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Mac Laptop and the battery?

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-03-12
I have a 4.5 year old Macbook Pro.  2 months ago I changed the battery to a brand new battery.  I am still having a problem.  After about 1 hour it goes down to 39% charge remaining and the laptop goes into overdrive at that point in terms of the fan and the heat generated at the bottom of the laptop enclosure and then the energy depletes at a fairly rapid rate from that point on. The bottom of the laptop is getting fairly hot.  This is not normal.  What do you think is the problem and how might I solve it?  Should I just get rid of the laptop and buy a new one?

I had this same problem before I purchased the new battery.\
Thanks.
capreol
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Question by:capreol
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TRTurner earned 250 total points
ID: 37712474
It could be several things; Since it is so old the first thing I would try would be reapplying new thermal paste to the processor (Laptops are a lot trickier than desktops to work with hardware components so it might just be worth it to buy a new one). If the fan only works that hard when it is low on power I wouldn't guess it's a problem with the fan, however you may need to clean the inside and it won't have to work as hard.
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by:Frosty555
Frosty555 earned 250 total points
ID: 37712501
It wouldn't surprise me if the poor battery performance and overheating is a combination of

1. What TRTurner said, old thermal paste causing overheating or
2. Software (e.g. upgrade mac OS, or software expecting better system specs than your computer has) consuming a lot of CPU cycles and causing heat

The excessive heat causes the fans to spin, which will drain the battery.

I have experience taking apart older apple laptops, in particular an iBook G4 and I can tell you it was not a pleasant experience. The unibody design is beautiful, but a nightmare to get completely disassembled to the point that you can get at the CPU and reapply thermal paste.

Newer macbooks are a bit better but for an older one... I'd just bite the bullet and replace it.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 37712574
When the fans go into overdrive, open Activity Monitor and sort by CPU usage to see if one program is gobbling all your processor cycles.
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Author Comment

by:capreol
ID: 37712590
Thanks a lot.  I am going to purchase a new Macbook Pro!
capreol
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