May 3, 2007

Mac battery annoyances

Filed under: Cult of Mac,My Life — Allan @ 8:24 pm

A couple of days ago the Software Update had a battery firmware upgrade (1.2), which seemed like a great idea at the time. It all installed without a hitch and when I rebooted it sat and thought for a while, as I expected it would. All seemed happy in Macland until I popped the power cord out to go sit somewhere else. 3 seconds after pulling the cord, the machine shut down. No warning message, no save now or lose your work, it just died. This was somewhat dissapointing since the battery appeared to be charged. Sometimes, like this morning, I can start it up immediately without the power cable being in, but this evening it wouldn’t start up without being plugged into the power. Of course when it boots it shows the battery as fully charged. Naturally there are useful suggestions on the web, but these all involve running the battery down completely, something I cannot achieve since it shuts itself down at the first hint of trouble.

This may seem like a bitch session, but it’s not. This morning I emailed Digicape and they mailed me back almost immediately and said bring it in we’ll sort it out. I’ve had a few other niggles with the notebook since I got it but I get such great service that it doesn’t really matter. I’ve had an HP NX7010 for about the same period of time as the Mac and that (touch wood) hasn’t given me a single problem (unless you count installing Vista on it, but I think that was more my fault for installing Vista in the first place) but if I had to choose, I’d still take the Mac. I guess if I’d had shoddy service and was perpetually fighting to get my machine sorted out I would have a different outlook, but so far so good.



  1. Before taking it in, it might be worth trying an SMC reset. I had a problem with my MacBook’s iSight that cleared up after doing it and it’s said to fix most power management problems. Instructions on how to do the reset are here:

    Hope it works out.

    Comment by Darren — May 3, 2007 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks Darren, I’ll give that a whirl now. Must just refresh … facebook .. once .. more …

    [Update] gave that a bash and unfortuntely didn’t help. If the AC cable isn’t plugged in and I hit the power button it starts booting, but that only lasts about a half second before it just shuts off. On the plus side the machine seemed to boot a whole lot quicker after the SMC reset thing, but that might just be a placebo effect :)

    Comment by Allan — May 3, 2007 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  3. Pity, I was hoping it would clear it up. I always hate sending anything in to be repaired, it makes me feel so helpless. Still, Apple’s generally pretty quick from what I hear, so hopefully they’ll fix the problem without too much hassle. It may even be the battery (Apple’s had to recall a few Sony-manufacturered batteries lately).

    Incidentally, how did you find Digicape’s service? I’ve bought my stuff from Core’s Apple Store in Sandton till now and haven’t heard of Digicape, but they seem to have a decent site.

    Comment by Darren — May 3, 2007 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  4. Digicape’s service has always been top class. Granted, I’ve never dealt with any of the other Apple dealers in the area so I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but I’ve never had anything but a great experience. And that’s across the board – follow-up call a few days after I bought my MBP to see if everything was OK, and the workshop guys make a huge effort to get you sorted out. I’m gonna pop in there this morning and see what we can sort out.

    Comment by Allan — May 4, 2007 @ 7:38 am | Reply

  5. Nice, it’s always nice to find a company that takes customer service seriously when so many SA businesses don’t seem to know what the phrase means. Did you find out what the cause of the battery problem was?

    Comment by Darren — May 5, 2007 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  6. I didn’t get a chance to get out there on Friday, but on Friday evening I tried firing it up without the AC plugged in and it came on and stayed on. I then kept working until the battery was completely drained, and then left it like that overnight. On Saturday morning I charged it up and so far it seems to be OK. I just popped the AC now and it’s still on as I write this. Battery indicator reckons about 2 hours 24 left, but I’ll keep an eye on it and see how long it actually lasts.

    Comment by Allan — May 6, 2007 @ 7:27 am | Reply

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