My MacBook Odyssey - AppleCare & Repairs, Repairs, Repairs

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by The Tuck, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. The Tuck macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Jun 8, 2003
    I have a 2.16GHZ black MacBook from mid-2007. I love this machine and have used it dutifully over the past 2 and a half years. I started to experience problems with the machine a few months ago - when I got kernel panics every once and awhile, but nothing that a simple restart wouldn’t fix.

    The trouble started when I wanted to install Snow Leopard. I normally do an erase and install option for any big system update. So, I did a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my entire drive on my external backup and popped in my Snow Leopard disk. It wouldn't install. The install failed every single time that I tried - either claiming a dirty disk or an inability to copy support files. I assumed that I had a bad disk (because we actually did get a faulty disk originally for 10.5). So, I drove to the nearest Apple Store, to get my disk replaced. Once I got back, I tried to install... Same thing. At this point, I didn't know what to think I started to think I might have had RAM problems, or a Hard Drive issue.

    I tried to install it with different RAM configurations, on different external drives, and even linking my computer through target disk mode to my friend's laptop to install. Same thing. The install failed each attempt.

    I finally took my computer into the Apple Store to explain my problem, and the Genius installed the OS through Ethernet from the "ideal image" that they plug into computers to reinstall the OS. That finally worked. I also got him to switch out my SL disk once more, thinking that my problem had been a faulty disk. He then tested my Superdrive by burning a DVD - which worked. I thought all my problems had been solved.

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. My computer started not working on battery power. It would work when charged, but shut down every time that I unplugged the computer from the AC adapter (though it would show the battery as charged when plugged in)

    I took my computer to the Apple Store yet again for an explanation. The Genius tried other batteries, none of which worked. It turned out that the battery in my computer was warped a little bit and the framing on the computer did not quite line up with the pins of the battery. He explained to me that it would have to be sent off for service, but it was something my AppleCare would cover. He said that if AppleCare tried to claim that it was "accidental damage" to call the Apple Store where I was and explain the situation and Apple would cover the repairs.

    I waited the 5 days to receive my laptop and it was shipped to me in a brown box with a list of what the Apple technician did to the MacBook. They replaced:

    Logic Board (Reason: "Memory Issues")
    Optical Cable
    Battery Connector

    WHAAAAT? Apparently I had a faulty logic board and superdrive and didn't even know it. Anyway, I was just glad to have my black MacBook with me... Until I tried to put it to sleep by closing the LCD display. It would not go to sleep. My computer was suffering from insomnia apparently. I knew I would have to take it back to the Apple Store (yet again) but I wanted to try a system reinstall just to make sure it wasn't a software issue.

    I made a backup of my system and wiped the drive to install Snow Leopard. Guess what? THE INSTALL FAILED AGAIN. My computer would still not accept a clean install of Snow Leopard from the DVD in the optical drive.

    I took it BACK to the Apple Store and talked to the same genius who sent it off the first time. He noticed an irregularity in the LCD as well as some cracking on the top left of the keyboard. He said that the AppleCare center should have fixed those things the last time it was in. He marked down all my problems (including the inability to install Snow Leopard from the DVD drive) and sent it back off to Apple.

    Today, I checked my status on the Apple Repair site and it said "Your repair is currently on hold. Please contact AppleCare". I had no clue what this would be. So, I dialed them up and was told that the technicians had found "accidental damage" and that the repairs would cost upwards of $700. I explained that the genius at the Apple Store was the one insistent on sending in the computer for the physical repairs. She eventually gave in and said, "We're going to make this really easy for you today. I'm going to go ahead and comp the repairs for you." She said that Apple would cover it.


    My computer is still under repair, but by the time they finish with this one, they will have replaced the top casing, keyboard, and Superdrive (probably again), on top of the logic board, optical cable, battery, battery connector, and Superdrive (the first time). When I get it back, I'm going to have basically a new MacBook made from parts being replaced into my old machine.

    I have no idea how much money and labor this is costing Apple, but I think it would have made more financial sense to replace the laptop with a new one. I know I'm biased (because I would love to get a new MacBook for free), but if you think about it, it's been a lot of hassle for me and for Apple to get these problems solved with my computer. I'm looking forward to getting my machine back, but the amount of time and repairs going into it is kind of staggering.

    Is my MacBook the last black MacBook ever created - because they're kind of bringing it back to life? I have the FrankenMac!

    (How's that for a journey?)

    I'd love to hear your responses,
    -The Tuck :apple:
  2. The Tuck thread starter macrumors 6502

    The Tuck

    Jun 8, 2003
    I forgot to mention that they also removed a 2GB stick of Other World Computing RAM and said that it "solved an issue" the first time it was sent to AppleCare.

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