You may have noticed not as much got done today as I said would happen. After a bunch of crud in the morning, I decided to burn a disc in my MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008).
To my chagrin, yet another coaster had been produced. I was keeping a stack of the coasters that this MacBook Pro had been making… but worse, it had become unable to burn a DVD+R DL at 4x. And, half the time, it couldn’t burn them at 2.4x. I was on my third new type of DVD+R DL media… and that was it.
So, I booked an appointment at the Genius Bar, and started preparing for the loss of my primary computer. Unfortunately, I ran into a new roadblock… data security.
Yeah, we’re working on some pretty high-security software. So, not only did I have to run Time Machine over everything… but I had to wipe the drive clean. Of course, the Genius Bar doesn’t like when you bring in a Mac with a blinking question mark… so I had to install a clean copy of OS X too.
At this point, the MacBook Pro couldn’t handle a CD-RW burn correctly, so I knew it was time to take it in, for sure.
Unfortunately, time was against me at this point, and I had to drive Top Gear style to the Apple Store. Surprisingly, I was only a few minutes late for my appointment… and a few days off my life as well.
Thankfully, Time Machine makes it easy to keep going in the absence of even a primary system. I can do a quick restore to a spare hard drive, and have a working copy. When the system comes back, a quick SuperDuper! of that drive brings things back to where I’ve been with the drive… even if another Mac has been using it.
And, with a USB hub, this will even work on systems like a MacBook Air. No Target Disk Mode required.
(The MacBook Air SuperDrive was probably my worst buy of the year. Apple’s chipset-level blocking of any system other than the Air is simply unacceptable, as I soon learned when I was on the road with my Air and a netbook. I quickly sold it and grabbed a Sony USB 2.0 DVD-RW deal at the time.)
I’ve been quoted a three-to-five day turnaround on my MacBook Pro. I had hoped taking it to the store would have been faster than having it shipped off to Apple’s repair depot. Considering the weekend, it will likely wind up being a wash in terms of repair time.
P.S. Yes, I had AppleCare on this system. But, it wasn’t necessarily a good buy, considering that my American Express Warranty Extension would have covered the cost of the repair as well. Of course, that AmEx extension will still come back to me once the AppleCare Protection Plan wears off in year three, netting me four years of coverage.
(Be sure to check with your credit card company to see what their warranty protection terms are, and if they will run subsequent/concurrent to any extended warranties like AppleCare. If the terms aren’t good for big-ticket items, consider getting a second credit card with good warranty extension policies for that purpose.)