Saturday, April 10, 2010

the day my laptop died

Yesterday, while on the phone with apple care, talking to the 5th lovely person who was trying to help with my seemingly unsolvable problem with mail (the problem being that I hadn't been able to launch the program for weeks), my laptop stopped starting. Every time I restarted, I'd get to the grey apple and then the screen went black. The supervisor on the phone kept insisting, nicely, I must have been doing something to cause that but no, Flash (we name computers at my house) had a mind of its own. Or, rather, it's mind was disintegrating into nothing.

Backstory: a few weeks ago, the apple mail program wouldn't launch. I kept getting a strange error message about to-do conflicts. Strange because I never used them. So, I opted for gmail as a work around. Then Safari wouldn't launch. It got stuck loading pages. So, I moved on to Firefox. But when I couldn't open Quark (yes, peeps, I'm stuck in the dark ages and still use Quark), I figured it was time to call apple care.

First, I had to work through registration issues. I'd bought apple care and had all serial numbers, but someone had entered wrong info along the way and it took 2 people to straighten it out—one lovely, one not so much). The I got to my first tech person.

I spent an hour and a half of rare solitary time in Florida on the phone with tech support. We deleted cache, everything in my mailboxes, rebuilt them from scratch, creating a test user to see what was up with other accounts. By the end of the call, things seemed to be working and we happily said goodbye.

Next morning? Nothing worked. Call two g0t me to a disc fail when trying to repair things. The apple guy said I needed to start up from start up discs to do repairs and since I didn't bring them with me, repairs had to wait for NY. After we got home life was so crazed it wasn't until days later that I had time to call. I spent 45 minutes with someone yesterday afternoon, when we repaired permissions from the start up disc (don't even ask, I have no idea what that means), but I had to run out and get Jack. I called back last night and found it was impossible to do disc repair. The button was greyed out and every time I tried to identify problems, the whole program quit.

At this point the lovely man I had been working with very quickly turned me over to a senior supervisor, who was far more serious. Small talk was a thing of the past. And so was my computer. Minutes after man number 2 got on the phone, I couldn't get the laptop to boot up. And this is where the story started. He suggested someone needed to see this in person and booked a 15 minute appointment at the genius bar for me.

I knew, after spending almost 4 hours on the phone with apple care, that 15 minutes wouldn't cut it. Something was seriously wrong and I'd wished, at any point during my upbeat, enthusiastic support, that someone had asked me if I'd backed up the hard drive.

I hadn't.

When at the mac repair place last night, within 2 minutes we determined my hard drive had failed. Turns out that while the repair is covered under my extended warranty, data recovery isn't and that's a $250 charge.


So that's where I am today. Blogging from someone else's laptop, sneaking in the corner so they won't notice. It's come to this.

1 comment:

Katherine Thomas said...

Which laptop was it? I have a 2004 Powerbook G4, and have had RAM added, and a new battery, but it's still going strong. (knock on wood)
My son's 5 year old Dell just died last week, and now you're telling a similar story... Makes me think I'm going to run out and get a flash drive and back up every file I have! Now! Good luck to you!