I need your advice. iMac 27"

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Vuccappella, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Vuccappella, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

    Vuccappella macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2014
    Ok, so yesterday this happened to my late 2012 iMac 27" http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18870553#post18870553 .

    This is a follow up thread in which I need your advice as a fellow mac owner and not a solution to my hardware/software problem! I have kind of a situation deciding what to do, let me explain:

    After a talk on the phone to apple support yesterday It was established that I need to bring in the computer for extra diagnostics to see what exactly is wrong with it and what needs to be fixed. That's all fine but I have never been in a mac store before (bought it from the internet) and I did not know how thing's work.

    So, the apple support employee told me that unfortunately there isn't a proper apple store nearby (the closest one is in another city, 120 minutes train + bus with a 27'' imac on my shoulders) but said that there is a nearby apple authorized repair service (which isn't apple) in a local village next to my city.

    I decided to go there today and I had to pay 30 pounds for a cab as there is no transport to that place. I got there, and the person there checked my computer and was able to boot it up (with i believe an external hard drive which had os x installed on), upon starting the computer preformed a check of all it's components, (all components had icons and green ticks appeared on all of them - If someone knows exactly what he did, that would be of help!) and to my amusement it didn't detect a problem anywhere in my hardware, even my hard drive, so I assumed the problem is software based. He was then able to access all my files and I saw them with my eyes, so I thought to myself, sweet! He can fix it, and most importantly back up all my data. To which I asked him if that is the case.

    He followed up, by telling me that it is but I would have to pay for the data to be copied anywhere from 60-200 pounds. Which really seemed harsh. I know it's my bad the data isn't backed up but still.

    He then told me that Apple would cover the cost of a replacement drive but won't cover his time spent doing repairs or the backing up bit so he asked me if I want to follow up with it.

    I declined politely and said I would try my luck with apple as I think they would cover it as part of my apple care and may wan't to go out of their comfort zone for a customer. (Again this is just my assumption, this is my first Apple product and I've had not prior experience till then with dealing with such problems but from the feedback I've heard from other people, I was kind of expecting it.)

    I then went on a nice journey to the other city and apple store. After finally arriving there it turns out I need an appointment with a genius, for them to look at my computer. I had no idea:)(even though earlier when I spoke to an apple adviser on the phone and told him I had no experience with repairs or apple stores and asked him if i need my original case, to let them know in advice or anything else, he just said to pop by my local authorized apple repair shop or local apple store.). I took things lightly though and laughed it of as at least I knew that my files would be alright to recover. They didn't let me leave the computer there, so I have to return there on Thursday when my appointment is at.

    While I was booking an appointment in store, one of the geniuses asked me if I need any help, I said "no, just booking an appointment as my mac needs fixing", she was extremely nice to look in to the matter and asked me whats wrong with it and so on.

    So I tried explaining the situation and that my biggest concern is recovering the data at this point. She then told me Apple does not deal with personal data as it's against the law, so I asked her if it's possible for them to access the data once they take a look at the computer so I can back it up then.

    She said yes but stated that she might not know how to access the data and they might not have the capability in the store to do the things the Authorized Apple Repairman did earlier in order to access my data.

    She even told me that if it's possible I should ask him, how he did (which would be really awkward as I walked away from him and now I'd be asking for advice on the phone for free and stuff.) .

    I was kind of surprised, the conversation ended with her telling me that, she doesn't know if they could access the data due to not having the required tools and that they would replace the drive if it's faulty but then I would loose all my data. She did say they could try and help me recover it if I bring a external hard drive of some sorts.

    Now after this long long read, my question is - what should I do?

    Should I go back and pay that man a lot of money (for my pocket that is) to back up my data and repair my computer although I'm under full warranty.

    Or should I wait for my appointment at the App store and waist another 6 hours of my day or more not knowing if they can back up my data.

    The girl seemed really hesitant and she really seemed like she didn't know if I could be helped, if the genius I'm meeting on Thursday is the same then I would waste my time and money going there for nothing, as I won't agree to swap my drive without a recovery. What is your experience in scenarios like these? Do Apple stores not do backups at all? Are the geniuses experts or are they just sales people that know general stuff about macs and workshops and are trained to do basic replacements of parts and nothing else. I'm kind of confused how it all works. I was shocked when she told me that I should ask the person to I first binged my computer to for a solution to my problem. Maybe she was just trying to help but I'd assume if he could'v done that for literally 5 minutes than they should too, without any help.

    I know that the backing up part is pretty much my fault, but what should I do now ? I'm looking at a whole day spent Thursday doing a repair and a backup. My wallet isn't really bright at the moment, especially after spending more than 70 pounds on transport for almost nothing today and buying a time capsule. It would be so harsh if I need to pay the certified repair man 200 pounds on top of these fees. I'd just like to know your opinion and if you were in a similar situation with the apple store or authorized repair mans!

    Also: What are my options for backing up my data. I've ordered a Time Capsule but chances are it won't arrive till Thursday when my appointment is. Is it possible to do a Time Machine back up on the internet (Say I buy some plan on google drive or the Cloud from Apple, or something like that?). I don't think the apple store would let me transfer all my data to a computer/drive in store for whatever reason, even if it's just for a minute so we can back it up and put it back in and then delete it.
  2. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    See my reply in the other thread. You should call Apple and reschedule the visit. Incidentally, does Apple not offer AppleCare pickup/delivery in the UK? Here in Japan, I live about 2 hours from the nearest Apple Store in Osaka. It would be extremely time-consuming and expensive for me to bring my Mac there so when I make a claim under AppleCare they send a courier to my home (free of charge) with a specially-designed shipping container. I hand them the machine and they take it to the service center in Tokyo by the next day. If that's a business day they generally perform the repairs and overnight it back to me the same day. So it's about 2 or 3 days tops without the Mac.

    I would inquire as to all of your options before making that long journey again.
  3. Vuccappella thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2014
    I have no Idea if they do. I spoke on the phone to Apple Support and they did not offer me such an option , although I did say It would be quite the journey as I don't have a car. If they do, than the person on the phone was quite unhelpful, like the rest of Apple to this point. I've asked a question under your other post on the other topic, if you could help me out.
  4. squashedpillow macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2012
    Canberra, Australia
    If the Authorised Repair Centre is able to give you your old HDD, I'd recommend just picking up an external 3.5" HDD enclosure, then copying all the files off the drive yourself.

    In the past when I had a HDD fail in a Mac, I would always be asked if I wanted the drive, and I used to return them to customers when I was working as a Service Technician.
  5. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Did you say the authorized repair tech would do the HD replacement for free, but just wanted money for the data recovery? If so then squashedpillow's advice is excellent. If they will give you back the old HD you can just get an enclosure for it and connect it as an external HD after the repairs are done.
  6. Vuccappella thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2014
    I don't know how enclosures for internal drives work but I'm guessing it's just some kind of device that lets you turn a internal hd to an external, which is all good. Problem with that is. A) The authorized technician hasn't exactly stated what's wrong with the computer. Meaning that he said the HD appears to be fine (after doing a quick scan) but that there may be an OS issue, while still not ruling out that there might be a hardware issue as well. Of course I couldn't ask in any more detail and he didn't knew too much as the computer was there for nearly 10 minutes only. If it's an os issue and a replacement isn't needed he will just do a clean install (im guessing) and the data would be lost.

    B) What if although I buy an enclosure for some reason the drive doesn't function outside of the computer? I'll google further and see in to that option.
  7. madeirabhoy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2012

    cant really see that happening though tbh. if he managed to see your drive fine then i would assume the drive is fine. an enclosure will cost you very little, probably about £10 so well worth spending the money.

    have you another computer or do you know anyone with another computer? if so, you could buy the enclosure first and take the drive out, stick it into their computer and copy across your files. remember you dont need to save your apps and system folder, just your files and photos and whatnot.
  8. Consultant, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014

    Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. Always backup. For backup, Apple provides Time Machine, which takes seconds to setup. It's your own fault that you did not backup. It takes time for others to do the backup for you, thus people charge for it.

    2. Authorized repair service can try to charge for additional services. It's wrong if they charge you for repair time though, as Apple warranty covers parts and labor if under warranty.

    3. The first thing mentioned on Apple Genius Bar page is to "Make a reservation"

    4. I doubt that you talked to a Genius. It seems that you just talked to a regular retail employee, and that you did not make an appointment to talk to a Genius.

    5. Apple Store repair does not provide the customer any parts removed from old machine.

    I would make a bootable OS X thumbdrive to see if you can access your data.
    If you can, I would either select Time Capsule to backup or backup to an external 3TB or 4TB drive.
    If you don't understand that, then you should pay the repair shop, file it under I am lazy and didn't backup tax.

    I always backup all my computers, and use battery with desktop computers. Avoids this situation all together.

  9. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    Ok, this is what I would do:

    1) Buy a thumb drive and a USB hard drive. Visit a friend who has a Mac running Mavericks, and create a boot drive with the thumb drive (not the hard drive).



    2) Boot your iMac from the thumb drive by turning your iMac on and holding down the "c" key.

    3) After you boot from the thumb drive, can you access the hard drive? Can you see your data? If so, plug in the USB drive and copy your data to it. If you happen to have access to a second USB drive, plug it in and make a second backup of your data.

    4) If everything in step 3 works fine, then perform a clean install on your INTERNAL drive and see if you can boot from the internal drive. If so, copy your data over and move on with life. Keep a good backup because the problem could resurface. If it does resurface, take your iMac to Apple and let them fix it.

    If step 3 doesn't work, then come back to the forum and ask for more help. Disc Utility may get you access to your drive, or you may need to buy some software.

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