Saturday, April 10, 2010

And this is why you should never spend $2000+ on a computer

I've had issues with my Macbook Pro for the last two years. In Nov. 2008 my computer suddenly stopped charging my battery. I took it to the Apple partner store in downtown Bangkok where they promptly told me it was probably the motherboard (logicboard) and if I was out of warranty it would cost around $1300 to replace. Knowing I was about a week out of my warranty I promptly had the mother of all freak outs. What would I do???? I couldn't afford to replace it! So I took it back to school and over the next few days hoped, prayed and pleaded with Apple to help me out (after all I was only one week out of my warranty). No luck with Apple, but two days later the computer magically started charging again. Hallelujah! Since then I've had little issues and frustrations but nothing big... until today that is. After I got back from my excursions to Ayutthaya and downtown Bangkok (where I found myself smack in the middle of the redshirts protest, yikes!) I turned on my computer, put some pictures I wanted to print on my thumb drive and then closed the lid before I headed out to the photo store. When I got back I opened up my computer and the screen wouldn't come on out of sleep mode. No big deal I thought. This had happened before and all I needed to do is restart it, so I did, and the screen still didn't come on. So I turned it off again, waited 10 seconds and restarted. The disk drive gave acknowledgement but the typical apple start up chime didn't go. huh, weird. So I tried again and again and again. Still nothing. So I headed down to the schools staff room (where I sit now) to get on the internet and see what the problem could be. The Apple web page gave me a couple options to try so I went back and tried them on my sad little computer. Options one and two didn't work but then I tried resetting the SMC. The first time didn't work, so I tried it again. Viola! Disk running and chime sounding. The keyboard even lit up. In many senses my computer was working BUT the screen was still dead. Well poo. So I turned it off and tried again. I would straight back to square one. No chime. Then I reset the SMC 2 times and it starts up again, but without a screen. Oye vey.

So, I've done some research and it looks like the NVIDIA GeForce 8600m GT Graphics card, the very same card I have in my computer has a high failure rate, and if it is indeed the problem then Apple will fix it for free. Worse case scenario is that it's my motherboard (logicboard). So right now, until I get back in America next week I can only hope and pray that it will be ok and that maybe it will resurrect itself tomorrow. And let me tell you, I've learned my lesson. Every Mac I buy from now on I will also purchase the Apple Care protection plan for. Even though I think its super lame they make you pay $400 of this "extended warranty" of sorts, it's much better than stressing over paying $1300 for a new motherboard.

I guess it's a lucky thing I didn't make the higher round of finalists for the world traveler internship. If I was in the final 10 I would be editing my second video right now and all my work would be lost. Also, it goes without saying that my Malaysia, Singapore, Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai posts will be further delayed until I can sort this out and once again gain access to my computer and the pictures it holds. So, keep your fingers crossed for me. I need my baby to work again!

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