by Scott, scott@smalldog.com

We see quite a few failed MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries, primarily from first-generation (Core Duo) models. Most often, the battery is simply not recognized, and an “X” appears in the battery icon on the menu bar. In this case, the computer does not function at all without the MagSafe connector attached. Other problems include failure to charge the battery, low capacity, and visible deformation of the battery. Apple initiated a battery update to address these issues. In all cases, the first step in troubleshooting is to apply Battery Update 1.2, available through Software Update in the Apple Menu. If this fails, your battery may qualify for warranty replacement up to two years from your date of purchase.

Normal warranty coverage for batteries is six months from the date of purchase, regardless of AppleCare status. Apple policy dictates that batteries are “consumables” whose performance declines over time. Unfortunately, battery performance does decline with use, and this is an inherent limitation of the technology; until science brings us free energy, or a radical paradigm shift occurs, we must continue to replace our laptop batteries after a few years.

There are steps you can take to improve your battery’s performance and longevity. Check them out here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86284

Further information on the MacBook/MacBook Pro battery program can be found here: http://www.apple.com/support/macbook_macbookpro/batteryupdate/

by Scott, scott@smalldog.com

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