Last week, my M1 Max fan started running at its highest speed suddenly and my Mac started showing a cross (x) sign on its battery at the same time. When this issue occurred, I was just writing some code and the charger was unplugged. I didn't install any new software recently nor I was performing any heavy tasks.
I tried upgrading the OS, as some updates were available, but it failed as the charger wasn't being detected at all. Soon, my laptop turned off and it only used to run when I plugged in the charger.
I tried rebooting the system several times but it didn't work. Finally, I took it to an authorized Apple service center in the town where I got my machine serviced.
They used another logic board to charge the battery and it turned out that the battery was working fine. On my laptop, I was getting the "Battery service required." message too.
But when they plugged the battery into my laptop, the same issue occurred after some time. Now their recommendation was to get the main logic board replaced. As my warranty coverage had expired, it was going to be an expensive fix considering the high specs of my Macbook.
Meantime, I had ordered an M3 and it was expected to arrive within 10 days. So I decided to take my laptop home and I was thinking to get the board replaced after my new laptop arrives.
I'd like to mention here that I had got my laptop's OS reinstalled as well but the same issue persisted.
Now at home, I started doing thorough research. I found that other people are facing the same issues too. At official Apple forums, the primary suggested solution was to get the logic board replaced.
During my research, I got to know that in Intel-based Macbooks, we had an option to reset the SMC, but with Apple Silicon, this isn't an option as there isn't any system management controller involved.
But on Apple Silicon, we can reset the NVRAM. NVRAM refers to non-volatile random access memory where the data persists even after the system is shut down. I decided to give it a try.
Although there are some guides on how to reset the NVRAM by shutting down the laptop and then turning it on using a combination of keys (CMD, Option, P, R), it didn't seem to work for me. I used the terminal to reset NVRAM. Here are the steps that you need to perform.
- Shut down the laptop
- Press the power-on button and keep it pressed until startup options appear
- Select "Options"
- From "Utilities", select terminal and then type
csrutil disableand press enter
- Reboot the system
- After rebooting your laptop to normal mode, open the terminal again. Then type
sudo nvram -cand press enter
- Reboot your system
- Shut down your laptop and again go to "Startup Options"
- This time enable SIP (System Integrity Protection) by typing
- Reboot the laptop
In the above steps, you will first disable system integrity protection (SIP). This step is mandatory otherwise you won't be able to reset NVRAM. Once this protection is disabled, you can reset the NVRAM using the terminal and finally, you will enable SIP again.
After doing these steps, I plugged in my charger and I went to bed as it was getting very late. I didn't expect this to fix my issue so I didn't stay up late to see if this worked or not. In the morning, I noticed that the light on my charger connector was "green".
Previously, it used to always stay orange as the battery wasn't being charged at all. I quickly turned on my laptop and I noticed that the battery was 100% charged!! Although the "Service required" message was there.
I unplugged the charger and rebooted the system. To my surprise, the fan didn't run. It stayed calm. And I noticed that there isn't any cross (x) mark on my battery anymore. Moreover, the "Service required" message had disappeared too.
Now several hours have passed and my laptop is running smoothly. The issues related to high fan speed and battery are gone. I am not sure whether resetting the NVRAM fixed this issue or if keeping the charger connected to my laptop at night did the trick. But looks like I don't need to get the logic board replaced for now.
During my research, some articles suggested that this issue is mainly related to battery. The battery has a temperature sensor and if there is some issue related to the battery and if the operating system doesn't get data from the temperature sensor, it runs the fans at their highest speed to ensure that the hardware isn't damaged if the system gets overheated.
Moreover, some articles also mention that NVRAM resets whenever we reboot the system. But I doubt it. An article here also mentions that Apple resets NVRAM only when it thinks that a reset is mandatory. So I think resetting NVRAM like I mentioned in this article sounds to be a potential solution to the problem. At least, I think this worked for me.
Please try this solution at your own risk. Although there shouldn't be any risk involved in performing the steps I mentioned, who knows? If your laptop is still covered by the official service warranty, I highly recommend that you get it fixed officially. If there isn't any option left other than replacing the logic board at a high cost, then I think that you should give my suggestions a try.