Black Beauty, my nice little MacBook, had a disk meltdown and I dropped it off at the shop eleven days ago. I switched back to the N-1 PowerBook, and have been too busy running around and preparing for one thing or another to think about setting up a new computer, so I didn’t pester them. So today I called in and they said “Apple doesn’t have any 120G disks in stock, and there’s no ETA for the part, and we can’t call and ask them to expedite until ten business days have passed.” I said “So how about a different disk then?” and they said “Well, procedures are we have to do it this way, but if you wanted to purchase a third-party disk...” Is it just me, or is this fairly outrageous?
[Dear LazyWeb: The commenters have advised me to slap in a new disk, so I will. Question is, where in Vancouver is a good place to buy one? Thanks in advance.]
[The LazyWeb suggests NCIX. Anything on this list leap out at the eye of the Mac-savvy?]



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From: mike (Dec 03 2007, at 16:32)

wow, one would hope you could at least pay the difference between the specific part and an upgrade. i'm sure you'd drop a few bucks to get your computer back sooner with a 160gb drive in it.

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From: Kevin Lipe (Dec 03 2007, at 16:48)

I had the same problem with my 1.67GHz PowerBook, only with the optical drive. No ETA on the parts coming back in stock, so I was stuck on my old iBook for two weeks until they could fix it and ship it back to me.

The only reason I wasn't completely and totally pissed off is that it was free under AppleCare and I had a complete clone of the PowerBook on the iBook. Otherwise I would've been SOL.

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From: paul beard (Dec 03 2007, at 17:01)

So why not buy a disk, look up the instructable on how to replace it, and do it? Seriously, you can put a faster/bigger disk in there than Apple can/will provide. Replacing a 4200 rpm disk with a 5400 added some life to circa 2003 iBook and a 7200 would have been even better. It's likely not that hard: fiddly, but not hard.

But yes, it seems poor that they can't expedite when they can't source the part: perhaps making some noise here will help get some attention on this.

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From: Jack Baty (Dec 03 2007, at 17:05)

Similar thing happened to me with my MacBook Pro - 3 times. I'm on hard drive #4 in just over a year. Each time I had to wait for the exact part to show up or go 3rd party. Silly.

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From: Dalibor Topic (Dec 03 2007, at 17:18)

Is the fix going to be more expensive than buying an eee pc? ;)

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From: Cam (Dec 03 2007, at 17:22)

I had this exact thing happen to me with my own "Black Beauty". Looking at 10 days without a computer, I spent $120 on a third party drive the reseller doing the warranty claim had in stock(!!) and they mailed me the replacement part when it arrived - about a month later.

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From: Lennon (Dec 03 2007, at 17:33)

There's a reason Apple is having a hard time keeping the supply channels full with laptop hard drives right now:

http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=4IJ2MYTAJMRCSQSNDLRSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=204203468

Basically, the Seagate SATA drives being used in recent MB/MBP models has a serious design flaw that actually physically shreds the platters.

When I got a new MBP a couple of months ago, my first step was to make sure that the drive wasn't a Seagate. Thankfully, I've got a drive from another manufacturer, but your MacBook may not be so lucky.

(This is, of course, only a reasonable explanation for their slowness, not an *excuse* for poor service.)

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From: John Cowan (Dec 03 2007, at 17:36)

That's the price of buying from Apple: you do things their way or the highway. You knew that going in, and here's where you get forcibly reminded of it.

Next time use stock hardware and Linux or *BSD.

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From: Eric Meyer (Dec 03 2007, at 18:41)

Advice I got a while back from moles within Apple HQ was that the magic words to use are "mission critical system". They seemed to help in my case, which was strikingly similar to your own.

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From: Erik Engbrecht (Dec 03 2007, at 20:22)

Ack! And I just bought a new Macbook this weekend. Looks like the model of my HD is different than the problem one listed. That's good. I'm growing attached already.

Experiences so far:

http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/2007/12/switch.html

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From: Bernd (Dec 03 2007, at 20:29)

Yeah, things like that make me look more and more towards Lenovo+Ubuntu. Their stuff doesn't work that well, either, but they suck for less and it's easier to swap out single components (this includes software).

But more to your immediate problem: If you drop on a 3rd party disk, you might want to look at the Samsung MH80 series.

I've had great experiences with Samsung 2.5" drives in general, and a trusted friend (who got an MH80) says that their hybrid drives are every bit of a speedup as what they claim.

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From: Zac (Dec 04 2007, at 05:49)

Try another apple store if there's one within reach. I've found the Apple stores to be inconsistent with eachother.

When my girlfriend's laptop started acting up and they couldn't figure out what was wrong at one store and wouldn't really be helpful, we went to another and they ended up just giving her a brand new MacBook Pro (she had a gen 1 and they gave her a gen 2).

The quality of service varies, and it can even help to check with Apple themselves.

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From: Mike Bruder (Dec 04 2007, at 07:25)

I had the same exact experience at the Apple Store I took my Macbook to for a hard drive replacement. Luckily, I called around to a couple other stores and they had the drives in stock, so I took it there instead.

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From: dr2chase (Dec 04 2007, at 10:48)

The real shame of it is that you took the MacBook into the shop for a disk drive upgrade -- a MacBook disk replacement is dead easy, and you could just swap in a 3rd party disk by your own self. Google "Macbook disk replacement instructions" to find the 1-minute video guide.

MacBook Pro, and old Al Powerbooks, are in theory doable, but too much for me. Ti Books are not too hard -- I've done a couple of those.

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From: Bryan Murphy (Dec 04 2007, at 10:58)

Jeeze, just go in there and be all huffy and, like, "Don't you people know who I am?? I'm Tim Bray, I invented XML AND YOUR MOTHERS!"

That will do it.

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From: Ted (Dec 04 2007, at 11:27)

On the last but one occasion I invoked my 3 year warranty, Apple sent a courier to pick up the PowerBook from my workplace, and returned it plus new motherboard two days later.

But this time they said they don't do it by courier anymore, and I ended up having to make five 12-mile round trips to the nearest Apple Store: one to find out I needed an appointment with a "genius" to book the machine in, one to try to book it in then find out it might take ten days for the parts to came, one to try to book it in but find out they still hadn't ordered the parts, one to finally book it in after they confirmed they now had the parts (but they still wouldn't commit to repairing it in less than ten days), and one to collect it. They did, however, repair it in three days.

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From: Ted (Dec 04 2007, at 15:27)

continued from above...

I said five trips but it was really seven. There were two abortive ones. My nearest Apple Store is in the city centre and I made the mistake of trying to drive there during a lunch break when I had to be back in the office for a meeting straight after. I got caught in traffic, the time of my appointment with the "genius" went by, and realising that this would mean a wait of unknown duration when I got to the store decided to abandon that day's attempt. The following day I tried instead to bicycle to the Apple Store with the PowerBook on my back but before I could deliver it, a young woman in a blue Toyota broadsided me as she was turning into a side road. The PowerBook and myself were OK, but the bike was a write-off. The matter is currently in the hands of my legal advisors.

Apple I have been buying, using and advocating your products since 1986 and this is how you repay my loyalty.

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From: Michael Weisman (Dec 04 2007, at 18:18)

NCIX at Broadway near Burrard tends to have decent prices on hard drives and a pretty good selection too. (http://www.ncix.com)

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From: Casper (Dec 05 2007, at 12:50)

I owned a 2'nd generation iPod Nano. The screen cracked inside after 2 months limited use. I called Apple, they said they would send a box but it never arrived. I called Apple again, they said they would send another box which also didn't arrive. So I tossed it out and by then the 3'rd generation was out which I purchased. That seems to be right in line with what Apple wants their customers to do, buy a new version every 6 month.

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From: Anon (Dec 12 2007, at 11:08)

Comment Tim:

You sound like an Apple UK user. Are you? I'm afraid it's well known (e.g. http://slashdot.org/~TheRaven64/journal/155024 ) that here in the UK Apple no longer collect laptops and require you to drop them off to an Apple store. I'm afraid that's just the way it is and like seemingly like all companies whose customer support I've had to repeatedly test there are points of frustration. I think you can still have things like batteries courried away (I've seen a few of those bulging which led to replacements so keep an eye out).

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