A Bad Apple Week

Those following this blog will know that I like Apple products and I especially like Apple Service having had to avail myself of their expertise more times than I care to count with my early MacBook Pro which went in for repairs on enough occasions that Apple eventually replaced it.

Aside from a recent replacement of my logic board due to an nVidia flaw, my Apple experience has been without drama for the past year or so. Until about a week ago.

First, my iPhone 3G started to randomly freeze and reboot. After several visits to the Genuis Bar in Cambridge MA indications were that this was a hardware problem. By the time I arrived in Palo Alto on business, I was sure it was hardware. A visit to the Apple Store and $199 fixed that problem: I opted to replace my current 16 GB 3G with the same model to maintain the option of applying a discount to the much-rumored next gen iPhone, which I hope will appear soon.

The next morning my MacBook Pro beachballed and nothing I tried helped and I eventually had to power cycle it. It then refused to boot. It then also refused to boot from an installation disc. And refused to work correctly in Firewire target disk mode. So…back to the Apple Store where the diagnosis was that the disk was dead. Since my cloned backup (CCC, I love you!) was back in Boston, I opted to wait till I got home before taking any action on the MBP. I used my iPhone and a loaner Windows laptop to make it through my week of meetings in Palo Alto.

The disk was dead. Disk Utility could see the disk, but couldn’t repair, erase, or partition it. Note to anyone in a similar circumstance — it sometimes takes a very long time for a system with a dead disk to boot from the installation disc. Wait a lot longer than you’d expect — like five minutes or more — before giving up. Anyway, long story short, I bought a new 500 GB Hitachi 7200 rpm drive, installed it, restored from my clone and all was well.

Until this morning. When my wife dropped her MacBook on the floor. I’ll be stopping at the local Apple Store on my way home tonight to pick up her machine, which has a new disk installed and a fresh OS load.

They say bad things come in threes, so I’m hoping we are out of the woods for now.


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