If it wasn't bad enough that to have processor and CPU whine, poor Airport reception and solar ambient temperatures, it appears that some early MacBook Pro batteries are now failing.
Christopher Price from PCSIntel.com has uncovered what appears to be a potential issue with the first batch of MacBook Pro batteries.
According to his blog entry "Now The MacBook Pro Batteries..." Chris' MBP battery fried last night and a bit of prodding from AppleCare got the serial number block. AppleCare said there was a known issue with some early MBP batteries and are cross-shipping out new ones to customers having similar symptoms.
MacBook Pro serial numbers up to W8608 are potentially affected by the issue. This means that only the very first two weeks or so of MacBook Pros produced are potentially affected.
In a story on the PowerPage "The MacBook Pro Serial Number Code" I explained how to decode your Mac's serial number: The first two digits are the FactoryID, the third is the year of manufacture and the fourth and fifth digits are the week of manufacture.
A serial number starting with W8607 means that the unit was manufactured in facility W8 (Shanghai China) on the 7th week of 2006. My MBP 2.0GHz begins with W8607 and the full serial number means that it is production number 983 (within this week) according to Chipmunk.nl.
- W8607 - Manufactured: Week of Feb 12, 2006
- W8608 - Manufactured: Week of Feb 19, 2006
Symptoms of a MacBook Pro battery problem include: power level going from a full charge to 90 percent, then immediately off. The battery usually either goes straight to one blinking LED or won't respond at all. Some may experience a significant loss of battery capacity as well.
I have two batteries, one has a 6N606 serial number (original) and the other starts with 6N609 (less than a month old). I have yet to experience any battery problems with them. A quick check of Apple's Discussions forum (MacBook Pro > Power and Batteries on a MacBook Pro) yielded a couple of strange MBP battery oddities, but hardly a pandemic. Let's just hope this isn't the start of the MacBook avian flu.
An aside: Christoph Sinai's excellent Coconut Battery 3.2 beta 7 (direct download) now works with the MacBook Pro and can useful in diagnosing some battery problems.