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Thread: macbook inferno

  1. #1

    Default macbook inferno (updated first post)

    3am last night. I woke up to my housemate screaming (yelling "Matty!") and the dog barking. She fell asleep on the couch in the back lounge of our house. I jumped out of bed and raced out thinking that maybe somebody had come through the back door or something.

    As I was running I saw a fire. At first I thought that the lamp had fallen and set fire to the curtain. As I got closer I realised it was my mac book .... burning! I picked it up and blew on it and swung it around to put the flames out. The book shelf it was sitting on was burnt and there were a couple of magazines that were on fire too. I quickly put those out and calmed down.

    First point to make - check regularly that your smoke alarm works - ours didn't go off.
    Second point (and this is the scary one) - we were damn lucky not to have a house burnt to the ground. I have been out for most of the weekend and this night was the only night I had it charging.

    What actually happened?
    I have noticed for the past 3 weeks the battery life has been poor. I was only getting an hour to an hour and a half from it (compared to over 3 hours).
    I also notice the battery symbol had an X showing a couple of times but a restart would sort that out.
    One last thing I noticed over the last few days was when the battery was fully charged and on the power, it would flicker between 99% and 100% constantly. Nothing would fix this and I was planning on getting it looked at very soon.

    So, Saturday afternoon I watched a tv show (from a ripped dvd) on the macbook. The battery goes down to 21%. I close all programs and shut the lid. It was in sleep mode - the light was pulsing. I usually plug it in for a charge but I didn't this time and head out for the weekend (damn lucky as I would have come home to rubble).
    Sunday night, I come home and open the lid. It doesn't wake. I plug the power in and it fires up but showing 0% on the battery symbol.
    I surf the net using safari for 30 minutes and the battery is charging up as usual.
    I close all programs and shut the lid. Again, I always make sure it's in sleep mode before putting it down. I set it on the book shelf and leave it to charge.

    And we are back at the 3am incident. My housemate said she heard it hissing like a steam valve, then smoke started pouring out of it and a couple of seconds later, a very large flash fire started. I'm sure you have read about these and seen the dell video. This is what happened to my macbook.

    The battery is swollen and burnt so it's definitely the battery that exploded and caught fire. The macbook is melted on the bottom and severely charred (along with my bookshelves, books, magazines and the wall). The space bar is melted as is the track pad. The screen has been damaged a little too.

    I have pictures if someone wants me to email them for hosting.

    I bought it at the end of June last year so it's still under 12 month warranty.
    Strange thing is, there was no symptoms like excessive heat or deformation of the battery or anything like that at all.
    I also checked quite a while ago to see if my battery was one of the recall units. It was not.

    Can anyone recommend an efficient service centre in Melbourne who will be able to replace it quickly? I have a lot of work to finish by the end of March.
    I am also hoping they can recover some data from the hard drive.

    The smell was the worst part - that burnt plastic smell

    Some pics (finally - bloody windows!):
    You can see in the first photo one of the burnt magazines.





    The photos are not very good - the damage looks worse in person.
    (by the way, that couch is outside and it's for the dog which is why it's so dirty)

    Update: Apples service has been fantastic. They are replacing the laptop with a aluminium case macbook pro and will probably compensate for property damage where appropriate. Someone is coming to my house tonight to collect the damaged unit. That way they can quickly assess what has happend and take appropriate action. To initiate a recall, they first need to know what caused the incident.

    I have to say, I am really please with the way this issue has been dealt with. Kudos to the Australian Apple team, they have made me feel like a properly cared for customer - a rare thing for big corporations these days.

  2. #2

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    Yikes! I would say call apple first. There your best option. The will tell you what to do with it.

  3. #3

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    Mate, get some photos on here quick smart! I've gotta see this!!!

    Not that the resultant Digging, linking, etc will do Apple portable sales much good

  4. #4

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    Wow! cool - but scary - story.

    Hope you sort it out with no probs anyway. Can't offer you any helpful info as I'm not in Melb, but I agree you should ring apple.

    Something like this is terrible publicity for them, they'll want to make you happy..

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  5. #5

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    Here we go... yet ANOTHER fault with the macbook.

    Please spread the word.. don't let Apple get away with this! Random shutdowns and poor material choice is one thing.. but killing people in their sleep is another matter!!

    I'm just glad that you are all ok!!

    *note to self.. NEVER charge Macbook unattended - EVER*
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  6. #6

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    JEEBUS!

    That is pretty scary. I would like to see some photos of the damage also.....i'm off to check on my charging MacBook in the next room...

  7. #7

    Default

    please post some pics.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by admiral31 View Post
    JEEBUS!

    That is pretty scary. I would like to see some photos of the damage also.....i'm off to check on my charging MacBook in the next room...
    Make sure you take an extinguisher just in case :P

    I wonder if you could sue apple if your place burnt down and the fire service could prove that it was the computer

  9. #9

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    That's no good! It was lucky that you woke up in time!

    By the way, I can host the images if you want (just don't send full size ones!) - email or pm me.
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  10. #10

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    Sounds like a warranty job....and maybe another battery re-call from apple. What you describe is what happens to any li-ion battery if you overcharge it so there has been a failure in either the charge circuit ot the thermal protection circuit in the battery (or both).

    Take photos of everything (sounds like you've done that bit already) and call your home contents insurance as well (you do have home contents insurance yes?). Repeat your missive above to Apple.

    And if you can, remove the hard drive and see if you can get some data off. If not, get your local Apple dealer to do it.

    Bartron
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  11. #11

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    Ring apple, they may decide to replace it directly for you...

  12. #12

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    Pics or it didn't happen.






    Jus kidding :P

    Thankfully no one got burnt/hurt and the damage was minimal. A timely warning for all with regards to the smoke detector - test your's now people!
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  13. #13

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    Id ring apple direct, you would hope they would offer you some kind of compensation!

    also avoid touching the nasty chemicals in the battery
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  14. #14

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    Call Insurance first (if you have any). Talk to them. Find out how much your excess is.
    Call Apple. My guess, they'll offer brand new latest range MacBook. Also ask them to pay your excess.
    If you don't have insurance, ask Apple what they are willing to do to help. If nothing:
    Call lawyer (or TT/ACA)... [yikes]

    If you don't own your house... call landlord, refer them to Apple.
    If you do own your house... insurance will cover it. If no insurance... find a friendly builder and bribe with beer...
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  15. #15

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    Hey, everyone asking for pics. Read the OP:

    I have pictures if someone wants me to email them for hosting.
    MattyB, you might be better off using photobucket/flickr or similar..

    - Jeremy
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  16. #16

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    Nasty, can't wait to see pics..

  17. #17

  18. #18

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    ok - I'll see if I can upload them there - I just realised that I use my macbook to transfer pics from my phone via blue tooth.
    I'll have to see if I can find a usb cable for my phone.

    I did call apple support and they said to take it to an authorised service centre.

  19. #19

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    The length of time to see a photo is now making me suspect ?

  20. #20

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    LOL
    I am transferring the pics from my phone to my girlfriends phone via blue tooth and then I will upload them from her phone to pc.
    Give me 20 minutes

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