The Apple Repair Circus

June 14th, 2006

This post is part of my MacBook Pro Complaints series. Instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to this post, consider linking to the series link, which includes a summary of all findings to date and direct links to the pertinent downloads that users may find useful. Thanks for reading!

I got my MacBook Pro back last week from its second trip to Apple’s Texas repair facility. I have to admit, the turnaround was fast this time: only about 5 days from DHL pickup to DHL return. Unfortunately, the speed of the “repair” is evident in the results I have observed.

The first thing I noticed while removing the machine from its box was that a minor cosmetic defect had been added: the top surface of the MacBook Pro’s interior (the wrist-rest area to the right of the trackpad) now has a nice surgery scar. The case bulges ever so slightly here, to reveal a thin gap between the DVD-ROM slot and the top surface. Not the biggest problem in the world, but when you’re hoping for repair, it’s not fun to have it come back worse than you sent it.

Speaking of which, they did at least replace the screen inverter this time. The bad news? It seems that they replaced it with another board, defective in a different way. Is this what “consumable parts” means? My old inverter made a terrible buzzing noise at all but the highest brightness, where it was dead silent. This meant that with QuietMBP and highest-brightness, I could work in complete silence (albeit at the expense of my battery). The new inverter is noisy at all brightnesses, and is a distinctly different type of noise. While the old was more buzzing, the new is more hissing. In a way it’s better, because it’s closer to white noise. But it’s also worse and more infuriating because there is no workaround for it.

I was so disappointed that I set the MacBook Pro aside and didn’t use it for a week. I didn’t want to face the thing. I get very little joy out of using it, and it’s value has been reduced to an Intel test box that I can take with me when I travel. My PowerMac G5 is slower, but it’s comfortable. It’s like choosing between a Ferrari with no seat-back, or a Ford Escort. Sure, you can get a lot farther a lot faster in the Ferrari, but you’ll hate every minute of it.

Another infuriating aspect of Apple’s repair process is that they don’t put any comments on the repair sheet. You go to lengths to describe the numerous problems afflicting you. They write down copious notes. They agree with you that all the problems should be checked out and will be tested thoroughly. Then you get it back and they’ve replaced one part in the hopes of addressing one problem, and completely (it would appear) ignored everything else.

So my machine still whines terribly. It’s a bad problem, Apple. It’s ridiculously loud and the workaround eats my battery and probably makes the machine hotter. I want to be a PRO user. I want to work like a pro. Live like a pro. Concentrate like a pro.

And my machine still throbs with heat. The reason I’ve waited so long to update my blog is that I haven’t been willing to face the machine. I want this all to be over with. I’m only inspired to write this because I am away from home for a few days, so I “needed” to bring the portable. My hands have that residual warm throbbing that comes from being pressed against something uncomfortably warm for more than a few minutes. And this is on a relatively cool day. The heat of summer is looming like a portable-computing killer.

This is a crappy era for Apple hardware. It’s sort of a great time for Apple hardware, but the flaws make me yearn for the bad old days.

Heck, I’m even jealous of my girlfriend’s ThinkPad. Ugly and with a crap operating system, but completely silent and cool to the touch. Can I get Mac OS X with that?

Update: Sitting here with the machine on and little ambient noise, I finally figured out what the “new inverter hiss” sounds like: leaking gas! It sounds like there’s a pilot light out in my MBP and the whole room is going to blow at any moment.

50 Responses to “The Apple Repair Circus”

  1. Tim Gaden Says:

    Whoa, new look! Nice.

    Whoa, another crappy Apple experience! Ugly.

    I didn’t think my heart could go out to you any more after the last post. But I was wrong.

    Tim.

  2. Matt Says:

    5 days, assuming no weekends were involved, is actually a fairly long turnaround time. I haven’t been in the business of sending lots of machines to Apple’s depots for about a year, but back then it was common for the computer to spend only a single day at the facility.

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Matt: there was a weekend involved – I should have mentioned that. I guess I’m just not used to the brilliant turnaround time you can get these days.

    Kudos to Apple for a streamlined process, but they should spend a few more minutes verifying that something is actually fixed. It’s hard to imagine that a few minutes checking is more expensive than another round trip of DHL shipping.

  4. dvb Says:

    …Arrgh. I keep hoping to read how everythings fixed, the replacement rev n+1 board did the trick, &c. Because, I’m waiting to give Apple my money. What a drag!

    But yeah: Great new blog look! Did you draw the banner using Python by chance?

  5. Tyler Hall Says:

    I’ve given up on Apple fixing or even admitting there’s a heat problem. But I manage. I’ve finally settled on working at home with my MBP on a cooloing pad and a fan (yes an actual fan) blowing on it from behind. If I don’t do both those things, like you, my hands become sweaty and uncomfortable after ten minutes of use.

    At work things are easier. It’s raised off my desk on a stand to allow air-flow while I work with a cinema display and external mouse and keyboard.

    So, I stay cool, but I don’t even try to use it like a real notebook. It’s just a desktop machine that happens to be light enough to carry around.

  6. Joe Kallo Says:

    I’ve been reading this saga so I may as well post and let you know I’m out here :-)Bummer.

    That really does suck. And you know, I think you’re right in that it does seem to be be a crappy era for Apple hardware. I’d written them off after 20 years of dedication, and used linux for a year. Last week, I finally made the decision to switch back after running OS X on non apple hardware for a few months. I bought a Macbook and gleefully headed (2 hours) home to celebrate. I stopped with my wife along the way for a beer and unwrapping party and discovered the Macbook was DOA–my first mac DOA after having uncrated literally hundreds (I’m a sys admin in a big Mac using U dept). Not only was it DOA but it had a defect that caused arcing at the battery terminals–nearly caught fire.

    I’m happy with the replacement, but it is painfully obvious that apple is having some serious QC and design issues. As much as I like this machine, I have to admit it is not nearly up to Apple fit and finish of even 5 years ago.

    I wonder where this is all heading? Is this Apple’s push to become primarily consumer oriented?

  7. Lee Says:

    I’ve got a ThinkPad T60 with a 2.0 GHz Core Duo and a MacBook with a 2.0 GHz Core Duo. The T60 does feel cooler and isn’t as loud as the MB. But the T60 keeps its fans on most of the time, while it seems the MB rev’s its fans up and down. I think Apple can address the heat issues in the MB’s and MBP’s if they just change the fan speeds.

    As far as the issues you are having with your MBP, you might want to investigate if there are any consumer “lemon” laws in your state. At this stage, you should try to cut your losses and just get your money back. You’ve spent way too much time and effort trying to resolve this issue with your MBP.

    Incidentally, my MB is a great product. Though it does get warmer than my T60, it is very sturdy and fast. I always work with it on my lap while I am commuting on the train or working from home. When on battery and the power mode set to conserve battery power it doesn’t get as hot.

  8. ssp Says:

    Sounds like you’re pretty much where I was with my Titanium Powerbook a few years back. I had sent it in after elaborate descriptions of when what kind of buzzing noise would arise and I included those in writing with the machine just to be on the safe side.

    A week later I got the *Book back with many fixes having been made but not the single one I sent it in for. Apart from not fixing the machine, they exchanged most of the other components for no good reason (I’ve heard people say that exchanging the motherboard is what repair people do if they don’t know what to do). And the bad thing was that what they did wasn’t documented (not in a human-readable way anyway, there were some cryptic acronyms on a sheet of paper that came with the machine and someone translated them for me). As back then I was on a network that would only accept connections from specified MAC addresses, receiving a computer with a completely new main board an different MAC address without being told so was rather bothersome and confusing.

    So what next? Back then I just gave up because they also lost my hard drive in the course of the repair and I didn’t want to go through all the hassle over and over again. But I keep thinking that I should have pushed them harder. And this incident is the main reason why I doubt I’ll buy anything but the cheapest machine from Apple in the foreseeable future.

    Whatever you do, good luck!

  9. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Thanks for the empathetic comments, all. I feel a bit lighter knowing that there are understanding readers following the plight :)

    dvb: Indeed! The new design is primarily Python-designed. I did a few tweaks in post-production, but later I actually fixed the original script so that I can now generate new banners with a whole new random set of pink circles !

    Next up I plan to basically integrate the blog theme with my home page so there’s a single unified theme across the whole site.

  10. Mike Says:

    I had a very similar experience. I had a new display put on my MBP because it flickered and contained dead pixels.

    When I picked up the machine from the retail store I noticed that the top case was bowed up on the left side of the track pad leaving a sharp edge in the perfect place to cut my wrist. There were also 2 screws missing from the left side of the laptop.
    I can’t believe that any tech worth his salt would let this machine off the bench in that condition. Not to mention the liability if I actually did cut myself on the sharp exposed edge of the top case.

    They took the laptop in the back and I had to wait for another hour. I wouldn’t accept the a repaired laptop in that condition. When the techs returned from the back they informed me that they had to order a new top case and I’d have to bring the laptop back again. The tech said the guy who worked my MBP left for the day and that he neglected to use adhesive when he put the machine back together.

    I took the laptop home in it’s mangled condition and to my dismay the new display had a loud buzz when the brightness was turned up. I called and spoke with the lead tech from the apple store and I told him that it was unacceptable for them to give me the laptop in this condition. He agreed to replace it with a new one. They had to order it which took over a week.

    I took the new machine home and it had a humming sound especially if it’s running on battery power. When I turn the camera on the sound goes away but the MagicNoiseKiller app doesn’t work for me. It also gets rather hot to the touch above the function keys. I’ve decided to accept these flaws even though I shouldn’t have to. It seems getting a good MBP is pot luck.

  11. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Mike: MagicNoiseKiller is … all but killed. I should take down the download at this point. The best workarounds for the CPU whine are either to cause power draw to increase by using the camera, a bluetooth mouse, USB flash drive, etc. Or by running my QuietMBP program.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. We’re supposed to be the happiest customers in the world, aren’t we? :)

  12. Rob J Says:

    I very much want a new laptop but, considering all of the issues documented here and elsewhere, I think I’ll just get a desktop Mac for now and hope that Apple pulls their head from their ass and eventually learns/remembers how to build a decent laptop. :-(

    Thanks, Daniel, for your thorough documentation. You have my sympathy.

  13. Marc Garrett Says:

    I have the excessive heat problem and I sent it in last week. On the status website, the “on hold – part ordered” has been there for a week. When I called, I was told they were replacing the logic board, thermal sensor VRAM, etc. When I asked why the part is taking so long, the tech told me that there have been alot of MBP’s sent in for this issue, and hence there is a delay in receiving the new logic board. I just hope that it comes back much cooler. for what it’s worth I had a slight monitor whine, but only audible in a perfectly quite room. I hope that the new logic board takes care of this issue as well.

  14. Justin Williams Says:

    My MBP is still out on repair #3 and has been for a week. Status: “On Hold – Parts on order.” I cant even find out what parts I am waiting on. ugh.

  15. Scott Ellsworth Says:

    That totally bites.

    Were it me, I would send it in again, with the same letter as before and a snide note. Then start disputing charges, and calling customer relations. This is _NO_ way to treat a customer. (Resist the engineer temptation to over-document. You did that before, and it did not help. Now, just lay it out straight, and demand satisfaction.)

    The machine is not bringing you joy, and something this neat and expensive should. Pity you are not likely to get any groveling out of them for it.

    Scott

  16. Ryan Says:

    Daniel. I use MagicNoiseKiller and it works great for me.

    I very happy with it, but I’ve had to NOT download the Keyboard Update from last month (but even if I did I know how to reverse it) to keep MagicNoiseKiller working. I don’t have any tech specs, but I don’t think that it even uses much battery for me. Why is it that you think MNK is dead?

    And what will happen if I upgrade to the next operating system Mac comes out with? If MNK doesn’t work with that, I’ll be quite dissapointed. Right now MNK is keeping me sane.

    ryan

  17. Haris Skiadas Says:

    I agree 100% with Scott Ellsworth, this has gone way way too far. Best of luck to you.

  18. Al Says:

    For the sake of adding some counterweight to the negative reviews, I was happy to not get a noisy 17″ MBP. It does get a bit too hot by the function keys when plugged in (not so bad when running on battery), but otherwise the other hardware issues have not cropped up.

    So it is a crapshoot. And since it took a couple of weeks for mine arrived, I was nervous wreck reading all the negative reviews hoping I would not end up with a noisy lemon. Thankfully not only did mine come out okay, so did the two others that arrived for my co-workers.

  19. Andy Lee Says:

    Regarding the heat on the hands from where they rest on the laptop — I have a feeling that heat aggravates my tendinitis, not to mention the sharp corner at the front. I miss the contoured front edge of my Pismo.

    My black MacBook is being looked at because (a) it started failing to wake from sleep on a regular basis, and (b) a horrible chemical burning smell came out of it one night. The smell was so bad I had to open a window. It went away after a few hours and didn’t come back, but I wondered if some component had gotten fried.

    The smell was similar to, but much stronger than, a faint smell that comes from the DVD burner slot on my other machine after I burn a DVD+R disk. I don’t know if it’s the drive, the fact that the media was DVD+R, or the brand of disk. I’ve been assuming it’s a natural by-product of the disk heating up and undergoing whatever it undergoes in there.

    Anyway, I’m MacBook-less and suffering the maddening slowness of Firefox on a G4 machine. At some point I’ll get a call from Tekserve letting me know if they found anything.

  20. Haris Skiadas Says:

    @Al

    glad to hear you did not have any problems, this makes me a bit more hopeful. However the thing I am irritated at is not the defective computer, but Apple’s stance on the matter. I thought they had a reputation for very good customer service, and the service that Daniel has received so far is anything but good, especially for such an expensive machine. If they want people to make the switch to the new Macs, then they should first of all fix the problems they’ve been having, and second of all treat better the brave souls who do try these new machines.

    Everyone makes mistakes. We admit them, learn from them, apologize and move on. Apple is missing those last three steps right now.

  21. Marcus Says:

    The first MacBook Pro I received hat a similar inverter noise. It was the loudest with full brightness and it was completely silent when the backlight was turned off.
    I bought it from a reseller and the agreed to give me a replacement… the book I’m currently writing this text. The inverter is silent, but it has the typical processor noise, which i got used to when the book is pluged… but it is way too loud when the book is on battery.

  22. Matt Says:

    How many times has your MacBook been in for repair? If you’ve had a major component replaced 3 times, you *may* be eligible for a replacement. I’d try going to your local Apple Store and requesting one. I don’t know if Apple’s put specific embargoes on replacements of MacBooks due to noise issues, but if there’s no such policy you only need to convince the Mac Genius. He/she gets approval from a member of store management, and you’re off to the races.

    Feel free to email me if you need any more tips/details/encouragement. :-)

  23. colonel Says:

    I had all of the problems, my mbp was sent for repair, only to be returned with a damaged case, which was subsequently replaced after long conversations with customer relations.

    anyway, called my customer relations guy the other day, and told him that i still wasnt happy with the heat, and asked what apples stance was on the subject… To my utter suprise i was told “apple are aware of the problem, and we are looking for a solution, we are registering all mbp’s that are getting too hot……….. watch the apple website to see if there is a recall or not” (in so many words)….

    so either:

    a) i was told this so i would go away with false hope of a fix
    b) i was told too much
    c) apple are trying to do something about the problem.

    if only they were honest in the first place and just told anyone who complained about the heat, just wait till we find a solution, they would save a fortune on replacing logic boards that dont fix anything…. dont they realise that customers appreciate honesty more than being fobbed off with false hope… Doesnt any company admit they are wrong anymore, do they think it is better business practice to bullshit and deny problems… i dont think so!!!! we are not stupid….

    I am hoping that they just need to sort out their smc management systems…

    It says something that i can run my mbp on battery and it stays cool as a cucumber, but if i run it on battery then plug it in until it gets hot, then unplug the power, it will never cool back down again no matter how long i run it for… what is that all about…

    anyway, increw.org are writing a .kext that will supposedly better manage for whine/temperatute, so fingers crossed..

    such a shame as this is my first ever mac, and i have fallen in love with it apart from the heat and whine, and my first mbp comming back with damaged case and screws..

    sort it out apple, i spent £1700 for a reason…

  24. Nicholas Buenk Says:

    I have both the CPU. I’ve gotten some what used to the CPU whine, seems to have gotten softer with succesive firmware updates and OS revisions apple has released but still noticable. I notice it’s loudest went put on a hard flat surface like a desk so quietmbp is a must there. And its loudest when on power supply power. But say using it on my laptop or on the bed the whine is not very noticable mostly.
    I also have the lcd buzz, and I sent the laptop in for repair for that issue once already and they did nothing. At first it didn’t bother me much but over time it’s dramatically increased in volume so much so that it’s too annoying to use except on full brightness. I shall try taking it in for repair again and hope for the best.

  25. John K Says:

    Do you think that all these problems could be related to cheap Chinese manufacture of the product? My escape and F1 keys are slightly raised up above the keyboard, and the MacBook Pro I had shipped to me had a screen latch that would get stuck when you pressed it in (and when you did press it to open up the screen, you’d hear the awful sound of metal-on-metal-!)

    Did you also hear about the kid who’s iBook got so hot, it caught on fire? (http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2607)

    - John

  26. Nicholas Buenk Says:

    I don’t know, but I’m sure if the factories were closer to steve jobs he’d be more critical over their operations.

  27. Ilya N. Says:

    My black MacBook is being looked at because (a) it started failing to wake from sleep on a regular basis, and (b) a horrible chemical burning smell came out of it one night. The smell was so bad I had to open a window. It went away after a few hours and didn’t come back, but I wondered if some component had gotten fried.

    Heh, maybe you let the blue smoke out ;)

    Anyways, I’m a student going into sophomore year of high school and I really want the mid-level MacBook Pro, but all of these negative reviews scare me halfway to death — I’m having enough trouble convincing my parents to pony up $2500 for a laptop (and considering I’m a PC user :P).

    I really want to get into the world of Mac and OS X as it seems that it’s a great experience, but not with these problems.

    On the other hand, I heard all of these problems about the iPod 5G before I bought one and I had no trouble. I heard a bunch of problems with the X360 but some of my friends have them and they’re doing great.

    So is it a case of the angry internet user telling 100 people, or should I hold out until MBP rev.2?

  28. Andy Lee Says:

    Heh, maybe you let the blue smoke out ;)

    That’s exactly what it smelled like. I almost expected to see writhing wisps of magic smoke.

    I got a call from Tekserve on Wednesday and they’d replaced the logic board on my MacBook, with the cost covered by warranty. I got a slip of paper with a note explaining what they did, which was to replace the board and run the machine overnight and confirm that it woke from sleep okay. They never got the burning smell that I got.

    I’d brought the machine in just before closing time on Saturday, so turnaround time was four days. I haven’t actually used the MacBook much since then — I was too busy until yesterday to restore my email and stuff onto it — but as of this moment it seems all better.

    Tekserve is great, by the way. It’s a Mac-only sales and repair shop in New York. They do a lot of warranty work for Apple and they’re a generally cool and funky place. I’d have gone there anyway because they’re near where I work, but someone told me I should go there instead of an Apple Store because they do all their work in-house, whereas Apple might have to send my machine to California.

    I know there’s always a risk buying Rev A hardware, but this is my fifth Apple laptop and this is the first time I’ve had a problem like this so soon after purchase. If the MacBook did not exist, I would have held off on buying an Intel laptop, because of reports like Daniel’s about the MacBook Pro. For some irrational reason I had more faith in the MacBook, despite its being much newer and having a lot of the same internals as the Pro. I was blinded by the sex appeal, I guess. Not the first time that’s happened… I’ve also had the impression that the “consumer” laptops have historically been more solid than the “pro” ones.

  29. Rick & Sydney Says:

    Wow. This is heartbreaking. Two minutes ago we were just feeling lucky this didn’t happen to us. Then we started imagining how it must be for you. This is terrible. All that money too. And that sarcastic attitude. There is nothing we can but but offer our support. Sydney’s moved here. All the best.

  30. Marshall Massengill Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had such a terrible problem. It scares me to think about what I will eventually end up going through to get them to fix my MBP. I don’t have the inverter whine but I do have the CPU/USB Whine that only seems to go away with the iSight trickery. I went to an apple store recently and inquired about getting the problems fixed and the clerk was a bit of an ass to me. He seemed rather unwise to the problems and seemed like he could have cared less about them. I also spoke with a genius while I was there but all I got out of him was a “that’s interesting” remark. It left me feeling angry with Apple and very unpleased with their in-store customer service.

    At any rate, your blog has been a great source for information although sometimes it’s depressing to read because I know I’m going to have to deal with the same stuff sooner or later. Don’t give up though. Apple can’t ignore this forever. Much like our machines our whine keeps getting louder and louder.

  31. Jon Hendry Says:

    My MacBookPro seems to be burning more cycles than should be required.

    Below is what top says right now, with the highest %CPU processes. This is about as low as
    it gets lately – 44% user. Given how little is running, it doesn’t seem as though I should be using so
    much CPU. Anyone else seeing this?

    Processes: 76 total, 4 running, 72 sleeping… 248 threads 22:15:34
    Load Avg: 1.74, 1.63, 1.59 CPU usage: 44.0% user, 20.7% sys, 35.3% idle

    PID COMMAND %CPU TIME #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT RSHRD RSIZE VSIZE
    26459 top 11.3% 0:21.41 1 20 20 2.66M 840K 3.11M 26.9M
    68 WindowServ 5.6% 23:10.65 3 406 765 12.4M 43.3M 49.9M- 282M
    23168 Terminal 3.8% 0:51.83 5 151 197 3.20M+ 18.8M 12.2M+ 239M+
    0 kernel_tas 3.4% 35:47.91 46 2 4126 34.1M 0K 96.8M 1.08G
    36 bfobserver 1.7% 18:27.87 3 38 919 1.04G+ 1.07M 1.04G+ 1.07G
    215 python 1.5% 21:39.09 1 15 133 5.03M 792K 4.21M 32.2M
    1 launchd 1.2% 18:40.23 3 367 21 264K 804K 500K 27.7M
    138 mds 0.7% 10:49.24 8 95 97 5.38M+ 2.23M 5.57M+ 46.9M
    48 notifyd 0.5% 8:14.32 2 106 21 212K 784K 412K 27.2M
    222 SystemUISe 0.2% 2:30.07 3 581 291 6.47M 10.7M 8.97M- 245M
    42 configd 0.1% 1:15.18 3 366 71 616K 1.54M 1.46M 29.1M
    240 MicrosoftM 0.0% 1:01.77 1 64 93 860K 5.75M 1.97M 211M
    71 ATSServer 0.0% 0:11.86 2 136 162 3.39M 13.4M 5.51M+ 93.7M
    5199 Chimer 0.0% 0:01.47 3 150 135 10.1M 7.28M 13.1M 271M
    15517 mdimport 0.0% 0:01.00 4 62 56 1.16M 2.91M 3.44M 39.6M
    153 openmonito 0.0% 0:10.29 1 15 61 3.14M 3.79M 1.51M 100M
    27366 Safari 0.0% 0:06.96 8 135 364 33.7M 21.3M 57.8M 271M

  32. Jon Hendry Says:

    Oh, also, is anyone seeing this:

    1.7 52.1 1127036 1091732 ?? Ss Sun09PM 18:30.99 /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DedicatedNetworkBuilds.framework/Resources/bfobserver

    I’m not sharing my MacBookPro for builds, so I don’t know why this is running, let alone taking up 1.7% of CPU. Anyone know how to shut it off?

  33. Jon Hendry Says:

    Okay, I think I figured out the high idle CPU usage.

    It dropped down to 7% when I turned off firewall logging.

    Also, I was able to disable automatic startup of the Dedicated Network Build daemons by editing their config files in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons.

  34. Angie Says:

    Daniel, thanks for keeping us updated. I follow this site, sad to hear the negative reports. My sympathies to you

    My MBP, Serial #W8612, occasionally gets too hot, but never makes my hands sweat. I can work around the worst of the mosquito noise with the Photobooth trick and/or MagicNoiseKiller.

    Thanks for your research and persistance. Best of luck to you in getting a better book, or getting your book better.

  35. majoko Says:

    Hi, after two weeks of waiting for my repaired MBP I have got it back with a big scratch on the backside :-( and it has still the whining. I will now withdraw from the contract and wait for the next and quiet generation. It was my first Mac and I really think it is a good and stable system but the support for this failure is the worsest I have ever gotten (I’ve asked for the specification of the noise but I didn’t get it. For everybody who is working in the it business this would never be a possible answer to a customer). Never mind, I hope apple will learn and make it next time better, kind regards,

    Markus

  36. Davide Says:

    > My escape and F1 keys are slightly raised up above the keyboard

    I agree, I noticed it, too. Does anyone know what lies beneath these keys?

    Also, thanks again to Daniel for leading this crusade. I have the whine, I’m an Apple customer since 1988 and all this beggars belief. Sigh.

  37. Jon Hendry Says:

    Update: actualy, it wasn’t firewall logging taking up all my cycles – it was Windows Sharing.

  38. Jon Hendry Says:

    Also, after turning off windows sharing, not only is it not idling at 40% cpu usage, but it runs cooler.

  39. Nicholas Buenk Says:

    Ok I sent mine in to replace the LCD buzz, called them up the other day to see how they were going. The technician told me they were not only replacing the display inverter but the whole LCD. I was like WTF? Wondering if he damaged the LCD while working on it.

  40. Nicholas Buenk Says:

    I’ve got it back, and the LCD buzz is completely fixed. This is excellent, won’t drive me insane while using battery power anymore. :) Err, red sweater guy or whatever your name is I advise you to try and get it repaired again, you have little to lose.

  41. Christian Munch Says:

    I just got my Macbook pro 15″ 1,83 back from Apple today after having it sent in for the CPU whine. And it is compltely gone – it is fixed! ! Quiet like a mouse.

    According to the repair details they replaced the mother board.

    Cheers!!

  42. Ben VonZastrow Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the issues you have been having. I thought I’d contribute to your list here by describing (in extreme brevity) the problems I have been having with Apple while trying to get my macbook repaired.

    I dropped it off at the Apple store on the 9th due to it draining the battery while asleep. It is now the 30th and I still do not have an eta for when the machine will be finished. At the very best I will be getting it on the 5th (*IF* they manage to finally ship it out next Monday).

    Calling customer service is a complete and total waste of time. They just keep telling me they are sorry and that they have no way to help me. I wonder why there is even a customer service department if the best they can do is “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do”.

    I’m out a brand new machine for a complete month now (I had it for 2 days) and the best Apple can do is “meh”. This is crap.

  43. joan lartin-drake Says:

    HI,
    I rarely take the time or energy to complain to someone who can not do anything aobut my situation but after5 weeks of abolute hell with my MBP, I have had it. The mac side is fine, but when I try to run Windows, using an dmittedly intense biofeedback program, it acts beyond weird-won’t shut off, restarts itself automatically, and after I updated the Mac drivers 2 days ago, I lost sound completely. This after Apple replaced teh locgic board and sound board two weeks ago.

    I tell my firends I have a new part time job-trying to get this machine to function even marginally. I am spending way too much time and energy, not to mention money and all I am getting is a very large headache. This is my 5 th or 6th Mac in 20 years, and I am a HUGE Mac fan, but I think they have a really big problem on their hands.

    Having bought manyused Macs, I rarely interacted with their CS aand tech support-they are chronically overwhelmed, the waits are unbelieveable, and the last time I spoke to a more or less Windows specialist at MAc tech support-I am really, really technically inept-he failed to suugesst the most simple solution to the dual sound problem-music coming form the machine as well as the speakers. I ended up figuring it out myself.
    Last noite I decided to put it aside until my own tech person is back from vacation, I just can’t face it any more. I never thought I woudl say this about a mac. She is proably going to have to wipe the HD and start all over, a very expensive and time consuming prohject, thatmay well end up not accomplishing anything. And I can’t ever return it as the 30 peeriod is up. I pray they recall this machine, soon.
    JLD

  44. Rich Says:

    Hi,
    Just to add to the list I am going through a MPB nigthmare right now as well. I’ve had it less than 14 days and I can’t believe the problems it has already.
    To start it took a week to ship (just the shipping not the build time) and I paid for 2 day delivery. When I open the box right off the bat the screen is warped and the left latch didn’t work so the left side is hanging up in the air by 1/4″. The screen is also out of alignment and slightly hangs off the left edge. The build quality is pretty sad. I can;t beleive it really. How did this get by inspection!

    To top it off just when I thought that was bad enough the magsafe adapter packs it in so I’m without a useable computer now. I am blown away at how Apple has responded also. I’ve been on the phone and email and they are telling me to send it in to be repaired and that’s it. No reimbusement no other idea other than it’s my problem now. I have to now travel or ship the computer 120km to the nearest apple dealer and wait and see what they say. What a waste of energy. Ok I’m done my rant but yes I would be wary of Apple’s line up..they aren’t building them like they used too.

  45. Owen Conway Says:

    I’m having my own problems with apple’s UK repair centre. I asked them to replace the delete key, it having popped off after 2 weeks into my new purchase. I figured they might change they keyboard over, but they did that, and replaced the main logic board. Since then the firewire doesn’t work and the USB isn’t stable. Any movement of the machine (well within acceptable tolerances) when switched on results in the speakers making popping sounds, and more often than not, the machine will freeze. The machine completely freezes occasionally also, for no reason whatsoever.

    I just sent it off for its second trip. fingers crossed.

  46. Jeff Says:

    I have been a Apple customer for years. Started with a II+ followed by Mac+, MacII, iMacG3, MacMini G4, then another Mini G4, and now a MacBook Pro. Macs have worked well for me, and in return, I have bought several Apple products.

    Unfortunatley, the string of luck with my Macs has come to an end.

    I got on the waiting list to upgrade to a MacBook Pro as soon as they came out. By the second week they were shipping, the store called me and told me they had my MacBook. Very good service.

    I get it home and first find that even though its a notebook, its NOT a laptop. Even Apple won’t call it a laptop, they call it a portable. You know why? Thats because they run so darn hot, if you sit it in your lap while running, it will literlly burn your legs, and I have to put a pillow in between it and my legs.

    After 3 months of using my new MacBook Pro, it started rebooting randomly, had lousy performance, and was overheating. I took it to the apple store for repair. They replaced the motherboard, heat riser, and a couple of other items and return it to me. The random reboots are gone, but it still runs mighty hot.

    Take it home. Use it for a couple more months. Now it starts having other problems. Like it just randomly powers off. No warning. No battary low prompts. Just boom, and it shut off, even with a battary that has a 90% charge.

    It also locks up frequently. Not completely locked up, just fits of no response. For 15 or 30 seconds, the computer just won’t respond. No mouse clicks. No keyboard entry. Won’t even respond to trackpack movements.

    Then, after using it for a couple of hours, it gets dog slow. The same apps that ran okay right after you fired it up just start running slower and slower. It’s not running out of memory, as I have 1.5GB of ram in it. For some reason, it just gets slower with use, even if you close all apps, and restart just one app. It’s not whats running at all, it’s just how long you use the computer after startup that effects it’s performance. And no, I don’t run PPC apps. I only run universal apps.

    I post this information on a popular mac forum, and someone tells me that the fan is defective, the computer is overheating, and therefore, the processors are slowing down to protect themselves from generating more heat.

    I know intel processor are designed to do this through their TM1 and TM2 thermal monitoring, so this makes complete sense.

    I go to apple store, they do some tests, tell me that I have a bad battery. They replace it under warranty and call it fixed, and tell me to pick it up.

    This may explain the random shutdowns, but it doesn’t explain the constant performance problems. I told them about the overheating, and again, they failed to listen, although they did run 24 hours of testing. I guess they get so many hot MacBooks, that they don’t really know when one really runs hotter than it is supposed to :(

    I guess I’m just frustrated. I’m going to pick it up again tomorrow, but with only a battery replacement, I really don’t think they have addressed the other issues, and I know I will be bringing it back in again.

    So far, just a bad experience. I may sometime buy an apple again, but NEVER one of the “portable” products. Apple needs to make this right, not only to me but everyone here who has the same problems. We aren’t just random people with a just a few bad apples (pun here). I’m sure the only people that are having real success with the machine are people who use it to browse the web and check e-mail. Do anything that uses the CPU at all, and you have a geniune space heater.

  47. Michael Says:

    I’m having a bad experience too. I sold a very valuable guitar to afford a brand new Macbook Pro. I started my own design studio so I have a few clients already and lots of work to do. I bought the pro in mid Sept. in Toronto. Within 5 days my Pro is DOA. I drive 90 minutes to a great reseller (none in my small town) and after a long hassle they give a slightly new floor model because they didn’t have any new ones left. 3 weeks later and it starts crashing, losing data, it won’t recognize the battery, etc. Applecare gets me to pull the RAM out and it’s seems fine for a day. Now Tech Tool is telling me that the VRAM is bad. So I move all of my data over to my beat to hell G3 Ibook and after that I run Tech Tool again which is telling me that everything is fine. So now I have to waste a day in Toronto dropping the MacBook Pro which will take a week for them to look at and then I’ll have to drive up to get it. And maybe it’ll work for more than 3 weeks. Impossible to rely on this brand new machine and unbelievable that my G3 Ibook is my good laptop.

    Can’t wait to hear the “We’ve never heard of this problem” from Applecare & the reseller.

  48. Rachel Says:

    I’ve read everyone’s horror stories and sympathize with all of you. I too have had the worst experience with my Macbook Pro. I’ve had mine since the end of August and it has gone through 4 repairs in the span of 2 months. First, the battery needed to be replaced, then the AC adapter, then the optical drive and here comes the lipstick….the hard drive. I have lost everything on my computer and now need to reinstall Microsoft Office and Adobe creative suite. Not to mention that I lost all of my files. Thank god everything was under warranty. However, Apple was totally unwilling to replace my computer. According to them, my computer needed to undergo 3 full repairs. They also believe that the battery and AC adapter don’t count as repairs. WTF laptops need batteries and AC adapters in order to work. I also spent one hour on hold with the service line only to find that the service rep couldn’t help me. That call costed me $40. Apple has a notorious reputation for terrible customer service. I told this to them after my 5th phone call to them of being unsatisfied. I also told them that they need to value their customers. We are what keeps them in business. I also told them that it says a lot that they have to put a quota on the number of repairs before they replace computers. Now tell me, how does this reflect on their product if they need to do that…not very well. I have been a MAC user for 10 years, I forked over $2000 for a computer that I thought was going to be reliable, and it has been anything but. Apple does not take responsibility for their product when there is a problem they only take credit for it when the product is working. Moral of the story, Apple needs to take their customer complaints seriously, instead of filing them away in some computer system. I’m pissed with their unwillingness to help me, they even had the balls to tell me that I should spend $300/wk to rent a computer while my own computer was being fixed (4 times in the span of two months). Now that I have my computer back I am counting down the days until it breaks down again. I hate to say it, but if I could go back in time 2 months ago, I would definately reconsider purchasing this laptop.

  49. Michael Says:

    My Macbook Pro has been in the shop for a week with no sign of when I’ll get it back. The tech who was working on it took the rest of the week off :) If he keeps it for another week he’ll have owned it as long as I have.

    Seeing the new MacBook Pros with the Core Duo 2 processor, DL Superdive & larger hard drive come out this week while mine is sittitng in the shop sucked. Mind you if Apple wants to replace mine with one of the new ones that’d be fine with me.

  50. Vinny Says:

    I have read all of the comments here, while researching / considering the purchase of a MBP C2D refurb from Apple. I am convinced that the Mac OS is the way to go. However having read these comments, and many more elsewhere, I am sorry to say, but until I see more posts showing better customer service and problem solving on Apple’s part, I am going to hold on to my $2000 and use this Windows laptop.

    Good luck to you all.

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