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MacBook Pro: Melting or bursting batteries; Incompatibility with projectors; more

MacBook Pro: Melting or bursting batteries; Incompatibility with projectors; more

CNET staff
3 min read

Melting or bursting batteries While this may prove to be a rare occurrence, we've received multiple independent reports indicating severe battery failure -- apparently due to overheating -- from some MacBook Pros.

In mild cases, batteries swell but remain functional. In these cases, keyboard and/or trackpad functionality is sometimes affected by the rising of internal components.

MacFixIt reader Dana Stibolt describes one instance of the issue, along with a picture:

"We had a MacBook Pro in our lab today, where the user complained of a problem with his track pad clicker button. It appeared that the clicker was stuck, and when pressed sometimes it would unstick for a moment, and then go back to having the track pad button continuously pressed. After a short investigation, we found the problem to be the battery. The battery had swelled and had even separated some to the point where it was pressing up on the underside of the track pad area causing the button not to work.

"I posted the following note and two pictures at my Web site." 

MacFixIt reader John adds:

"I have a new MacBook Pro, and it is running like everyone else's -- hot. Today I saw that the battery was totally warped, the metal pealing away from the body."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.

Incompatibility with projectors Users are reporting problems with some digital projectors when connected to MacBook Pros.

MacFixIt reader Payson Hall writes:

"The MacBook Pro does not seem to play nicely with the ViewSonic PJ350 using DVI. It doesn't seem to recognize it. The PJ350 supports DVI and I have driven it successfully without issue for a couple of years with my G4.

"I tried using the DVI to VGA adapter, and plugging it into a VGA to DVI cable supplied with my projector. This gave me a signal, but I was unable to get the normal 1024x768 resolution on the projector... it defaulted to 800x600 and when I tried to force it, I lost connectivity. Strangely, I turned on video mirroring, then on a lark tried to rotate the picture 90 degrees, and THAT produced an image (rotated) on the PJ350. When I tried to rotate back, I lost the signal. I rotated the image 180 degrees and got the signal. I then rotated the image from the projector (a setting to support ceiling mount) and was able to project normally. This says to me that the problem is in the hardware or software on the MacBook Pro side.

"When I tried to go back to the DVI to DVI cable (without the adapter), I had a signal. Others have reported that once you get a second device detected on the video out, this seemed to correct the DVI issue."

So, some potential workarounds for this issue include:

  • Try using a DVI to VGA adapter, or DVI to S-Video (if your projector supports it) rather than a DVI to DVI adapter.
  • Restart the MacBook Pro while the external projector is connected.
  • Go to the "Displays" pane of System Preferences, and under the "Arrangement" tab check the box that says "Mirror Displays."

More on AirPort kernel panics Users continue to report kernel panics that are resolved by disabling AirPort connectivity.

We previously reported on repeated kernel panics from MacBook Pros, apparently caused by a problematic driver for the units' AirPort hardware.

The kernel panics only occur when AirPort is turned on and the network is active. Users report that kernel panics disappear when an Ethernet cable or other network connection method is used.

MacFixIt reader Leanda is the latest to report:

"I received my new MacBook Pro yesterday. Since the moment I turned it on I've been getting Kernel Panics every 15mins or so. I couldn't even get through installing all the updates.

"I took it to the local Apple store and was advised to reinstall and if no joy return it to Apple because it may be faulty memory. They totally dismissed any suggestion that it could be an Airport problem.

"I reinstalled the system which didn't solve the problem. I turned off my Airport Card and hey presto no panics for over an hour. Turned back on - panics again. Turned Airport back on - this time connecting manually using a fixed IP address. No problem again."

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

For further coverage, see our MacBook Pro special report.

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