We had an interesting job today. A customer brought in a MacBook Pro that was crashing when it was moved around. A closer look revealed that pressure on the bottom panel was causing the issue. After some troubleshooting; we learned some interesting issues that the aluminum back panel can cause. This repair had several of these issues:
Common & Not-So-Common Problems the MacBook Pro Aluminum Case Can Cause
We will start with the one we found most interesting; the sticker on the back of the RAM can become a bridge. It has foil in it and is known to create a connection between back panel and the RAM causing the machine to short and crash.
Next, the back plate is insulated pretty well behind the motherboard and RAM. However, we found over time it becomes less efficient. In our case, we needed to add new insulation on the back panel.
Third, this model has a lot of cable and ribbon connections that can cause short issues if they make contact with the back panel. It is a really tight fit in this model; so even if the motherboard is off just slightly is can cause the connections to touch the back panel. Thus causing it to short and crash.
And last, the most common cause is from a dent in the back panel. Even a really small dent in the right spot will cause issues.
If your Mac is experiencing a similar problem or is giving you an electric shock while plugged in then you need to unplug it and not plug it in again until you’ve taken it to a reputable computer repair store (like Quick Connect 😊) and had it tested.
This is absolutely not normal and potentially unsafe. In fact, you should consider this your default reaction for any electronics you interact with. Electric shorts are not normal!