When it rains, it pours.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GregUofMN, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. GregUofMN macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    After doing this less than a month ago, I've pulled another bone-headed move.

    As I was getting out of my car today, I thought I had the strap of my 15" Aluminum Powerbook's neoprene Incase brand bag around my shoulder. Little did I know, it was not. As I stood up, my Powerbook fell and hit the concrete right on the front left corner, and it dented the crap out of it. The laptop now sits crooked on a table, the bottom aluminum shell has got a wicked dent, and the trackpad layer won't close on the bottom shell so it's open and the "guts" of the machine are visible.

    My questions to you all are...
    1. Does my Apple Care warrenty cover this?
    2. I think that only the bottom shell and the darker gray plastic band that wraps the place where you rest your palms. Is this possible?
    3. Since I am one of the few that still need to get my screen replaced from the defective blotchy screen defect recall that started 2 or so years ago, can I get this done at the same time?
    4. If it's not all covered under my Apple Care Warrenty, what would this all cost?
    5. Has this happened to anybody out there in internet-land?

    Thanks for any answers you may be able to answer. (I'm starting to think that I should nominate myself for one of those Darwin-Awards.) I'm such a bonehead.

    Thanks again,
  2. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ouch. I feel for you. Unfortunately, AppleCare won't cover the damage from your bad luck and I don't know how much it would cost you to fix it.

    I'm so paranoid about my wife dropping our Powerbook that I bought a Zero Halliburton aluminum hard briefcase. It was really expensive, but I figured it would last forever.

    Again, sorry to hear about your misfortune.
  3. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    ...I should mention that at least I'm fortunate that I am not having any hard drive or software problems... yet!

    I've been reading some other threads, will this drop complete void my warrenty that I spent $300 on?
  4. NeuronBasher macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    All of these horror stories of the fragility of the aluminum Mac laptop cases has just about convinced me to purchase Safeware insurance when I get my new MacBook Pro.
  5. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've looked into this. If you are accident prone, it is a good idea to have. It's not that expensive.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You're up a creek. Slow down and be more careful.
  7. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    I have developed the habbit of always holding the hand straps of my incase bag when I stand up to avoid this kind of accident.

    But, to answer your questions:
    1. no, accidental damage is not covered by apple care. (Though it may be covered by any home contents insurance you have.)
    2. yes, it is possible to replace just the lower casing. Although if it is very warped I'd be concerned that the motherboard may have significant cracks. Anyway, replacing the bottom shell on my powerbook G4 1.5GHz was quoted as around US$650 when I dented the side of my powerbook. Searching online will turn up a couple of third party repairers who quoted slightly less but the main issue is that the lower shell is not a cheap part.
    3. yes. Replacing the bottom shell involves completely dismantling the machine and rebuilding it. Replacing the screen at the same time would make sense.
    4. see answer 2.
    5. yes, I tripped over the power cable when standing up from the couch when my laptop was sitting on my girlfriend's lap. My tripping on the cable pulled the power plug partially out of the powerbook and yanked the powerbook onto the floor. The powerbook landed on the power plug. The center of the plug bent and dented in the side of the powerbook next to the power socket. I replaced the power adapter and found out how much a lower shell would cost. So instead, I opened up my powerbook and gently massaged the dent out of the case. There is still a ~1mm ripple near the power socket which you can see if you are looking for the dent. But that is far better than the ~12mm deep dent originally there.
  8. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    My stomach just dropped. :eek:

    What third party folks were you able to find? And yes, I'm calling the Genious Bar tomorrow.
  9. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003


    I think it was powerbookmedic that I emailed to get a quote on purchasing just the bottom shell with the plan of replacing it myself. If I recall correctly the bottom shell part was around $590.
  10. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    Doesn't opening it void the warrenty automatically? Or am I wrong?
  11. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    There are no seals or other mechanisms to make it obvious that you have opened the case. Thus, there is no way for them to know that the case was opened.... unless you cause some damage in the process.

    Apple's policy tends to be so long as the damage was not caused, or made worse by the user opening the case then they don't mind.

    I've worked on laptops in the past so I was confident that I could at least open and inspect my damage to see if anything was affected inside the machine.
  12. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Yes, in fact a tiny dent on your PB is enough to make you feel better about flushing $300 down a toilet bowl, sad to say :(
  13. jacobj macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Do you not have accidental damage home insurace...new for old cover as well.

    Although not on the same scale of cost, but my daughter threw my ipod across the kitchen and broke it, so I got it replaced on accidental cover with a £50 excess....

    I reccomend this insurance to all.
  14. thestaton macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2006
    yeah, I would highly recommend Safeware - or what I do is pay an extra $120 dollars a year to my insurance company and it covers any accidental damage to any of my electronics up to and including 8K or something.

    I thought it was orginally all covered undy my renters insurance but when my sony camcorder when flying they would not fix it - but now that I have there seperate electronic insurance it would of been covered!

    best of luck!
  15. gnasher729 macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    Check out eBay. There are often people selling broken equipment. You might find someone selling a matching model with damaged motherboard reasonably cheap.
  16. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    Hmm... I'll have to check on that. My wife and I recently bought a house and we both are very conservative about our insurance policies so this may definetely be the case.
  17. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I have first hand experience with Safeware regarding an issue similar to yours.

    1. They only will repair (or replace) a PowerBook with an insurance policy if the damage is major. (They will NOT allow you to send your PowerBook in just to repair a dent that is of a cosmetic issue only.)

    2. If you file a claim with them within the first year of your policy, they will drop you when it comes time for renewal.

    3. Like any insurance agent, it takes weeks upon weeks to actually get a claim paid out. In my case, it took Safeware roughly three weeks to verify my proof of purchase and have an Apple Service Provider look at my PowerBook.

    4. Safeware's customer service is somewhat limited, and when you file a claim you are immediately assigned to an agent. My agent was unfortunately "never in the office" and would only make contact with me via e-mail and fax.
  18. GregUofMN thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2003
    Thanks to everybody that has replied. I really appreciate the sympathy. ;)

    But my question now is...
    I think that I may be able to get by with just purchasing a new bottom case. However, is it difficult to disassemble a Powerbook and re-assemble the new bottom? I've never taken a laptop apart before (desktop, yes) and I'm not sure if this is something that a Mac-tech would need to do or can the average Joe-schmo do this?

    By the way, I found a bottom case for $150 which isn't too bad.
  19. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I had SafeWare years ago and had to make a claim with them for theft.

    Dealing with them was a horrible experience. I was very unhappy with their customer service and with the delays in replacing the stolen items.

    As you stated, they refused to renew my policy when renewal time came around. I was so unhappy with them that I didn't care.
  20. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    It is a massive task. You will need a large work area to lay out the components. Several (more like ~20) containers to hold screws to ensure that you can distinguish between them during reassembly. You will also need allen keys and torx screwdrivers.

    However, if you find the Apple service manual online, have the tools, and are comfortable working on small delicate projects and take your time it isn't rocket science.

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