If you’ve been following my little saga, you’ll know that my new MacBook Pro is around three months old. You’d expect that it should be humming along perfectly, right? Me too. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago I was plugging in my old 7 port USB hub for the first time on this computer when it quickly started to smell like something was burning. The computer itself had a hard time waking up from sleep (I later learned that a white frosted-over screen with little white markers at the bottom counting up the boot up progress is actually the computer waking from deeper than normal sleep).
Anyway, when I shut down and unplugged everything and retried, I found that my USB ports were no longer functioning. In a typical error-induced panic, I proceeded to back up my data files to my Drobo. Then I quickly made an appointment online to have my computer looked at by the local Apple store genius bar.
Genius Appointment Day arrives
A few days later, when I got to the store for my appointment, the place was packed! It was like there was a sale on or something (btw, this was before the back to school sale had begun). It was hot in the store and they had multiple mega-fans blowing around the Genius Bar area at the back of the store. I went up to the greeter-genius and told him of my appointment. He told me that while shifting my status to “late” (I was less than five minutes over my appointment time) he had accidentally deleted my appointment. So he reinstated me and told me that there would be a 15 minute wait.
Cut to me 45 minutes later, feeling a bit ticked that I’m still waiting for my appointment in the steam room that is the Genius Bar. Ahead of me was a humorous pair of buttheads who wanted to exchange their busted iPods. I was very impressed by the patience of the Genius, who nicely informed one of the guys that he would have to buy a new iPod as his had no screen and clearly looked like it had been run over by a car. (Some companies just don’t stand behind their products, eh?)
Anyway, the dramatic moment came when I finally got my audience with the Genius, and I have to say that they make you wait for it, but the geniuses definitely deliver. He was friendly, patient, and clearly knew his stuff. He quickly ran all kinds of diagnostics on my computer. It wasn’t hard for him to tell that the USB port wasn’t working.
Surprisingly, he also listened to me talk about all kinds of other quirks about my computer booting slow, or running hot. We even hooked it up to the network for another set of tests only to find out that the only thing wrong was the logic board. Its failure had caused my USB ports to fail and it needed to be replaced. (When he told me that, I laughed a bit in my own mind because if you read my posts from a few years ago you’ll notice that my only other Apple computer — the beloved white iMac — also had to have the logic board replaced!) What’s up with that, Apple?
Anyway, the evening at the Apple Store concluded with my leaving the computer behind for them to send off for repairs. I left the store with an empty MacBook Pro box in hand and, humorously, another clueless greeter perked up as I exited, congratulating me on my “new” computer: “Yay!” she ignorantly proclaimed. (O, the irony!)
Cut to me…
Cut again to a week later and I get a call that they are ordering the parts (and warn me in a voicemail that it may take up to 3 more weeks to fix. I call back to double-check, and it turns out to be more like a week.) Cut once more to another week later, and I’m again in the same mega-fan cooled Apple Store waiting to receive my newly-repaired computer. A different genius than the guy who first helped me brings out my computer, and I sign some papers. However, I want to check that it works before I leave the store.
As I turn it on, I get the white screen with the spinning ring of dots that keeps spinning and spinning. The lady genius who helped me has long moved on to another customer, but I finally flag someone else down to tell him that it’s not booting up. He takes the computer to the back room to have someone else look at it. A few minutes later he comes out and asks me if I’ve backed up my hard drive. That’s not the kind of thing a computer owner wants to hear, buddy! I stammer out that most of my files are backed up, but I want to know why he’s asking. He tells me that the technician wants to reformat my hard drive. I am extremely flustered now. Then he reassures me that they will try to reinstall the operating system first. Slightly relieved, I respond more pleasantly when he tells me to return in 45 minutes. Happy endings in 45 when I leave the store with a fully working MacBook Pro. Phew! That wasn’t easy was it?
Cut to me a couple weeks later when I discover that there’s a permanent white line across my screen. I’ve decided to wait a bit before taking my computer in for another hospital visit. Ironically, I am starting another night school program (which I was also doing the last time I had to get my Mac logic board replaced) and I may need my computer for a while. Sigh! I still love you, Apple, but you really testing that love, aren’t you?