Has my Mac been fried?
How do I know that my Apple Mac has been damaged by lightning or load shedding?
Load shedding in 2019 has hit everyone in South Africa hard. Unfortunately your Mac will especially be affected if load shedding occurs. The reason a Mac can be so negatively affected is due to the complex nature of how electricity powers the machine, and which parts of your Mac are exposed to power.
Here’s a list of Mac parts which can be damaged due to load shedding, or a sharp increase in electrical voltage.
Mac Logic Board:
The logic board is the central part of the Mac which is basically the brain. The Mac’s logic board controls almost all functions on the machine, and is responsible for processing, power distribution and generally has the graphics card built into it.
If your Mac’s logic board has been struck by a sharp increase in voltage from lightning, load shedding or a tripped main switch then there is significant risk to your machine.
Keyboard & mouse
Generally found on Apple MacBook Pro’s, MacBook Air’s and MacBook’s the mouse (trackpad) and keyboard can become faulty.
The reason for this is that the keyboard and trackpad are directly connected to the main Apple logic board. If the board is struck by lightning or load shedding it can sometimes bypass the logic board but hit the keyboard and trackpad.
If a building doesn’t have lightning protection built in, the discharge normally runs through all the metal parts of the structure including cables. Items that get hit the hardest are networks, computers, plugs and appliances plugged into the main electrical circuit.
The sheer force of the lightning strike sends a high voltage current through the devices, and causes them to short circuit in most cases.
What lightning means for your Mac
- Mac logic board damage (this is the brain of the Mac)
- Hard drive and SSD failures (this is where data stored on the machine is corrupted, or the Mac SSD or Mac storage drive is damaged)
- Mac graphics cards are damaged (this is where the hardware controlling what happens on the screen breaks)
- Suddenly your Mac becomes very slow (wheel of death)
- Mac applications starts behaving erratically, and don’t save work
One of the biggest problems we have found to be true, is that you may not even be aware that your Mac has been struck by lightning. And Macs that have lightning damage can begin to only show symptoms of damage weeks after they are hit.
What to do when lightning strikes your Mac…
If you’re like most Mac users, lightning can strike your Mac at the most unexpected times, and cause chaos when you are trying to work, recover files or just access your machine.
Steps to try when lightning strikes your Mac:
1) Try a PRAM reset click here to find out how to
2) Try an SMC reset click here to find out how to
3) Try removing the battery if you can (do not try this if you have not done it before) click here to find out how to
4) Try fixing the permissions if you have access to the terminal window
5) For advanced users, try and log into the terminal of the machine, and see if there are code corrections which can be made
If you are based in Johannesburg, South Africa and are looking for help with your potentially fried Mac we are easy to get in touch with, just click the link