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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Fault with MBP security slot?

Fault with MBP security slot?
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drissa
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Jun 27, 2007, 02:23 PM
 
Hi

Two of our MBPs seem to have the same fault: The security slots, which we use with Kensington Microsavers, have worn away, meaning that the Microsaver simply slides out even when locked. They have only been in use for about four months. There seems to be a plastic sleeve around the opening on the MBP - this is the weak point which wears away. This isn't an issue on other laptops we use, which seem to have more robust metal slots.

This seems like a pretty big design fault. We use our machines in youth centres and they won't last long if we can't lock them to something!

Any other experiences of this? I don't imagine Apple could do much about this...
     
peeb
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Jun 27, 2007, 03:45 PM
 
Well, they could replace the relevant part under warranty, at least.
     
drissa  (op)
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Jun 27, 2007, 05:31 PM
 
But would it be possible to? The slot is simply a hole in the main casing.
     
peeb
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Jun 27, 2007, 05:37 PM
 
Then they will have to replace the casing. It sounds like a manufacturing fault.
     
ibook_steve
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Jun 27, 2007, 05:37 PM
 
The bottom case could be replaced, potentially. But this is concerning. I have an older Kensington cable (circa '98 or '99 that still works perfectly) that turns 90 degrees in the security hole when the key is turned, so there is no way it can come out. Do the newer ones not do this or are you saying that it is so worn away that even the 90 degree turn isn't enough to lock it?

Steve
     
ghporter
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Jun 27, 2007, 09:23 PM
 
I too am curious. I have a Core Duo MBP, and its slot is a Kensington -standard oval. The lock goes in and rotates 90ยบ to secure the lock to the case. The area is also supposed to be reinforced to keep the lock end from pulling through. This simple but robust design is very reliable and has been for years.

Can you post a picture of the defective slot and your lock? I'd like to see this.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
drissa  (op)
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Nov 22, 2007, 03:53 PM
 
Sorry to suddenly drag this one up again. Was just looking through some old threads. Here is a picture of the damaged slot -



And these are the Microsavers we're using -



Although they rotate 90 degrees, it still doesn't provide enough to hold the lock in the slot. Pretty worrying. I can't see what anyone could actually do...
     
ibook_steve
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Nov 22, 2007, 05:01 PM
 
OK, that slot is completely mangled. No wonder it doesn't work anymore. Hate to say, but this is not a design fault, it's user error. To engage or disengage the lock, you should turn the outer cylinder with the key, not twist the main part of the lock so hard that it does this. This kind of mangling would require a lot of effort to a thief.

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
~bash $
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Nov 22, 2007, 06:05 PM
 
I agree in the sense that it should be treated fairly delicately. That lock slot looks like someone tried to wrestle the lock away from it.
     
drissa  (op)
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Nov 22, 2007, 09:12 PM
 
Sorry guys, but I've been keeping an eye on these machines and they haven't been misused. This is general wear and tear - but after only a few months. The Microsavers were locked and unlocked properly each time they were used. We have other plastic-cased PC laptops which have been secured in a similiar way for a couple of years and show no sign of wear and tear.

Also, note the white wrap around the opening of the slot - that isn't part of the case, but some kind of trimming, maybe even plastic. When this wears away - and it seems bound to happen - the slot becomes larger.

One of the MBPs received some pressure above the optical drive slot - not ideal, but nothing that a top-of-range machine shouldn't be able to take: The casing bent slightly and the drive became unusable until I bent it back open. I'm not convinced that aluminium is the best choice...
     
ghporter
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Nov 23, 2007, 06:11 PM
 
If the lock is properly fitted, as in when locked there is zero play between the lock body and the computer case, then it CANNOT cause this sort of wear. The only way this can happen is from play between the lock body and the case. As I pointed out earlier, other locks like the DefCon lock I got my wife, have shims you install to make sure that NOTHING gets between the lock and the computer. In that configuration, you can't move the lock at all until the "T" piece is completely in the unlocked position. Otherwise, any kind of nonlinear movement of the lock can chew up the slot pretty easily. I think that's what happened to your computer, drissa.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
MacosNerd
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Nov 23, 2007, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by drissa View Post
Sorry guys, but I've been keeping an eye on these machines and they haven't been misused. This is general wear and tear - but after only a few months.
Even if it is as you said not abuse but wear and tear, that means its not going to be covered anyways.

Apple only warranties defective equipment, not any damage resulting from abuse or wear and tear.

btw, those pictures you posted really makes a case for user damage and if I were an apple tech (which I'm not) I'd say that was the case and not honor the warranty.
     
drissa  (op)
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Nov 28, 2007, 06:00 AM
 
Three machines, all in the same state and all between 5 and 3 months old? Our other laptops receive more abuse because they're used for outreach work in youth centres, but they show no signs of wear at the lock. I think the hard plastic shells are better for this sort of contact that aluminium. Our gear is used daily and needs to be able to put up with being locked and unlocked.

I think it's inevitable that the lock will come into contact with the sides of the slot when locking and unlocking (the body of the locking mechanism needs to be held).

Anyhow, thanks for feedback. I'll look into the alternative locking devices mentioned.
     
   
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