MacBook Pro shuts down randomly, power button unresponsive
Occasionally while I'm using my Early 2011 MacBook Pro, the computer shuts down without warning. This happens about three to five times per week. It's a complete loss of power - the fan and all the lights turn off immediately. The computer will also often shut down while sleeping if I'm carrying it from one place to another (whether inside my backpack or just in my hands). This problem has been happening intermittently over the last year or so, but it's gotten much more frequent recently. As you can imagine, this is very frustrating so I hope you can help me!
Some additional symptoms:
- This effect can be triggered basically at any time, for no apparent cause. It doesn't happen any more frequently when I'm running computationally heavy things, or when the computer is in a location that would make it prone to heating (i.e. when I'm sitting on the couch with a blanket on my knees and the laptop on top). Physical shock can sometimes cause this (more below), but it's maybe 1 time out of 10, and most of the time physical shocks do nothing at all (I've got an SSD in there).
- Usually after the computer shuts down, I can't use the power button to turn it back on. Most of the time, the battery meter on the left hand side works. Sometimes an SMC reset allows me to turn the computer on normally, but other times I have to physically jostle the computer (close it, shake it, squeeze it gently) even to get the SMC reset to do anything.
- From time to time, the battery menu item will tell me "Replace Now", but this is very intermittent and I haven't seen it in months. Usually System Information tells me it's condition is "Normal". Coconut Battery tells me I still have 4807 mAh capacity (83.3% design capacity) after 1278 cycles.
- I have peeked inside the case a few times, inspected the battery, inspected connections of the cables for the battery, hard drive (I upgraded it to an SSD several years before this problem started appearing), but nothing is obviously awry.
- Sometimes physical motion of the computer can cause it to shut down - normally this makes no difference (In fact I just took a minute while writing this to give my computer a rough shake, with no ill effects), but once in a while dropping a pen or bumping my leg into my desk can cause the computer to lose power.
- I purchased a couple cheap knockoff Magsafe chargers in the last year or so, but I don't remember if this was before or after my problem started. Nevertheless, my wife's Macbook doesn't exhibit my problem and she uses the same chargers.
My thoughts are that the problem has to do with the power delivery system, either the battery or the DC-in board, but I don't really know how to investigate without just replacing them (and I'm not looking forward to pulling out the logic board).
So, gurus of iFixit, what do you think the problem could be? I'm all ears!
Is this a good question?