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Macbook Pro repair rabbit hole

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One of the Macs I'm repairing is a highly sought-after 2012 quad core.

It technically works but has a typical "kernel_task" usage problem. You can look it up if you want but the short of it is that the process reports up to 1000% CPU usage which slows the system to a crawl and blows the fans full speed. This is happening from the moment the MBP turns on (and even in Recovery Mode), meaning resetting the SMC and PRAM has no effect.

 

There can be any number of things causing this. Usually it's a broken temp sensor, so I installed a monitoring app and nothing seems out of the ordinary. I surmised that the firmware might be corrupted from a failed update - though it has the latest version so of course there's no way to force a reinstall, because Apple. On the other hand, a corrupt firmware often means the Mac wouldn't even turn on and mine is at least functional. Another less common cause is an expired battery and even though this one has 800+ cycles, there's usually an obvious warning message. So I guess I've narrowed it down to three possible solutions in order of cost:

 

Cheap: replace battery

Expensive: replace firmware chip

Really fucking expensive: replace logic board

 

The last solution costs about the same as a whole working model. Anyone with experience have any input on this?

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Posted (edited)

This kind of stuff is intentional. Automatic updates are almost entirely about planting innocent-looking time bombs into your hardware in order to boost future hardware sales. Therefore, I  doubt the battery has anything to do with it.

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16 hours ago, AndrewB said:

This kind of stuff is intentional. Automatic updates are almost entirely about planting innocent-looking time bombs into your hardware in order to boost future hardware sales. Therefore, I  doubt the battery has anything to do with it.

 

 

Really? I guess i must be lucky to get an exception from that evil plan, because my old MBP 15" late 2008 still works without any problems. Or maybe the plan was developed later?

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, AndrewB said:

This kind of stuff is intentional. Automatic updates are almost entirely about planting innocent-looking time bombs into your hardware in order to boost future hardware sales. Therefore, I  doubt the battery has anything to do with it.

Yeah this isn't true in the slightest, you can disapprove of Apples other practices (and do I have a laundry list of complaints) without having to make stuff up.

 

Two main factors as to why: People accused Apple of doing this with their older iPhones, however instead as it turned out what was actually happening was the performance of the phone was scaling to its battery life (capping off CPU steps as the maximum capacity dropped with age). This was behaviour that existed in their iPhones from the start (not an update, it was always there). Whether you think that's a good idea or not is up to you, it's at best annoying depending on your use case, but it's not malicious and has at least an understandable design intent (they consider the battery life of the phone far more important than the performance, which for a phone actually makes some sense).

 

The second part is obvious: Apple want you to think of their products as reliable, that's how they get returning business. If they kept crapping out with age then this would turn users away from their products, so they sure as hell wouldn't be doing it intentionally to sell you more hardware. If the problem occurred with absolutely certainty (which would be the only logical conclusion from trying to do it intentionally), people would buy their hardware far less than they do. And if industry experts ever found out that such a thing occurred intentionally that would end badly. But they haven't. The closest thing anybody ever found was the aforementioned iPhone thing, which again turned out to have an explanation.

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6 hours ago, Edward850 said:

Yeah this isn't true in the slightest,

 

 

Your entire response was exactly why I chose the words "innocent-looking". They can't just blatantly gimp your device. They have to come up with some plausible-sounding story to get away with it. Also,

 

6 hours ago, Edward850 said:

Apple want you to think of their products as reliable, that's how they get returning business. If they kept crapping out with age then this would turn users away from their products

 

lol

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, AndrewB said:

Your entire response was exactly why I chose the words "innocent-looking". They can't just blatantly gimp your device. They have to come up with some plausible-sounding story to get away with it.

Ah yes, not a single industry expert has found anything, but you, a random guy on some doom community Web forum have, it all figured out! 

 

... Tell me again what your qualifications are? 

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25 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

Ah yes, not a single industry expert has found anything, but you, a random guy on some doom community Web forum have, it all figured out! 

 

... Tell me again what your qualifications are? 

 

A plurality of brain cells to rub together and a lack of brand homerism to be able to see what is blatantly obvious.

 

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9 minutes ago, AndrewB said:

A plurality of brain cells to rub together and a lack of brand homerism to be able to see what is blatantly obvious.

I don't even have a single Apple product in my house and want nothing to do with their eco system. Anything else you want to mistake about me while dodging my question about what makes you qualified?

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1 minute ago, Edward850 said:

I don't even have a single Apple product in my house and want nothing to do with their eco system. Anything else you want to mistake about me while dodging my question about what makes you qualified?

I didn't mistake anything about you. Even if you have more than one brain cell, that doesn't mean you're obligated to rub them together.

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Given you dodged the question twice, you're not qualified then. Thanks for playing I guess? That was short. 

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Is there a way to pre-block AndrewB from all threads that attempt to be constructive or informative?

I think it'd be a widely popular forum feature.

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14 hours ago, AndrewB said:

lol

 

This sums up everything you wrote in this thread pretty good.

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Not sure if you came up with any solutions for your Mac book. 

Lois Rossman has a load of videos on Macbook repair. 

 

Chances are if you googled Macbook problems you might have come across him already. Well respected in his field. Never used him, but found his non repair videos and right to repair stuff interesting:

 https://m.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup

 

Wouldn't hurt to ask or get a quote for each. 

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As much as I loathe Apple, AndrewB's comments are just ridiculous - typical conspiracy theory bullshit. If they did such a thing and it was ever found out there'd be Hell to Pay on a scale that can bring down even a company like Apple. They are making enough profit as it stands and really do not need to do such antics. It's something I'd expect from some obscure Chinese manufacturer, but any US company couldn't possibly risk the legal ramifications.

 

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10 hours ago, SYS said:

Not sure if you came up with any solutions for your Mac book. 

Lois Rossman has a load of videos on Macbook repair. 

 

Chances are if you googled Macbook problems you might have come across him already. Well respected in his field. Never used him, but found his non repair videos and right to repair stuff interesting:

 https://m.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup

 

Wouldn't hurt to ask or get a quote for each. 

That's where I got the quote in the first place. Repair would most likely mean replacing the entire logic board which is almost the cost of an entire MBP. Like I said, the much cheaper but much harder solution is finding a way to flash the EFI ROM with a working image. That involves soldering and an EEPROM programmer.

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Macbook is a box of problems. But if you still wanna do it check apple 17-inch macbook pro (user’s guide) user manual here and maybe you will find all important info wich can be helpful..

Edited by mariopepper

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And in one thread I am reminded of why I blocked AndrewB on my old account years ago... *blocks again*

I hate working on Macs and am nothing close to an expert. I have a guy I usually forward all but the most basic repairs to as he has much more experience than I. Obviously replacing the logic board is not really viable for such an old machine as the cost is comparable to it's value. If I were you, I would get an aftermarket battery which should be relatively cheap to test that hypothesis. Failing that, I would be cutting my losses.

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On 8/31/2020 at 5:52 AM, Edward850 said:

Ah yes, not a single industry expert has found anything, but you, a random guy on some doom community Web forum have, it all figured out! 

 

... Tell me again what your qualifications are? 

 

I believe his claims aren’t completely without merit as Apple has built some really shady shit into their updates before:

 

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-apple-over-alleged-misleading-consumer-guarantee-representations

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/iphone-and-ipad-misrepresentations-cost-apple-inc-9-million-in-penalties

 

Admittedly, I could be misinterpreting what the ACCC is saying as this is not my area of expertise.

 

Also while I don’t believe updates are solely developed for planned obsolescence, I do believe most companies make everything everything as cheaply and shittily as possible these days so their products break more often and it is rare to find a product that is built to last.

 

Should also say, not defending his subsequent comments though :-P

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1 hour ago, DooM Bear said:

Admittedly, I could be misinterpreting what the ACCC is saying as this is not my area of expertise.

It's not far off, though still a different situation given the circumstances. In this case, Apple introduced a function that had the OS refuse to boot if the device had its screen or other component replaced by an "unauthorised" third party. At the time, Apple was lobbying against right to repair bills in America, but unwittingly didn't realise Australia already had one in place which sprung the lawsuit. 

 

They've always had this weird problem with third parties repairing their hardware. Linus Tech Tips and this whole thing about the absolute madness they had to go through to replace a iMac Pro motherboard. It's dumb for several reasons (note that it's not like consoles which have locked optical drives because the encryption keys for the storage are independent to each drive and linked to the rest of the hardware) but that's ultimately a distinctly different problem to AndrewB's allegations about going back and disabling hardware for no reason at all. 

Edited by Edward850

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I don’t think Apple is necessarily malicious, they just outsource production to the cheapest Chinese labor plant they can find, and charge a premium based on their brand.

 

My Grandfather always swore by Apple, and hated Windows. But I noticed he was constantly traveling 120 miles round trip to bring his Mac in for repairs. I have never brought a PC in for repairs, because I can fix them myself. If it’s too far gone to fix, I don’t have to pay $2000 for a new computer, a new tower will set me back $800.

 

Really Grandpa? You’ve probably spent the price of a new PC on gas alone, not to mention the repair prices at a specialized “MAC” certified shop. On a 15 year old computer. He was a genius, just an incredibly smart and dedicated man. I love him, and I dearly miss him. But computers were not his strong point.

Edited by Jello

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