Saturday, September 09, 2006

Apple Admits MacBook Shutdown Issue

Despite being released several months after the problematic MacBook Pro, Apple's family of black and white MacBooks have had their own fair share of problems as well. The most recent and widely documented problem for the MacBook has been its spontaneous shutdown issue -- the MacBook will randomly shutdown completely without warning or any signs of malfunction. This week Apple has posted an official notice on its website, asking users to call Apple Care for service if they experience random shutdowns.

Last week The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) revealed a possible explanation for the shutdown issue. In a German article, one researcher found that the problem was due to a cable inside the MacBook being too short. The cable itself runs between the system's heat sensor and the CPU heatsink. When operating, the heatink becomes hot and expands. Since the cable tension is high, the heatsink ends up cutting or melting through the cable's insulation and shorting the wires within. This is the cause of the random shutdown says the article.

After the machine is turned off (purposely or randomly), the heatsink then cools and contracts and the short no longer exists, permitting the machine to be turned on again almost immediately. Unfortunately, Apple has not revealed what the possible cause of the problem is.

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