Just Received Early '11 MBP 15" Refurb from Apple; Hard Drive Failure Already

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chocolatemilty, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Chocolatemilty, Nov 15, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011

    Chocolatemilty macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    So I just received my Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" straight from the Apple Online Store on Friday, and immediately got to getting it to my specifications with software, installing OS X Lion (shipped with Snow Leopard) and all that jazz. However, I did notice it was not responding well under Snow Leopard. I attributed it to running an old version of Snow Leopard and figured Lion would rectify it; and for the last two days, it did. It was running like a champ and being the computer I always wanted.

    But today, when trying to awake it from sleep mode, I got the spinning wheel of death. I was wary of doing something detrimental to my hard drive, so I decided to wait it out and shut it down softly. After a 45 minute struggle, it finally responded to my request to shut down. Upon rebooting, it seemed to come back alive fine, but the spinning wheel again reared its ugly head. I again waited it out to soft reboot it, this time in safe mode. It did its thing and I thought I was home free, but upon running Disk Utility, it let me know that "This drive has a hardware problem that can't be repaired." Not the words you'd want to read on the screen of your 4 day old MacBook Pro. It is now bootable and showing me my Desktop and with Finder popping up showing all my files are still there, but is completely unresponsive. I also tried to run Time Machine for the first time (just got it Friday and had to move files since I had to reformat my external and didn't want to lose things) and after 15GB, it failed to write. Now, I had to just manually shut it off.

    So, I've made an appointment with the Genius Bar for tomorrow and will be going after my classes. I thought I had done the right thing waiting until I had the money the right way, without loans and by working hard, to buy my first Mac. I'll be graduating soon and wanted to get a machine that would help with my music recording and production. I was so thrilled when the box arrived, and now I'm seriously second-guessing my purchase of a refurbished unit. This is very sad, considering I've had two refurb iPhones that are working perfectly.

    Has anyone else had problems like this in the first week of owning your MacBook, new or refurbished? I've heard Apple's usually great at rectifying and fixing these problems, but I just feel completely shortchanged by this all. Thank God I haven't gave my PC to my sister as I planned to do just yet, as I'll probably be without my MacBook for some time now.
  2. hackdroid macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2011
    Sorry to say this but you may have to do a clean restore of OS X Lion...
    But first consult Apple and they may replace it (my Late 15 Inch Macbook Pro broke on the day I brought it so I got a brand new one!). If not, do a clean restore following my instructions:

    1.Reboot the computer
    2.Once you hear the "Ding" sound, press Command and R
    3.Follow the instructions on clean installing Lion back to factory settings

    Luckily this method does not require a disk. I personally haven't tried this method, but let me know how it goes :)
  3. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ok. I'll do that if they don't replace it tomorrow. With that said, and considering nothing has been done to it in terms of modding since I just got it Friday, it should be safe to say that they'll replace my hard drive, yes?

    I should have noted that I already did a clean restore of OS X Snow Leopard when I got it on friday. That should have been the first sign, I suppose...
  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Hard drives can fail within hours of manufacturing, or they can last 20+ years. That's why the reliability of a hard drive line is measured in terms of the "mean time to failure". It's also why they have warranties. Apple will replace the drive for you, and the new one will still be covered under your machine's warranty in case it happens again. Since they can't guarantee it will last, they instead promise to replace it if it fails.

  5. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have two friends whose MBPs were dead on arrival. That was a few years ago. More recently, one of my colleagues had the screen fail on a new MBP after only weeks of use.

    So yes, it happens, also on new units. But its still relatively rare.
  6. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Update: So, here's the deal - I took my MBP into the store today for the hard drive failure. They ran the test, saw the failure, and went to replace it. When the Genius went to go back to put in the new one, he said, "we should have some OS X Lion ones in stock." Needless to say, they only had Snow Leopard ones. Sine I didn't want to leave the store without Lion, I told them to install it on the new hard drive. He said it'll take 1.5 hours. I leave the store and go shopping with friends in the meantime in the mall. While in another store, they call me. The Genius says when they tried to load Lion the RAM didn't function properly and wouldn't load up to install the OS. They have to keep it overnight to run diagnostics and might have to replace the RAM. He made it seem a mystery as to if they even have RAM in stock and may have to order it. I find it ridiculous that a retail store may not have RAM sticks in the back to replace, so this could have just been a Genius who wasn't sure and didn't want to give me false information. When said they'll call tomorrow, so hopefully everything will be fine then. I'll wait and see.

    Also, thanks for the responses. This seems to just be a rare thing that happens every now and then. It just sucks it's happened to me. Maybe in the future I'll do the octibay thing and install an SSD.
  7. some idiot macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2011
    Frustrating situation, but I'm confident that Apple will more than meet your expectations for your inconvenience.

    I almost think this is the best possible situation... buy cheaper/refurb, let a bunch of things fail, then hopefully they'll replace it with a brand new one ;)
  8. Chocolatemilty thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Update: Just got my MBP back and it's better than ever. Unfortunately I didn't have the Time Machine backup so I have to start from scratch and load all of my media back onto it. This time I'm gonna do the backup IMMEDIATELY after everything's loaded onto it.

    Thanks, everyone!
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Congratulations for your patience and allowing Apple time to make it right.

    While you may not have been too happy initially with those who you spoke to, overall I have nothing but great things to say about Apple's service. Most everyone I've dealt with at Apple whether it be in a store or over the phone has been very courteous, helpful and have always resolved the issue to my satisfaction.

    The situation you've just been through is genuinely pretty rare. Now that it's behind you, I expect you will have clear sailing and truly have a great time with your new Mac.

    Cheers.... :)

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