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mechanical woes

March 10, 2006

So it looks like something is wrong with my computer. The power cord usually charges it, but sometimes, it stops charging it. Without explanation. Without reason. And then, if I try to unplug it and plug it back it, sometimes it makes nasty little sparking sounds. That freaks me out.

So I went to the Apple Store to find out if it was my charger, since I just bought the thing a couple of months ago (after the unfortunate tripping on my power cord incident) to see if I could get it replaced. Because, clearly, the power cable is the problem, right? It doesn’t even glow amber anymore.

Well, the Apple Store guy was kind enough to tell me that the problem was not, in fact, the power adapter, but my computer. The power cable input is somehow fried, or shorted, or something. So, sometimes, when I plug in, it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

“Well,” I asked him, “what does that mean? Can I have it repaired?”

“Sure,” he said. “You can send it in. If they look at it, though, and decide that it’s not damage they’ll cover, because, for instance, the damage was from accidental use or misuse, you’ll have to pay for the repair.”

“Oh,” I said. “That doesn’t sound good. How much do you think that’ll run?”

“Hm,” he said. “I think they replace the whole section, and do any other repairs that involve that part of the machine, like the case. They’ll probably charge you about $900.”

Nine hundred dollars!” I cried. “I could buy a new machine for that! What are the chances of that happening?”

“Oh, maybe 70/30?” he said. “But if they do that, just have them send it back, and bring it to us, and we’ll just replace that one part. It’ll be about $300.”

So, basically, it’s a good thing Spring Break has officially started. Because once I turn my appellate brief in, I’m going to have to send my computer in for repairs. That way I can get it back before classes start back up. If I’m lucky. Also, if I’m lucky, I won’t have to pay for the repairs. Because even if Apple decides to stick it to me, my renters’ insurance covers any damage to one of our computers. So I guess I could send them a claim.

I’m annoyed that this is happening, I’m annoyed that I’m having this problem. I’m annoyed with Apple for being so stingy on repairs, that I even have to worry about paying out of pocket for this repair. But thank God for small favors, because it’s happened at a time of year when I actually can send my machine away for several days.

Off to image my disk for backup. Sigh.

Categories: tech
  1. March 11, 2006 at 6:08 am

    Ooh. Icky. Bad Apple. Very. Bad.

    This is when Apple’s whole “our way or the highway” attitude really really sucks. I guess maybe this is also why they put that new magnetic release on the new MacBook Pro, eh?

    I hope Apple just decides that this is one of the kinds of repairs it’s going to cover. Speaking of which, it’s about time for me to decide whether to fork over the $200 for 2 more years of Applecare coverage. Stories like this make me think pretty seriously that it’s not worth it.

    If Apple decides not to cover this, don’t you feel like you deserve a new machine, anyway? I mean, you’ve had a rough few weeks lately, maybe a shiny new MacBook Pro is exactly what you need…. 😉

  2. March 11, 2006 at 11:02 am

    I had the same problem, maybe. My power cord wasn’t charging my computer, but it seemed to me to be because of a bad connection between the cord and the outlet. Sparking, crackling noises… all that.

    The powercords for PowerBooks are very well known for being quickly useless. You might try just buying a replacement cord (not a Mac one, but an aftermarket brand — to avoid the same problems and they are much cheaper). A new cord may solve your problem and save you much hassle. And if it doesn’t, having a second powercord is always useful. A new cord solved my problems.

    Hope it works out for you!!

  3. March 11, 2006 at 11:34 pm

    Oh, ick. That really sucks. And sending your computer away, doesn’t that make you weak in the knees, and not in a good way?

    Good luck, anyway. And enjoy spring break. Wheee!

  1. March 11, 2006 at 6:09 am
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