January 9th, 2010, 12:21 AM #1
MacBook Pro Rendering USB HDs & FLASH Drives Unrecognizable - Permanently
I don't understand why after 4 Apple Repair Depot visits my MB Pro is STILL killing several USB FLASH and external hard drives a week. It has consistently done this since the day I bought it. I have fried a large variety of FLASH Memory sizes, shapes, through all USB ports and even through attached hubs. Once my mac does this to a USB device, it is no longer recognizable by any Mac or PC ever again. Unrecognized, it doesn't even leave an opportunity for Disk Utility to reformat, rewrite, perform first aid, verify...nothing. Third-party formatters don't work either. It also doesn't seem to matter what brand, size, or port I use. For a certain period the devices would become very hot and sometime actually melt into puddles of liquid plastic and metal. On the 4th depot dispatch for this issue they did replace the mother board USB ports and EVERYTHING ELSE but the display hard drive, and case. This stopped the heating and melting problem, but I'm still frying the devices and rendering them unrecognizable.
Does anyone have ANY IDEA of what may be causing this? Is there anything I can do to stop or prevent it? Apple sure can't explain it much less fix it. This is a huge EXPENSIVE problem, and I can't seem to get past it, and I'm in an endless loop of sending in in for constant repairs. WHat can be done to stop or prevent this from happening?
PS Any advice on how to resurrect this huge PILE of unrecognizable USB devices.
January 9th, 2010, 09:01 AM #2
You are the first person ever to report such an incident on this forum or on any forum to which I subscribe. I do, however, have an hypothesis. Based on my knowledge of physics—particularly electricity, electronics, and thermodynamics and my understanding of human nature—I don't believe a word of your post.
I am willing to be convinced otherwise. For instance, you may want to post pictures of your system with the melted USB thumb drives connected. You may scan an image of your technicians' diagnoses.
Even if you are being truthful, it still gets you nowhere. If your local technician can't help you with your computer in hand, then there is absolutely nothing that anyone here can do for you but give you sympathy and an apology from me.
January 9th, 2010, 11:12 AM #3
Apple's warranty includes a "lemon law" in many states. That means that if you have the computer repaired 3 times for the same problem and the problem still persists, you're entitled to swap the computer for a replacement. By what you've explained, you should have a brand-new computer in your hands at this very moment -- and if you don't, all it would take is a simple phone call to Apple Sales & Support to get your entire computer replaced (if, in fact, you have had it repaired for the exact, same problem 3 times already and the problem isn't rectified).
I agree with MisterMe -- if something as catastrophic as a computer completely melting a USB drive into a molten puddle of plastic and metal happened, the person that owns the computer would definitely take pictures. No simpleton would ever have that occur and not take pictures...
...so pony up! Let's see 'em!
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January 9th, 2010, 01:34 PM #4
Well I CAN understand the plastics melting as I have melted a PowerBook G4 Titanium body, and also a PowerBook G3 body, but metal.... I don't think so. Plus a puddle of plastic, yah right. I've only ever deformed it. I was however, able to boil water on the processor (don't ask how or why I did so....), but metal has a much higher melting point than plastic. I'm sure the Amps and Volts delivered by the battery aren't even enough to melt metal (also tried that too).
January 9th, 2010, 04:18 PM #5
Being the simpleton I am, I will share the posted images of a USB FLASH which was accidentally left plugged into my MacBook Pro overnight.
It isn't exactly a "puddle of melted plastic and metal" as I poorly described it in the original post, it is quite on it's way.
This was my first post to this forum,it will also be my last. I admit the grammar in my original post probably wasn't the best - I didn't know we were being judged. Nonetheless, it completely missed making the point about my Mac rendering USB devices useless and somehow brought my integrity into question through a variety of unproductive responses editorializing my honesty, writing skills, and the fluid dynamics of molten plastics on USB devices. Are you guys the official Welcome Wagon of MacOSX.com?
I'll find another forum for Mac advice, one that hopefully is instilled with the innovative creative spirit and fellowship that Apple products usually inspire among users.
January 9th, 2010, 05:38 PM #6
If you are still reading this thread, there are articles on the internet about usb flash drives overheating due to poor manufacturing of the usb drive. So it is not technically impossible. So it could be the usb drives you have melted are at fault. Since you replaced the USB ports with the motherboard, and you report damaged usb drives even when connected to a usb hub, I suspect the usb drives. The usb spec says the max voltage is 5 V with max current of 500 mA - can your service department measure these on your system? But as I said it might be worth trying some other usb flash drive vendor. (The internet reports include recalls by even name brand vendors).
January 9th, 2010, 06:19 PM #7
Yes. The computer's USB port is voltage-limited to 5 V. The only way to get enough current [and power] out of the port to generate the heat required to melt the deform the thumb drive is for there to be a short in the thumb drive. A short in the thumb drive would be a manufacturing defect in the thumb drive, not a defect in the PowerBook.
Originally Posted by Cam
A PowerBook G4 runs hot enough as it is. One with the defect claimed by the OP would probably scorch anything flammable that it rests on. It is difficult to see how the computer could remain operational.
October 4th, 2010, 10:16 PM #8
Wow... well, welcome to the forum!
Originally Posted by MisterMe
I'm having the same problem here. I have fried two USB hubs in one month through my 17" Macbook. Something's wrong here...
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