Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
So last week I had an unexpected problem with my MacBook Pro when it just stopped working… Uh oh:
I guessed based on what was going on that it was a problem with the hard drive and decided to schedule an appointment with the “Geniuses” at the Apple Store [Mistake 1].
I was running late due to an accident on the highway, so I politely called to say I’d be a few minutes late [Mistake 2], the nice woman I talked to said:
No problem, I booked you a backup appointment in case you can’t get here on time.
So I showed up about 5 or 10 minutes late for my appointment and I wasn’t listed as still having an appointment at that time, but instead for 2 or 3 hours later. I explained the situation and the “concierge” said they could still get me in at my original appointment time because the woman with an appointment before me wasn’t finished yet… Nor did her appointment finish for a while. So I sat there waiting patiently… fast forward a 1/2 hour and the “Genius” tells me that since I missed my appointment he would try to fit me in between his next appointment… Which of course, is wrong, because he was running 30 or 40 minutes late for my appointment. I explain the situation, he looks at my Mac and says:
I think it’s the hard drive
Umm, really, Genius, me too. Got anything to help confirm that suspicion?
Well I could try a boot DVD or drive?
That would be great since I’m here and all, and by this point I’ve been here about an hour. For the next hour or two he tries this to no avail, asks me if I brought the original Leopard install disk with me [mistake 3] and of course, I didn’t. He explains he can’t confirm it’s the hard drive without taking out the hard drive (?) and if I want the repair it’ll cost upwards of $300, at which point I said I’d be happy to do it myself. My only real reason for bringing it in was to confirm it wasn’t a logic board or something worse, nevertheless, I left went to Best Buy and bought a new hard drive (after googling it myself since the Best Buy staff had no clue what size hard drive fits in a MacBook Pro).
I followed these great instructions on iFix for replacing my hard drive, and in the process fixed my loose bluetooth antenna and put it all back together.
So I take the laptop to the office, install that boot DVD the goofball from the Apple Store told me about and tried to restore from my Time Machine backup that I had from about an hour before my Mac crashed, waited three and a half hours and… nothing.
Why? Well since I’m running Snow Leopard, I can’t restore from a Leopard install disk. Thanks again guy at Apple Store.
So after another 3 hours of booting from Snow Leopard install DVD, success, MacBook Pro is working, good as new (faster / bigger hard drive, better Wireless antenna).
What did I learn in this process? Well a few things:
- The Apple Store does not really employ geniuses
- It’s not that hard to fix items on a Mac yourself (if you are a techie)
- Time Machine alone makes a Mac worth the cost (my Vista laptop’s backup process – ugly and horribly slow)
- I’m still a Mac and now I’m faster.