How I lost the main working tool during the trip.
About a month ago, I went to Moscow for a couple of weeks to stay with relatives. And this should not have affected all areas of my activity, because they are tied only to high-quality access to the network and my beloved MacBook Pro 13 ’’. There could be problems with the Internet, but the laptop did not fail me on any trip. I didn’t even worry about him, and in vain.
On the second day in the capital, I was left without my main means of production.
My advice is beware of summer beaches and guard Mac from soft drinks.
Can you guess what happened to him? The guys from MacPlus, who were advised by one local colleague, took this laptop for diagnosis, and at the same time shared information about the 5 most “popular” Mac defects. Further, based on our conversation, I will tell you what problems summer can bring with it (and not only).
1. Malfunction of the cooling system
Overheating is often feared, but what exactly happens with your laptop:
Burned out motherboard elements
Despite the fact that the cooling system of any Macbook far superior to most competitive PC-solutions, it still needs to be cleaned at least once a year. Otherwise, it will gradually become clogged with dirt and dust, which is why its performance significantly decreases over time.
The result will not be long in coming. a serious overheating and failure of the elements of the motherboard is inevitable.
Now you can often hear that maintenance work. cleaning the cooling system and replacing the thermal paste. you need to perform a minimum once a year.
Of course, this indicator is actually individual and depends on where and how long you work on your Mac. If, for example, the laptop has been turned off for 5-7 months (although it is hard to imagine), the dust in it is likely to be much less than in the same, but actively used.
The fact is that dust enters the cooling system through its own “fault”. The fan, removing hot air from the case, at the same time draws in dust from the environment.
Once again, we note that the indicators are individual. they depend on the working conditions, its duration and on the laptop model, too. For example, a 15 ”MacBook Pro will get dusty much faster than the same MacBook Air.
It is worth saying separately about as thermal paste. Some of its species can freely withstand up to 140 degrees, while others have fairly low threshold values at which they can not cope with the load. At the same time, all the necessary amount of heat is not diverted to the cooling system, some remain “on microcircuits”. This increases the load, the temperature goes beyond safe limits, the resource in this mode is produced much faster.
The dust itself in some cases not only contributes to heating, but can also become a current conductor (of course, this does not happen often, but it’s still real).
With thermal paste, too, everything is not so clear: it does not always dry out in a year. It all depends on what you do: permanent work in Final cut or play in Call of duty significantly speed up the process, and sparing use, on the contrary, will delay the problem.
But you shouldn’t depart from the rule: at least once a year You need to show the Mac to a specialist. If it is clean, they will tell you directly. If cleaning is needed, at first the laptop will simply turn off during operation or slow down, but it is definitely not worth waiting for it to refuse to turn on even after cooling down.
You can remove the cover and look at the status of the device in a few minutes, but repairing devices that are already out of order is much more difficult. And more expensive.
2. Trouble with charging or power
It’s not so simple, there are several options.
The battery is dead
Here it is necessary to highlight two equal options. Either the battery has exhausted its life and is not suitable for further use, or it was simply for some reason locked by charge controller. Of course, the MacBook will not turn on.
There are many publications on this issue. We will only repeat the obvious: the batteries in the Mac are very reliable, but not eternal, and sooner or later they have to be replaced.
Practice shows that this always happens unexpectedly. Of course, various utilities can now monitor the state of the battery, the system itself does this. But there is always a chance that the battery will fail for no apparent reason: old and forgotten contact with moisture, undetected overheating or voltage drop, the “fault” of a poor-quality charger.
In some cases, a failed attempt to charge the Mac may be recognized by the battery controller as physical problem. At the same time, part of the circuit is specially incapacitated. this is a protective mechanism. The battery cells themselves can be quite functional, but the battery controller considers it “dead” or dangerous for the “MacBook”.
By and large, in such cases, repair is possible, but it involves transferring the board with the controller from the donor battery to the battery being repaired and “coordinating” them with the help of the programmer. This is possible not for all battery models, but in cases where it is real. the repair process is comparable in cost to replacing the entire battery. And the latter, of course, is much more reliable.
There are problems with the power connector
With especially hardcore notebook operation Magsafe may fail for several reasons. the connector contacts are oxidized, covered with dirt or worn out. As a result, the MacBook battery is discharged to zero and the laptop does not turn on without recharging.
The situation with the faulty MagSafe is not uncommon. It can occur in almost any model, but most often it happens with 2008-2012 Unibody models. Now these Macs are no longer available, but they are used quite actively. Given the age of even the “freshest” instance of 2012, during maintenance work it is necessary to clean not only the cooling system, but also the surface of the connectors.
The MagSafe connector is constantly open, and at the terminal pad dust settles. It slightly worsens the quality of the electrical connection, and from frequent connections, the terminals are worn out. For loss of contact, tenths of a millimeter is often sufficient.
With a frequent loss of contact, the MagSafe board starts to heat up, the battery may fail (the system perceives this as a frequent connection / disconnection of the charger), and then the motherboard itself.
Video: Macbook Pro 15 2008 Does Not Turn On
So you need to use, of course, high-quality PSUs. And keep the Mac clean.
“Covered” power supply
Another reason that the MacBook cannot be charged is an inoperative power supply that could fail for a number of different reasons: from the same voltage drops to trivial wear.
At the same time, a “working” Mac may well recognize such a block. Over time, the charging performance decreases. They are enough for the system to “see” the PSU and show the status “battery is charging”, but it will no longer be possible to charge a switched off and completely dead laptop with such a unit.
The situation is the same as when charging Macbook pro 15 ″ block from Air. The process is going on, but much more slowly, and if the battery has completely sat down or “gone to the defense”, a current of sufficient power is needed.
The block must be selected carefully. It is not only a matter of performance (the original or factory copy has very good protection against various emergency situations), but also in accordance with the parameters. the power and current of the PSU must meet the requirements of the laptop.
You can use a more powerful charge. it’s safe, but weak (as described above) is not recommended. In most cases, the Mac will simply charge slowly (for example, if it is turned off and does not consume a charge).
If you are working on a laptop connected to such a low-power unit, then the system thinks that it is charging, although it is actually being discharged, because the battery receives less from the power supply while charging, and the indication on the battery icon does not say so. The result is battery wear and failure.
3. Serious voltage drop
Burned out motherboard elements
The worst thing that can happen during a voltage drop is the failure of the elements of the motherboard. It involves a complete replacement or an expensive MacBook repair.
Such cases are always the most difficult. The whole chain or just one single element “burns out”. And the result is known. Mac does not show signs of life. With devices that have survived a voltage drop, you need to be especially careful. problems can be ambiguous, they do not appear immediately.
For example, you have a fully functional Mac, but discrete graphics do not work or do not turn on Wifi, although both the module and the antennas are working.
The answer is not always on the surface, but recovery is as real as, for example, when replacing a hard drive or other basic repair. Such problems, as a rule, are not reflected in the durability of the devices. And if they could be eliminated, then Mac will work without problems.
Most often, “duty chains” suffer. this is the name of the sections that are always energized, albeit small. In the risk zone there are also “power” elements operating under high currents.
The battery is “covered”
Due to the large voltage drop, the MacBook battery usually goes into a state of protection, but it can also “die” completely. This has already been said above.
“Died” power supply
Overvoltage very often causes the “death” of the power supply, which fails completely or partially.
It’s more reliable to replace such a unit, because if it saved Mac. it’s worth it.
4. Large and continuous load
Burnt chipset or video chip
Macbook can cope with a very large and prolonged load, but only with a working cooling system, which is regularly cleaned. Otherwise, it will overheat, which will cause him to “die”.
To be more precise, not only the chips themselves can fail, but also the “strapping”. auxiliary elements that distribute power to the microcircuit.
A video chip (aka a graphics processor) is the main element, the “heart” of a video card. In modern Mac this chip is on the motherboard.
The chipset is also part of the motherboard, and in some models it also includes a graphics processor. Plus, the chip performs many other important functions. But even if all the chips have survived, the problem can still occur.
Contact may break if overheated Bga-conclusions of the crystal itself and the seating areas on the chip substrate (a mirror square and a textolite square with elements soldered to it).
Even more often and even in the overwhelming majority of cases, the crystal lattice itself fails. Temperature changes its structure, and the chip must be replaced. In this case, the chip shrinkage can temporarily solve the problem, which allows you to partially restore the structure of the crystal lattice or to return the crystal-substrate contact.
But, as a rule, when the graphics fail, the chip needs to be changed to a new one, and the technique itself serves more for diagnostic purposes.
The chip almost always refuses during overloads, especially long ones. There are many options here: you can “burn” the Mac in an exciting gameplay, leave a video to be edited overnight, or render a large project.
A clean cooling system will help here, but it is also not omnipotent. Especially difficult Mac handle overloads in Windows, at least previous versions (maybe also because there are more demanding games for this operating system than for OS X)
5. The device is flooded
The keyboard is the first thing that suffers when hit on Macbook liquids. In this case, it may fail fully or partially. If the power button fails, the laptop simply cannot turn on. Interestingly, this may not happen immediately, but after a long time after the incident.
Therefore, it is cheaper and more reliable to strictly follow the rule: Filled MacBook. go to the service center, even if everything is fine, especially since diagnostics can be done for free anyway.
The keyboard is one of the most vulnerable places in Mac. The easiest way to fill it. Often it dries and works, but even in this case it is at risk and may someday suddenly fail.
The fact is that the keyboard itself has a flexible transparent substrate on which the tracks to each key are separated. It is they that are oxidized. Technically, you can fix the keyboard, but given the labor costs, such work will cost almost as a replacement for a new one.
Often the backlight of the keyboard “saves” everything else. a small amount of moisture penetrating through the keyboard is delayed by the backlight (it is glued to the keyboard quite tightly and has a thick film on the back). This is exactly what happened with my Mac.
Short circuit on the motherboard
If liquid has spilled onto the motherboard, a short circuit may occur on it immediately or after a while. The fault is the oxidation of contacts.
About 40-50% of the devices that are being repaired are flooded or have been flooded ever. Let us once again pay attention to what has already become a well-known fact: contact with moisture will not pass without a trace for almost any device, it doesn’t matter Mac this is, iPad or iPhone.
Oxidation almost always occurs very quickly, especially if you do not physically disconnect the battery from the motherboard. It is simply necessary to do this, but most owners of modern technology hardly have a screwdriver with their beloved on hand Pentalobe, which is now used in almost all new Mac.
Just turning off the laptop is not enough, while the power is still supplied to the board, and the liquid that gets on it acts as an electrolyte. It turns out a home-made battery. the electrolysis reaction is launched, its products appear on conductive elements and paths, and especially small components can be completely destroyed in the process.
Therefore, if you have a suspicion, or you know for sure that water has got inside. MacBook Repair should not be put off. At least you need to check the status. Again. it’s better to play it safe, and contact as soon as possible when the damage is still small, because the farther the more difficult it is to bring the Mac back to life.
Sometimes you have to restore the tracks themselves. Moisture under the microcircuit is particularly difficult. They are not tightly attached to the board, and a microscopic gap is enough to get water there.
Cleaning in an ultrasonic bath in industrial alcohol solves two problems at once. moisture leaves the hard-to-reach places (water is heavier than pure alcohol), and ultrasound allows the oxides to be removed from the surface.
It is also worth noting here that water in itself for electronics is not so dangerous, but from experience, almost everything that gets into Mac. aggressive environments. soda, coffee, sweet tea, alcohol and so on. If the board is disconnected from the battery and the unit, the electrolysis proceeds much more slowly, but in practice the battery is almost always connected.
And we repeat again. Even if right after the incident with your computer everything is in order (at first glance), the technique should still be inspected, because the problem may appear much later when you forget about what happened. And, as practice shows, restoring such laptops is much more difficult (and generally not always possible).
All is well that ends well. that’s for sure
As it turned out, without my knowledge Macbook pro flooded with something like Mojito in the summer on the beach almost a year ago. The liquid was hastily wiped from the body, but it got inside. In the end, the keyboard contacts oxidized, and the power button did not work corny. The keyboard was completely replaced and the laptop came to life. It’s good that the cocktail didn’t get to the motherboard.
While I was drinking coffee and talking with MacPlus specialists, they managed to check the laptop for other problems that were not identified. Escaped with little blood.
How has the Mac ever let you down?
P.S.: for whom everything is bad, we offer replacing the battery on the iPhone, iPad or Mac. in the proven MacPlus service. Use promo code iPhones for a 10% discount on any repairs.
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