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Repair and disassembly information for the 2020 refresh of the MacBook Air. Released in March 2020.

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Device Overheating and Wont Get Past Apple Logo

I have a friends Early 2020 MacBook Air that was initially having issues getting past the login screen as the device would overheat and shut down. I noticed her keyboard was bulging so I opened the device and saw that the battery was very swollen. I ordered a new battery but figured in the meantime I should still be able to get it to work if I unplugged the battery and tried to use the device off of power supplied from the charger. The device is still having issues and is performing worse now at this point. Every time I power the device on, it stays on the Apple logo screen and the CPU gets very hot and fan screams. I’ve tried resetting the SMC multiple times, and I’m not able to boot into recovery mode. I did get it to internet recovery but it doesn’t go anywhere after connecting the device to the internet. Is there something else going on that maybe would’ve caused the battery to swell so quickly? And would a battery replacement fix this issue?

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While I haven’t tried it on this specific model, I do know that disconnecting the battery will typically cause an issue like this in previous MacBooks. Apple likes to put temperature sensors in basically every part of their devices. They then program their devices so that if it cannot detect a sensor or gets a bad reading from one, it will send the fans full speed and very heavily limit the speeds at which the CPU will run at. This is to protect the rest of the laptop if something really is wrong. Based on what I know about Apple’s designs I expect the same thing applies on this model, so I would be surprised if a new battery did not solve this.

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The issue though is that the CPU does get super hot. Just about too hot to touch. Regardless, the battery should be coming in today so I'll try it out


@tsmith_30 I would expect the CPU to get hot to the touch, Apple did a terrible job cooling these chips, the fan doesn't even blow over the heatsink. The only thing that gives the cpu heatsink airflow is when the bottom case is on as it will help channel air over it. Otherwise it will just sit and bake being passively cooled. If it gets hot enough that it may cause damage the machine should shut down. During regular use it is normal for these machines to run their CPUs up to 100C.


@armorben Gotcha that makes sense. I did notice the poor thermal design, just wasn't thinking it would still be normal for it to get that hot. That's reassuring though thank you!


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