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Pop & smoke coming from macbook pro. Laptop died

4335 Views 33 Replies Latest reply: Dec 27, 2013 1:18 PM by mdavidsydney RSS
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Phagun Oswal Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 28, 2012 9:07 AM

Anyone else experience this rather strange phenomenon?


Purely out of goodwill, I am posting for this guy who purchased from me, a macbook pro 2.53 Ghz with 4GB RAM with a fresh install of Snow Leopard on it (gave him original discs etc with it). This machine worked like a charm with ZERO hassles while it was with me. ZERO hassles and it showed not even the faintest hint of any problem for the years I owned it. I took excellent care of it and it was in pristine condition working and looking like brand new even on the date of sale. Heck it was still giving me an easy 6 hours battery life and no signs of slowing down or anything.


Anyway, when he took it from me, he texted me close to the end of the day that apparently he was using migration assistant to transfer data from his old laptop to the MBP and he was about 10 minutes into the process wherein he heard a pop and then smoke came out from the back of the MBP and the computer shut down. I am at a COMPLETE loss of words, thoughts or ideas as to what the heck he did with the computer to have resulted in this smoky outcome.


  • Has anyone else experienced this issue? If yes, please please respond so this kid can be helped out.
  • Also, for something like this, what sort of backup or coverage does Apple provide? Of course the laptop was from 2009 with no Apple Care on it. Because honestly I could've taken care of most tech issues and never expected my laptop to emit smoke and get fried like that.
  • Thus, I am guessing and hoping that they uncondintionally take care of this issue because this is a very rare and strange phenomenon. Also, in all its probability, it's not like the kid was running a nuclear reactor through this MBP for it to go toast like this.
  • Could this be a batter issue? A power supply issue or a hard disc issue?


I would appreciate if someone could let me know anything related to such a problem (or similar) if it happened to them too. Any words of advice or suggestions would be most welcome as to how best to tackle this situation. I dont' want this kid to feel cheated off his money. If he is truly telling me honestly that it happened during just a file transfer then he needs to be helped and I want to provide him whatever information I can, so he doesn't lose his money.


Thank you for your time

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Andrew Wolczyk Level 5 Level 5 (5,205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 12:09 PM (in response to Phagun Oswal)

    I'm really at a loss to say what exactly would cause smoke to come out of it. My gut tells me he might have spilled something in to it, but lets give him the benefit of the doubt. I can only think that the logic board is about the only component that could cause that type of failure. Take it to the applestore and have it diagnosed.

  • Andrew Wolczyk Level 5 Level 5 (5,205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 12:36 PM (in response to Phagun Oswal)

    No they don't. You had the opportunity to extend the warranty to three years, which you didn't do. Why should they repair something that is two years out of warranty?

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,345 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 12:47 PM (in response to Phagun Oswal)

    Phagun Oswal wrote:


    I just hope that apple doesn't give him a runaround and takes care of him. Cuz their high priced machines frying like this so randomly doesn't make any sense. They need to address something like this for free.



  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,345 points)

    Phagun Oswal wrote:


    What if tomorrow a Boeing or an airbus crashed due to systemic failure and what if one of those companies denied looking into the problem or doing anything to correct it or compensate the passengers' families for it ? Kinda the same principle but not similar stakes involved. And that is why apple should cover this kid.


    Your logic is flawed.  If a cars engine (say a mercedes since we are talking high end) was to stop working due to engine failure and the warranty had expired, would you expect to get a free engine just because what you paid for was expensive?  You clearly have no clue how businesses work.  Apple has no legal obligation to cover any repairs after warranty, unless otherwise stated (such as a recall).   Since you mention Sony, why don't you call their customer service and ask them if they would cover this for free if it happend to a Vaio out of warranty.

  • Andrew Wolczyk Level 5 Level 5 (5,205 points)

    Well why don't you refund the kid half his money back? You were the one that sold it to him, not Apple.


    You obviously don't understand consumer electronics. It does not matter how well they are made, a certain percentage of them will fail. You are covered for a year, which is pretty much an industry standard. You have the opportunity to extend that coverage, and all sales personel will advise you to do so. If you chose not to, you are saving money but you are also taking on risk.


    Nonetheless, I'm not a huge believer in coincidence and still believe there is more to this story than a random occurance.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,345 points)

    Phagun Oswal wrote:


    I am going to put an end to this mudslinging and am going to try to reopen this thread and am going to hope that someone with an actual recommendation or insight into this issue responds.


    The only answer you are looking for is for someone to tell you that Apple will repair this free of charge.  That is not going to happen, so post until you are blue in the face.

  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,195 points)

    Both of you need to "Cool it". Your arguments are not solving the problem.


    Since you said the 'pop" came from the lid, I did a quick Google search using macbook pro backlight failure. Here's the results  There have been failures. There's no way, without seeing the Mac if a liquid spill may have caused the problem. There is no warranty from Apple, unless it was a widespread latent defect. Don't know if an Apple Store employee would even look at it, but he could try. Most "pop" failures like this are battery problems. Have the person remove the battery to see if there is any evidence of failure/burning or bloating.


     Cheers, Tom

  • iVmichael Level 6 Level 6 (13,725 points)

    #1 This is your responsibility not Apple's, the machine is out of warranty so there's no moral or legal claim against them whatsoever. The price you paid, or sold it for, isn't really relevant with electronic devices.


    #2 You could wash your hands of it and say "Caveat Emptor" and let the buyer take the fall as the purchase had taken place, the equipment was out of your hands and it's possible (or not) that they did something to cause the '"pop and smoke". A component has failed and it's not an unusual event and yes it's happened to others the timing of this is just unfortunate.


    #3 You could offer to refund some or all of the sum paid as a show of good will.


    #4 You could ask them to take the mac to an Authorised Dealer to see if a repair is possible, if this is a small component failure then it could be a simple and relatively cheap fix and you could either cover the cost yourself or help the new owner pay for it.


    #5 You could keep posting new threads in the hope somebody would agree that it's Apples fault (might make you feel better but still won't get it repaired) but honestly that would be a waste of time and space ...


    My best advice is to go for option #4 and see if this gives more choices to you both.


  • Al Van Malsen Level 6 Level 6 (18,740 points)

    Hi Phagun,

    The problem, at least as I see it is that you really don't know what caused the problem. It could have been a random failure for some unexplained reason or it could have been an accidental spill into it. You just don't know. All you have to go on is what the purchaser told you. You know that you took good care of it and had no issues with the product when you sold it.  Perhaps what you might do is gently ask the new owner to take it in and have it diagnosed and to call you and let you know what they say. It is possible that there is something simple and inexpensive to repair. At least that way you will have some factual basis from which to try and alleviate the situation.


    I am certain you feel bad that this happened. Most of us would but you are not responsible for what happened to it. It is possible that it was damaged in shipment and no one noticed it. There are just too many possibilities.


    There are a couple of factual itmes that were mentioned in previous posts. First of all Apple is not responsible to fix it at this point. That is a fact and there is no changing it. Warranties are limited in scope and time and the computer is well out of warranty because it is 3 years old. If you feel badly about it or feel some sort of responsbility than refund the money and take it back is all I can suggest. No manufacturer is going to cover a product that is two years out of warranty and it just isn't realistic to expect them too.


    I wish I could provide you with some hope but these things happen. Nothing lasts forever and until you can be certain what happened then there is not much you can expect from Apple or folks here. We certainly can't provide you with anything more than emotional support which we are happy to do, but it won't solve the purchasers problem.


    Once again, I would suggest you ask him to take it in and have it diagnosed. If he refuses that will also give you information about what may, may I say have happened.

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