20 May 2007

An unkown error of Type 42 has occured

While it has been a busy few weeks, I have not been updating these pages as often as I should have owing to a rather nasty and fatal disk problem with my MacBook Pro. After getting the spinning pinwheel of death every time I tried to open the System Preferences, accompanied by a repetitive grinding sound under my keyboard, I began to suspect that something might be amiss. After exhausting my extensive arsenal of Mac repair techniques (I backed-up everything on an external drive, did a disk permission repair and then did a clean wipe and reinstalled OSX), I could open the system preference (wahoo!) but when I tried to install 10.4.9 the MBP froze during installation, and couldn't find the start-up disk when I rebooted (boo!). After much gnashing of teeth and wailing (and repeating the install process a number of times), I bowed to the inevitable and admitted there was probably something wrong with the harddisk.

Now harddisk repair is definitely beyond my feeble levels of skill. If it can't be fixed with a hammer and some sticky-tape, I need to call in the experts, so I rang those good people at Apple to see what to do next. This was not as straightforward as I had envisioned. Firstly my call was routed through to a call center in the US; this is unusual because as far as I know there is an Apple call center for Europe in Cork. After taking my details the rep said that she couldn't help me, because although my MBP was still under warranty (barely) ApplePro Care only lasted 90 days from purchase. I told her that was fine, I wasn't looking for technical support, I just wanted the contact details for an authorized Apple service center in Ireland. She said that in order for her to give me those numbers I would need to sign up (and pay) for extended ApplePro Care. That's right, I would need to pay Apple to tell me where I could get my under-warranty MBP repaired. I told her that was a bit ridiculous, she apologized and suggested I try looking in the Yellow Pages.

After being unable to find the “Authorized Apple Service Center” section in the phone book, I went on to Apple's website and spent an hour or so searching through their support section, and was unable to find anything that resembled a listing of service centers in Ireland. The only info available was the number for the ApplePro Care line, so I asked people in our tech-support office at work what they recommend, “When is the next time that you are going to be in London?” they said. Apparently the only recommendation they had was to take the MBP into an Apple store and go to the Genius bar. While this was actually starting to make sense, my MBP was 11 months and 21 days old at that stage, so I has about a week left of warranty, and no travel plans for a month (and no, I am not even going to comment on the the allegations of built in obsoleteness in Apple products). So I did what I should have done at the start and turned to Google and found a single service center in Dublin, the MBP was picked up the next day. Three weeks later I had it back with a happy new harddisk installed, however not before the repair center tried to charge me for the repair because while they had received the MBP within the warranty period, the repair was conducted after the warranty had expired. After a good bit of back-and-forth, they agreed to do me “a favour” and treat it as if it was still under warranty. Good for them.

This whole experience has left me very disillusioned with Apple.


At 6:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well there.. i shall refrain from saying anything about apple ... but a mate got his fixed in http://www.mactivate.ie/ once. they're in blanchardstown, they seemed to do the job for him.

At 5:46 pm, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

In fact Mactivate were the guys I used...

At 1:55 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

Hard Disks are just unreliable. Whatever computer, mp3 player, or other device they are in....

Don't trust them. Your data is not safe!!



(i learnt the hard way - hopefully everyone should not have to)


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