Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

Summary: 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.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
20

macbook-pro-battery-250.jpgIf 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
- etc..

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.


Topic: Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

20 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The perils of buying a first gen product

    Caveat emptor, especially when buying a first gen product when there's been such a major, major change in technology.
    tic swayback
    • It really has very little to do ...

      ... with what generation technology. The battery technology didn't change!
      ShadeTree
  • Perils?

    I have this MBP and everything is great. Battery life is good, no apparent "whine", and no bright bottom LCD.

    As for caveat emptor... That's such a blanket term. Regardless of the generation, any product can have issues. Let's save this post space for people who have experiences with this issue, not those who marvel in the fact that others might be inconvenienced....
    lfstyl
  • MACBOOKPRO BATTERIES

    my book was manufactured the 12th week of 2006. My battery died
    two weeks ago for no reason. I calibrated the battery according to
    Apple's directions, etc. I never had any problems except it just died
    without warning.

    They replaced it for free but there should be an extended warranty
    package for this. AppleCare does not cover batteries I am told.
    JORTIZ8399@...
  • Don't Buy a Macbook Pro

    The batteries are not the only thing going out on the Macbook Pro.
    I was one of the first to buy this model when Apple released it
    recently. I have been a 'loyal' Apple" customer for 20 years and I
    and my companies have bought hundreds of Apple products. In
    just 3 weeks, the screen of this Macbook Pro cracked NOT due to
    being dropped!! To add insult to injury, Apple rejected my
    warranty and I'm stuck with the US$1,000 replacment bill!!!
    Buyer beware!!! Apple is avoiding responsibility on replacing
    defective merchandise!
    dsmckinney2006
  • laptop battery

    I bought a replacement battery for my Dell laptop about a month ago from http://www.laptopsforless.com/laptopbattery and it works great. Is there any reason to think that a replacement laptop battery would be any worse than the manufacturers? Are there any quality issues to be concerned about?
    GreenApple123
  • laptop follow up question

    my brother has an iBook. which would someone recommend as a better option. going through Apple or buying a replacement battery online like i did?
    GreenApple123
  • MacBook Pro Battery

    I purchased my MacBook Pro back in February of 06 (1st Gen). The battery quit on me a few months ago & thinking this was a common happening, didn't get it replaced until today. I just got back from an Apple Store & although my warranty expired back in February of this year, they swapped it stating, "although your Mac's warranty expired, because this is a battery issue will give you a free replacement". Sweet!
    jameskeam
  • How long should it last?

    I've had my MBP about 2 1/2 years and the battery recently
    went to crap. I got my replacement a few minutes ago
    (UPS/eBay). I didn't think much of it, 2 1/2 years is about
    right for a well used battery.
    willhoyt
    • It should last a while

      According to Apple.com, MBP batteries should hold 80% of their original capacity at 300 cycles. After that, it drops like crazy. My battery after 1 1/2 years (or 187 cycles) was holding only 50% of its original capacity. Only after arguing my case with an Apple "Genius" for 25 minutes did I get a replacement battery. Apple is seriously losing it's niche in a market full of bad customer service.
      dynophreak@...
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    This is so coincidental, but my MacBook Pro (W8607) just
    started losing battery life at an alarming rate. not to zero,
    but if I leave it asleep, closed and not plugged in, it goes
    from 100% to about 20% in maybe an hour. I'd love it if this
    were a real failure of the product - save me $150! Guess I'll
    call Apple...
    nosillacast
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    I tried a number of times through the web support site of apple to get my bad batteries replaced - no answer... I had to phone a paid phone number and the gentleman managed to keep me on line for more than 10 minutes (I had to listen to music!!), to end saying "I am very sorry but they?? cannot replace the batteries for a reason I do not know - you will have to phone back once more" IS THIS APPLE ???or a group of bandits?
    jdk2
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    I recently had my Macbook Pro shutdown hard instead of going to sleep, while my battery showed to still have 20% of juice in it. This continued happening, each time at different battery levels (8%, 15%, and 1%). After reading many articles online covering the issue, I took into the Apple store. The "Genius" tried to convince me that my machine was outside of warranty and I was not eligible for a replacement because my battery did not match the serial numbers he had. After explaining to him that I would find someone above him (corporate offices) to find me a solution, he gave me a new battery. Moral of this story: Don't leave without a battery even if they say NO.
    dynophreak@...
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    Apple service is fantastic. I had a
    failed G5 quad out of warrantee. Apple
    was willing to do telephone help for it
    and when that did not work, they did a
    free repair for it, arranging the repair
    appointment at the same time. When
    the repair was not possible..they gave
    me a brand new Mac Pro...free..Now
    that is service beyond anyone's
    expectation. I am so very impressed.
    nfiertel
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    my mac pro batterie with serial number 86468 does not work at all. Is their a
    recall on the battery for this model?
    Naldrett
    • Mac Book Pro

      I have had the exact problem. Could you please tell me where you
      went where Apple was cooperative with you about this. I need
      your help. I would appreciate it. This has messed up my system
      and they need to take responsibility for the problem.
      Thank You,
      Kelly Brown
      Bankersdirect03@aol.com
      Kellysuebrown
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MACBOOK PRO 17 BATTERY WHICH I PURCHASED IN JULY 2007 FOR $3000. I Thought it was a Very High end machine but can't recall ever having such headaches with a IBM Thinkpad or Dell or HP Laptop. I contacted Apple and they gave me the regular line of this batter is not covered under warranty (only for 1 year). So basically Apple is blaming the Battery Maker (as if the computer has nothing to do with the battery), stating that this is very normal. I went to the apple store on 5th Ave NYC and got the same line from some schmuck calling himself a manager there. Somehow Safety and Customer service is no longer a concern for Apple...only the stock price is. I happened to be on business and took my laptop with the pregnant battery to another Apple Store in Massachusetts, they took (no lie) 3 minutes in simply taking the old battery out and replacing it with a new one (not used or recycled) out of a brand new box in front of me (ALL FREE OF CHARGE). I can't understand the lack of care or concern for safety claiming it's normal for batteries to explode and swell up (as if it's simply a ram chip). Hello!!! am I the only one that sees Apple as a has been...they don't care anymore because the corporate line is to keep charging for products which they know are defective. Oh. I didn't mention that only 1 year and 3 months from my original purchase, that the logic board went out. I only got it replaced through my American Express Card.
    sapwiz@...
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    I went to the Apple store in Burlington, MA (at the mall next to Sears).

    I can't believe that the Flagship store on 5th Ave NYC stalled and wanted to charge me $129 + Tax for a defective battery (who cares whether it's past the 1st year). It's as if they have the inside info that they know this MacBook Pro 17 (mid 2007) has a bunch of defects and are purposely avoiding responsibility because they know it will hurt their profits and reputation (which I thought it was good until now). I'm so angry because I just purchased my 2nd iPhone 3GS, already purchased my 2nd MacBook and feel like I've been taken for a ride with a defective product. Did I mention that it's extremely hot on the palm rest (left of the touchpad). I never experienced such excuses or problems with an IBM ThinkPad or HP or Dell.
    sapwiz@...
  • RE: Silent recall on MacBook Pro batteries

    My 17" MacBook Pro blew up 2 batteries so far...
    happytoygirl
  • Laptop Battery Replacement

    Once the battery is completely drained, recharge it for at least 12 hours without using it. The reason for this is because the battery will hold a charge significantly better than if you do not do this.
    http://www.batteryup.com/
    laptobattery