Mac Computer Repair and Maintenance

Mac, as with any other computer, needs to be maintained. The good news is that Macs do not usually need as intense maintenance as other computers do. They are also not extremely affected by dust as other computers or other laptops are.

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For example, the Mac laptop cooling system is designed in a way that it does not use the air from the bottom, but takes it from the corners. That's why the dust from the bottom of the laptop does not reach the heatsink, and does not settle on the heatsink plates.

Figure 1: Aluminium Intel Mac fan locations.

Figure 2: Unibody MacBook Pro fan location

As I mentioned in a few articles on this site, Mac laptops like other brand laptops suffer from nVidia fault. Well, this is probably the most hyped about fault today, and it seems that it will not go away anytime soon. Apple made a good step by offering some laptop models with nVidia as a warranty for this fault for up to 4 years. But, it is interesting that Apple is offering this warranty for only some of the models with nVidia.
What we found out by investigating this was that the reason why the soldering points fails on nVidia is that they are using a no clean flux starting in the manufacturing process. The used flux does not protect the soldering points from oxidation and other processes that are harmful for soldered microchip connections.

In short, if we want to protect the computer from failing, we need to keep the laptop as cool as possible. Time is one of the factors that add to the equation and the longer the chip is hot, the more the area becomes damaged. I would recommend using Fan Control to manage the fans, because Apple’s fan control settings are not optimal. The main problem is that lot of Macbooks simply overheat.

Figure 3: Fan Control on the Macbook Pro

If the nVidia fails completely, the solution for this problem is to re flow the air, or if that does not help, the solution is to try re-balling.
The solutions for this problem also include a hot air gun, hair dryer or other quick fix tools, but these are just temporary. For the correct reflow or re-ball procedure, there must be used professional equipment used and BGA No Clean RMA flux. RMA stands for Rosin Mildly Activated.

I hear people saying good thins about Drive Genius. I personally do not use it and rely on HDTune and GSmartControl instead. But the point is not to let the hard drive develop bad sectors and to replace the hard drive if this occurs.

Figure 4: Drive Genius for Macs

What I noticed about the hard drive was that it is often that they are victims to the fault of the power supply. I do not have the hard drive on a Mac that was damaged by the power supply at the moment, but I have a hard drive from CCTV whose life was shortened by the faulty power adaptor. Below is the data:

Figure 5: GSmartcontrol data from the hard drive.

The oscillogram taken from the power adaptor

Figure 6: Oscillogram taken from the power adaptor 12v. Notice the spike.

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