Apple MagSafe failure prevents work from getting done

Apple MagSafe failure prevents work from getting done

Summary: Apple's new MagSafe A/C adapter currently has my MacBook Pro acting like a brick as it is unusable with a dead battery and no way to charge it back up. A visit to the Apple Store is planned that will hopefully result in successful replacement of the defective part, but I am just having lots of bad luck with Apple products lately and may be bypassing them out of frustration. Are Apple products really high quality or is the sleek design just making things seem better than they really are?

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple
6

I have had an Apple MacBook Pro since April of 2006 and a couple days ago I noticed the insulation on the A/C adapter cable at the end that attaches to the MagSafe connector starting to seperate. I was on a business trip to Florida and needed to keep using the MacBook Pro and every day the cable condition worsened. And today when I arrived home from work and tried to use my MacBook I found that the computer was dead and the MagSafe adapter refused to charge at all. I called Apple support and was told I would have to bring the adapter into my local Apple store to see what they could do for me and I plan to stop by tomorrow. I hope they replace the adapter because I should not have to pay US$79 for another adapter when the failure was no fault of mine. As anyone who has purchased or seen my gear, I take pristine care of everything and never pulled on my cable to remove it so this is definitely a defect. After looking into the issue some more I actually found feedback on the Apple Store site where the problem seems to be quite popular. There are also several reports of the MagSafe melting.

MagSafe failure

On this same business trip last week I brought my 1st generation iPod shuffle to use while I went running. I plugged it into my computer to charge it and just saw the dreaded green and orange flashing lights. I tried everything mentioned in this forum and it looks like my shuffle is dead. You will find several discussion threads, like this one on the Apple website so this seems to be a very common issue. I only listened to it for about 100 hours over the last couple years and think this is unacceptable. My daughter also had an iPod mini that was used for a total of about 20 hours when the motherboard died. I paid US$99 to replace it and then a month after that the hard drive died and I broke some small piece trying to replace it myself. My willingness to purchase Apple products is definitely soured by my latest experiences and at this time it is highly unlikely I will make an Apple iPod purchase anytime soon.

UPDATE: I made my appointment with an Apple Genius and stopped by my local Apple store. The good news is that the adapter is under warranty, but the bad news is they did not have any left in stock due to others who also had failures. I should hopefully be back in action with my MBP in 1 to 3 days and already miss the Mac OS X on this sweet laptop. 

Topic: Apple

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

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • This is fairly common

    with most notebook power adapters. I have had it happen on several HP's as well. Basically, whenever you bend a cord back and forth a million times, its going to break. Its unfortunate that it happened at such a bad time, but it is in its 1 year warranty, so it should ge replaced unless they feel it was abused (the connector in the photo looks pretty beat up).
    Stuka
    • Fairly uncommon with Magsafe

      The point of Magsafe is that it breaks away from the computer when pulled.
      Hence the stress on this part of the cord is eliminated. I administer about 50
      MacBooks, with some people who are notorious for abusing their power cords,
      and none of the Magsafe cables have broken like this.

      There's more to this guy's user habits than he's admitting. The cord should just
      break-away, not fray-away. If it's faulty, then why doesn't he take it back to Apple
      under his one-year warrantee. If his warrantte is expired, then why did he wait so
      long (this damage didn't happen overnight).

      This guy's just whining and putting out FUD press conveniently timed with the
      release of Vista.
      YinToYourYang-22527499
      • it's not from pulling on it... it's from being bent over and over...

        it's from bending it in the same location when you fold up the cord to put it away... don't bend the end of the cable like that at the weakest point where it attached to the plug. i assume you fold the cord into a long [i]hot dog shape[/i].. well over time, if you bend metal in the same place over and over again (not abuse just folding it up to put it away) it will eventually fail.. if you want your cords to not fail like this don't bend it right at the end of the cord like that, and even better roll the cord into a circular shape and this will never happen to you

        that being said.. it looks like apple should put a stress relief (thick plastic sheath that prevent bending) at the end of this cord and the chance of this happening would pretty much drop to zero... may be a case of them wanting it to look sleek and not guarding against users crimping the cord at this weak point over and over...
        doctorSpoc
  • Abused cable

    That cable didn't get that way overnight. It looks like a dog's chew toy.

    I suggest getting Dell equipment. Then their hardware can be the public focus of
    your abusive habits and whining.
    YinToYourYang-22527499
    • Actually happened over a couple of days

      Honestly, I NEVER pull on my cables and don't try testing the magnetic release mechanism. It has actually only happened once in 8 months that someone went through my cable and had it release. My cable looks almost just like the one in the photo and the failure came about over a 3-4 day period where it kept separating farther and farther apart with more fraying every day. And this is with only using my MacBook Pro for about 3 hours in the evenings.

      I am going to the Apple store today to hopefully get a replacement, but with the gentle way I treat my devices and gear I was blown away by how easily this cable failed. I like my MacBook Pro very much and will keep using it and hope the next cable doesn't fail like this.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • iPod

    oops, forgot to comment on the iPod. Its possible you just need to replace the battery. Lack of use will kill a battery much much faster than heavy use. As for the iPod Mini, did she buy it used? 20 hours is nothing, and should have been covered by warranty, unless she actually had it for more than a year with only 20 hours of use. I have had my Mini since they came out, and listen to it about 5-6 hours a week since I bought it. I still have the original battery (although its starting to show its age with less run time) and no other issues. So while I have heard of people having issues, most people I know have had a near flawless experience with their iPods.
    Stuka