-S
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

I just had my C2D macbook battery replaced this week. In my particular case my battery was low <5%, and I thought that I had powered it off but I had just put it to sleep. I left it in my office for a few days unplugged while I was out of town and the machine went completly dead.. When I powered it back up the computer would no longer recognize the battery.


AppleCare had me reset the PMU. I did that, but the battery didn't come back so I recieved a new one in about 2 days via DHL.

It seems to me that the battery has it's own pmu or something similar, and when the battery was completely drained that unit crashed and couldnt' be revived..

I've heard of that happening to a few people I know. I don't know why it happens, but none of them have had problems with their replacement batteries.
post #37 of 63
I tried this battery update, as well as checking the Coconut Battery program.. which states this:
Current Battery Charge: 5130 mAh
Maximum Battery Charge: 5229 mAh
98%

Current Battery Capacity: 5228 mAh
Original Battery Capacity: 5500 mAh
95%

Battery loadcycles-96
Age of your mac 8 months
Charger connected: yes
Battery is charging: no


yet, when I unplug, the computer promptly shuts down... time for a trip to the apple store? or is there a quick fix?
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSamsa View Post

yet, when I unplug, the computer promptly shuts down... time for a trip to the apple store? or is there a quick fix?

If this was not happening before the update, then reinstall the update and restart twice.
http://www.apple.com/support/downloa...yupdate12.html
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post #39 of 63
Shazzam! Look at that increased battery performance! Four whopping MAhs.

Date: 2007.04.27 (pre-update)
Current Capacity 5152 MAh (99%)


Date: 2007.04.29 (post-update)
Current Capacity: 5156 MAh (99%)


Age: 2 months
Original Capacity: 5200 MAh
Battery-Loadcycles: 20

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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If this was not happening before the update, then reinstall the update and restart twice.
http://www.apple.com/support/downloa...yupdate12.html

It was happening before the update, i was hoping for the solution.
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