PowerBook woes

My 15″ Powerbook G4 died in various interesting ways yesterday.

It’s been making a scary buzzing noise for months, but yesterday the hard drive gave up the ghost. While doing some diagnostics in its death throes, I also noticed that I seem to be suffering from the logic board failure that causes half your memory to go AWOL. Not sure which of those was responsible for the buzzing noise (if either)– will find out when I replace the disk in the next day or two, I guess.

Of course, Apple being Apple, they’ll only admit that the logic board was faulty on a certain range of PB G4s, with serial numbers from W8503xxxxxx to W8518xxxxxx… and three guesses whose is a W8502. So no free repair for me.

I guess that leaves me three possibilities (four if you count “do nothing and hope it doesn’t get any worse”)… sell my 2x512Mb memory sticks and replace them with a 1xGb stick in the ‘good’ slot (and hope none of the more serious symptoms of the failure appear); purchase AppleCare now for €450, even though I’ll only get a year out of it now rather than three, and have it repaired under that; or pay the somewhat ludicrous €690+ that my local Apple authorised repair shop quoted me. Hrmm.

Edit: D’oh, just realised you can only buy AppleCare within a year of purchase, of course. Just have to cross my fingers for a while then, I think 🙂

5 thoughts on “PowerBook woes”

  1. If I thought there was anything especially evil about Apple, I probably wouldn’t… but so far they haven’t shown themselves to be any better or worse than any other laptop manufacturer I’ve endured over the years. Plus, I just plain like using OS X (when I’m not running GNOME, of course), and I’m not about to get involved in the EULA-dodging hackery to make it run on a generic x86 machine.

  2. Working with Macs daily, I can tell you that G3/G4 portables were a low-point in Mac reliability. In the long term you will save money not buying the warranty, but this is certainly a case where the warranty (for folks who actually use it instead of just trashing their machine and buying a new one) must have been a loss Apple. When comparing Apple hardware to other hardware, make sure to factor in the cost of comparable warranties.

  3. To be honest, I don’t feel bad about not buying AppleCare at the time– I’d still rather have the €450 to put towards my next Mac if this one isn’t economical to repair, than to have spent €450 more on this one up front.

  4. my iBook G3 800mhz it’s dead, in similar conditions, begin with the HD, and later, with the video component in the logic board. Obviously mi warranty end a month a go. Apple is Evil, but her desing is so pretty!!

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