Darn little $300+ dent in my 17" powerbook...how can I fix this ?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Seanb23, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #1
    Well, a little bit after a recent trip through airport security I discovered a little dent in my 1 ghz 17" powerbook, on the right side next to the USB port. It's a small ding, and a trip to the service center confirmed that none of the hardware inside was damaged, but now the aluminum around the ding bows out about a millimeter above it, causing the computer to close at a slight tilt.

    Here's my gripe...I had intended to trade this up for a faster powerbook at some point, as the 1ghz G4 really is far too slow for many high-end audio applications. Really, I like OSX 10.3.4 just fine, but Apple really has lagged far, far behind the competition with regards to processor speed in laptops, and I was waiting for a faster model, say in 6 or 8 months...or perhaps longer. I do not ever want to go back to to the windoze world, but their higher end laptops are at least twice as fast as the fastest powerbook...but that's a whole other thread.

    Now, Apple informs me that they NEVER take in models with physical damage of any sort for a "trade up." I understand that the bottom case is avaliable for about $300, but this seems like "good money after bad" for a machine that is rapidly falling in value (paid $3300 last summer, now used 17 inch one gigs are worth about $1600 as a trade in, IN PERFECT CONDITION.) I cannot find anyone who will repair a little dent like this...certainly not Apple...so have any of you out there had any experiences with this sort of thing ?
     
  2. macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #2
    I seriously don't get this.

    Everyone keeps saying how durable the PowerBooks are, but then post posts like this where how they brushed a feather on the PowerBook and got a moon-sized crater of a dent (massively exaggerated).

    And to make it even worse, they say "that's easy to fix; open it up and massage it back". MASSAGE it back?! Is that aluminum so clay-like you can mold it?!

    And not to mention the warping problems!!!

    Bah, titanium was much better, even with it's paint problems, which Apple pretty much fixed at the end of the model's life.

    Oh, and the iBook is much better in the durability arena as well.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    #3
    Since when did apple offer trade ins anyway (or is this a dealer)? In the UK all the powerbooks even the first gen TiBooks hold there value well. Don't worry about the dint just use it. Does your insurance cover accidental damage? The first thing everyone should do is sort out that with their broker even before applecare. I bet more people damage their machines then suffer mechanical break down.
    If you want to upgrade then put it up for sale privately your far likely to get a better offer this way even with damage then if you opt to trade in.
    I'm equally fed up, but of everyone saying how much better the TiBooks are compared to the new aluminium models :D A friend has a last gen 867MHz model (circa mid 2003) the paint is coming off it, the titanium panels are coming away from te chassis, and this was before it suffered a small drop. Now the combo drive is on its way out, the hinges are knackered and the whole frame in general is bent.
    The fact is the hinge design design of the TiBooks was prety fragile and over time they don't wear well. If you've got a dint in the aluminium case I can assure you if it was titanium it would have cracked wide open, the whole case on the first G4 powerbooks was very thin.
     
  4. macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #4
    Ok, I'll admit it, the titanium PowerBooks aren't the most durable 'books ever.

    But for some reason a broken hinge or a cracked case just bothers me less than a MOLDABLE notebook... Maybe it's a psychological thing :D

    I just keep getting this image of Apple releasing the "ClayBook G5"... made of clay! Mold it any way you like! :eek: :p
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #5
    Well, I meant "Apple Dealer" when I said Apple. And I'm ruefully shaking my head with regards to insurance...

    Look at Ebay. Since the 1.5ghz came out, the value of the old 1 ghz has been falling like a rock. They aren't bad machines, not at all, but they have a slower cpu, a slower bus, and a smaller L2 cache than new laptops on both sides of the fence. They are consistently blown away on every benchmark, by the new powerbooks AND new Windoze laptops. People are aware of these things, and it affects the value. I simply could not believe it when I was informed by the authorized dealer I bought it from that it was worth less than 1/2 of what I paid for it, one year later, as a trade in, in perfect condition. I was under the impression that Macs held their value well, myself. And, now that it is dented, the dealer WILL NOT take it as a trade in, not to mention the fact that I am finding that it's processor is too slow for me.

    Thus...as I need to upgrade to something more modern to be able to effectively run the software I would like to run, what are my options ? My question is essentially...what is the cheapest/best way to repair a small dent, in order that I might help the machine retain some of it's value on the resale market ?

    To the other poster...people say you can "massage" the metal back into shape ?!? I just searched through the archives, perhaps I should look at them some more...
     
  6. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #6
    Same here. I dropped my bluetooth mouse, and now I have a dent on the top cover of my new 15" powerbook. I don't think they are as durable as other notebooks that are made of hard plastic.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    #7
    How About a Picture

    Can you post a picture of the dent? I've seen commercials for devices that can take dents out of a car - it seems to have suction cups that lift the metal back into its elastic limits, thereby snapping the metal back into place. If you post a picture and the dent looks fixable by such a device, I'm sure someone can link you, or you can ask a friend who might have one.

    On a side note, do realize that you can't go by processor clock speed alone to determine the speed of the computer. For instance, AMDs of far lower clock speeds than their Intel counterparts run faster. In the same vein, PowerPC processors of lower clock speeds run faster than Intels of much higher clock speeds. But don't take my word for it; there's a reason the US Army and Virginia Tech, among others, are using the G5 for creating supercomputer clusters.

    Mike LaRiviere
     
  8. macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #8
    They might not be as resistant to dents, but the aluminum won't melt on your lap (well, not from the heat of a processor anyway ;)) and it's much stiffer than the ****-plastic used on many of the Wintel laptops (with the exception of the Thinkpads and some others, those and the iBooks use good plastic) so the logic board is subjected to fewer stresses. That and it looks better :D
     
  9. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #9
    sell it on ebay and make not of the small ding, most people will not care to tell you the truth. personally i think the new ones are very durable. mine went through a huge wreck and was thrown out of the case and just has some dents in it, any other laptop would have probably shattered.

    iJon
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #10
    I'll have to get ahold of the ol' digital camera tonight and do just that. Excellent idea.

    On the processor speed note...yeh, everyone knows that IBM powerpc G4's running OSX tend to run a little faster, and they are fine for iPhoto, iTunes, watching a DVD, etc., etc. But, really, try utilizing a complex audio program on one of these older powerbooks. It'll overwhelm the CPU instantly.

    For instance, one very popular (and spendy) program for people into weird sounds is called Reaktor 4. My roomate and I did a little home-made benchmark with it the other afternoon when it kept overwhelming my Powerbook with multiple complex applications open. Side by side, one single, simple R4 program modeled on an old keyboard used up 14-17% of the CPU on my G4 1 ghz laptop running 10.3.4 w/512k memory, while the exact same application used up about 9% of the CPU on an older 2ghz AMD desktop running XP with the same amount of memory...and keep in mind, Native Instruments has made quite a big deal recently about how "well optimised" their products are for OS X. The simple fact is, 1 Ghz with a small L2 cahce and a slow bus is...well, quite slow relative to a G5 or 64 bit AMD no matter how advanced an OS you care to run on it.

    People who know a lot more about this than I who are into Macs and refuse to use windows (like me) say to get the dual G5 tower, max out the memory, and be done with it. Well, I like the 17" Powerbook quite a bit, and I'm waiting on IBM to fit a fast processor into it, hopefully sometime next year. In the meantime, well, I can't bring myself to lie about the condition of my current computer to a potential buyer.

    One post on these boards recommended using soft wood, inside and out of the case, to smooth out a dent. I dunno...maybe the suction cup idea IS better, and it saves me the pain of taking the laptop apart...
     
  11. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #11
    for one those suction devices dont work as well as you think, usually mess the car up more from what ive hard. two being, how are you going to get the suction around the laptop.

    personally i would leave it alone, but you would probably have a better chance of taking off the bottom case and flatting it out with a hammer or something like that.

    iJon
     
  12. macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #12
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Easy fix....

    Open it up.... (someone has to have the takeapart guide on that)

    take off the casing... (lid or base, whichever has the dent)

    Place flat side down on a smooth, non delicate surface....

    Get a rubber mallet...

    It will look like new.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #14
    Well, I have some little screwdrivers here...the bottom case (where my darn ding is, on the right-hand side, towards the bottom, 1/2 inch in from the USB port) just comes right off ?

    And when you say "Place flat side down" you mean which side ? The outside or the bottom or what ? And a rubber MALLET ? A mallet the size of a ball peen hammer, I would hope !

    Thanks for all the advice, everyone...if I had caught this there and then, believe me, the butterfingered imbeciles at airport security would have heard no end of it, but you let some time go by, and... well, I might as well go scream at the sun, for all the good it would do at that point. Believe me, that is a level of anger that I quit holding on to, for the sake of my health...
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    I meant OUTSIDE down... You dont want to make a concave dish by placing it up on its edges :p.

    Seriously though... your best bet is a rubber mallet. JUST A FEW gentle hits oughta do it. Make sure your surface you are hitting against is FLAT!!!

    I suppose you could sub in a super elastic piece of something over the dent and then hit it with a regular small hammer. Hell... even cloth should be fine. Just keep in mind.... It's f'in aluminum... It's a damn maleable metal.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #16
    that could be the best bet. i got 2000 euros from insurance company for a broken tibook screen ;) all you have to do is take a quote from apple service which states "this damage is not covered with warranty and it costs X dollars to fix it." and send it to the insurance company.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #17
    Naive powerbook owner that I was, I had no insurance, just a sturdy Marware case and my ever-vigilant eyeballs. Came in real handy when I was very distracted and couldn't keep those eyes on the thing in an airport...next year, my next laptop (hopefully a powerbook with a powerful CPU in it ?) will be insured, now that I have read all these threads where people claim that they can get "accidental drops" insured, even, for 30 bucks a year. Though that one post where someone's agent informed them that the rate of "accidental drops" seems to go waaaay up when it's time for an upgrade makes sense, too...we will see what the future brings with regards to powerbook upgrades, right ? For some reason it seems very possible that we won't see fast powerbooks, either the long awaited G5 or some multi-G4 variant until sometime next spring...

    Methinks the rubber mallet solution seems best. It's a ding the size of a fingernail, anyway, though it does deform the bottom edge a bit. Perhaps the malleability of the aluminum will work in my favor here, after all. I'll sleep on it for a day or two, and call the local ex-Apple mobile mac tinkerers for their shade tree opinions, too...thanks again, all...
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #18
    don't go the rubber mallet route - just leave it as it is. and take the insurance now, it just might be that something else happens during next year ;) *wink*
     
  19. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    #19
    Ahem, thanks for the advice, but I cannot picture any insurance company on Earth that would be willing to fully insure a year old laptop valued between 1500-1800 dollars for "accidental damage" without thoroughly inspecting it first...if you know of one that irresponsible and insane, there are several other items around here that I would like to insure as well, knowwhatimean ?

    Rubber mallet ? Maybe, maybe not...I'm still not sure how comfortable I am with that one. Perahps a metal shop (!) would be willing to smooth out the dented edge for 50 bucks or something...
     
  20. Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #20
    My sister spilt a whole glass of milk in a Compaq Presario PIII Laptop i had a while back, cost me £2000 when new, would have been worth what.. £300 on the second hand market

    anyway she was scared of telling me so she hid it under her bed, anyway, i found it and my parents contacted their insurance company, they have seperate cover for all the Computers, TV's, HIFI etc in the house.

    I got a cheque a week later for £1000 which paid for a new ibook which she uses now.

    Moral ... dont cry over spilt milk.. insurance companies will pay...

    Just look into how much your premiums will go up, and make sure it was dropped in your home ;)
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #21
    i meant that find such an insurance company that is not excluding laptops from a HOME insurance, and get a home insurance from such a company. then after few months call them and say that there was an accident and your laptop broke ;) you will naturally need it written from qualified apple service personnell that the kind of damage is not covered by warranty and that fixing it will cost you xxx amount of money. with that kind of paper you will likely not even need to show the laptop to insurance company to get the money. likely they will trust that certified apple service personnel know what they are doing.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    dvdh

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    #22
    Did you try claiming through the airport (or airline)

    Flying Air Canada, I got a nice dent in the leg of my Manfrotto tripod, and AirCanada paid for a replacement leg, no questions asked. You might have the same luck. Problem is, they may not accept claims that were not made immediately. Probably depends on what the airport/airlines policies are.
     

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