MBP 33 percent battery bug

MBP 33 percent battery bug

Summary: Something weird has been happening with the battery in my MacBook Pro 2.0 GHz for the past two or three weeks. Several times after carrying my MBP in a bag to or from work it would arrive completely shut down - which is weird because I never shut my machine down, I just put it to sleep. Then that problem morphed into something a little moe serious.

TOPICS: Hardware

macbook-pro-battery-250.jpgSomething weird has been happening with the battery in my MacBook Pro 2.0 GHz for the past two or three weeks. Several times after carrying my MBP in a bag to or from work it would arrive completely shut down - which is weird because I never shut my machine down, I just put it to sleep. Then that problem morphed into something a little more serious.

Three or four times my MBP has completely shut down (without warning) once the battery got depleted to between 28 and 33 percent of its capacity. Last night I was recording the next PowerPage podcast when my MBP ungracefully shut down the moment the battery got to 33 percent. When I flipped it over and pressed the small button to check the battery capacity zero LEDs lit up, not even a single blinking LED. After connecting the AC adapter and rebooting the battery icon in the menu bar showed 28 percent remaining. Ample capacity to keep it running for 20-30 more minutes under normal circumstances.

On 3 May 2006 I wrote about a silent recall of some early MacBook Pro batteries after Christopher Price from PCSIntel.com had uncovered a potential issue with the first batch of MacBook Pro batteries in his blog entry "Now The MacBook Pro Batteries…"

I'm not ready to call this a pandemic and I'm not sure if it's part of any sort of a recall but my MBP is from the first batch (Week 7, SN W8607...) and the battery (SN 6N606...) is the original that it came with so the possibility exists that there is a problem with some of the early batteries.

The support representative that I spoke to was very helpful and was prompt in offering to send me a new battery via an advance exchange. When I asked if this was a known issue, he politely said only he hadn't heard anything about this particular problem, but checked to make sure that the battery he was sending was from a new build that might have fixed some of the minor flaws with initial units.

Have you experienced that 33 percent battery bug in a MBP? Sound off in the TalkBack.

Topic: Hardware

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  • 85% for me!

    mine shuts down at 85%! it has been a nightmare because the
    abrupt shutdowns happen without warning or ability to save. i have
    had to recreate a lot of work.
    • 85% me too

      I realize your post was from nearly a year ago however I am experiencing the same thing. Did you solve the issue? Was it the battery or the power adapter or a bug in the powerbook.

      Thanks for any advise,

    • 90%!!!

      I have been having this issue too from 87% and up it happens, not even doing
      anything intensive just browsing. No warning just a shut off, and that battery
      calibration thing that someone else posted wont work since it requires you to use
      your laptop on battery power until you deplete your battery, which you cant do if it
      shuts off at 90%. 98% of this mbp's life has been in use plugged into the ac power so I
      havent used my battery to death.
  • Macbook Pro batteries

    I ordered my Macbook Pro right after the MacWorld SF 2006 Keynote ended (rushed right back to my room to order on my soon-to-be-replaced original 17" Powerbook G4).

    I received it on time in March. About a week later I experienced the symptoms you're outlining: Macbook suddenly shutdown, battery not recharging past about 28%, disconnecting power supply (even with 28% charge supposedly left) would shut down the Macbook Pro.

    After googling the problem, I found some advice on Apple's site about possible remedies. Nothing worked.

    When I called Apple care, the tech support guy was very nice. Without much delay, he offered to send me a box. I had it within a day or so, and they got my laptop back to me in about a week.

    I haven't had any problems since. Judging by the Apple Care guy's response, Apple seemed to know about this problem fairly early in the game.

  • Happened to me twice.

    It has happened to me twice. I haven't monitored the pct hcarge
    level of my battery, but now I will keep an eye out for it and then
    call apple for a replacement.
  • MBP

    MY MBP has not displayed any problems since it arrived, although my daughter had two keys come off, they were promptly replaced at the local apple store. Now I bought a dual-core Dell Inspiron E1705 which was a nightmare, could not get a enlish speaking tech support, so had to resort to email and then it took 3 days to convince them the Nvidia 7800 video card was not working. They finally replaced the video card and not he can play all those roleplay and shooter games without a glitch. No I like Apple hardware better, even if they don't know diddley about how much thermal paste is too much and cause heat issues for us all. I teach fixing laptops for a non-profit at www.freegeek.org and the Apple's are the best for solid, dependable hardware. Now if they would really open up thier code and let Boot camp triple boot linux and that virus windoze, we could get on with work.
    • you CAN triple boot!

      check out Parallels from http://www.parallels.com - I can run
      Windoze, Linux, Solaris and OSX all at the same time. Two at a
      time is almost no performance hit at all!

      Allison from NosillaCast
      • not the same

        virtualization is not the same as really booting the OS, and doesnt have the same functionality.

        Granted you can actually really triple boot OSX, Linux, and Windows on Intel Macs, you just cant do it with Bootcamp only.
  • Battery problem

    I've had the exact same problem, finding my MacBook Pro turned
    off after being carried even though I never close it but just put it to
    sleep. Mine is also one of the very first ones to be produced.
    Andre Ladouceur
  • 31% and dead

    It's happened twice now. Time for me to call Apple for a
  • Firmware?

    I've seen mentions of battery problems after doing a recent firmware update.

    I'm getting disappointed in Apple lately.
  • same problem: 3 months after purchase

    i've also got one of the early models (serial W8607) and this exact
    same battery problem started happening last week. i get down to
    around 40 minutes worth of remaining power and the MBP just
    switches itself off -- no warning, no saving of work, nothing.

    the processor whine is starting to drive me up the wall but i must
    say the extra heat it gives off is nice on a cold winter morning --
    until it scolds my lap or hands.
    • same problem?

      Got a MBP from W8607 range.

      Since a week it shows the same inexpected shut down when
      running on battery. The first time, the battery dropped to 27%
      before the shut down. Now it is between 97 and 98% which
      means my MBP run no longer than 5 minutes while on battery?

      French AppleCare doesn't aknowledge the problem and directed
      me toward an Apple tech center which asked for a 50 ? fee just
      to manage the case. There wouldn't be any fee if Apple officially
      recognized the battery problem. Nice? :-(
  • I'm on 2nd battery 5 weeks in

    My battery died before my machine was four weeks old. When I mentioned the silent recall to the guy at the Apple Store, he played dumb and then we looked it up on the net and then he found it, but my SN supposedly was not included. After waiting for an eternity for a drop in Genius Bar appointment, I received a new battery
  • Try Calibrating your Battery


    This procedure may help.
    Randy Overbeck
  • battery bug

    same problem here..have had my powerbook for about 4 months
    now, and this last 1 week, its happened twice, the battery is about
    30-35% when the computer simply shuts down with no warning
    whatsoever..whats the best thing to do, anybody?
    Deepa Murali
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  • I have a Dell AC adapter question

    I bought a replacement laptop AC adapter about a month ago for my Dell laptop from http://www.laptopsforless.com/laptopacadapter/dell-acadapter and it works great. Is there any reason to think that a replacement Dell AC adapter would be any less reliable than the manufacturers? With the whole battery fire issue out there, is there any concern with AC adapters?
  • RE: MBP 33 percent battery bug

    I just had my second battery replaced. First battery
    experienced this issue in summer 2008, then again in March
    2009. Both batteries were replaced by Apple Canada.
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