Tuesday, February 13, 2007

MacBook Pro Woes, Part 2

My MacBook Pro arrived back from Apple today. Contrary to what I was told would happen, they did not replace the broken hard drive. In fact, the repair sheet doesn’t even mention the drive. It only says that they re-installed the OS and tightened one of the heat sinks on the logic board.

I called Apple, and the guy kept trying to tell me that if the drive had needed to be replaced then they would have done so. If Apple Hardware Test doesn’t report any problems, then I should consider the Mac fixed. (I’m pretty sure AHT doesn’t scan for bad blocks.) For some reason, he didn’t have access to the report of the repairs that had been done, though he could see that the original problem report mentioned bad blocks on the drive. Eventually he transferred me to a product specialist who immediately understood the problem and said that of course they should have replaced the drive. So Apple’s sending me another box, and we’ll try the mail-in repair again.

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Maybe Apple should really get rid of DRM (Dumb Repair Men) as Steve is suggesting.

It's unfortunate, but generally a fact of life when dealing with most large companies, that the people who offer understanding and solutions to customer service issues are not the same people that are tasked with implementing said solutions. Thus, clashing of procedures and "repairs" like the one you got that first go 'round. Odds are the original diagnosis got recorded at some point as "bad drive", but in a non-specific manner that prompts the repair tech to run the AHT, which of course shows that the drive is mechanically and electronically sound.

I used to wonder sometimes why the offices I support in my job are so impressed by quick, do-it-once-and-it's-done fixes, until I consider that their alternative is a phone line with a scripted routine at the other end.

This is one of the reasons that I am considering the MacBook over the MacBook Pro; the hard drive is user replaceable in the MacBook.

Jeff: that's true, although AFAIK if there's a problem you still have to send the whole computer back to Apple for repair. But you could certainly install your own replacement drive as a temporary solution.

"Jeff: that's true, although AFAIK if there's a problem you still have to send the whole computer back to Apple for repair. "

I suppose you could also pull a good hard drive before sending it to Apple, if the drive isn't the problem being fixed. Then you wouldn't have to worry about losing data.

What's bothering me about my MacBookPro is that it occasionally develops sort of a quiet, high-pitched lathing noise which, oddly, stops if I touch the LCD frame or adjust the lid so it's close to perpendicular to the body.

Jon H: pulling the hard drive out of a MacBook Pro voids your warranty.

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