Thursday, June 24, 2004

Another iBook problem: serviced out of warranty

iBook 2001 (Part 13): "I purchased one of the first 500 MHz 'Dual USB' iBooks in the summer of 2001. I had to send it back for service during the original warranty because the airport reception was dependent on screen position (perfect reception at 90 degrees, no reception at full screen extension). I made the mistake of not purchasing the AppleCare extended warranty.

Last fall, the screen started to misbehave. I would get blue lines across the screen, and the screen would sometimes turn black. This also seemed to be related to screen position, so I went to my local Apple store to see what it would cost to repair. I was told it would be a minimum of $300, and it might not be the video cable as I suspected, but rather a motherboard problem.

Since I figured the whole computer was not worth much more than than that, I bit the bullet and bought a refurbished 17' PowerBook (with AppleCare this time). I knew that newer iBooks than mine had logic board problems, and the repair program had been extended before.

When I saw that the repair program had been extended to include my old iBook, so I took it back to the Apple store and went to the Genius bar to see if I was eligible for the repair program. The genius took a look at it, and told me it didn't seem to have the symptoms of the logic board issue. The store was closing, so he gave me a case number, and told me I could try calling the Apple Support phone number to see if I could get them to look at it anyway.

I called Apple support, and the phone tech had me try a few things. He had me boot into open firmware and try pressing on the corners of the computer. Pressing on the upper left hand corner caused the iBook to shut off completely. That was good enough, and I dropped off my iBook at the Apple store to be shipped off for repair, with the warning that it would probably take a week, possibly two to get it back.

This morning, only two days later, DHL dropped off my iBook, with a repair notice stating that the 'ASSY, Inverter/Sleep Switch' was replaced, and my iBook seems as good as new. The video problem is completely gone."
We justly complain about iBook problems, but the new Dell corporate laptops my company uses make the iBook seem a paragon of reliability.

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