Rain + MBP Unibody = Disaster

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DavidHariri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2009
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Long story short-my early 2008 Macbook Pro Unibody baby was rained on in the middle of the night. I fell asleep with it on the floor next to me with the window open and the rest is history. I go to a university so we have a campus hardware repair center with an apple certified repair technician. heres the catch: after drying it out there are no apparent problems except that theres no backlight to the screen. After his initial take-apart he noticed that the LCD cable is not looking so hot, but the logic board seems to behave fine. He doesn't know what to replace, the logic board or the LCD assembly.

Option 1: Go for the 800 dollar LCD assembly replacement and hope for the best If it doesn't work though, i'm our 800 and have to opt for the 1400 dollar repair to the logic board, and now i may as well have bought a new machine.

Option 2: Go to the apple store that i bought it at and claim negligence and hope for the best, although i'm pretty sure they wouldn't replace it as there are humidity sensors and all that.

Option 3: Sell the damn thing (How much could i get for it?) And buy a macbook pro 13" and be on my way, never to look back

Option 4: Do the repair myself and still end up spending a crap load of money

What do you guys think? I know i'm new here and all that rubbish but i need the help of a strong mac community. anyone have experience with this sort of thing? Is it the logic board?

Thanks in advance
 

electroshock

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
647
0
Well, 3 of 4 options have you spending quite a few bucks... so... odds are you may end up doing exactly that.

Option #2: did the tech enter details about your case in any Apple database? If yes, then the Apple Store employees (and Apple themselves) may see the story behind this situation. If they didn't, well, then... let your conscience be your guide.

Let's call this one option #5: take the MBP to another Apple Store and see what they think. If nothing else, it's helpful to get a second opinion on if it's likely the LCD or the main logic board, as knowing that could help guide your decision making. Information is power, after all, right?
 

DavidHariri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2009
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I called apple tech support today and told them the truth as i wanted to know if the unibody models had an inverter board. The guy was adamant that there was one but i don't think there is. however i didn't give them the serial number of my computer when they asked so i doubt they took down all the information... Honestly, i'm a student, it's not going to bother me that a multi-billion dollar computer company gives me a new computer under false pretenses.
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
What I would do is the following (off the record):

1. Go to the Apple Tech on your campus, and get him to tell you where the moisture censors are inside of the computer.

2. Reverse the color of them with the ol' cotton swab and isopropyl trick (don't quote me on this, I don't know if the sensors are the same litmus paper that they are in the iPods)

3. Go to the Apple Store and claim GPU failure, and hope for the best. The worst they can do is say no.

Alternatively, you could have Apple take a look at it, but 99.9% of geniuses out there will automatically tell you that you need a logic board replacement when they see the internal sensors tripped. This is Apple policy, and there is no way around it; even if the logic board is fine they aren't allowed to replace any parts or service the laptop in any way.

Best of luck, and remember, try to keep at least some degree of morality in tact :rolleyes:
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
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The hub of stupidity
just a warning, If they get their hand on the serial number, you are screwed. I would at least attempt to reverse the litmus paper before I go in, even if there is a 1/10 chance it will work =)
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
4,391
109
U.S.A.
Take it apart. Air dry it for 15 days. Put back together. Ensure you not turn on at all for full time. Probably will work like new. Unless you have damaged already, by turning on, it usually does the trick with water - especially rain water. I have turned on a computer before after water damage to no avail. After drying for a few weeks was as new. Good luck.
 

DavidHariri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2009
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0
Take it apart. Air dry it for 15 days. Put back together. Ensure you not turn on at all for full time. Probably will work like new. Unless you have damaged already, by turning on, it usually does the trick with water - especially rain water. I have turned on a computer before after water damage to no avail. After drying for a few weeks was as new. Good luck.
Thanks but i didn't know how much water was in so after a few hours i plugged her in only to here a pop after 3 minutes of normal behaviour. Thats when the backlight died. Pop sounded like it came from where the display ribbon meets the logic board
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,298
48
~119W 34N
I called apple tech support today and told them the truth as i wanted to know if the unibody models had an inverter board. The guy was adamant that there was one but i don't think there is. however i didn't give them the serial number of my computer when they asked so i doubt they took down all the information... Honestly, i'm a student, it's not going to bother me that a multi-billion dollar computer company gives me a new computer under false pretenses.
The inverter would be high on my list of suspects, too, but they're only needed on cold-cathode lit displays.

Just double-checking - it is a unibody model? You said "early 2008", and they came out late 2008.

Anyway, assuming the latter, the backlight goes through the LVDS cable assy, so they should have tried to reseat it. Otherwise, they should be able to easily isolate the problem to either the logic board or the display assy. All they have to do is connect a known good display assy. The driver for the backlight is on the logic board, so a short (rain) could have damaged a component there. It's also "downstream", so there's more of a chance of water damaging the logic board than the display. IMO if it's something physically damaged, it's more likely the logic board.

As an aside, even if the tech didn't have their own experience to rely on, the same basic troubleshooting suggestions are in the service manual. The "option 5" electroshock mentioned seems like a good idea.

edit: I hadn't read the part about the "pop". That doesn't sound good (no pun intended). Only two things I can think of that go pop: a connector arcing or a component letting its smoke out. I lean towards the loss of smoke - which means logic board.

edit 2:
Honestly, i'm a student, it's not going to bother me that a multi-billion dollar computer company gives me a new computer under false pretenses.
I missed that one, too. Nice. Especially for us stockholders. I really, really, want to help pay for your replacement MBP because you left one out in the rain. Really. I do. :rolleyes: :mad: I hope you still have a few more years of college left, 'cause you certainly have some things left to learn.
 

tcphoto

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2005
758
2
Madison, GA
I cannot believe that you would actually commit this fraud. Not only are you going to lie about how the damage was done but manipulate the sensors to support your story. Karma is a bi!ch when it sneaks up on you and it will most likely be more expensive than the $800 that would have fixed the machine.
 

DavidHariri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 21, 2009
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0
I cannot believe that you would actually commit this fraud. Not only are you going to lie about how the damage was done but manipulate the sensors to support your story. Karma is a bi!ch when it sneaks up on you and it will most likely be more expensive than the $800 that would have fixed the machine.
Karma, got it. Dually noted.

...Next
 

the1payday

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2007
293
102
Amarillo, TX
I cannot believe that you would actually commit this fraud. Not only are you going to lie about how the damage was done but manipulate the sensors to support your story. Karma is a bi!ch when it sneaks up on you and it will most likely be more expensive than the $800 that would have fixed the machine.
He can get the machine fixed when Apple shouldn't fix it because it was his own fault. Oh wait! Apple will also decline probably 100 or so repairs this year based on stupid things that AREN'T the user's fault. We'll call it even, deal?
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
I cannot believe that you would actually commit this fraud. Not only are you going to lie about how the damage was done but manipulate the sensors to support your story. Karma is a bi!ch when it sneaks up on you and it will most likely be more expensive than the $800 that would have fixed the machine.
I'm sorry, I didn't realize that denying scoffy Apple geniuses the task of saying "that will be $1,000 for a new logic board" was fraud. Seriously, a minor accident like this should not have to end up in a huge repair, and telling a multi billion dollar corporation to replace just one more out of 100,000 laptops in a year isn't doing that much wrong. If you ask me, Apple owes small guys like this for purposely not including accidental in AppleCare specifically for this sort of situation to take advantage of their customers' deep(average) wallets.
 

touchtone561

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2008
31
0
How did you pay for it?

Most credit cards have an accidental damage and protection program. (AMEX)
So if you have the card and proof of purchase documents and are within the alloted timeframe they will cover the loss for you.

This is an insurance program for just such an event. I used it when my razr got wet 90 days after I bought it. No problems.

If you paid cash - your S.O.L.

But if your credit card has an accidental damage portion you maybe okay for the loss. Even if you have a $50 copay - you would be ahead of the game, so check it out & keep your karma intact. ;)
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,298
48
~119W 34N
I'm sorry, I didn't realize that denying scoffy Apple geniuses the task of saying "that will be $1,000 for a new logic board" was fraud. Seriously, a minor accident like this should not have to end up in a huge repair, and telling a multi billion dollar corporation to replace just one more out of 100,000 laptops in a year isn't doing that much wrong. If you ask me, Apple owes small guys like this for purposely not including accidental in AppleCare specifically for this sort of situation to take advantage of their customers' deep(average) wallets.
Ah, it was the degree of wrongness that made it ok... I see. Good lesson there... :rolleyes: Btw: Apple doesn't owe anything it's not contracted for. Just because they have a lot of money DOES NOT MEAN SOME OF IT IS YOURS (sorry for yelling).

Soaking a piece of electronic equipment in water is hardly "a minor accident". Unfortunate as it was, leaving it by an open window is on the far side of "accidental" anyway. I sympathize with the OP, but it's not Apples responsibility to make sure the windows are closed when there's a chance of rain. (It makes me nuts when someone [actually] posts their intent on defrauding someone AND gets support for it here! Now, I'm just getting angry, so I'll stop here. :mad:)

As for the price of the logic board: You (the customer) have no say in how much a repair will cost. It's up to the company. Also, providing individual parts for repair is ALWAYS more costly than it seems it should. The logistics of pulling them from production, stocking, etc. is much more than if the part remained in the production line.
 

electroshock

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
647
0
Seriously, a minor accident like this should not have to end up in a huge repair.
Just curious: how do you know this is a minor repair -- sight unseen and having never looked at or even touched the OP's MBP and only know a few tidbits? Why not just tell the OP what part numbers or a description of the inexpensive parts he needs to order to repair it himself? After all, this is minor, right? ;)
 

getz76

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
821
0
Hell, AL
It is nothing new, but I am always amazed that people feel justified in stealing from large corporations or rich individuals.

After reading the first post, I was hoping that the OP's computer could be fixed cheaply. After reading on, I am no longer hoping for that scenario.
 

S-Man

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2009
162
0
Houston
If you do decide to purchase a new lcd unit, isn't there a cheaper option, like the matte-display replacement by those guys...Techrestore is it? Yeah that's them. Check THIS out. $199 or something for a matte screen.
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
Just curious: how do you know this is a minor repair -- sight unseen and having never looked at or even touched the OP's MBP and only know a few tidbits? Why not just tell the OP what part numbers or a description of the inexpensive parts he needs to order to repair it himself? After all, this is minor, right? ;)
When I say "Major", I am not referring to the actual problem, but Apple's policy not to fix anything but the logic board if the sensors are tripped. If they think it has water damage, anything that's wrong with it regardless of how small becomes a huge problem (to have Apple fix, anyway)
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
It is nothing new, but I am always amazed that people feel justified in stealing from large corporations or rich individuals.

After reading the first post, I was hoping that the OP's computer could be fixed cheaply. After reading on, I am no longer hoping for that scenario.
I'm not saying it's right, but there is no denying that Apple is basically asking people to do it without providing even a hint of accidental coverage among any of their product lines. That being said, I do feel some sympathy for those who have pumped thousands into Apple, only to be taken advantage of by the warranty system. Every other computer manufacturer provides a way to protect your expensive investment other than just replacing failing parts, why doesn't Apple?
 

getz76

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
821
0
Hell, AL
I'm not saying it's right, but there is no denying that Apple is basically asking people to do it without providing even a hint of accidental coverage among any of their product lines. That being said, I do feel some sympathy for those who have pumped thousands into Apple, only to be taken advantage of by the warranty system. Every other computer manufacturer provides a way to protect your expensive investment other than just replacing failing parts, why doesn't Apple?
I am no Apple fanboy, but the fact is that most accidental coverage offered at point-of-sale is a complete rip-off (over-priced, high deductible, usually only covers replacement cost instead of purchase value). Buy accidental damage coverage from your current insurance provider. Get a rider for items not covered in your general policy. Know your insurance.

If you don't like the options, why buy an Apple?
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
I am no Apple fanboy, but the fact is that most accidental coverage offered at point-of-sale is a complete rip-off (over-priced, high deductible, usually only covers replacement cost instead of purchase value). Buy accidental damage coverage from your current insurance provider. Get a rider for items not covered in your general policy. Know your insurance.

If you don't like the options, why buy an Apple?
I buy Apple because of the quality of their products, and my reliance on OS X. I call BS on the "high deductible", almost all major OEMs don't require any cash upon the repair of accidental damage, and only require the one time fee of buying the actual insurance. Many of these warranties can be had for little more than the cost of AppleCare. When I pay such large amounts of money for a computer from a company the size of Apple, I would think that they would follow industry standards (the good ones, that is), and at least provide me with an option for accidental coverage. I should not be inconvenienced to have to put the computer under my own insurance when there is a perfectly able multi billion dollar corporation that can back me up.
 

getz76

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
821
0
Hell, AL
Believe what you like. Apple would not be backing you, an insurance company would be. Nothing wrong with that, as one provides my livelihood.

The reason Dell, BestBuy, etc. offer PoS insurance on portable electronics is for the commission, which tends to be 25-50% of the premium depending on experience. Policies without deductibles tend to have an even higher premium.

Why do insurance companies pay high premiums? High margins. Combined ratios for these types of products ((losses + commissions) / premiums) tend to be in the low 80%. Meanwhile, general homeowner policies hover in the low 90% range. PoS insurance tends to be for the uninformed. There are exceptions (event insurance, like some travel), but the are few and far between.
 

Techhie

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2008
1,160
0
The hub of stupidity
Believe what you like. Apple would not be backing you, an insurance company would be. Nothing wrong with that, as one provides my livelihood.

The reason Dell, BestBuy, etc. offer PoS insurance on portable electronics is for the commission, which tends to be 25-50% of the premium depending on experience. Policies without deductibles tend to have an even higher premium.

Why do insurance companies pay high premiums? High margins. Combined ratios for these types of products ((losses + commissions) / premiums) tend to be in the low 80%. Meanwhile, general homeowner policies hover in the low 90% range. PoS insurance tends to be for the uninformed. There are exceptions (event insurance, like some travel), but the are few and far between.
Kind sir, I think that you may have the concepts of warranties and insurance confused. As I was aware, online sales earn no one commission. How insurance companies manipulate their funds is irrelevant, and the point is that the only reason AppleCare does not include accidental coverage is because Apple wants to force people into overpaying for repairs when they break something. It is as simple as that.
 

Davidkoh

macrumors 65816
Aug 2, 2008
1,058
18
Kind sir, I think that you may have the concepts of warranties and insurance confused. As I was aware, online sales earn no one commission. How insurance companies manipulate their funds is irrelevant, and the point is that the only reason AppleCare does not include accidental coverage is because Apple wants to force people into overpaying for repairs when they break something. It is as simple as that.
If you break your computer you should pay alot, maybe you will learn not to be a moron then...


for OP:
I would just sell that computer and buy a new one. If you try to fraud them I hope they catch you and you get charged with fraud. Maybe that would teach you to grow up and take responsibility for your stupid actions.
 

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