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Apple's line of laptops for professional and power users. To date the MacBook Pro line includes 13, 15, 16, and 17-inch variants, with major revisions defined by unibody, Retina display, and Touch Bar designs.

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Simplo batteries breaking logic boards?

Case 1:

My main laptop is (was) a 15” MacBook Pro Retina 2014, A1398.

On 2020-11-07, I changed the swollen battery with a replacement from Simplo.

On 2020-12-04, I opened it from sleep, and the graphics didn’t come on (just backlight). I had to restart twice.

Today the GPU seems to have failed completely. The screen works when holding option, gets through auto-login, but then freezes when opening any application (even gfxcardstatus). Once or twice I managed to get it to respond for a few minutes to see the crash log, which says IOAccelDisplayMachine2::display_mode_did_change(uint32_t): vendor driver returns false.

Any advice about what to test would be good; I’ll be investigating more in the days to come.

Case 2:

On Wednesday 2020-12-09, a friend asked me to fix a 13” MacBook Air 2013, A1466.

On Thursday 2020-12-10, I fitted a new battery, also manufactured by Simplo. It never turned on after that.

I was so shocked that a 15-minute repair turned into a full day of using a multimeter, boardviews, and schematics. These are my notes:

C2740 PP0V6_S0_DDRVTT 630 Ω, got pin 1 0.494 kΩ

C7648 PP1V05_S0 217 Ω, got pin 1 234 Ω

C1910 PPVRTC_G3H ~ 7 MΩ, got pin 1 7.04kΩ

C6100 PP3V3_SUS 54 kΩ, got pin 1 7.04kΩ

D7005 14.79V

Q7130 14.55V

F7700 fuse good

F7140 fuse good

L7130 pin 1 has 8.75V

C7552 has 0V on pin 1. Maybe no 5V on 5V_S4 rail?

Could it be that both of these have the same cause - overvoltage surge when waking from sleep on a Simplo battery, causing logic board damage?

If that’s really the problem, I feel like this is serious - Simplo are a major battery supplier.

I really want to post this on the Louis Rossmann forum, but can’t really cope with a subscription. I haven’t even been paid regularly by the little startup I work for. I’d do a one-time payment, but my life is just too unstable for monthly.

Answer this question I have this problem too

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2 Answers

The voltage (battery here) is not really the issue its the current! In the winter you often deal with high voltages in static discharge 20,000 to 25,000 volts! But the current is so small all you’ll get is a small shock of pain.

For MOSFET’s this little shock can kill them though! Which is why you need to be careful that your work surface, tools and you are ESD safe!

So the battery its self is not the issue! Lets look deeper…

Often people forget is what we assume is safe isn’t! While we talked about voltage and how ESD can damage MOSFET devices there is another source of problem within your MagSafe chargers! Current control and ground.

Apple made a very good charger! But it was expensive, People assumed the cheap knockoffs where just as good. Sadly they aren’t! Most issues I’ve seen all come from using a bad charger.

Many years ago I was supporting mac systems at a very large engineering firm where the engineers would travel all over the world. On one trip the engineer forgot their MagSafe charger, so in a panic went down to the local computer shop and was sold a new one in a plain brown box.

Went back to the hotel he was staying in, plugged in his laptop and went out for dinner. When he got back to the hotel there where fire trucks blocking his path when he got to the entry he was told the floor he was on had a large fire. All they had was what they where wearing, they luckily managed to get a set of rooms for the night in a different hotel.

The next day they let him into his room Escorted! As the fire was from his room. He was only allowed to take his clothes and his papers not on the desk (all smoke damaged). The hotel sued him and the engineering firm for millions! Let’s just say it was a very costly MagSafe charger! As it was a knockoff!

To prevent future events we went through every charger checking them. We where surprised how many were knockoffs! Each REAL charger was tattooed with our logo and the cord tangs glued down, replaced with a velcro strap. We also had a very large education program to teach how to properly wrap the cable and only use the chargers we supply. Anyone found using a knockoff would be fired on the spot.

A one Million Plus charger I think was enough!

Don't Replace Your MacBook Charger With a Cheap Knockoff

OEM MagSafe Chargers vs Cheap Imposters: Teardown for Truth

Lacking safety features, cheap MacBook chargers create big sparks

FAKE Magsafe MacBook Chargers on eBay - Watch before buying a Mac Charger

REAL Apple MagSafe Power Adapters

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My laptop used an original Apple MagSafe charger. The friend’s laptop’s charger appears to be legitimate too.

It’s not winter here in New Zealand, it’s summer. I grounded myself and removed the battery before touching the boards. Therefore I doubt that it’s ESD from the repair.

Where should I buy a legitimate battery for an A1398 MacBook Pro or A1466 MacBook Air? They’re not made by Apple any more, and I have no way to tell whether a TradeMe/eBay seller is legit or not.

Apple sued a guy in Norway for using counterfeit parts, but I can’t source legitimate parts from Apple anyway, so I don’t even know what to do. This isn’t my job so I don’t expect lawsuits, but I need to know where to find good replacements (logic boards and batteries) that aren’t likely to fry.


@peterburk - From the Australia Store Batteries:

MacBook Pro 15" Retina (Late 2013-Mid 2014) Battery

MacBook Air 13" (Late 2010-2017) Replacement Battery

Logic boards are iffy right now due to COVID. iFixit sells some, I have a good success with TheBookYard, UK


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Don’t buy from OWC, their “genuine” MagSafe 2 charger was a counterfeit. They have a history of selling knockoffs as genuine.

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The chargers were both Apple original. The batteries were from TradeMe (eBay) sellers locally in New Zealand, not OWC. They are both marked as being manufactured by Simplo.


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Peter Burkimsher will be eternally grateful.
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