Saturday, September 29, 2007

My MacBook is back!

Two weeks from tomorrow, my almost 10-month old MacBook went on the fritz. Started with a kernal panic. I crashed the computer and it restarted. I thought I might not have enough hard drive space for system swap files, so I decided I should move a video off the computer and onto a DVD. During the copying, it had another kernal panic. Yikes! What's going on?

OK, I just went and deleted the large video file and fortunately, instead of poking around the computer to try and suss out what was wrong, I immediately saved my email (Entourage database) and a few other very important files to an external hard drive in case something horrible was about to come my way.

Good thing because not too much later, the computer just shut down on its own. Turned on the MacBook and I got a black screen and the little sleep light on the front was on solid. Tried so many things such as boot from the install disk... which stalled... Tried hardware test on install disk... which stalled. Couldn't remove disk. It did start up once when I did the hold down option key while turning on power. That way I got to select the startup folder off of the hard drive and after it booted, I was able to eject the disk. It didn't last though... Sometimes it didn't make the "suck in the disk" sound at startup, or it was really weak. The battery was fully charged. I reset the PRam, but nothing. I reset the PMU, after which it started up once... might have just been a coincidence.

I called Apple but they were only concerned about selling me the extended AppleCare warranty, even though I was still covered. They must get a commission, because I was on the phone for 10 minutes and still hadn't received a case number or described my problem. I was disconnected and with three different people, they only wanted to sell me AppleCare. The Sunday afternoon Bush League crowd, I guess.

I decided to call Small Dog up in Vermont for their advice and possibly ship my MacBook to them. Super nice people, and he said it should be repaired within 3-5 days working days of them receiving my MacBook. Of course, shipping from St. Maarten to Vermont and back would be costly, but hey I was seriously considering $180 for shipping as they are a reputable company. Check them out and subscribe to their newsletter.

We noticed that Apple lists an Authorized Service Center which is across from Simpson Bay Marina. We decided to drop on by and check him out even though we had heard a bad report on the VHF cruisers' net. He seemed like a nice guy and we wouldn't have to ship the MacBook off-island. He said that he'd receive the parts in 3-5 working days from Apple. This was Monday and we decided on Tuesday to go with the local guy. I asked if I'd have it back by next Friday and he said Oh yes, before then... Well, we got the call on Friday (surprise!) that we could come and pick it up... I'll tell you more after we get Bob's MacBook warranty repair taken care of in a couple of days.

But, it has given us the incentive to buy the extended AppleCare which extends our warranty by another 2 years. CLICK FOR MORE => (AppleCare Extended Protection Plan for MacBook) It's a good price, too.

Walk the plank... aargh!