Friday, March 5, 2010

Givin' up on you, MacBook

Where do we go?
Where'd it all crash?
When did it start to fall apart?

After all we have been through
I can only look at you
Through the eyes you've lied to
I'm givin' up on you
After all if there is no way out
If you cannot stand beside me
If there isn't love, there is only pride
I'm givin' up this fight

I detailed last week how my 7-month-old MacBook Pro was failing. It got worse last Monday, when it had three kernel panics in the space of four hours. I decided to wipe everything clean and reinstall the operating system. I got a new Snow Leopard DVD (newest version of the Mac OS) and popped it in. After installing for a while, it told me that the OS had failed to install, please restart and try again. I did. It told me the same thing again. I went to try one more time, but now the computer just got stuck on the Apple screen. I couldn't get the disc out. I took it to an IT guy on campus who had to clear the PRAM to get it out. He tried a couple things and decided that my computer was broken and I should take it to the Apple store. I went to this tech guy in our lab who had the warranty for my computer (since it was purchased through my lab), but he wanted to take a crack at fixing it. He noticed that the Snow Leopard DVD was now scratched--several thin, perfect, co-centric circles were gouged around the DVD. No human could make perfect scratches like that. Interestingly, he thought the best thing to do would be to try to use his own Snow Leopard DVD. He told me not long after that my computer had crashed on installation, but he didn't mention if his DVD has also been scratched. Hope not. Anyway, I now had his blessing, too, to take it to the Apple store.

I set up an appointment at the "Genius Bar" in Ala Moana mall. The guy who helped me was very nice, had a good sense of humor, and managed not to make me feel stupid about anything. One of those rare computer nerds who is also a people-person, I guess. He was probably just glad that he was talking to someone with a legitimate computer problem and wasn't the "Genius" next to him who was explaining to a couple how to navigate to and sign into their AOL email. Classic. Brought me back to hear the old "You've got mail!" It was an elderly couple, so they're excused of course. Anyway, I told him my sad tale and showed him the scratched DVD. He gave me a new DVD and said he'd also give me a new optical drive. He guessed that it was either the RAM or the hard drive giving me problems, and he had those parts right here and would fix it up, and it would probably be ready by tomorrow.

The next day, I got a call saying not that it was ready, but that they had thought it was the hard drive but when they put in a new one it still didn't work. There were several new theories as to what was wrong with it, but they involved shipping parts from the mainland and would take an additional 5 days. I was pretty annoyed. I thought about my poor lonely computer sitting in pieces in the back room of that store, but at the same time, I had kind of written it off in my mind. We no longer trusted each other. I just wanted to start over with a new computer.

I've been behind on work the whole week because I lost all that time to wrestling with my computer. The one upside is that as I wait for my MacBook to be fixed, I get to use my own PC that I use for personal (read: gaming) activities at work... Hooray for Mass Effect 2 breaks in my office!


Hezabelle said...

Ah! Macbook fail! I'm really hoping mine doesn't catch wind of this as I type...

floreta said...

wow macbooks should be immaculate and never fail!

floreta said...

wow macbooks should be immaculate and never fail!

Anonymous said...

Oh noes! I hope that since you wrote this post your Macbook has made a turnaround. Being subjected to invasive surgery is never fun but with the new par...I mean, organs, it should be good as new. My own Macbook has been serving me well for almost 5 years now so I can attest to the general strength of the breeds. Have hope!

Anonymous said...


Eleni said...

My MacBook is now safely back in my hands, and it seems to be in good working order. I guess they only replaced some sort of cable in addition to the optical drive, so it wasn't so severe. And the bright side, of course, is that I didn't have to pay anything. It would have been much worse without the warranty.

I know Macs are usually very reliable, so most people should be OK. Though when my computer was crashing, and one of my friends said, "Don't worry, it's very rare that Macs do this," I pointed out that saying "Don't worry, it's very rare that planes crash" brings no comfort to a person in a crashing airplane. Kind of an extreme example, but still...

More spam! Judging by my rough internet translation, what it says is incoherent but decidedly dirty.