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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Sick and tired of having to take my computers in for service every year or two

Sick and tired of having to take my computers in for service every year or two
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Ham Sandwich
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Jul 12, 2012, 06:43 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 12, 2012, 08:54 AM
 
Your ongoing hardware failure experience is anomalous, perhaps jinxed; clearly you are a candidate for AppleCare.

I am sure that statistically mobo issues are fairly rare. My experiences are of course just anecdotal, but after two 128k Macs, several SEs, a IIcx, an 8500, a Mac Pro and many laptops starting with multiple duos the only mobo issue has been the MBP I spilled a full cup of hot chocolate into - and even that MBP still works in clamshell mode.

Most reliable new MBP personally I would look to a non-retina 15" with SSD. However I am not a working repair tech.

In my personal prepurchase evaluations of Mac hardware I ignore reliability as a parameter because warranty covers the critical first year (I have had numerous warranty repairs performed over the years) and the likelihood of major repairs in years 2 and 3 is very very low (at least for typical users ).

HTH

-Allen
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 12, 2012, 11:43 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 12, 2012, 01:10 PM
 
Seriously, your personal experience is anomalous. It is your experience, not the statistically typical performance of Apple laptops.

Bummer, I too would be irritated. Maybe even buy some kind of insurance if it happened year after year.
     
Athens
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Jul 12, 2012, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrej View Post
I must be cursed with nothing but logic board problems.
First it was my Powerbook G4, then my iMac G5, then my white Macbook (twice I think), now it's (potentially) my 2011 Pro Macbook, which, by the way, I just had in for service.
The computer randomly has just recently started to shut itself off after 1 out of every 500 or so keystrokes. Luckily this doesn't seem to be happening much currently, but I'm suspecting that the logic board may be going bad. If that is true, then I can't afford to get a replacement for a year, and that means I won't have a computer to use.
At this point, I don't care, I just want a portable Mac that doesn't have stupid problems like these.
Also, does Apple have a recall on their power supplies? For the past year, about 1/4ths of the time I connect it, the light doesn't appear on the connector and/or I get a "not charging" error.
Why does Apple insist on charging $2000-$3000 on these machines and then another $1300 (quote I got for previous work) for their faulty products?
And here's another question:
Out of the Macbook Air, 13" Pro Macbook, or 15" Pro Macbook, which one do you think is the most durable? Because that's what I want to get.
Also: If you recommend a 13" model (or even the 11" model), have you ever found it to be "too small" to work with things on the screen and play movies/YouTube videos?
Question have you lived in the exact same home that all these computers have failed?
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 12, 2012, 02:44 PM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Athens
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Jul 13, 2012, 09:15 AM
 
I thought I asked. Something many people don't know about is dirty power which can cause unexplained crashes and stability issues with computers. A easy fix for that in a house with dirty power is a UPS to filter it. Laptops are not generally affected because the battery in the machine filters it.

I guess you have serious bad luck

The only other things I can think of that can apply
- Using laptops on blankets, pillows or anything that can block the vents can cause over heating. (But you had a iMac with problems)
- Smoking can cause tar buildups in side the machine, in warmer places or heavy use of the machine it can cause over heating.

I hope your next machine is trouble free for many years
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 14, 2012, 05:33 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 14, 2012, 08:36 AM
 
Not charging is often a stuck pin on the magsafe adaptor.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 14, 2012, 10:50 AM
 
No disrespect intended, but I must say your very negative vocal opinion expressing Apple hardware as less than best quality is not statistically correct. Like your poor reported reliability is not statistically in agreement with the rest of the world - by a lot.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 14, 2012, 02:34 PM
 
Yeah, maybe your doing something wrong
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 14, 2012, 06:15 PM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
anthology123
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Jul 15, 2012, 10:29 AM
 
I have a 2008 MBP 15 with a 256mb SSD, and it's still going strong with 10.5.8. The performance still is great and not once did I have to service it by Apple. It just goes to show the luck of the draw that can happen to anyone. My previous MBP, a 2006 MBP 17" had it's hard drive die only 6 months into it's first year. After it's hard drive was replaced, it worked fine for the rest of its use until I had to trade it in for the 2008 MBP 15.
I am going to buy for my wife, a 2012 MBP 15 with a 256GB SSD as well.
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 15, 2012, 10:40 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 15, 2012, 10:49 AM
 
FWIW, the batteries that were still removeable were rated for 300 charge cycles. That's usually around two or three years.

Batteries die.

The newer ones are rated for at least 1000 cycles.
     
polendo
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Jul 15, 2012, 11:24 AM
 
If you want a reliable Mac look for the latest Macbook you might find (white ones). Those are tough as nails. Its a shame they do not build them anymore.
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 15, 2012, 11:42 AM
 
This is silly. The presumption that "Apple laptops are unreliable, which is the least unreliable?" is ridiculous.

The suggestion that you might solve the alleged unreliability by switching to a Windows box is even more ridiculous. Apple laptops consistently get top reliability scores.
     
shifuimam
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Jul 15, 2012, 03:06 PM
 
Apple laptops are built with the same commodity components every other OEM uses. I've seen plenty of Mac laptops with failed components, even in new laptops.

That said, if you're already committed to the OS X world, it doesn't make much sense to switch to Windows - the way the OS works will be jarring, and all the software you presumably already own won't be compatible (nor will the licenses - the big guys like Adobe and Microsoft have separate licenses for OS X and Windows software).

Take heart, though. Apple's laptops are easy to service. They're even easier to service now that nearly every internal component other than RAM, HDD, and ODD are part of the motherboard. You can save a big wad of money by buying a replacement board on eBay and doing the repair yourself.

If you're considering replacing your machine, the 2010 MBPs are very easy to service yourself. I haven't worked on the newer ones with built-in batteries, so I can't comment personally on those models. I'd recommend a Pro model over any of the MacBooks - the plastic in every hardware iteration is prone to hairline cracks over time. I never did figure that one out, considering that the Lexan iBooks of the mid 2000s were built like tanks. (The clamshell, of course, is indestructible, but it's also enormous and weighs like six pounds.)

If you buy a new machine, I'm very rarely one to recommend AppleCare, but it would pay for itself after the first time your logic board or LCD fails. Any other component is dirt cheap and simple to replace yourself. You've had enough issues in the past it might be worth the peace of mind to get the extended warranty.
Sell or send me your vintage Mac things if you don't want them.
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 16, 2012, 07:31 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 16, 2012, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
Apple laptops are built with the same commodity components every other OEM uses.
Not totally true, because Apple designs some parts itself. And of course Apple engineers the mobo, case design, heat sink engineering, fans engineering and placement, etc. as well sets its own QA/QC spec on every part as well as on the overall assembled product. And of course the OS and the hardware are designed to complement each other, especially as regards battery operation and operational heat.

There is a reason MBPs rank high in reliability and customer satisfaction. Even though many parts are available commodities Macs are not simply assemblies of commodity components, and it shows.

That said, of course all Macs have parts that fail. However the overall failure rate reports out as better than most.
     
SierraDragon
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Jul 16, 2012, 10:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andrej View Post
I'm asking about most reliable...
You are right I overstated a bit. Sorry. There certainly have been low-reliability instances. Like the pre-MagSafe laptop power connection engineering that had a very high failure rate. My guess is that the (awesome) MagSafe connector was invented to resolve the ongoing repairs that were needed on Powerbooks.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
 
Hmm. On the subject of 2008 MBPs, mine is running its original battery and I can still stream a full length movie over wifi after 550 cycles. Its pretty much as good as it was when it was 6 months old.

I was actually kidding about you doing something wrong but if you have had this many failures and given the list of faults you give for your clamshell iBook I think I may be on the money. I think your idea of 'normal wear and tear' is not the same as most people. My MBP is kept in a sleeve and then put in a backpack with a bunch of other junk and it takes a bit of a beating tbh but its still going strong.
Cracking the back of the display housing and breaking the DVD drive cover? These are not component failures, this is abuse. An Mac laptop is a sophisticated piece of equipment and while Apple makes efforts to make them resilient, they are not toys and should be treated with some respect if you want them to last.
You're "afraid the display will snap itself"? I'm afraid you'll snap it.

It sounds to me like you should be looking at a Panasonic Toughbook instead. Maybe you can hackintosh one.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 16, 2012, 02:48 PM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 16, 2012, 03:28 PM
 
FWIW, I've seen a clamshell iBook come in for a checkup after its owner DROVE OVER IT WITH HIS CAR (VW Passat station; he'd put the bag down behind the car and strapped his kid in the seat, got in the car and backed over the bag pulling out of the driveway).

It had developed a few crows' feet fractures in the bezel at one of the corners of the display. That was all. It was completely intact beyond that.

I have absolutely no idea how one could possibly manage to fracture the case.
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 17, 2012, 07:00 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 17, 2012, 07:52 AM
 
The MacBook also weighs half as much and cost half as much as the original iBook. and is an order of magnitude faster.
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 17, 2012, 11:36 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 17, 2012, 11:47 AM
 
And if you drop it, it will crumple like one.

I don't mean to cause offence, but if you really are experiencing this many problems, then you must be seriously unfortunate. You should try buying lottery tickets and giving them to your friends, they might thank you.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
I-ku-u
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Jul 17, 2012, 12:28 PM
 
To drive home a point made in some other replies, the environment and usage of the machines can greatly affect their longevity.

Various factors that I've learned are important are:
smoking and/or general air quality, including humidity levels (for example, too low humidity makes static electricity a serious problem)
heat dissipation, good air flow and general avoidance of temperature extremes (too cold is bad as well)
electricity (does your utility company have trouble keeping a steady, clean current to your home?)
for the laptops, careful transport, such as avoiding jarring impacts and bending of the frame during transport (which might happen if put in a backpack)

I won't claim that's an exhaustive list, but generally when someone such as yourself has such issues with multiple machines, the most likely explanation is something about the user's environment or usage habits.
     
pottymouth
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Jul 19, 2012, 05:02 AM
 
What were the repairs on those bad Apples of yours, Andrej? Or did they just call it a bad logic board and not bother troubleshooting?

Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Your ongoing hardware failure experience is anomalous, perhaps jinxed; clearly you are a candidate for AppleCare.
Agreed.

Count me as a long time Apple user with almost no complaints. My iPhone once bricked after a software update, but I had a brand new one within an hour after a quick run to the Apple store just at closing time. I've had a couple hard drive failures over the years, but I won't put too much of that blame on Apple. And I don't baby my gear, by any means. I've got a habit of falling asleep with my MBP on the arm of the couch and then waking to the sound of it crashing to the hardwood floor. Lots of dents, but no damage.

I also manage an office of about 20 Macs and have had little trouble, outside of a batch of G5 iMacs that got recalled for bad logic boards about 8 years ago. The only problems I see regularly are software based and those are usually from the same two employees who also happen to be the only two people who use Windows machines at home. Weird. Or not.
     
msuper69
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Jul 19, 2012, 04:01 PM
 
You're holding it wrong.
     
davedecay
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Jul 19, 2012, 07:52 PM
 
iMac G5s were notorious for failures. The G5 towers had many problems also. I'm an Apple repair tech, and I fixed WAY more of those than any other Mac.

I've seen some repairs come in for Macbooks since 2009, but not as many as older models. And Apple is selling far more laptops than desktops these days.

If you have a hardware failure in your first year of ownership, be glad, Also consider the cost of AppleCare to extend it to 3 years. Though it's expensive, it's not a bad idea for a portable.

Alternately, sell your MBP when it's 11 months old and buy another one for the same price or a little bit more, say $100. You can then have a Mac in warranty for less than Applecare. Many people do this.
In fact, buy a refurbished Mac directly from Apple, it has the same warranty and costs several hundred dollars less than new.

for example, this quad-core is $1359 US
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD318LL/A

You could probably sell your MBP for close to that, no?
     
Athens
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Jul 19, 2012, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrej View Post
Like what? The rest of the world doesn't consist of college students who take care of their portables?
I have a separate slot for mine, and extra padding underneath (so no "floor thumping"), as well as only a few items inside so that there is never extra weight on the machine due to the items.
I just wish that I had the money to upgrade so I didn't have to deal with the current nightmare.
And I don't really care about statistical anything.
Alright, does anyone else have a recommendation for a future Macbook that is reliable?
What do you mean by extra padding?
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Ham Sandwich
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Jul 28, 2012, 07:33 AM
 
Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.
     
   
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