does apple's warranty cover this?
March 18, 2007 3:56 PM   Subscribe

does apple's 1-year warranty cover damage caused by static electricity?

i got a strong shock from my ibook when pressing the space bar to wake up my computer from sleep. the shock caused the computer to turn off; when i restarted it all my files were intact but the computer no longer recognizes my battery and there is something wrong with the keyboard--i have to type very slowly (about one key per second) or else i'll start "losing" letters (it's not a delay--it just skips the ones that are input too quickly). so far nothing else seems to be amiss.

anyway, i'm taking my notebook into the applestore tomorrow for a diagnosis, but am sort of hoping to get some advance warning on what to expect, costwise. the apple website is, perhaps intentionally, a little unclear about its warranty terms.
posted by thinkingwoman to Technology (6 answers total)
Static electricity can make the Power Management Unit (PMU) component act flaky, which will cause the symptoms you describe (battery not charging, not responding to the keyboard, etc.).

Fortunately, the PMU can be reset, which might save you a trip to the Apple Store.

If your iBook requires service, I would call AppleCare directly. I would not mention the static electricity events, but simply describe the symptoms and go through the steps their technicians ask to diagnose the problem. If there is a hardware failure, they will repair the unit if it is under warranty.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:10 PM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

you know, that may be what happened--it happened once before and all it did was reset my time and date settings (which according to the wikipedia page you referred me to, is also controlled by the pmu). since it was such a benign effect, i didn't bother to investigate further. obviously, the current situation can't be ignored.

i am not comfortable going into my computer and resetting anything. i would feel a lot better taking it to the applestore, if for no other reason than to make sure i don't void my warranty.

any other opinions about what's going on here?
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:41 PM on March 18, 2007

If you call them they will tell you to reset the PMU (you don't have to open it up to do this!) as it's standard practice when there are power management issues. I'm almost certain that it's simply the PMU. Resetting the PMU will not void the warranty.
posted by luriete at 4:53 PM on March 18, 2007

Please do try resetting the PMU. As you bought your iBook in the past year you must have one whose PMU can be reset like this:

1. If the computer is on, turn it off.
2. Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes.
3. Wait 5 seconds.
4. Press the Power button to restart the iBook computer.

This is not "going into your computer", so give it a shot. It may be a quick fix for the battery problem. It definitely does not void your warranty! It may also have no effect, but it would take you a few seconds to give it a shot.
posted by neustile at 4:54 PM on March 18, 2007

Second the playing dumb advice. Why give them a reason to decline your claim, when it's their hardware that can't deal with the realities of life?
posted by smackfu at 5:16 PM on March 18, 2007

thanks. i called applecare and that's exactly what they told me to do, and it solved the problem.

apologies for my skepticism; i have gotten bad tech advice from the apple discussion boards and since then i've decided that, given my unsavviness, it's better to be cautious and go through proper channels rather than DIY.

but you guys were all right! yay!
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:11 PM on March 18, 2007

« Older Vancouver transportation   |   Help me locate a "This American Life" episode. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.