Laptop charging woes

I've been using a 15" PowerBook now for a little over two years. In the last day or two I can no longer get the laptop battery to charge. When I plug in either of my two power adapters (or even a friends brand-new one) the orange light comes on, but the battery does not charge (or at least not very fast). Leaving it plugged in and charging overnight moved me from 7% battery to 10% battery.

When I'm plugged in with the laptop on (and not sleeping) the battery recharging icon will flicker on for a somewhere between a half and a full second and then go back to the battery-indicator (and the screen dims). After another second or so the indicator goes back to charging on AC power and the screen gets brighter. (Very annoying to use this way with the brightness constantly alternating/flickering back and forth).

I haven't been able to come up with the right combination of search words while Googling to find anyone else describing this exact problem. The closest I've found to anything helpful on Apple's website is their troubleshooting iBook, PowerBook G4 and MacBook Pro power adapters. But my symptoms don't match any of the ones they list.

I guess I'll need to take my laptop in to the local Apple store tomorrow and hope they can help (I do have the three year AppleCare Protection Plan still so I should be under warranty). I tried to sign up for an appointment for tomorrow but you can only do that if you are a ProCare customer; all non-ProCare customers can only make same-day reservations.

I haven't ever heard of ProCare or how it differs from AppleCare. I tried going to but that page consistantly causes Firefox 1.5 to crash (on my work laptop). So it remains a mystery to me what ProCare is...

—Michael A. Cleverly


  1. RCH wrote (at Wed, 25 Oct 2006, 12:00):

So much for Macs being crash proof and fabulous, hmmmmm? ;-)

  1. mike wrote (at Sun, 28 Jan 2007, 21:29):

im having the same problem, what caused it?

  1. Michael A. Cleverly wrote (at Tue, 30 Jan 2007, 11:42):

The guys at the Genius Bar couldn't even get the laptop turned on--the battery had drained to zero and wouldn't recharge. They overnighted it to their repair depot where the power plug and motherboard were replaced (I assume because they are soldered together if you replace one you replace both?). Laptop came back a few business days later and everything worked fine. It was all covered under my AppleCare warranty.

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