Some strange things
find their way here to the shop bench.
Broken hinges, dark
displays, stuck discs, dead drives, damaged
keyboards, haunted trackpads, pooched ports -
machines that have been shot, punched,
drowned, dented, dragged
behind cars and set on fire. Safe to say none of these incidents
were covered under warranty.
worse than no info is: Bad info.
info + assumption = trouble. Mystified by
iCloud? Wondering why your Mac refuses to
startup? Following online advice will either
solve it or make it worse; everything
depends on source and research, no room for
assumptions here. If you plan to use it or
fix it, learn all about it (paying close
attention to logins, critical details,
sources and such), then pick a course of
Following are examples of accidents,
neglect, abuse and failures...
But first: A sample of sounds you
never want to hear from a computer.
Hard drive hammer
sound says it all. If you know what you're
hearing, you'll also know it's probably too
late to do anything about it. You _do_ have
a backup, don't you?
Here's an odd one: This hard drive
repeatedly tried to free its stuck
read/write heads resulting in some rather
By the way: If you think you're gonna
freeze, heat, beat, shock or torture a drive
into submission, odds are you'll only make
No mystery with this drive failure, and
no need for a stethoscope, either. If
computers could have bad brakes, this might
be what they'd sound like.
If only it could keep a beat..... This
drive was attempting to read, but its
read/write heads kept getting slammed back.
Normal (operational) HDD
For the sake of comparison, here's a
functional, if rather old, hard drive
starting up then shutting off (edited for
time.) Barely audible, as it should be.
While we're at it...
Set the Wayback Machine to the mid-90s
and enjoy a montage of various
failure-to-boot sounds that signaled
disaster on vintage Macs running System 7.
Each of these were actually hard-coded in
A little leverage goes a long
Air arrived with "loose hinges" that were
too weak to hold up display properly. Airs
are so light, being able to open 'em
one-handed leaves very little hinge tension
to support a display normally. Between
(normal) weak hinge tension and having loose
screws, this one was flopping open and shut
unless balanced just so.
Removed display and clutch cover to find the
screws were indeed loose, but worse than
that: Both hinges were broken (blue arrows).
Replace hinges? Not possible. All cables to
display, camera and antennas pass thru the
center of these hinges (red arrows), meaning
a whole new display was only repair option.
All data destroyed for
musician was in town finishing up a music
video when the hard
drive in his MacBook Pro died. Fortunately, he
had a backup. So, he took his machine and backup drive to a local PC shop
hoping to be back in
business ASAP. And that's exactly what should
He showed up here about a week later,
complaining that his computer was virtually
useless. It had an OS that couldn't run his
music apps and all his
files were gone. Sadly,
he was correct on both counts. His backup
drive had been erased and reformatted NTFS
(DOS/Windows) by some moron; its only content
was a directory of empty folders that once
held his music and data.
we could do was replace his OS with the proper
version, get his editing software and comms
working again, and recommend sending his DOA
internal drive to DriveSavers for recovery.
(Mechanical failure - it happens.) If he had
come here in the first place, we would've put
him back in business within a day.
Shocking! Power strip goes kaput
plugging your computer into a power strip
only to hear a pop and catch a whiff of ozone.
Photo below is an opened-up Rhino surge protector.
This is the back of
the outlet that shorted, one of 12 inside this
Rhino's steel housing. All 12 outlets are
wired in parallel using bare solid copper
wire; top wire is hot, middle is neutral,
bottom is ground.
Plug pushed top (hot) connector free of its
no-name plastic housing and directly into the
neutral copper wire behind it. (Neutral
connector is capable of shorting-out, too.)
The I/O board from
an AirBook, that's what. A tiny bit o'metal in
just the wrong place was enough to make this
USB port too hot to handle within a matter of
seconds (DC-in board is right next door).
Smell of burning electronics was unmistakable,
arrow points to obvious scorch mark where rear
of USB port housing meets machine's keyboard.
Had it happened to the USB port on other side
of this machine, it would likely have meant
replacing entire logic board.
Notebooks with drinking problems
into a modern MacBook Pro or MacBook Air is a costly disaster these
days, for a variety of reasons. Moisture
sensors will void your warranty, and a tiny
amount of liquid can do major damage. But
construction of newer notebooks might be the
Modern machines are
built from the keyboard down, which means
complete disassembly to replace top case and
keyboard - which is why we highly recommend
keyboard covers for laptops (links posted on
our home page).
If liquid gets to the logic board,
odds of machine working properly again are
slim. Even if it can be made to function, it's
quite likely that corrosion will cause a
failure soon. New machines are just too
delicate and too complex for repairs to be
cost-effective, which is why Apple won't touch
a machine that has suffered a spill - and we
now have to agree. Photo (left) was taken thru
a scope and shows corrosion attacking copper
traces within 24 hours of drinking a beer -
but corrosion isn't what did this MacBook in;
it was powered on at the time and critical
components got fried. Doesn't take much
moisture to short connections separated by a
More spills and corrosion
No sign of a spill, no residue and
no moisture sensors were triggered in this
MacBook Air, yet it had enough corrosion
spread around inside to prevent correct
operation. Machine spent a few months in
Australia and failed the moment it returned to
the States, arriving here at the shop next
day. Interior was cleaner than expected,
little or no dust, and completely dry. Best
guess at what might have caused such corrosion
was condensation caused from leaving a warm/dry aircraft and moving into a cold, wet winter
Notebook spills seldom end well. If
it's beer, wine, tea, coffee, juice -
whatever the liquid was, it most likely will
leave residue and cause corrosion over time.
(This one drank a cup o'tea.) If the device
powered on, and the spill was something
non-corrosive, it _might_ eventually work
again, but only if promptly disassembled,
thoroughly cleaned and dried. Any delay will
cause further damage. Unfortunately, most
people seem compelled to immediately fire it
up and find out if it still works - which will
probably finish it off.
This MacBook Pro sat long enough to
have some copper dissolve completely. (#1)
shows what used to be the keyboard backlight
connector, unplugged to expose missing traces.
When machine finally lost video completely
after glitching for awhile, it came to the shop - too far gone
and beyond repair. Charging problems, no keyboard
backlight and blank video was enough to call
this logic board done. (#2) shows missing
traces at display's LVDS (data) connector; no telling what other functions were
missing or on the way out.
Visual signs of a recent spill may
be much more subtle and
difficult to find without inspection under a
In another spill-damaged machine, a drop of
water found its way thru a notebook keyboard
onto a pair of microscopic pins. Clear
evidence of the resulting spark may be seen
when magnified (and was probably audible). We
were able to bring this MacBook Air back to
life and make it fully functional again,
despite last rites from Apple. Nice to pull a
rabbit outta the hat now and then.
While you may see examples of some notebooks
we've rescued below, most of 'em were older
machines. Attempting to restore a late-model
moisture-damaged notebook is no longer
feasible. Best we can do in most cases these
days is an autopsy followed by removing data
to a replacement Mac.
What else did you forget to mention?
Pro arrived with a damaged display. Display
module's inner frame had broken an inch or two
above a hinge, and opening/closing notebook
was prying its display apart. (Apparently a
weak display frame on this particular model
has generated some complaints online.) Client
was present when we removed the back and
discovered a long-dried spill. All bets are
Using an external monitor, we managed to boot
it up and tested all keys on the keyboard. All
worked perfectly, so there's no way this much
liquid spilled into this notebook; it must
have been sitting in a mud puddle. After a
thorough disassembly and cleaning, we found
the broken tip of a headphone plug buried deep
in headphone jack effectively eliminating
audio out. It had no wifi functions, its aged
battery was near death, and it had a
head-stripped fan screw that had to be
surgically removed. All that and a broken
We managed to fix display housing and hinge
without having to replace the entire display
module (not recommended), then got wifi
working. Replaced all four missing hard drive
mounts and a few other
missing screws, removed
and replaced the stripped fan screw, replaced
missing feet, even got the optical drive to
burn a DVD. Audio output came back online,
too. Might need a new battery soon, but this
machine came back from the dead in pretty good
iMac arrived DOA with a bent lower-right
corner below screen. Glass wasn't cracked or
broken, display looked to be intact. Owner
said the glass had been replaced and machine
had been serviced at BestBuy before it
power supply shorted-out and destroyed by a
loose power supply mounting screw
no sign of life, we removed outer case and
display to find a small screw stuck to the
back of its display, directly opposite burn
marks on the iMac's power supply (above). Some
screws were missing, others had been stripped,
masking tape over wires..... Two plastic
mounts behind power supply were shattered
leaving two other machine screws to hold a
wobbly (and fried) power supply in place. A
piece of one mount still held its screw to
power supply board, but the other screw had
fallen out and rattled around inside until it
reinforced and repaired both plastic mounts
with aluminum sleeves and used longer screws
to make certain the problem couldn't happen
again. Fortunately, damage was limited to the
Mah biscuits are burnin'
Your Mac has temp sensors and
cooling fans to protect it from overheating.
If sensors detect excessive heat over 150F or
so, machine will go to sleep until it cools
down, or shut itself off if condition
persists. Its cooling system is remarkably
effective - until it looks like this.
Lifting fan reveals a thick layer of lint
blocking fan exhaust and causing this MacBook
to overheat and shutdown (as it should).
Another machine (below) also clogged with lint
and dust. Owner noticed it was getting very
hot and brought it in for a cleaning when it
began shutting itself off.
Both MacBooks were back in service following a
complete cleaning with no harm done, testimony to the durability and
design of Macintosh notebooks.
Below is a fairly typical iMac after a few
years in a relatively clean environment. iMacs
have multiple fans to assist with cooling by
convection and seldom suffer heat-related
shutdowns as notebooks might, but they all
collect dust just the same. (Machine came in
for unrelated services.)
If you want an idea of how dusty your iMac
might be inside, remove the access door on
bottom edge and take a look into its RAM slots
with a flashlight. This machine is typical,
with dust distributed throughout, including the RAM slots. Every Mac we service
- notebook, desktop or tower - gets a thorough
Bang Ding Ow
This MacBook Pro took a hit on its
bottom side (3 arrows) hard enough to dislodge
its hard drive - which then dented bottom case
in outward direction (circle/arrow) and broke
optical drive mount (T-shape bracket). Hard
drive ceased to function on impact with a
shock sufficient to destroy machine's optical
drive as well. Fortunately, the owner of this
machine had a complete, proper back-up of all
his data. We replaced hard drive, restored
data from backup and replaced the optical
Machine came back after being dropped again
two years later. And again, the hard drive was
kaput. (Bang Ding Ow from newscast posted on
Swollen MacBook batteries
seen enough of distorted laptop batteries over
the years, and here are a few that were
ignored for much too long.
was only three years old when battery cracked
its trackpad. Swollen
cell was directly beneath trackpad and nearly
twice as thick as it should be.
Caller said she had malware slowing machine's
operation, and this is the machine she brought
in. Battery broke trackpad, then split bottom
case off, revealing a solid-state drive
dangling from its ribbon cable that was never
installed properly. We removed the bogus
utility apps, adware and garbage she'd
downloaded - then replaced battery, trackpad,
drive mounts and missing screws. A week later
she was back after having downloaded more
Remarkably similar damage from a
different battery in another MacBook Pro.
Trackpad has cracked, bottom case ready to
break free. Early symptom is inability to
click trackpad button.
Newer models have a battery (heavily) glued to
trackpad and keyboard, making it impossible to
remove or replace any of these components
without replacing all three - along with a
whole new top case from Apple.
540GB of data on a 500GB hard drive??
I would've said that was impossible, but I'd
be wrong. After a very long and twisted data
recovery process using three backup drives
with two OS replacements - along with every
bug and glitch imaginable - we did indeed end
up with 540GB recovered from a 500GB drive.
And this on a machine that had been declared
DOA by Apple.
One of the strangest jobs to come along in
years, it quickly became such a challenge that
billing was soon suspended to allow for some
unconventional experimentation (on a cloned
copy, of course). First clue: User Home Folder
reported zeroK content + 885MB shared folder =
455GB total data.
Drive had every app known onboard, no less
than 15 of 'em launching on startup. Worst of
all, it was encrypted and compressed - which
is why content exceeded drive capacity.
Needless to say, client was happy to get all
that data back, plus a fully-functional
machine to boot (so to speak).
Canadian OS, eh?
you see below is a screen dump of the Finder,
showing one possible aftermath of running out
of space on a hard drive while doing some
A recording studio was in full
flight, mixing down tracks while
simultaneously copying audio files and
running other apps in the background, when
machine ran out of hard drive space.
Ignore warnings at your peril.
"I could tell things weren't quite
right," the engineer told me, "but I just had
to get this one last job finished." With
processors working full-tilt and a massive
amount of data on the move (warnings ignored):
Lights out, game over. After a forced restart,
he was horrified to see screens full of
recovered all data, made repairs and (strongly)
recommended having backup.
Time stands still
was only about a week old when it arrived here
at the shop. Owners were trying to reinstall
its Operating System (for some reason) and
needed help. Photo shows System install screen
underway - but it quickly became apparent that
an OS install was only part of what this Mac
installation, progress bar and video froze.
Moving install window around would cause
screen to refresh momentarily, but video card
was defective and interfering with all
operations (replaced by Apple under warranty).
And, to make matters worse, the OS install
disk that came with this 27" iMac was also
defective (next entry).
Hello, Quality Control?
DVD frustrated owner's attempts to reinstall
OSX on a new Mac; disc is missing part of its
reflective metallic layer near edge, looks
almost like a finger print. We connected
owners with Apple Support and saw to it that
they received a replacement DVD thru the mail.
Assembled in Chian
say your notebook won't power up? Gee, wonder
why. This cheapo made
in "Chian" battery wound up costing its owner
We've seen damage done from cheap knock-off AC
adapters, too; they may overheat, short out,
they blacken MagSafe ports, destroy batteries
and DC-in boards, wreak havoc on power
management and they can be downright
You get what you pay for. Spare yourself the
grief and extra expense caused by counterfeit
goods and get the genuine article whenever
Parts is parts.
there aren't any
parts..... This particular laptop model had a
display module that wasn't intended to be serviced, only replaced, and
replacements were not
available at the time. What you see is a
notebook starting up after being dropped. The first light
gray vertical lines are boot screen with logo
and spinning gear. Any animation onscreen
caused vertical lines to dance about like a deranged bar code. With no
it ended up connected to an external display
for the time being.
Broken Logic Pro
of copy protection, some apps require a USB
"key" to be in place before the application
will launch and function. We repaired this one
with a new plug, a little solder and some
plastic casting. Wasn't pretty, but it worked
and got our client off the hook.
on the web
a Mac with an honest-to-goodness bug. Appears
to have been in there for awhile, but we were
too late to save his fuzzy little
Internal short on
to know the Mac has built-in protections for
various faults, including this one. Port was
damaged and shorting to ground.
Non-standard discs = bad news in
CD wedgie courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.
Funky lil' mini-discs are shoved to
the back of optical drives (CD/DVD drive),
where they get lodged and cannot eject.
Removal and disassembly of drive is the only
solution, and just getting there can be an
adventure on some machines. Good news is, no
harm done and this machine was ready to fly in
Another drive we encountered proved
to be rather curious: We found (a record!) three
full-size CDs stuffed inside a single
slot-loading SuperDrive. Dunno how that was
accomplished (nor why anyone would do such a
thing), but after removal and reassembly the
drive was again fully functional.
Got change for a quarter?
lots of things from optical drives, including
SD cards, credit cards, tiny glass beads, rice
- and this quarter stuck under capstan. All
survived the operation. Owner got a 25-cent
of this display from an iMac clearly shows heat damage near machine's fan and even some rust
above it, suggesting steam from having been in
a fire at some time in its life. Macs are well
protected from overheating by sensors designed
to detect an overtemp condition, spin down
drives and put machine to sleep; if condition
persists, it will turn itself off. There's
simply no way a computer can generate the kind
of heat required to do this sort of damage,
but we never got the whole story.....
Might wanna take a break
the fifth time this poor guy entered a page
full of registration info on some web site
only to see it all disappear with an error -
again - he delivered a right cross to the
screen of his girlfriend's notebook.
Pretty expensive repair, but
machine left here in great shape and client
wasn't forced to crash on the shop sofa.
Probably had to grovel some, tho ;-).
Ewww, yech! A pMac... instant
corrosion. The only thing to come of this
was an entertaining tale of woe. Machine was
DOA. Down the drain, so to speak.
And here's what vomit
does to a notebook (in this case, cat puke).
When this machine arrived - hours
after some poor puddytat had spewed into its
keyboard and ports - battery was still
connected, fan was going full-tilt, and
machine was very hot.
With the perfect combination of corrosive
liquid and heat to accelerate this logic
board's demise, it arrived baked to
perfection. There's no recovery from this
kind of destruction, can't even recognize
components or printed circuit traces
anymore, it's D-U-N, done. That's why it's
so important to prevent accidents
like these by keeping equipment out of harm's way at all times and
protecting that machine with a keyboard
cover. You'll be glad you did.
use tiny CCFL tubes to light up the screen - these measure .095" diameter, less than a
tenth of an inch. This pair came from an iMac
screen that had two at the top and two at
bottom (some displays have 'em on sides).
These tiny glass tubes can be quite long,
making them extremely delicate and hard to
handle. They seldom go bad, but when they do
they can act just like any other fluorescent
tube. (Apple began the industry transition
away from CCFLs to LED backlights in 2007.)
said he heard a pop and machine suddenly went
dead. After trying all
the usual suspects (power supply, button,
ports and controls, cables and connections,
etc.), only thing left was to continue
disassembly of this machine until something
and close examination, everything looked
perfectly normal - until we removed logic
board. An ever-so-tiny scorch mark was found
on bottom case, corresponding to the blown
capacitor pictured above (next to a dime).
Continuity check verified failure. Given age
and street value of this particular Mac, owner
opted to replace machine rather than make
absolutely pristine 17" MacBook Pro without so
much as a fingerprint on it. Was wearing a
clear plastic outer cover, kept in a case,
obviously very well cared for and lovingly
handled during its 6 or 7-year lifespan.
5 minutes, all too familiar this one. 2.4GHz
Core 2 Duo with the notorious self-destructing
NVIDIA 8600M graphics processor (also used in
2.2, 2.5 and 2.6GHz C2D models). Apple
replaced logic boards in these machines due to this video failure in a free program that ended on
Pearl Harbor Day of 2012 - long ago. Nothing
more to do with this but transfer its hard
drive to an enclosure and scrap the machine.
Sad to see.
Minor design flaws (yes, even Apple)
criteria and goals have always been
cutting-edge, many of which earned entry
into museums of modern art and design. Apple
now enjoys widespread recognition as the
industry leader and continues to set the bar
for manufacturing and product design. Over
the years some Apple designs have been so
exotic and unconventional as to create
special circumstances that might be viewed
as, well, flawed.
example of an over-the-top Apple design that
merits special consideration is the G4 Cube
released in 2000. This Mac had a
7-inch cube-shaped core (descended from the
1988 NeXT Cube), released and extracted from
under its case by a spring-loaded handle.
This machine, first of the G4 PowerMacs, was
unveiled at the San Francisco MacWorld Expo,
displayed inside a tall
glass tube with its core
suspended over inverted case.
design was as spectacular as it is unique,
it had a few characteristics that proved to
be something of a drawback, such as having
all ports on the bottom of the machine where
they were hard to access. Minor flaws,
really, and easily overlooked by those who
appreciate stunning design concept and
considered significant are those which go
beyond minor irritations and lead straight
to costly service. Here's one "flaw" so
blatant as to have been completely
all computers, this iMac had a PRAM battery
on its logic board with a life span of five
years or so. When time for replacement came,
owners were in for a nasty shock: Replacing
this battery required removal of outer case,
shields, sub assemblies, cables, display,
speakers, fans, drives, and logic board.
Just to access a $5 battery. This iMac's
predecessor was extremely easy to service - and the
following model was completely redesigned
and quite elegant, too - but this particular
transition machine got caught in the middle
with internals designed to be serviced from
the rear inside a case that opened in front.
Notorious design issues:
shows broken hinges from
a Titanium-case PowerBook (aka TiBook). This
problem was all too common on this 2002
model. Damage was compounded by the fact
that replacing a hinge required replacing
the entire $700 display - at least as far as
Apple was concerned - and that's exactly
what Apple did for all warranty repairs. A
cottage industry sprang up for
those who weren't covered,
offering stainless steel replacement hinges
to existing display, but it was still an
Common design issues:
optical drive slots (shown here
from inside machine, drive removed) consist
of a 5-inch-wide opening that is difficult
to reinforce. This one had its aluminum
support frame bent, effectively closing slot
and rendering the optical drive useless. Not
exactly a "design flaw" per-se, but a
weakness common to all notebooks equipped
with CD/DVD drives. Can't say I'm sorry to
see optical drives going away.....
notebook, this one with a broken frame
making machine's display a little wobbly.
Added stress on hinges typically cause
eventual damage to cables and display
notebooks have tiny video cards onboard,
usually soldered to the logic board by way
of a Ball Grid Array (pads, left). These
provide good heat transfer and a more
compact assembly, but if BGA fails the
logic board goes with it. Early machines
used a detachable Pin Grid Array with
plug/socket arrangement for
daughtercards (right) that seldom caused
problems and also allowed for upgrades. The
third method, Land Grid Array, consists of
leads fanning out from a chip's perimeter
that are soldered to circuit board, a very
common and robust type of surface-mount
A compromised BGA is difficult to repair,
but is possible using an expensive process
called "reballing" (which isn't nearly as
much fun as it may sound ;-). A failed BGA
usually means replacement of entire logic
BGAs are the most complex of miniaturized
connections commonly used in notebooks, and
a good example of what makes notebooks more
fragile than desktop machines and towers.
It's also one reason we recommend
consideration of an extended factory
warranty from _any_ manufacturer when buying
an expensive notebook computer.
Ham-handed repairs are easy to
order to open and service this particular
machine, all cables must be disconnected
from the logic board including the display's
video connector (enlarged here x5).
When this machine arrived, it booted to a
Kernel Panic with a monitor displaying only
shades of red. Careless assembly and a
mashed video connector turned out the be the
killed a 'Book
notebook arrived following an "upgrade" by a
local PC tech, it had no signs of life other
than fans running at full speed. Among other
problems, we found missing, loose and
stripped screws; pinched and incorrectly
routed cables; and an unsecured hard drive. Photo tells all: Misplaced, too-long
screw protrudes thru frame where it drilled
the DC-power cable dead-center.
Good job, PC tech!
Bare copper is visible around edge of
indentation, revealing short circuit direct
to ground. Hard drive data was intact, but
machine was fried.
"Pry it open, let's see what's in there..."
This next machine was still (somewhat)
functional when it arrived, although its
fans went on full-tilt moments after
startup, and screen would blackout
periodically. Kids took a screwdriver to
mom's $2K notebook.
Many screws were stripped, missing and
broken, including a critical heat sink mount
alongside processor, lifting
heatsink and caused a noticeable bulge in
top case and keyboard (red
had apparently been pried out, too (mounts
and bezel broken), then reinstalled using
duct tape. We were able to repair
everything, including machine's SuperDrive,
but - unfortunately - damage to the optical
drive ATA bus prevented drive from
functioning. Machine was reassembled sans
optical drive, and repaired SuperDrive
placed into an external enclosure.
was to upgrade his laptop's hard drive, but
it never happened. After obtaining a drive
that might have fit (maybe), he carefully
disassembled his notebook
until he got to the logic board. Attempting
to disconnect a tiny plug, he pulled entire
connector off the logic board - traces,
solder and all. We reconstructed the board's
tiny copper traces and successfully repaired
connector and tested logic board, but
alas..... When he took it home and tried to
reassemble his notebook, the display was
black. Attempting to fix the display, he
then destroyed the logic board. Oops.
Same story, different connector
time a ZIF connector was ripped from logic
board by someone bent
on saving money. Aren't
many shops around that would've taken the time
required to fix this notebook. ZIF stands for
Zero Insertion Force, by the way, and these
connectors require zero removal force as well.
Just havta know how they work.
Amateur hard drive replacement
brand-spanking-new $3K notebook underwent a
hard drive upgrade at the hands of its
owner, a man who was so focused on trying to
pry the machine's cases apart that he
neglected to remove a few central screws.
Resulting damage was about $500 with a bent
V-shaped aluminum top case, broken keyboard
and voided warranty. (Angry that Apple
refused to fix it for free under warranty,
he brought it in still fuming.)
Slot-loading disk drives present a
hazard or two that might be unexpected,
including the fate of nonstandard CDs and
DVDs that enter - and do not exit - these
drives. Other foreign matter may find its
way into that slot, too, and many a damaged
drive has passed thru the shop.
Once a mini-disc or foreign object has
become stuck in the drive, trying to fish it
out thru that tiny slot is all but
impossible, as this client found out. He got
ahold of the drives thin, stainless steel
innards by mistake, bent the daylights out
of it and destroyed the drive.
All-time worst advice for
curing an optical drive malfunction:A
client called to say he'd found a "tip" on the
internet for fixing his MacBook Pro's
SuperDrive. He'd followed the instructions but
it caused the drive to make horrible loud
noises nonstop even tho there was nothing in
it. So, he took his machine apart trying to
disconnect the OD and said he'd lost Bluetooth
function, video cam and one speaker in the
process. What was the "tip?" Cut a CD in
half(!) and insert it into the drive. How
hairball is that? Needless to say, it gutted
the mechanism. We replaced the demolished
drive and managed to restore all other
functions. Gotta love that online advice.
Wonder what the original problem was?
Sometimes factory repairs - aren't.
Client brought in his wife's notebook.
Said wine had been spilled on it when new,
he'd paid Apple $750 to replace logic board
and machine was fine - until lately. Back to
Apple, he was told it needed a new logic
board, new optical drive and a new hard
drive. He canceled the repair order, and the
notebook was returned to him from a facility
somewhere in Tennessee (at no charge) with a
letter and report bearing Apple's
letterhead. And now, the notebook's display
was black, too. Odd.....
First, a lump under keyboard turned out
to be the Airport antenna trapped under a
shield. Bottom case and bottom shield still
had substantial residue and stains. Top case
and top shield were missing all retaining
screws, all eight logic board screws were
missing, and all but two bottom shield
screws were gone. Worse: Fan was unplugged,
as were display backlight, microphone and
sleep light. We replaced missing screws,
connected cables, reassembled machine and
bench tested it. All tests passed with
flying colors, operating perfectly. Weird.
Thrashed, trashed and crashed
she called she said it needed a trackpad
and wanted to know what that would cost.
Said a rock fell on it.
nothing salvageable in the wreckage.
Nothing. Even the
battery was swollen (tho taking a charge),
keyboard was kaput, no video out and only
what you see here on startup. Somehow the
hard drive survived (once it was removed
to an enclosure and various directory
errors were repaired), but that was it.
Has to be a story behind this, but we
never got it. This machine was totally