MacBook Pro 'Service Battery' Warning

Discussion in 'UK Macs' started by Mike Edwards, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Mike Edwards

    Mike Edwards Guest

    My 26 month old MacBook Pro 13" (Summer 2009 model) has started coming
    up with the 'Service Battery' warning under the battery info menu.

    A quick check with coconutBattery shows that the current capacity of the
    battery as 4091 mAh compared to the design capacity of 5450 mAh, i.e.
    down to 75% of it's original capacity.

    It tells me that it has been through 937 battery load cycles in that
    time, hence the reason for the reduced battery life.

    According to the 'Genius' in the AppleStore the new internal battery
    would be £99 (incl. vat) and they would have to fit it as they can't
    sell serviceable items.

    The same guy also told me the batteries are only designed for 1000
    cycles and whilst I may get slightly more than that the battery will
    simply stop working once it gets over the 1000 cycles level.

    Before I go back in and speak to his manager to point out that he is
    being a pleb I thought I should at least check whether anyone else has
    experienced this behaviour from a recent MacBook?

    Thanks.
     
    Mike Edwards, Oct 17, 2011
    #1
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  2. Mike Edwards

    Stephen Moll Guest

    My older MacBook Pro with removable battery is reporting a similar thing. Capacity down 75%. I don't recall the number of cycle but it is no where near as many as yours, but I do recall it being over the maximum recommended of cycles.

    Mine hasn't stopped working, but I suppose it is conceivable that a newer machine may have firmware in the battery to inhibit it from working, although I doubt that would actually happen. If the battery still has usable capacity and it meets a users needs, why should they be forced to change it?

    The issue I have, is that the auto-sleep functionality of the machine doesn't seem to work any more. The computer doesn't issue warnings about remaining capacity being low, and doesn't go to sleep gracefully when there is toolittle charge to keep running, it simply dies completely. I have tried following the steps to recalibrate the battery, but matters have not improved,which suggests that one or more individual cells in the battery are now defective and cause a massive cliff drop in Voltage, which the computer doesn't have time to respond to properly.

    In essence, I suspect (but cannot guarantee) that the battery will still provide power once it is over 1000 cycles, but like mine may have undesirableeffects on the operation of the machine. In my case I just live with it, and I'm careful not to let the level go much below 35%, as I think it is about 30% when it dies.

    I don't suppose anyone knows of a utility that permits changing the level at which the machine goes to sleep do they?
     
    Stephen Moll, Oct 17, 2011
    #2
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  3. Mike Edwards

    Tim Hodgson Guest

    Stephen Moll <> wrote:

    > I don't suppose anyone knows of a utility that permits changing the
    > level at which the machine goes to sleep do they?


    SmartSleep <www.jinx.de>, though it appears to cost £4 now - I'm pretty
    sure it was free when I got it...

    --
    TimH
    pull tooth to reply by email
     
    Tim Hodgson, Oct 17, 2011
    #3
  4. Mike Edwards

    Tim Hodgson Guest

    Tim Hodgson <> wrote:

    > Stephen Moll <> wrote:
    >
    > > I don't suppose anyone knows of a utility that permits changing the
    > > level at which the machine goes to sleep do they?

    >
    > SmartSleep <www.jinx.de>, though it appears to cost £4 now - I'm pretty
    > sure it was free when I got it...


    Correction: £4 from esellerate, £2.49 from the App store. Ain't
    capitalism great.

    --
    TimH
    pull tooth to reply by email
     
    Tim Hodgson, Oct 17, 2011
    #4
  5. On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 04:16:18 -0700 (PDT), Stephen Moll
    <> wrote:

    >I don't suppose anyone knows of a utility that permits changing the level at which the machine goes to sleep do they?


    Are you happy with a tiny bit of work at the terminal?

    http://www.macworld.com/article/53471/2006/10/sleepmode.html

    I recently switched my MBP from default "safe sleep" mode 3 to
    old-style mode 0, because I went to SSD and don't want 8gig of data
    written every time I sleep it.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    "A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then
    quietly strangled." - Sir Barnett Cocks (1907-1989)
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 17, 2011
    #5
  6. Mike Edwards

    Mike Edwards Guest


    > My older MacBook Pro with removable battery is reporting a similar thing.
    > Capacity down 75%. I don't recall the number of cycle but it is no where near
    > as many as yours, but I do recall it being over the maximum recommended of
    > cycles.
    >
    > Mine hasn't stopped working, but I suppose it is conceivable that a newer
    > machine may have firmware in the battery to inhibit it from working, although
    > I doubt that would actually happen. If the battery still has usable capacity
    > and it meets a users needs, why should they be forced to change it?
    >
    > The issue I have, is that the auto-sleep functionality of the machine doesn't
    > seem to work any more. The computer doesn't issue warnings about remaining
    > capacity being low, and doesn't go to sleep gracefully when there is too
    > little charge to keep running, it simply dies completely. I have tried
    > following the steps to recalibrate the battery, but matters have not
    > improved, which suggests that one or more individual cells in the battery are
    > now defective and cause a massive cliff drop in Voltage, which the computer
    > doesn't have time to respond to properly.
    >
    > In essence, I suspect (but cannot guarantee) that the battery will still
    > provide power once it is over 1000 cycles, but like mine may have undesirable
    > effects on the operation of the machine. In my case I just live with it, and
    > I'm careful not to let the level go much below 35%, as I think it is about
    > 30% when it dies.


    Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.

    Still works well enough the rest of the time. I would guess it lasts 1.5
    - 2 hours even now so as long as it keeps working I'm not too bothered.
    If it's going to stop working due to some predefined limit then I'm
    going to be very unhappy.

    I guess having that 'Service Battery' warning up will put people off
    buying it when I put it on eBay in the next few months but I guess if
    the price is right...
     
    Mike Edwards, Oct 17, 2011
    #6
  7. On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:40:15 +0100, Mike Edwards
    <> wrote:

    >Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    >it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.


    That's not the battery as such, but the Mac being miscalibrated. You
    can fix that.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490

    My original Air needs it once a year or thereabouts, or it starts
    doing what yours does.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    "What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic
    simulations involving a sledgehammer and a common laboratory frog,
    we can assume it will be pretty bad." - Dave Barry
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 17, 2011
    #7
  8. Mike Edwards

    Mike Edwards Guest


    > >Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    > >it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.

    >
    > That's not the battery as such, but the Mac being miscalibrated. You
    > can fix that.
    >
    > http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490
    >
    > My original Air needs it once a year or thereabouts, or it starts
    > doing what yours does.
    >
    > Cheers - Jaimie


    Not according to the link you supplied:

    Portables with built-in batteries

    Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not
    require the calibration procedure outlined in this article. These
    computers use batteries that should be replaced only by an Apple
    Authorized Service Provider.

    MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and later
     
    Mike Edwards, Oct 17, 2011
    #8
  9. Mike Edwards

    SimonB Guest

    Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:

    > On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:40:15 +0100, Mike Edwards
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    > >it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.

    >
    > That's not the battery as such, but the Mac being miscalibrated. You
    > can fix that.
    >
    > http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490
    >
    > My original Air needs it once a year or thereabouts, or it starts
    > doing what yours does.


    This from the above article:
    "Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not
    require the calibration procedure outlined in this article. These
    computers use batteries that should be replaced only by an Apple
    Authorized Service Provider."
    Is there a way to calibrate a built-in battery then?
    --
    Simon
     
    SimonB, Oct 17, 2011
    #9
  10. Mike Edwards

    J. J. Lodder Guest

    Mike Edwards <> wrote:

    > My 26 month old MacBook Pro 13" (Summer 2009 model) has started coming
    > up with the 'Service Battery' warning under the battery info menu.
    >
    > A quick check with coconutBattery shows that the current capacity of the
    > battery as 4091 mAh compared to the design capacity of 5450 mAh, i.e.
    > down to 75% of it's original capacity.
    >
    > It tells me that it has been through 937 battery load cycles in that
    > time, hence the reason for the reduced battery life.
    >
    > According to the 'Genius' in the AppleStore the new internal battery
    > would be £99 (incl. vat) and they would have to fit it as they can't
    > sell serviceable items.
    >
    > The same guy also told me the batteries are only designed for 1000
    > cycles and whilst I may get slightly more than that the battery will
    > simply stop working once it gets over the 1000 cycles level.


    Wel, 'designed' is saying too much.
    No one in the industry knows how to do better.
    There seems to be a large spread in lifetimes.

    Just go on using it till the time away from charger
    becomes too short. (by your standards of course)

    Jan
     
    J. J. Lodder, Oct 17, 2011
    #10
  11. On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:09:14 +0100, (SimonB)
    wrote:

    >Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:40:15 +0100, Mike Edwards
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    >> >it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.

    >>
    >> That's not the battery as such, but the Mac being miscalibrated. You
    >> can fix that.
    >>
    >> http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490
    >>
    >> My original Air needs it once a year or thereabouts, or it starts
    >> doing what yours does.

    >
    >This from the above article:
    >"Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not
    >require the calibration procedure outlined in this article. These
    >computers use batteries that should be replaced only by an Apple
    >Authorized Service Provider."
    >Is there a way to calibrate a built-in battery then?


    Ah - they've updated it since my yearly pilgramage!

    I've no idea. But if the Mac is shutting off by surprise, then it
    needs sorting - by Apple if necessary.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament],
    'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will
    the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the
    kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 17, 2011
    #11
  12. Mike Edwards

    SimonB Guest

    Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:

    > On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:09:14 +0100, (SimonB)
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:
    > >
    > >> On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:40:15 +0100, Mike Edwards
    > >> <> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> >Mine will go down to 2-4% before it dies but when it does die completely
    > >> >it even forgets the date and time so it really is dead by that point.
    > >>
    > >> That's not the battery as such, but the Mac being miscalibrated. You
    > >> can fix that.
    > >>
    > >> http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490
    > >>
    > >> My original Air needs it once a year or thereabouts, or it starts
    > >> doing what yours does.

    > >
    > >This from the above article:
    > >"Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not
    > >require the calibration procedure outlined in this article. These
    > >computers use batteries that should be replaced only by an Apple
    > >Authorized Service Provider."
    > >Is there a way to calibrate a built-in battery then?

    >
    > Ah - they've updated it since my yearly pilgramage!
    >
    > I've no idea. But if the Mac is shutting off by surprise, then it
    > needs sorting - by Apple if necessary.


    I've now poked around in a folder of techie clippings and found that on
    an earlier version of that page the procedure that now applies only to:
    "PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), MacBook (all models), and
    MacBook Pro (all models) "
    was prevciously recomended by Apple for:
    "PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), MacBook (all models), MacBook
    Pro (all models), MacBook Pro (17-inch) (all models) and MacBook Air"
    .... so that would include built-in-battery models.
    Probably no harm in trying that procedure then.
    --
    Simon
     
    SimonB, Oct 17, 2011
    #12
  13. On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 19:02:41 +0100, (SimonB)
    wrote:

    >Jaimie Vandenbergh <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:09:14 +0100, (SimonB)
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >"Current Apple portable computer batteries are pre-calibrated and do not
    >> >require the calibration procedure outlined in this article. These
    >> >computers use batteries that should be replaced only by an Apple
    >> >Authorized Service Provider."
    >> >Is there a way to calibrate a built-in battery then?

    >>
    >> Ah - they've updated it since my yearly pilgramage!
    >>
    >> I've no idea. But if the Mac is shutting off by surprise, then it
    >> needs sorting - by Apple if necessary.

    >
    >I've now poked around in a folder of techie clippings and found that on
    >an earlier version of that page the procedure that now applies only to:
    >"PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), MacBook (all models), and
    >MacBook Pro (all models) "
    >was prevciously recomended by Apple for:
    >"PowerBook G4 (15-inch Double-Layer SD), MacBook (all models), MacBook
    >Pro (all models), MacBook Pro (17-inch) (all models) and MacBook Air"
    >... so that would include built-in-battery models.
    >Probably no harm in trying that procedure then.


    Yup. It certainly works on my built-in battery Air.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    --
    There's no limit to the amount of work someone can do,
    provided it's not the work they're supposed to be doing.
     
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 18, 2011
    #13
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