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My friends laptop was dropped and fell directly on the power charging connector as it was connected to the charger. Now the port still works, but the strength of the magnet that holds the connector is very weak, as if it has lost some of its magnetism. That sounds pretty ridiculous of course, so I'm wondering if it's possible that the force of the drop dislodged the magnet so it is no longer close to the surface? There is still some "pull in", but so little that the slightest tug on the cable pulls it off. I've never seen the inside to know what the magnet looks like. Is my theory plausible? Any remedies short of opening the case?

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Look closely at the case surrounding the port - slight misalignment or deformation of the case could be all that's causing the reduced magnetic attraction. –  bmike Aug 10 '11 at 21:24
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The magnet is to my knowledge inside the computer, not in the connector. –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 10 '11 at 21:47
    
alternative: tuaw.com/2008/03/05/magstay-pro-keeps-your-magsafe-stuck –  user6124 Aug 21 '11 at 0:10
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2 Answers

That internal MagSafe port is fairly inexpensive and rapid to exchange. The likelihood is that either part of the internal magnet has shifted or the entire unit has moved internally.

If the magnets inside are loose they could short a more expensive part or be a fire hazard. Best to get it in the shop.

The strong rare earth magnets won't demagnetize from a physical shock so it's likely there is internal dislocation or damage.

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My friend took it to the Apple Store and they quoted $200. I've done a fair amount of technical repair - is there a way I could obtain that part? –  Howard Kaufman Aug 10 '11 at 21:32
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iFixit.com and any apple service provider can order you parts. I would call Apple or go back to ask if the parts quoted were "just in case" or "surely needed" before attempting a DIY repair. Sometimes it's possible to get half a repair - you will be on the hook for the labor costs if they find they can't fit a new magsafe board in the broken case / mount. If the inside is damaged, it may not power on again - so be ready for the $200 even if you attempt it yourself. Do ask Apple again if for some reason it wasn't written or explained when you got the quote. –  bmike Aug 10 '11 at 21:54
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Magnets will lose their magnetic force when struck with a great force on contrast to it's size.

Dropping a magnet around 5 times will start to weaken it's pull while if you spike it (throw it on the ground with all the force you can muster) it will lose it's magnetic force completely.

You can restrengthen magnets by rubbing it between 2 other magnets but that's not advised.

You probably dropped it too many times or have internal damage.

The repairs may be a bit pricey. sorry :T

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Apple doesn't use ferromagnetic materials for MagSafe, so I'm not so sure your drop information applies here. Might you have a reference for this or did you assume physical shocks weakened all magnets? –  bmike Dec 4 '13 at 23:26
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