WTF Genius bar no hard drives in stock...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sperry1988, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. sperry1988 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Can anyone explain why apple's Genius bars dont stock hard drives? the hard drive is the most likely component to fail. yet everytime i bring a mac in because of a failed hard drive, they say, oh leave it with us for 3-5 days....

    This is really annoying especially considering these are company macs. BTW our hard drive failure rate has been pretty high with the post 2009 macs, we have bought 9 and 3 have failed hard drives within a year. 33% failure rate?

    Anyway it just sounds stupid they wouldnt stock the most common size HDD's since i am willing to bet that HDD failures are their #1 hardware issue...

    BTW if i buy a warrant from bestbuy for a mac, they can replace a hard drive in store same day.. just sayin
  2. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Did they say "We don't have them" or are you assuming because of the lead time.

    You aren't the only customer that needs work done, just saying.
  3. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    3-5 days sounds about right. There's a queue for repairs.. they don't just do them there and then.
  4. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    First 2 times i just assumed, i actually asked this time. the genius said we dont cary them, we always have to send out for them. I know i am not the only customer that needs work done. But HDD failures are the most common failure. Im willing to bet this store in particular has to deal with at least 10 per day minimum. Why would they keep some in stock instead of having to order them individually every day? seems like extra cost, lower customer satisfaction and annoyance.

    FWIW the genius seemed like he was just as annoyed as me about it. Telling people that they have to wait a week to get there computer back doesn't sound fun.


    Actually they do. On all 3 times they tried to repair it right there... TOnly after they determined that they needed to order a new hard drive did i have to wait the 3-5 days. On all 3 times they told me they will try to reinstall the OS and come back in 2 hrs...
  5. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Citation? Sounds like a lot of assumption there as well.
  6. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Its basically common knowledge but if you need it:

    Hard drive failure rates google study: (about 3.0-4.0%)

    CPU Failure rate: (about 0.25%)

    Ram Failure Rate: (about 0.75%)
    Cant find the study, but ram failure rates are very low.

    So basically for every 100 macs sold, 3 to 4 of them will have a hard drive die..
  7. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Here's my take on it.

    Todays business model for lots of companies, not just Apple, when it comes to servicing their products is different than say 5 or 10 years ago. With the ability to order and receive a part very quickly, it eliminates the need to have money tied up in inventory they may or may not use within a reasonable period of time.

    Then there's the fact that hard drive failure may not be as frequent as you perceive. There's lots of different possibilities. To stock enough parts to repair any possible fault or failure would involve not only a lot of money, but a lot of space as well.

    Finally I'm not sure that the average Apple genius has the technical expertise in the store to do on site repairs of every conceivable type. I would venture a guess that they ship out all hardware repairs. But only apple knows those details.
  8. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    your points really have no basis in fact.

    First of all, having a stock of spare hard drives/ram would be very inexpensive.

    Secondly, Hard drive failures ARE as frequently as i may think, there are many studies on this subject all of which give the same results.

    Also if an apple genius does not have the technical expertise to do this... they have 0 reason to be working for apple in anyway other than possibly a sales associate. Plus i know for a fact they do, because last time the guy literally did it for me when i came back in.

    Im not talking about them stocking enough parts for every possible problem. but for the top 2 or 3 hardware problems? even the top hardware problem? it ridiculous to have to wait 5 days for a hard drive replacement. Thats 5 days of no work, no internet or whatever. Apple biz specialist came into our company and pushed their ipad program hard. They want to sell to business's but dell, a company with no physical location within 1,000 miles of me can have my HD replaced in 24 hours?

    I get not caring logic boards. But its guaranteed that for every 100 macs they sell 3 will require a hard drive replacements. its a fact.
  9. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    You mean out of the box? :eek:

    I'll dispute that and furthermore, since you're just grabbing stats out of thin air... I'll play too and say that HD failure rate is less than .01%. Maybe 20 years ago the failure rate was much more... but not today.

    And if you're saying the HD will one day die well... yes, it will "one day". And what the heck are you having a genius replace that drive for anyway? Must be "company" money just lying around to waste. Buy your own drives at half the cost Apple will charge and get the proper torx screwdriver.

    Lastly... there is s reason why Apple hasn't made a dent in the Enterprise market. They are a general consumer company.
  10. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    The one FACT is that you only want to argue, pump up your ego, whatever it is.... enjoy your petty endeavor. :D
  11. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Especially since all hard drives are SATA and Apple can easily keep a few 500gb and 750gb drives in stock, that would cover 99% of laptops out there.

    And with the ease of upgradability in the unibody macs, it's a 5 minute repair on the genius counter.
  12. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    How do you figure i am grabbing stats out of thin air? I posted a direct link to a google study... here in ADDITION to the google study above, here are someothers...

    Here is a quick summary of the google study:
    Google's 2007 study found, based on a large field sample of drives, that actual annualised failure rates (AFRs) for individual drives ranged from 1.7% for first year drives to over 8.6% for three-year old drives.

    An addition study from CMU:
    [14] A similar 2007 study at CMU on enterprise drives showed that measured MTBF was 3–4 times lower than the manufacturer's specification, with an estimated 3% mean AFR over 1–5 years based on replacement logs for a large sample of drives

    Now, show me 1, just 1 study or papery written that disputes the failure rate is less than 3..

    Read the sbove studies google estimates, and i quote: "for individual drives ranged from 1.7% for first year drives to over 8.6% for three-year old drives."

    The first 3 years, Hey what doese applecare cover? how long, 3 years?

    2 reasons....
    First of all, apple replaces the failed hard drives for "FREE"...
    Secondly, these are company macs, Ive ripped the HDD's in my personal ones and thrown in Intel SSD's.. but that is besides the point, what if i were just some 40 year old business professional who had no clue about computers?

    That is not how the started initially, that is not what they have been trying to do with the corporate and scholastic ipad programs. Just because YOU dont ever do business in a corp/school terms with Apple doesn't mean no one else doese, Do you really think the reason almost every public school had the beige macs back in 1999 were because school employees just though teachers like apples, so we will buy an apple computer?
  13. Binomio macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    As an Apple certificed technician I'd say the Hard drive is the 2nd to 3rd component most likely to fail. First being the GPU. Also the hard drive cables tend to fail a lot.

    AFAIK the 250G, 320G and 120G HDD aren't being produced any more at least for Apple. IF you have one of those, this is probably why there's a delay. The 500GB and 750GB are the most common and every store should have them in stock.
  14. LuxoJunior macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2013
    You're assumptions really have no basis in fact. You've obviously never worked in retail, much less an Apple Store. You have no idea what you're talking about or how inventory and repair works.
  15. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I agree with this. My friend recently had a faulty hard drive cable. I put in an SSD which also failed but she didn't care about the loss of performance as much so she just asked Apple to put in a new hard drive. The lowest capacity they stocked? 500GB. Her HD was originally 320GB.
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Why would the GPU fail so often? Are they under-cooled, or is this from the nVidia 6800gts that have a 100% failure rate, that just keep coming back?
  17. Binomio macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2012
    The reason I would say is under cooling, Apple used the ATI video cards and they also have a high failure rate but not as bad as NVIDIA.
    The cable failure on the 13 MBP is usually caused by the bottom cover putting presure over the cable right where it bends around the Super drive. The 15 and 17 MBP dont have this issue or isnt very common as the cable is routed differently.
  18. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    As I've written elsewhere recently, I've had 4 failures with MacBook Pros in less than a year, each time with the same part, the SATA cable between the hard drive and logic board.

    However, the local Apple Store and Apple-authorized service provider don't keep these parts on hand. It's actually faster for me to send it into Apple, which is what I've done (I'm writing from a ChromeBook I've borrowed in the interim). Their turn-around is pretty fast for me.

    When I saw your frequent problem with hard drives, I wondered whether it's possible you have an issue similar to the one I do. When I described my problem to AppleCare and explained how the problem is always the SATA cable and asked if other people have this issue commonly, they told me they had never heard of a SATA cable. I wonder how many people think their hard drive has failed when it's actually the SATA cable.

    Anyhow, sorry about your down time.
  19. jlc1978, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Perhaps, but they should stock to meet their desired repair turnaround time; not to ensure every drive can be fixed immediately. To do that would incur large inventory costs.
    Not really, all it says is the drives in the study fails at that rate. While you can generalize it to a large population of HDs that does not mean any specific manufacturer's drives will fail at that rate. Applying average results from one population that may or may not be representative of another does not yield a factual conclusion; and certainly not for any specific manufacturer.

    In addition, failure rates can vary by drive and need to be factored into stocking decisions. Here are some numbers from a study using a French eTailer's data:

    - Samsung 1.5% (as against 1.8%)
    - Seagate 1.8% (as against 2.0%) (1.6% not including the 7200.11 160 GB)
    - Western 2.0% (as against 1.5%)
    - Hitachi 3.0% (as against 3.1%)

    As with any study, YMMV and it would be impacted by sample size. In addition, there was a wide variation in failure rates by manufacturer.

    The iPad is a very different product than than a PC with a whole different set of marketing dynamics; and Apple has taken steps to make iPads and iPhones play nice in that market. Apple really isn't a major player in the Enterprise PC market. It's relatively rare to see a Mac in a corporate market except in very niche segments; and Apple's actions indicate it is first and foremost a consumer electronics and entertainment company, not a business or even computer company.

    Apple used to give significant discounts to schools and students which made Apples very cost competitive with PCs.
  20. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Some points of note:

    You have to wait 3-5 days for a hard drive replacement? So what? They cannot replace and image a hard drive, and test the machine in the 15 minute appointment. Once your 15 minute appointment is done, they move onto the next one.

    You cannot expect them to drop everything and repair YOUR machine instantly. Hard drives do not get priorities because they're "quick and easy". If you had a machine in for an MLB, and you heard that everyone that brought their faulty HDD in had that replaced first because it was "quick and easy".

    If they have the HDD in stock (they do keep them) and the genius has 5-10 spare minutes, he could do it between appointments/no-shows. However, if they don't have any HDDS (they can run out you know ;)) or they have back-to-back appointments, what do you expect them to do?

    Plus, the overall reason for this is you being cheap. Apple offers a business level service called Joint Venture. This includes priority repairs, and a loaner machine to use whilst yours is in for repair. If you choose not to pay for the service - don't moan when you don't get it.


    It's very common for the problem to be the SATA cable - especially if people have replaced their ODD with a HDD, or changed the HDD themselves. The SATA cables used in the MBP are incredibly thin and fragile, and need to be handled with care.
  21. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    While i do understand your point about about them repairing my maching instantly. (BTW they obviously had time, they all told me they would try to reinstall the OS while i waited there and if the couldnt get it to work then i would have to leave it).

    But my point if what are we paying the extra $250 warranty for? its not like i bought a dell for $500 and expected a quick turnaround (BTW Dells turnaround is much quicker). I thought the whole reason for paying $250 on top was for better service? maybe they should take part of the $250 and better stock their inventory.

    BTW you can not compare a retail operation to a repair operation, their not the same. In apples case there just housed in the same space.

    Also this was not a sata cable, all hard drives showed smart errors.

    Also to the person who posted this:

    These are return rates from a retailer. IE if i buy it from this store and return it to this store. These statistics DO NOT include and person who shipped it directly to the maker for a replacement. They also do not include any hard drive that failed, and the user just they it away or purchased a new computer by then.
  22. LuxoJunior macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2013
    When was that your point? You pay the $250 so Apple covers your Mac beyond the initial 1 year warranty. Your logic board dies? That'll be $1000+ without AppleCare. You're welcome.
  23. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    The $250 extends your warranty coverage to 3 years. It doesn't provide priority repairs.

    If you want priority repairs, then you should pay for their business level services. You're comparing Dell's business services to Apple's consumer service.
  24. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Unless you've paid extra for support, DellHell service is no faster than Apple's; not even counting the "You must reboot and reformat your HDD..."

    So? You asked for a study, specifically: "Now, show me 1, just 1 study or papery written that disputes the failure rate is less than 3.."and I did just that. That you chose to not believe it is your choice.

    All studies have flaws which is why any conclusions need to be taken with a grain of salt. The 5 year old Google study uses drives in a production internet services department; which is different than normal use in a laptop. As I pointed out, generalizing one studies set of data to a specific manufacturer is problematic at best; which means blanket statements such as 3 drives out of a hundred will fail cannot be taken as a fact.
  25. sperry1988 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Not true, you can get the Apple flat rate repair of $300 and it will replace the logic board... You'r welcome for that little tip...


    That study did not in anyway show any failure rate. There we simply return rates.

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