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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Boycott Apple For Crappy Service & Products!!!

Boycott Apple For Crappy Service & Products!!!
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satyagrahanism
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Aug 8, 2002, 08:36 PM
 
I'm so pissed off.

My Powerbook is making a ridiculous whine right above the trackpad - where the hard drive is located. It's seriously unbearable.

It gets louder every month. At night, when there is no background noise, it is literally impossible to get work done on this computer. It's like having a bug buzz right next to your ear. You can't think at all.

I have to put a shirt over the track pad just to be able to *barely* work, but that overheats my Powerbook.

So I call Apple.

"Yea my drive is whining really loud, it doesn't seem normal. There are posts all over the Internet about this whine. Do you know what's going on?"

The guy transfer me to a "product specialist" who says "So there's a whine huh? Can you put the phone next to the whine?"

I think it's kind of an unprofessional approach to a hardware problem, but I comply.

The guy says "Yea it's normal. Apple thinks that level of noise is normal." I reply that it gets louder every month, and that if I was in a quiet library, I couldn't use my laptop cause my neighbors would hear my laptop's hard drive whine. He replies "yea I know. People have said that. I think it's alright. We don't see a problem."

You don't see a problem that I can't use my computer at night, when there isn't traffic outside my door to drown out my computer? You don't see a problem that I can't use my computer in a library?

I ask "how come Apple allows such noisy products?" The other guy says the company just allows it and that it's basically my problem.

Ok. Fine. So can I replace this piece of crap hard drive?

No he says. You void your warrenty and Apple Care. The one you paid hundreds of dollars for.

Well when does the whine get "loud" enough when you'll finally look at my computer?

They don't he says. They don't care how loud the whine is.

Well then when will you look at my hard drive?

When it wipes out he says.

When it wipes out? It has to completely fail before you look at it?

Yes he says.

Ooookkkkkkk. Well then mister helpful, what do you suggest I do?

Back up your 10 gig hard drive once an hour.

Gee thanks. I'll spend every day doing that. I'm sure it will just zip by quickly.

So - turns out I paid for Apple Care and get crappy service. They will only *look* at my computer when the thing completely crashes and I lose all my information (as it has happened to me one month out of the box)

And they make laptops that sound like crap. Can't even work at night, or at my campus library.

I used to be a die-hard Apple person. I'll never switch to Windows or PCs. But Apple doesn't put out the products or service that us die hards think they do.

Screw them until they upgrade their customer service AND products.

Stuck with a crappy hard drive that will die out on my any second,
Frustrated Dee
TAKE A STAND FOR HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS! SPEAK OUT AND HELP THOSE WHO ARE IN GREAT NEED.
     
babble
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Aug 8, 2002, 08:47 PM
 
Don't bother calling Apple.

Simply go to an Apple Authorized reseller... Anybody that sells and that can fix your Mac in Apple's place.

They will take your laptop and replace the harddrive, or at least open it up to check it. Why will they do it and not Apple? Because they charge Apple big time when they work on Macs under Apple Care.

Don't go to an AppleStore. Go to a reseller.
     
milhous
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Aug 8, 2002, 10:55 PM
 
Sorry to hear about your problem. Babble is absolutely correct, avoid the hassle of calling AppleCare. Either go to an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Center and have them look at it and I'm sure you'll make some progress. If you don't mind, tell us what happens after you take it there.
F = ma
     
satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 9, 2002, 12:32 AM
 
wow - thanks for the info!! seriously big help

i definitely will do that. i'll look for a service center tomorrow. i'd like to get this thing fixed soon. i feel like i'm walking with a time bomb and my system will crash any minute.

quick update:

five minutes passed after i posted that message above and i call apple back. i get a new guy. i'm going to try see if that guy i got last time was just a jackass

i ask if i get a new harddrive, will it void my warrenty. he says no, but the hard drive wont be covered under apple - which is more than reasonable. sooooo.... the guy i got early was a complete ahole

so i guess i can get a new hard drive and still be alright under warrenty. i was thinking about getting a ibm travelstar 40gnx 20 gigger. has anyone had experience with these? my main concerns are

1) will it suck the living daylights out of my battery? its got 5200 rpm - i dont know if that will drain me or make my comp hotter quicker

2) is it quiet? afterall, that's my main issue here. i have to put on miles davis or john coltrane just to work. while i like listening to music, i dont want to be forced to do it just cause my laptop feels like singing.

3) i've heard people "claim" that their powerbooks are soooo quiet that they can hear a pin drop. i find that really hard to believe. does anyone have a powerbook like this? is it really true? do some powerbooks simply not make ANY noise? that would be my fantasy.

i'll definitely let you guys know what happens after the service dealer looks at it. maybe the jerk was right - maybe apple does think this level of noise is acceptable. i know its not just me though, i've had a few friends say how annoying my laptop's noise is. its not loud enough to say "damn, your thing is broken." but its not quiet enough to be normal either - at least by most people's standards.

but tell me - do you all have a noise on your laptop? check for it at night. day has a lot of background noise. wait till like 1 or 2 am when the house is quiet and the streets are empty. is there an annoying "whizz/ whine/ noise" coming out in a constant even pitch?

dee
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Chris_G
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Aug 9, 2002, 12:50 AM
 
The guy you talked to first is just plain wrong... I don't know what he's smoking. Check out AppleCare Document 30593... Apple does care how loud the hard drive is... "2.5-inch hard disk drive noise should not be over 39dBA in typical operation when measuring the top cover of the PowerBook"!

Chris
     
mrfett
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Aug 9, 2002, 12:57 AM
 
my 667 gigabit ethernet tibook was the loudest laptop i've ever had. it's fan was _very_ annoying. it had a high pitched "eeeeehhhhh" that really got on my nerves. the noise would happen without fail when i had an external monitor attached. otherwise, it wouldn't always happen. still, even at low speed the fan was loud.

now i'm using an 800 DVI, and the thing is really quiet. it's unbelievable how much of a difference there is. i installed a 60 gig ibm 5200 rpm drive, and that's slightly louder than the old drive, but not annoyingly loud. it's usually quiet, but during heavy access times it clicks rapidly. not that big a deal.

overall, i'm very happy with the sound of my current powerbook.
     
satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 9, 2002, 01:30 AM
 
i've heard there are two kinds of apple whines

one coming from your hard drive and another coming from your screen

god save the person who has both.

mine comes from my hard drive. reason why i know? when i spin down the hard disk, the thing is a beauty. no noise.

but the minute i move my mouse i get that "eeeeeehhhhhhh"

about that 39dba - how am i supposed to measure that? i saw something on the web where this guy made somethign to measure his comps noise level - but im not that sophisticated.

seems like the most common approach people have is to just switch to a travelstar ibm hard drive. but that voids your hard drive warrenty - and costs another 130 bucks. kinda sucks. i guess you get an extra 10 gigs, but whatever. i dont do much on mine anyway that takes up that much space. i put all my mp3s on a hard drive with firewire.

about the fan - mine is not coming from that either. in fact, my fan hardly comes on. its the hard drive - i know cause of the spin down test.

replacing a hard drive seems pretty technical too. i'm *not* looking forward to this

still yet - the question is posed: WHEN will we - as long time dedicated apple lovers who promote this damn company everywhere we go and swear to it to anyone who asks - address the concerns we have?? this thing WHINES! they need to solve that. that and the overheating problems. at least give us replacement hard drives that we can pay 50 bucks for that will solve this. don't just brush it under the rug and act like we're all happy with the noise.

I SAY WE TAKE A STAND! EVER ONWARD TO VICTORY!

dee
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lenz
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Aug 9, 2002, 02:49 AM
 
don't worry man, the installation on any powerbook is usually a breeze. I have owned a wallstreet, a pismo and now a tibook and the hard drive swap is amazingly easy. Usually it just consists of removing some kind of cover and unscrewing the harddrive. If you have one of those new ibooks however, you're in for it. Man was that a long procedure.
     
lenz
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Aug 9, 2002, 04:01 AM
 
....and about the other topic you were talking about I have two things to say. First I'm very surprised that none of the usual losers have come to flame you and second is that although apple products are not perfect we have to give the company a break. There products are by far the best in the industry. And even though their support sucks ass you usually don't even have to resort to that cuz the computers just work.

I'm not sure if you've owned a laptop before this but it is not unusual to have a whining noise from the hard drive. Infact my $3600 tibook makes a good deal of noise, but that's just a fact of life. When a disc is spinning at 5400rpms it's gonna make some noise. You might have a defective harddrive, but maybe you're not used to having your hard drive sitting so close to your ear. If this is your first laptop this might be the case. Anyways, good luck and tell us how it goes
     
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Aug 9, 2002, 05:45 AM
 
I had a similar problem with my iMac DV. After about 3 months of use, the hard drive started whining like a dentist's drill. I took it back. The reseller had a look at the machine in his shop with the door to one of the busiest streets in Paris wide open and NRJ radio blaring and said that the noise was within limits! He eventually agreed to take the iMac apart and replaced the drive with another noisy one. After the third drive had been installed, and they'd managed to crack the indestructible iMac casing, I replaced it with an IBM drive that was whisper quiet ... for about 7 months. It's still quieter than any of the Apple drives, but it seems to me that drives generally get louder with time.

As an aside, I used to work as an environmental lawyer and acted for an electricity supplier that owned some allegedly noisy transformers in residential areas. I had to deal quite a lot with experts on noise pollution to assess claims from angry property owners. The formulas the experts would use for weighting the noise levels took into account not only the human ear's response (dbA) but the fact that a repetitive tone is more disturbing than random noise. Basically, the human ear looks for patterns and once it has found one it will tune in on the repetition. The offending sound is effectively magnified by the ear and it becomes impossible to tune out. As a result, the sound of a siren or a fan is usually worse than urban traffic noise even though the traffic noise is louder. Try concentrating on the sound of a siren for a few minutes and you'll observe how the ear starts to change the sound as it focuses on the patterns. In some cases, the repetitive sound can cause tinitus and even drive people insane! I met some people who were very obviously negatively affected by the transformer hum even though the noise levels were within limits and even though the sound was barely audible to me.

Basically, measuring noise levels is a very subjective exercise. You'll find that doctors will generally agree with you if you say that a particular sound is damaging to your health. You can either replace the part yourself or tell Apple that the noise is louder than when you bought the machine and that the new noise level is affecting YOUR health whether or not it is disturbing to them. Then mention that they might find themselves on the wrong end of a damages suit if you have to go to a doctor.

Wow, this turned into a long post!
     
satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 9, 2002, 05:52 AM
 
i agree with lenz. if someone asked me today what type of comp to buy, i would still say apple, but would admit its not a flawless company. despit that, it is still the best one out of the crap that is out there, both in os and hardware

i also agree about the proximity of the hard drive. it might just be that i'm not used to haveing the hard drive be so close to me and be enclosed in such a thin enclosure. this is my first laptop and i've never had this problem with my power macs or normal macs (not imacs, but the performas and what not). but then again, the distance between me and the hard drive was way more - and there was a lot more between us.

still, given all that, the thing is annoying. there needs to be some serious improvement in hard drives for laptops then.

now people are telling me that their ibm travelstar hard drives make a clacking noise once a minute. i dont know what's worse.

how are people claiming that the ibm travelstar is so nice and hush when it makes a clacking noise once a minute?

incidentally lenz, i was expecting a bunch of flames. a bunch of people saying "you're not a real apple person like me." a whole "more-appley-than-thou" elite thing going on. i typed the subject line on the thread in part cause i'm seriously pissed that i have a $3000 hummer and also in part cause i wanted to grab people's attention so that they can read about how screwed up this situation is.

oh well. ill take the early advice and take it to an apple service center. keep the posts going about ibm travelstar. does it click or what? quieter than apple? hush baby don't you cry quiet? or not as bad as bad as the captain whiz hard drive apple has?

dee
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satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 9, 2002, 05:56 AM
 
hm - good info troll. thanks

so you dont get a clicking on your hard drive/ travelstar? if you do, is it once a minute? often? rarely?

dee
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satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 9, 2002, 05:57 AM
 
by the way, when talking about your travelstar drive, please indicate if you're talking about a gn or gnx. thanks
( Last edited by satyagrahanism; Aug 9, 2002 at 06:12 AM. )
TAKE A STAND FOR HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS! SPEAK OUT AND HELP THOSE WHO ARE IN GREAT NEED.
     
Troll
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Aug 9, 2002, 07:06 AM
 
Originally posted by satyagrahanism:
hm - good info troll. thanks

so you dont get a clicking on your hard drive/ travelstar? if you do, is it once a minute? often? rarely?

dee
Hmm, I thought the clacking was just my hard drive. I have the DESKstar 60 GXP (think that's what it is) and it "clacks" about once every 2 or 3 minutes depending on what I'm doing with it. Sounds like the head is parking and then coming out again. The interesting thing is that it doesn't clack under OS9.
     
davcomp
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Aug 9, 2002, 11:10 AM
 
I've had several terrible experiences with Apple's phone customer service as well. The worst was when my headphone port wasn't sending bass out at all, every other sound was fine, but absolutely no bass (this was an iBook). And, it ONLY did it under Mac OS X, not OS 9. When I called Apple I told them that I believed it was just some software issue in OS X and asked if there was an update. They then sent me to a product specialist who told me that it wasn't Apple's fault that my speakers didn't function correctly under OS X. I should call the speaker manufacturer and report the problem to them and have them send me new drivers (it was the HEADPHONE port, there are no drivers for such a thing!) And every set of speakers I put on it did the same thing, no bass. I finally just hung up I got so mad at the guy, he was being absurd. A simple "We will report your problem" or something would have sufficed. They just really need to have their customer service looked at, and, when 10.1 was released, the problem was fixed. Speakers and headphones need new drivers my @$$, OS X just wasn't sending sound to the port correctly or something...
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
seanyepez
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Aug 9, 2002, 12:22 PM
 
If you want quiet, I highly recommend some of the quieter Fujitsu drives (at the sacrifice of performance) or the IBM TravelStar 40GN drives. While they don't spin at 5,400 RPM, they're extremely quiet hard disks.
     
nana4
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Aug 9, 2002, 04:04 PM
 
All drives with ball bearings will develop bearing noise as they age. Some less than others. Get an FDB (fluid bearing) drive, they do not have such problems.
     
IgoByte
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Aug 10, 2002, 10:34 AM
 
I'll never switch to Windows or PCs.
I know that PCs and Windows aren't liked here, but why would never switch to a PC?

As for your problem, if you want quiet, get the Fujitsu MHR2030AT. It's a 30GB 4200RPM drive and is a decent performer.
Also, although I'm unsure about the PowerBook, I know that changing the HDD on an iBook voids the warranty for good.
     
saku
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Aug 10, 2002, 11:14 AM
 
Hmm, I thought the clacking was just my hard drive. I have the DESKstar 60 GXP (think that's what it is) and it "clacks" about once every 2 or 3 minutes depending on what I'm doing with it. Sounds like the head is parking and then coming out again. The interesting thing is that it doesn't clack under OS9.
Yupp... Same here. At first, I found it very annoying. As Ti is mostly very silent, the clacking was very audible. When I bought this machine, being a long-time laptop and computer user who has never encountered such behaviour, I thought it was a problem in the drive and even discussed about this with local apple maintenance. They probably thought that I was over-sensitive and answered something ambiquous. Later I figured out that it is OSX which does this and even considered finding a drive, which is more silent in the drive head movement.

Nowadays I am kinda used to it, but, perhaps someday (when I upgrade my 40GB to something bigger), I will look for a drive, which does not do (audible) clakketi-clak once in every few minutes. I have no idea which brand my HD is currently. I have a pretty new TiPB667-DVI-768MB.
     
satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 10, 2002, 03:47 PM
 
only in os x huh?

what os x version do you have?

maybe this will be fixed under jaguar.

oh - and to lgobyte - reason why i'd never switch to pcs: i'd have double my problems on pcs and it would be harder to fix. fixing something on the pc is a pain in the @ss. you get that annoying "you've commited an illegal operation" crap all the time, blue screen of death comes up at least once a week, the thing makes obscene clacks and noises when its accessing something . . . i could go on forever but ----yea -- i'm never going to a pc.

my mac isn't perfect. but its sure as hell a lot better than having a pc.

dee
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satyagrahanism  (op)
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Aug 10, 2002, 03:49 PM
 
hey saku and troll,

you both are talking about the deskstar right?

are people getting that clack and click with the travelstar? is it that loud? ive heard some people say its real quiet clack, but others say its loud and annoying. whats your experience if you have one?

and be sure to say if you're talking about the gn or gnx

dee
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rambo47
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Aug 11, 2002, 08:57 AM
 
i've heard there are two kinds of apple whines

one coming from your hard drive and another coming from your screen


Actually there is a third whine: the one comming from disgruntled owners. Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I know you're not whining, this is a legit complaint. My Ti 667 (Gig-Ethernet) is very quiet, but lots of folks are in the same boat as you with excessively loud PowerBooks. Hell, a computer that costs between $2500 and $4000 should not be whining, from the screen or hard drive. I've found, just as you have, that calling Apple for service is hit-or-miss. Sometimes you get a real pro, sometimes it seems like you have a PC-user and total butt-head. When I need help I go to Tekserve in NYC, thus avoiding the potential goat-fsck that is Apple Support. Resellers are the way to go. If you do indeed get a new hard drive (seems inevitable) you might consider putting your old hard drive in an external FireWire case like the one offered by MCE. I know spending an additional $140 on top of a new hard drive is probably not high on your list of things to do, but it will allow you to keep all your data, plus give you great external storage. Just don't use the old drive in the library, right?
     
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Aug 12, 2002, 08:20 AM
 
Originally posted by satyagrahanism:
hey saku and troll,

you both are talking about the deskstar right?

dee
I was defnitely talking about the DESKstar, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is a general bug in OSX that affects a number of drives. My personal opinion is that it has to do with the Energy Saver settings. I have the hard disk set to sleep if inactive for 30 minutes, but I think there is a bug that make OSX put the drive to sleep prematurely and then wake it up immediately afterwards when it realises that the system is not inactive. The sound I think is the head parking and then coming out again.

Not sure if this is fixed in 10.2.
     
saku
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Aug 19, 2002, 09:55 AM
 
hey saku and troll, you both are talking about the deskstar right?
As said, I do not know what's in there. As it is rather extensive torx-screw-show to open the cover and check, I do not think I will do it just now.
     
Telusman
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Aug 20, 2002, 01:12 AM
 
Originally posted by satyagrahanism:
only in os x huh?

what os x version do you have?

maybe this will be fixed under jaguar.

oh - and to lgobyte - reason why i'd never switch to pcs: i'd have double my problems on pcs and it would be harder to fix. fixing something on the pc is a pain in the @ss. you get that annoying "you've commited an illegal operation" crap all the time, blue screen of death comes up at least once a week, the thing makes obscene clacks and noises when its accessing something . . . i could go on forever but ----yea -- i'm never going to a pc.

my mac isn't perfect. but its sure as hell a lot better than having a pc.

dee
I dont get why people constantly bash PC's... the fundamentals are the same, you think that apple uses proprietary drives for their system that are quieter when theyre accessed? sheesh.. and if you have a well built PC it wont have those problems, if you built it i can see why it's acting up....

Second of all, the intermittent disk thrashing on OSX, if you time it, it happens every 30 seconds. In your processes list theres one called "Update" its the process that writes unsaved data to the hard drive every 30 seconds, its there as a precaution, most unix boxes dont have that, they write theyre data when they shut down, however if the system were to bomb in the mean time, it would lose that data (which explains why alot of unix systems crash and burn when they crash and burn... ) The update processes is a nessecary process to keep the system running smoothly, and the disk thrash should take little more then a few seconds if not less.

For the record my Powerbook 667's hard disk is almost as quiet as it was when i bought it 10 months ago, which compared to my iMac which became unbearably noisey after just a few months, is quite refreshing.

-Telusman..
"No ma'am i'm not angry at you, I'm angry at the cruel twist of fate that directed your call to my extension..."
     
   
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