Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2008 2:58 PM by dhirschi
Jessica Lares Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
Recently, my MacBook Pro has been shocking me (on the right side at the bottom). This is the third time it's happened during the weekend. Has only happened to me two other times (I don't remember when).

Any suggestions on what I can do?

Windows XP
  • M. Miller Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I've heard the MacBook Pros are not well grounded. While using the two-prong (and sometimes three-prong) plugs on the power adapter, the MacBook is actually grounded on through its aluminum chassis. It doesn't take a Mac Genius to tell you that this is a prime situation for electrical shock. Some people on this forum report using the three-prong extension cord with the power adapter reduces or solves the problem entirely.

    I've been shocked before when using my plastic Alienware laptop. It's no surprise that the thing hardly turns on anymore. Me thinks the power supply went bad...
  • Jessica Lares Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I only ever use the extension though? So I don't know how that'll be the case.

    Oh, and it just shocked me again this very moment I'm typing this.
  • Retired Engineer Level 4 Level 4 (2,735 points)
    It's normal. Use your MBP on battery only and it won't be a problem. The 3 wire power cord carries building ground (earth) to the power adapter. There are 5 connections in the magsafe connector. Two are for the DC voltage, two are for the DC ground and the center is for the LED in the magsafe. The only possibility for building ground would be the metal frame of the magsafe connector. A measurement with an ohmeter indicates that it is not connected to building ground. You can only feel the tingle when making a light contact with the case. If you keep one hand in constant contact with the MBP, you won't feel it.
  • Jessica Lares Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    But this has only started happening?
  • M. Miller Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Same issue for my old laptop. About the same time it started having flaky power issues, it started shocking me. I would suggest taking your laptop into an Apple store. They probably won't get the same result, just because things never go wrong when you actually want them to. At least they may take it for a few days to run some tests. It couldn't hurt, since I don't care what anybody says: under normal conditions a notebook or any computer should NEVER shock you!
  • Jessica Lares Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Well, besides the power issues, my paint is also chipping off at the bottom. I recently also had to reinstall OSX because it kept freezing up and asking me to restart (even if I left it alone on the screen saver for awhile). I'm definitely going to try and take it in on Friday to the Apple Store.
  • Mike Cuenca Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Mine does this, too. If I'm typing and my wrists are just barely touching the case, I get little tingling shocks. It is a disturbing behavior. Has anyone from Apple verified that this is normal?
  • hippoears Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You think thats a bad shock, you should feel 220 volts overseas. I travel internationally and have had some uber shocks on the left side between the horizontal and vertical surfaces. This is while using the 3 prong extension plug, with ground.
    I've also been to some shady internet cafe's in the middle east that are 220v with no ground, just the middle two and its is quite a shock.
  • el jeffe Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    could indicate faulty wiring at your desk? At a home store or radio shack you can purchase a little outlet tester for less than $10. It has three lights to indicate wiring faults such as:
    Open Ground
    hot/neutral reverse
    open neutral
    Or normal.
    Good idea to check all your outlets! Cheaper than an electrician (and sober)
  • mattathayde Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    thats your issue probably. the casing should not transfer electricity because it is anodized aluminum (properly anodized layers are perfect or next to perfect insulators), if the layer is chipping off it was not finished properly and i would call apple about that (unless you scratched it and then it started to chip then you caused it to corode below the anodized layer). the layer can scratch off but if it flakes off that is a defect in material (or a very bad scratch and exposure) because anodizing is not a coating but a changing of the top layer of the metal.

    now hat i think about it i did get one shock a while a go but it was from where the casings meet where the little rubber edging is and i wants totally sure it was a shock at first, but the chair i was sitting in crates a lot of static so i didnt think much of it

  • dhirschi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the exact experience Mike describes. It feels like a pinch and it happens to both wrists along the bottom edge of the horizontal surface near the gray plastic strip. Since it is happening both where the coating is wearing and where it hasn't I don't think it's a result of the aluminum coating - or whatever it is - wearing away.

    When this is happening I also notice there is a low-level vibration through the entire case.
  • Peter Yap Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My girlfriend complains of the same thing.

    Apple should issue an official response to this matter.
  • dhirschi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No offense meant, but how can it be 'normal' to act as grounds for our MacBooks? Some have suggested that using the three-prong extension cord solves the problem, but not for me. My MacBook still shocks me using the three-prong AND it's plugged into a surge protector. AND there's no problem with the wiring in my office.

    Having put up with clattering fans, a whining CD drive and a sound like a jet taking off whenever I do anything processor intensive, this is the last straw. I'm very unhappy with my MacBook Pro (first generation). IMHO it's a faulty piece of hardware and Apple should replace it. Though I'm a fan of the OS, I'm no fan of MacBook Pros.
  • mattathayde Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)
    the shocking is an issue but i really wonder how much it is the machine vs the user building up static. i have gotten shocked as well but it was only a few times and it happened with in about the same week and then since then no shocks really so maybe it is something else. but i will say i never noticed having it with my powerbook.

    the loud fans and loud cd drive do not seem much different than my power book was, maybe the fans are a little louder but the computer does run hotter than my powerbook did

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