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I have a four year old MacBook rev 1,1 (the original Intel Core Duo). Just recently it has begun denying the existence of its battery while still happily running unplugged. I get the X battery icon which claims "No Batteries Available". It is a fairly recent replacement battery and coconutBattery reported it was healthy and holding 90% of its original charge. The MagSafe adapter shows a green light. The battery lights are off, but when I press the button I get 3 of 5 lights.

It will run off the battery, it just won't recognize its existence nor charge it.

Previous to this, I would have to plug and unplug the MagSafe adapter a few times before it would charge the battery, but it would always recognize it.

coconutBattery will now crash with a divide by zero exception.

Things I have tried:

  • My battery in another Macbook: it works and charges fine.
  • A known good battery in my Macbook: denied.
  • A known good power adapter: no effect.
  • Resetting the SMC: no effect.
  • Resetting the PRAM and NVRAM: no effect.
  • Booting from a DVD: no effect.
  • Replacing the Battery Connector: no effect.

Anything else I can try? Is there a part I can replace, or is this going to take a logic board replacement?

UPDATE: I pulled the computer apart and saw no black smoke nor Mynocks chewing on the power cables. However, it appears the laptop and the battery are putting their differences behind them. The laptop will now, from time to time, acknowledge the battery and charge it. The first time this happened, it was raining. The second time was next to a bathtub full of water. Extrapolating this curve, I will try throwing my laptop into the river to fix it.

UPDATE 2: I replaced the "Battery Connector w/Sleep Switch" because the laptop had developed narcolepsy. I had hoped this would cure its battery denial, but no dice.

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I just had to laugh because of the title ... – Mike Chess Sep 10 '10 at 20:02
At first I thought the title was a typo... – BillN Sep 23 '10 at 21:03
Did you ever figure out what the problem was? My macbook randomly started doing the same things, and I've tried everything. – user71205 Mar 11 '11 at 6:02
@zebra Nope. I wound up buying a new 13" MBP and I'm quite happy with it. – Schwern Mar 14 '11 at 8:14

Before you perform any hardware replacement, you might want to check the connection points on the laptop where the battery comes into electrical contact. Make sure everything is secure and clean.

There might be a part you can replace that goes between the motherboard and the battery connection point. Almost anything is cheaper than an older mac motherboard replacement. Assuming you are comfortable with this, have you taken the laptop apart and looked around to make sure anything isn't loose or melted/damaged? It sounds like it was something that was starting to fail and now is broken.

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I'll take a look inside, I've taken it apart plenty. I doubt it would run off the battery if it was a connection problem, but it can't hurt to look. – Schwern Sep 10 '10 at 1:19
@Schwern: So it will run off any good battery, just not recognize its existence? – Troggy Sep 10 '10 at 1:31
Yep, that's the bizarritude of it. Energy Saver even dims the screen when I pull the chord. Could be a software issue, maybe I'll try a clean reinstall. – Schwern Sep 10 '10 at 3:41
Before you reinstall, try booting from the install DVD, then running System Profiler from the Utilities menu -- if that doesn't show the battery (in the "Power" section), then a reinstall isn't likely to do anything. – Gordon Davisson Sep 10 '10 at 5:12
@Gordon Good catch, it hadn't occurred to me. The result is the same, no battery, so its not a software issue. – Schwern Sep 11 '10 at 19:06

If you brought this to me for repair, these are the first things I would check from what you described in your initial post.

The battery connecter that is used on the MacBooks is very specific. Did you notice when you bought the replacement part if the pins were exactly the same configuration? If they are different that is why it may not have fixed your issue.

There is an Energy Star and a Non-Energy Star version of the battery connector.

Unlikely, but worth also checking/replacing is the DC-Inboard/Magsafe connector. This is the part that the connects the charger externally to the logic board internally.

If both of these are replaced with the proper parts, booting from a known good OS, testing with a known good battery and known good power adapter and it still does not work, then I would say it needs a new logic board. Based on the cost of that replacement and age of the machine it would not be worth repairing.

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Yes, I'm pretty sure I got the right battery connector. I didn't think of replacing the Magsafe connector. I've already got a new MBP, and I've given away the old battery, but if a $30 part will rsurrect it I might try that. Thanks! – Schwern Apr 3 '11 at 22:55

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