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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > MacBook Sudden Shutdown

MacBook Sudden Shutdown (Page 6)
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Oct 7, 2006, 10:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by sieb
This just forces it to run at 1Ghz but pretty much any load will trip it and shut down.
Well, in this mode I can run for days without an RSS; without it I rarely last longer than an hour, sometimes not longer than 5 minutes.

And I am running a pretty heavy load all day long... Parallels running Windows, Visual Studio, Word, Visio, IE, and several other processes plus on the Mac side QuickBooks, Apple Mail, Mac Word, Palm, iChat, iPhoto, Mac Excel, Preview, Safari, and so on.

So, "this just" is a lifesaver for me... I cannot afford to be without the machine for long.

Of course, YMMV.
Mac Nut since before color Macs, working for UT Austin Microcenter supporting Mac users
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 12:19 AM
 
TomR & Pheonixash, what are your production week numbers?
(Fourth & fifth digits in serial# XXX00XXXXXX)
Has anyone got an older than week 32 with RSS?
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 06:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by acoustix
TomR & Pheonixash, what are your production week numbers?
(Fourth & fifth digits in serial# XXX00XXXXXX)
Has anyone got an older than week 32 with RSS?

Mine is 20. I'll add that I will call Apple on Monday. Strange, I've had this for quite a while now and all of a sudden this starts...

Tom
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 06:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by TomR
Mine is 20. I'll add that I will call Apple on Monday. Strange, I've had this for quite a while now and all of a sudden this starts...
Well, that's just the way it is. Mine is a week 20 too and up to about two weeks from now I never had a RSS. Now it get it as soon as it gets warm (or I hook it up to my ACD).
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 07:11 AM
 
I have widely researched and read everything available on this topic and the most promising leads are the two guys (one of them is here, sieb on the previous page) that have opened theirs up and insulated their burnt (and presumably shorting) wires connected to the heat sink. They both say that their units are now functioning properly; their unit's future behaviour will be the most telling. One other fellow claims to have a unit with a new logic board and new heatsink assembly that started to act up again after it's repair. There was one mention of Apple "recalling the heatsink assembly" but that can safely be dismissed as bulls***t. Many say the whole "heatsink shorting against the thermistors" doesn't explain their RSS as it only happens when the machine is cool and is woken up after a (long and cool) sleep and never when running full out. More questions than answers so far.
Here is the second guy who "got under the hood"... it is found at this link:

Random Macbook Shutdowns. Solved. At Last. Hopefully. Martin Backschat’s Blog

Adam Dachis Says:
September 15th, 2006 at 4:02 pm
I called Apple on Wednesday (September 13th) and found out that they 1) will not repair the machines in the Apple Store (even though they do full repairs there in 48 hours if you’re a Pro Care member) and 2) insist on a 2-week turn-around to fix it. How are they fixing it? Replacing the logic board. Then I started reading about how people were getting it back multiple times with the problem still unresolved. I use my machine at work and it’s a pain in the ass to have it gone for 2 days, let alone 2 weeks.
So based on all of that I decided I’d rather fix it myself.And I did, with the help of a coworker. We had no idea where the heat sensor cable was (why are there no detailed instructions anywhere?) and had to look around for quite awhile, but we eventually found it. It’s on the left side of the heat sink, is very thin, and to find the fried part you have to actually unscrew the heat sink and fan, at least partially, and look under it. We applied the tape and not only does it not shut down anymore (it was doing it consistently after being on for just a few minutes, if not even more often) but it also regulates the fans properly. If you’re skeptical, you’re wrong. This works and is so much better than losing your machine for half a month with potentially no results.
( Last edited by acoustix; Oct 8, 2006 at 07:20 AM. )
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 08:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by acoustix
I have widely researched and read everything available on this topic and the most promising leads are the two guys (one of them is here, sieb on the previous page) that have opened theirs up and insulated their burnt (and presumably shorting) wires connected to the heat sink. They both say that their units are now functioning properly; their unit's future behaviour will be the most telling. One other fellow claims to have a unit with a new logic board and new heatsink assembly that started to act up again after it's repair. There was one mention of Apple "recalling the heatsink assembly" but that can safely be dismissed as bulls***t. Many say the whole "heatsink shorting against the thermistors" doesn't explain their RSS as it only happens when the machine is cool and is woken up after a (long and cool) sleep and never when running full out. More questions than answers so far.
Here is the second guy who "got under the hood"... it is found at this link:

Random Macbook Shutdowns. Solved. At Last. Hopefully. � Martin Backschat’s Blog

Adam Dachis Says:
September 15th, 2006 at 4:02 pm
I called Apple on Wednesday (September 13th) and found out that they 1) will not repair the machines in the Apple Store (even though they do full repairs there in 48 hours if you’re a Pro Care member) and 2) insist on a 2-week turn-around to fix it. How are they fixing it? Replacing the logic board. Then I started reading about how people were getting it back multiple times with the problem still unresolved. I use my machine at work and it’s a pain in the ass to have it gone for 2 days, let alone 2 weeks.
So based on all of that I decided I’d rather fix it myself.And I did, with the help of a coworker. We had no idea where the heat sensor cable was (why are there no detailed instructions anywhere?) and had to look around for quite awhile, but we eventually found it. It’s on the left side of the heat sink, is very thin, and to find the fried part you have to actually unscrew the heat sink and fan, at least partially, and look under it. We applied the tape and not only does it not shut down anymore (it was doing it consistently after being on for just a few minutes, if not even more often) but it also regulates the fans properly. If you’re skeptical, you’re wrong. This works and is so much better than losing your machine for half a month with potentially no results.

We need PHOTOS!


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Oct 8, 2006, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by TomR
We need PHOTOS!


Tom
THERE ARE PHOTOS. Either in this thread or a different one, I shall find them and post the link
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by sieb
Instead of waiting for the store to send my macbook off, I instead fixed the problem myself. Warranty? meh..

Popped the top off and looked around. Sure enough, the two wires that go to the thermal sensors on the rear of the heatsink had melted TO the side of the heatsink next to the processors. I dismantled it and carefully seperated the wires from the heatsink, they were melted together themselves. I then reassembled it using Arctic Silver paste on the cores (covers the processor and northbridge) and rerouted the wires around the mount for the heatsink so they were not in contact with it. Runs like a champ now!

I took pics, if anyone is interested in seeing it, I'll throw them up on Flickr.
Originally Posted by seanc
I'm interested in the pics, link?
Originally Posted by sieb
There.
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc
THERE ARE PHOTOS. Either in this thread or a different one, I shall find them and post the link

DUH! My bad, you're right. sorry about that!

Brain fart.

Tom
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 12:11 PM
 
How much is involved getting to that heat sink? A few screws? Is there a disassemble site we can see what needs to be removed to get to it? We just have to isolate the wire right? Not sure I want to send this in and wait but if the sink is easy to get to and now much hassle I may try to do this myself.

Tom
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 12:14 PM
 
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 12:34 PM
 

Thanks for that! 26 screws need removal to get to the area under the top case. OY! I wouldn't want to go any further than that though. I wonder if wrapping some electrical tape around that wire would solve it? Just to get it off that metal. I'm just thinking out loud here...

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Oct 8, 2006, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by TomR
Thanks for that! 26 screws need removal to get to the area under the top case. OY! I wouldn't want to go any further than that though. I wonder if wrapping some electrical tape around that wire would solve it? Just to get it off that metal. I'm just thinking out loud here...

Tom
Well I *think* there are two wires which have fused together and short out or something. I'd assume you need to separate the wires from each other, insulate them, and re-route them.
     
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Oct 8, 2006, 08:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by kennedy
To get it to start, hold down the power key until the sleep light starts blinking rapidly (takes about 10 seconds of holding), then release. You'll get a long loud tone. Then it'll boot. And it will run MUCH more reliably in that mode (though still not 100%; save OFTEN). Go to Energy Saver and set your machine to NEVER sleep... because it leaves that mode when it wakes from sleep. (The screen and drive can both sleep, just don't let the Mac sleep.)

If you're lucky, you've got an Apple Store nearby. Call them, tell them you have the Random Sudden Shutdown problem, and ask them to order the parts they need and call you when they arrive. Then you can bring your machine in and have it back in a few hours.

If you aren't so lucky, then you're going to have to mail it in to get fixed.

NOTE: My machine was still RSS'ing after the fix attempt. I'll bring it in for another try next week.
Well its in the shop now (Tampa Apple Store) and will be back within the week (hopefuly sooner). I'm using my old iBook G4 now but what sucks is that all of my (school) files are on it. (gggggggrrrrrrrrrr!) Oh well ....
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Oct 9, 2006, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc
Well I *think* there are two wires which have fused together and short out or something. I'd assume you need to separate the wires from each other, insulate them, and re-route them.
There are indeed two wires as per my pictures. I did not see any "little wire under the heatsink" as the other guy stated in his repairs. The processor core itself should have either an on die sensor or its right underneath the processor on the motherboard. These two wires I found were detachable from the motherboard and connected to the rear of the heatsink by the fins. One I think was on the heatpipe itself. These two were fused to each other as well as the side of the heatsink.

When I separated them from the heatsink, the shielding was brittle and could expose the wire inside but only if you bent it just right. I separated the wires apart enough to let me reroute them and I haven't had any problems yet. The fans still operate as normal. I played Defcon and Company of Heros in Windows (bootcamp) and it went full bore and played fine. Before, it would shutdown when I just had Defcon sitting at the main screen.

The hardest part is just taking all the screws out to get the top of the case off. Once its off, you take 6 screws (I think) out from around the heatsink and the three screws from around the fan. Unplug the two sensors from the motherboard (pull up on the top of the little black squares), and gently lift the heatsing up at an angle towards the screen. You will have to separate the black film/tape that connects the fan to the fins. Then finally wiggle the fins out from under the edge of the case.

You will HAVE to clean off the processor grease and apply new when reassembling. I always use Arctic Silver (I build alot of machines and always have a couple tubes). This should be applied as a THIN FILM on the cores and the underside of the heatsink where the cores touch it (don't coat the entire thing).
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Oct 9, 2006, 10:59 AM
 
Thanks sieb.

Surely you could follow an ifixit guide (MacBook Disassembly: MacBook Parts) guide to take it apart? They usually have screw guides so that you can keep track of the screws which is helpful.
     
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Oct 9, 2006, 02:25 PM
 
Just found this over at Thinksecret...I haven't seen these serial numbers mentioned anywhere else...
It's dated September 8th.

Think Secret - Mac mini quietly updated; Apple addresses MacBook shut-off issues

MacBook shut-off addresed

A vocal minority of MacBook owners experiencing intermittent shut down issues with their systems for the last two months will be pleased to hear that Apple is acknowledging and addressing the issue.

Apple recently notified service providers that customers who report experiencing the random shut-down problem should submit their systems for evaluation and that Apple will replace the faulty parts in systems deemed affected by the flaw. Parts affected by the issue are said to include the logic board and heatsink.

Affected MacBooks span the serial number range 4H617-4H635. Apple expects repairs on affected MacBooks to begin early next week.
     
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Oct 9, 2006, 02:32 PM
 
Week 17 - 35 which means anything after should be fine
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 03:44 PM
 
This is now happening to me. Did anybody discover a solution?
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by frankthetank966
This is now happening to me. Did anybody discover a solution?
Yeah go to an apple store. Or you can attempt a repair yourself and void your warranty.
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Oct 10, 2006, 04:13 PM
 
My Macbook is on it's way back home now. Hopefully this fixes the issue.
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 04:56 PM
 
I have a black macbook and a couple times it has randomly shut down, but only when disconnected from the wall charger. I just read the article here: Think Secret - Mac mini quietly updated; Apple addresses MacBook shut-off issues and it said: Affected MacBooks span the serial number range 4H617-4H635.

Mine is 4H636.... so what does that tell me?
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 05:05 PM
 
Just to throw my bit in, I took my Macbook (white,2.0gHz,) in to the local Apple repair centre on 20th Sept to have the orange plastics replaced. The technican said they would run a soak test on the machine for 4 days to see if it suffered from the random shut down fault that Apple had identified. When asked why, he said that the Macbooks had 2 problems.
1. A cable running past the heatsink which was being damaged by excessive heat.
2.Defective logic boards on certain machines (sorry did'nt ask which ones).
The machine was booked in for 10 days while I was on holiday so it was not an excuse to keep it in longer so have no reason to think it was b/s**t.
The only problem I have now is airport droping connection and slow loading of web pages sometimes...............some of that could be my crappy isp tho......good old Bulldog Broadband !!
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 05:33 PM
 
that sucks... What exactly is the orange plastic? Anywyas if it does continue I will send it in for sure. But right now it has only done it once. I repaired permission and I am about to run cocktail. Hopefully one will help.
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
Trackpad and surrounding plastic went an orange colour........another known fault.....all fine now everything is all shiny white !!...........just have to sort out airport??
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 09:01 PM
 
Apple is NOT responsible for the sudden shut-downs. They are the computer's defensive reaction to a series of bad batteries SONY has made this year. Please calm down! I have heard the computers were sent in, but experienced problems later anyway. Well, MacBook is a new type of computer. A part of it is PC and Macintosh combined, so I hear. And...really, SONY is the one to blame. You can't just change the battery and solve the problems, the computer adjusted something b/c of it, I believe, and so it has to be re-adjusted. Alright! Yeah, I'm very displeased that this happened. However, I know what it's like to start new computers and then have some freaking battery company screw up. I hope this makes you a bit more understanding of the problem.
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 09:06 PM
 
Do you think they will recall?
     
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Oct 10, 2006, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Greenfire
Apple is NOT responsible for the sudden shut-downs. They are the computer's defensive reaction to a series of bad batteries SONY has made this year. Please calm down! I have heard the computers were sent in, but experienced problems later anyway. Well, MacBook is a new type of computer. A part of it is PC and Macintosh combined, so I hear. And...really, SONY is the one to blame. You can't just change the battery and solve the problems, the computer adjusted something b/c of it, I believe, and so it has to be re-adjusted. Alright! Yeah, I'm very displeased that this happened. However, I know what it's like to start new computers and then have some freaking battery company screw up. I hope this makes you a bit more understanding of the problem.
What a load of crap. Firstly, my computer doesn't have a Sony battery. And computers cannot adjust and be re-adjusted for a battery. It's a machine, not a human form.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 01:38 AM
 
Don't feed the trolls.
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Oct 11, 2006, 01:00 PM
 
Well, it just keeps getting better; besides the fact that it has it's own website named after it, it seems that no matter what anybody proposes or suggests as the "final solution" for RSS, there is someone, somewhere who says: "No, I did that and it still occurs."

Macbook Random Shutdown Blog Archive : Final Fix: Heat Sink Final Fix: Heat Sink
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
Well I got my Macbook back, sans all my data . I did do a backup, but it still pisses me off to no end that I have to reinstall everything. What possible purpose does that serve?

Anyways, they replaced the heatsink with part M42 1.0MM connect APP-603-9857
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 01:07 PM
 
What type of backup did you do? If you cloned your drive just clone it back.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc
What type of backup did you do? If you cloned your drive just clone it back.
No clone, I just copied all of my documents and such over to a PC.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 03:53 PM
 
Hard to know what to believe anymore, but this is interesting...

"Definitely want to wait before preaching success, BUT it is important to note that repairs done a month ago were not with the newly designed heatsink that is currenty being used for repairs.

I had my heatsink and topcase replaced last week. According to Apple it’s a new heatsink design that shipped to service providers around SEP 20th. There will be no more logic board replacements to fix RSD."

Macbook Random Shutdown Blog Archive : They fixed my MacBook!! They fixed my MacBook!!
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by iamwiz82
No clone, I just copied all of my documents and such over to a PC.
And that is not a backup.

If you would have backed up properly you wouldn't have to go through any hassle.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 04:20 PM
 
My macbook suffered from the RSS. I sent in to applecare in aug and they replaced the logic board. This did not fix the problem. I sent it in again last week (end of september) and they replaced the heat sink with what I believe is the newly designed heat sink. So far, the problem is fixed. I think they finally have this issue solved, but I worry about all those who purchased a macbook before the end of september.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by horrorbiz
I have a black macbook and a couple times it has randomly shut down, but only when disconnected from the wall charger. I just read the article here: Think Secret - Mac mini quietly updated; Apple addresses MacBook shut-off issues and it said: Affected MacBooks span the serial number range 4H617-4H635.

Mine is 4H636.... so what does that tell me?

It turns out mine was a software issue. The hardware is fine. My macbook had a problem going to sleep.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 09:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
And that is not a backup.

If you would have backed up properly you wouldn't have to go through any hassle.
And can you explain how?

Let's forget for a minute that Apple reformatted the drive for no reason, something I have NEVER seen HP or Dell do and I've been in IT for quite a while.
     
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Oct 11, 2006, 09:50 PM
 
how do you guys tell what week the MacBook was made? What weeks are effected?
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Oct 12, 2006, 12:30 AM
 
Blue Apple in upper left-hand corner of screen>About this Mac>More info>Hardware overview>Serial number.....XXX00XXXXXX
The 4th & 5th numbers are your build week.
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 12:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by horrorbiz
It turns out mine was a software issue. The hardware is fine. My macbook had a problem going to sleep.
Thanks for the update...Please keep us posted on any new developments.
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by iamwiz82
And can you explain how?
Let's forget for a minute that Apple reformatted the drive for no reason, something I have NEVER seen HP or Dell do and I've been in IT for quite a while.
Well no, let's not forget that. HP and Dell do a lot differently than Apple. And we're all glad about that. You do not know what reason Apple had to do the format. And since the format takes time and costs money, there's a pretty good chance they did it for a good reason and not just to screw you.

That all said, in the end Apple did that because they and you know they can. Because they tell every user to backup his/her stuff properly before sending it in. And they even give you the tools to do it for free with every Mac. If you don't do it and you lose stuff or time, it's definitely not Apple's fault.

Here's how you do the inexpensive and hassle-free OS X backup:
• go to /Applications/DiskUtility
• select your Mac's internal HD
• select the 'Restore' tab
• drag the internal HD into the 'Source' box
• drag an external FW/USB HDD or a network volume into the 'Destination' box
• select 'Erase Destination'
• hit 'Restore' button

Done. And when you get your Mac back from repair, you boot from the backup disk or from the Install DVD, open DiskUtility and do the reverse process. Within a few minutes your system will be back to the exact state it was when you backed it up. Free, simple, no hassle.
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by acoustix
Well, it just keeps getting better; besides the fact that it has it's own website named after it, it seems that no matter what anybody proposes or suggests as the "final solution" for RSS, there is someone, somewhere who says: "No, I did that and it still occurs."

Macbook Random Shutdown � Blog Archive : Final Fix: Heat Sink � Final Fix: Heat Sink
My girlfriend got her Macbook back from repair, and they just replaced the heat sink and it's running perfect again.

Additionally, we have an AppleCare tech at work and he told me it is indeed just the heat sink that needs to be replaced.
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Oct 12, 2006, 03:05 AM
 
Apple has just recently advised all AASPs to only replace the heatsink assembly and not the entire motherboard. They will not replace motherboards under warranty for RSS.
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 03:55 AM
 
That should save them quite a bit of money.

And if it works, then great!

By the way, Simon, what is the significance of the emboldened parts in your signature? Does that mean that's the computer you're currently using? Just wondering.
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Oct 12, 2006, 08:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by acoustix
Blue Apple in upper left-hand corner of screen>About this Mac>More info>Hardware overview>Serial number.....XXX00XXXXXX
The 4th & 5th numbers are your build week.
Then mine is week 29
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Oct 12, 2006, 03:09 PM
 
O.K., mystery solved....
All the following is from "MacTalk Australia", linked below...

"It seem all the problem lies with 2 small connectors that bake under the enclosed heat on the Macbook (the Mac book Pro has more space and 2 fans) these connects then lose contact with their pins
These leads solder onto the Heatsink side and could easily be replaced, but
they have created brand new heat sinks, with new connectors on the end of the wires (old ones are black, new ones are white) we inspected the 2 heat sinks for nearly an hour and there is no other difference

The new Heatsinks follow a preference system

70% going to machines manufacted after Sept 2006
20% go to the USA for repairs to warranty claims
10% go to the rest of the world

132 units arrived in Australia this week
enough for only a very small percentage of claims
My friend informs me his part arrived at his Nextbyte store at 4pm and the tech fixed it on the spot and he had it back in his hands by 5pm
Machine has been working flat out since then and 8 hrs later no problems

Again from the horses mouth
The heat is what bakes the plugs in the first place from then on heat no longer is the problem, the macbook can shoot down on a cold start up, so heat has nothing to do with it
It has nothing to do with the heat sinks
It is the 2 plugs that fit onto the logic board, they loose contact after a while
when the message from the heat sink is not recieved the Macbook does what it is designed to do: shut down
this is why on the new heat sinks only the 2 sockets have been changed
all unit that have be been fixed with the new heat sinks are working faultlessly
4 Mac Technicians have all said
It is not if your Macbook fails
but when?
Usual life is 2-3 months
then Kaput
The problem is identified."

MacTalk Australia - Latest MacBook Problems - MacTalk Forums
MacTalk Australia - Latest MacBook Problems - MacTalk Forums
MacTalk Australia - Latest MacBook Problems - MacTalk Forums
     
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Oct 12, 2006, 07:04 PM
 
^^^I'll wait for another 2-3 months before I draw conclusions ....
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Oct 13, 2006, 01:47 AM
 
I just ordered a refurbished MacBook a couple of days ago. I am curious, since it is a refurbished model, it has undergone all of Apple's tests and what not, would they have replaced the heatsink and fixed any other known problems on it? They give it a new serial number too once it's been refurbished. I hope mine isn't f*cked when I get it. I feel uneasy about ordering one now...
..13" MacBook Pro | 2.53gHz | 4gb RAM | 320gb Seagate Momentus XT | OSX.6.6.. // iPhone 4 32gb
     
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Oct 13, 2006, 02:37 AM
 
Re: people who claim it hasn't been fixed even though their MB's guts were swapped

A friend recently talked to me about how he just got his MB back form repair and he just experienced another random shutdown. However, it was a single incident and we couldn't reproduce it even when running at full 100% load for a half hour. After a while I had some doubts also because what he said he was doing at the time didn't sound like anything that would heat up his MB. I asked him if he had been running on AC power. He said, no, it was the battery. I checked to see if his battery was still fitting nice and snug. It was. And then I realized that maybe he had to redo his battery calibration and what had appeared to be an RSS was actually just a system with an uncalibrated battery that ran down and shut off. He recalibrated his battery and ever since has not had a single problem - RSS is definitely gone.
     
 
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