BOOM! - Macenstein


Last week coming back from a business trip, we had a little accident about 25,000 feet up. The battery in our 17-inch MacBook Pro exploded, literally.

In hindsight I think we were lucky we weren’t taken in as Al-Qaeda, but all we could think at the time was “Sweet! finally something went wrong within the 1-year warranty!” (We got our new battery today).

[UPDATE:] In answer to the questions of the MacBook Pro, no, it was not harmed. We were using it at the time on a seatback tray, and suddenly the screen went dead (well, the whole computer did). The battery actually didn’t look this bad until after we removed it from the MBP. It then kind of “expanded”. When it popped its seams inside the MBP, it just bowed out, so when resting flat, the laptop would actually rock back and forth on a rounded bottom. When we removed the battery, it was free from the constraints that were holding it together, and opened up to what you see there.

14 Responses to “BOOM!”
  1. Jonro says:

    Looks like deliberate damage to me. Sorry it’s not under warranty. 😉

    Seriously, was the MBP damaged or was that a spare battery?

  2. bart says:

    I hope you didn’t had it on your lap when this happened…

  3. unclejerry says:

    Did it damage the Macbook Pro at all?

  4. corpmac says:

    Ouch! In carry-on or in the hold? Assuming carry-on, what did it sound like? How worried did the flight attenants get?

  5. Michael says:

    Sure, you got a new battery. But did you also get some sort of heavy-duty iron rental coupon to flatten out your ‘puter.

    Great to hear that things do indeed break before warranty expiration. At least with this you’ve kept a couple of actuarials in work again. I wonder if they use Macs…

  6. airfang says:

    I am more concerned about the MacBook Pro itself…was it damaged at all?

  7. UNIX Master says:

    I had the same thing happen to my 17″ MBP battery. No damage to the computer, and Apple replaced the battery with no issue. Luckily, I had an extra battery.

  8. tfast says:

    Same thing happened to my 17″. Under warranty, replaced no problem. Mine happened over several days, kept getting bigger and bigger, but not as blown up as yours.

  9. Ross says:

    This happened to me a few month’s ago.

  10. Steve-o says:

    I had this happen with *two* different 17″ MBP batteries – they were purchased contemporaneously, so I assume they were from a dodgy batch. The replacement batteries have held up.

  11. Xeno says:

    I came close. My battery every so recently in my Mac Book Pro started to warp and was shutting down the computer at 50% battery power. I looked up the serial number and found that it was one of the ‘explodey’ batteries and could get replaced for free. I took it in and explained the problem and they said that my system was made after that time but that the battery issues definitely fall within the symptoms of those. In tracking it down, they found mine was in that batch and quickly replaced it. No explodee for me.

  12. Operator207 says:

    Glad it did not catch fire. If you ever find yourself sitting next to a burning laptop on a flight, take this comforting thought with you: There is nothing on the plane that can put out a lithium chemical fire.

  13. Alexandra says:

    This is the same thing that happened to my battery however we were not in an airplane. My mac book pro is kinda haggard after lots of spills and drops, were pretty much waiting for it to die, but I’ve never had any problems with the battery before. One day i noticed it was kinda wobbly but i just figured it was part of it slowly falling to pieces, and it was still working fine so i didn’t worry to much. A few days later my boyfriend lifted it up and the battery was like an over fed fish. No idea why this happened. Since then its been sitting on a table gradually getting fatter and fatter. i should probably just throw it all away….

  14. Bill Adams says:

    Came into work this morning and the boss’ MacBook Pro’s battery was popped almost completely out of the machine. I have an appointment at the Genius Bar in a couple of hours… I’m just glad the thing didn’t catch fire like so many others’ batteries did.

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