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I have a MacBook (Late '08 13 In. Aluminum) with the Apple provided power adapter. I think it may be failing because

  1. It takes a little moving around with the cable nearest where it connects to the MacBook to get it to charge (small light turns on).
  2. The area of cable nearest the MacBook gets very hot, almost burning.

Any ideas of how I could fix it? Hopefully without replacing the adapter.

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Flexible cables usually have a number of small wires inside. It sounds like most of the wires inside the cable have broken. This increases the resistance to electricity and causes the cable to heat up. Wiggling the cable causes more of the wires to touch and lets some electricity flow.

You should be able to replace the connector at the end of the cable. Find the point where the break is by bending the cable so that the charger LED goes on and off. If the break is in the middle of the cable you can cut out the broken section and solder the cable back together. If the break is near the connector - which is the usual place - you will have to replace the connector.

If you haven't soldered before I suggest taking the adaptor into a electronics repair shop, or have a friend who is experienced help you. They will be able to replace the connector for you. Sadly though, it's often cheaper to replace the adaptor than it is to pay someone to repair it for you these days.

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Alright, I think I'll just buy myself a new one seeing as I have NO experience in soldering whatsoever and I don't know anyone who does. Thanks! – Wuffers May 12 '10 at 2:05
Oh, and one more thing, how long do you think my adapter will last before it goes out completely? – Wuffers May 12 '10 at 2:07
It's hard to tell without seeing it. The heat isn't a good sign and if it's almost burning then the resistance must be pretty high. That means there aren't many wires left connected. I wouldn't wait. – Wayne Johnston May 12 '10 at 2:36

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