Sunday, March 09, 2008

MacBook hard drive failures are no surprise

All of us in the Tabloid Baby office live by our Macs. The latest is the MacBook, which we've been using for about half a year or so and has served us well until Friday morning, when it suddenly shut down and came back up with the dreaded "flashing question mark" symbol. No, we didn't have the material backed up. We made an appointment at the Apple Store Genius Bar, where the Dwight Shrutish expert told us matter-of-factly that we'd experienced a "hard drive failure" and that since the computer was under warranty, he'd gladly replace the drive for free, on the spot, if we had half an hour to hang around. He had the MacBook in both hands and had pivoted toward the back room when we mentioned, "And we'll get all the information back, right?" "Oh, no. That's gone. You've lost everything," he replied with with what seemed to be a practiced blankness. "We are not authorized to do data retrieval. You'll have to go elsewhere for that and it's very expensive." "But we need the material. We can take the old drive, right?" "No. Because this is under warranty, we must take the original drive." We stopped him from taking the drive away for autopsy, and we left with the broken MacBook and business cards for three data retrieval companies, one of which was authorized by Apple and could replace the failed drive under the warranty-- after we pay potentially thousands to get our data back.

It was only later that Tabloid Baby's Mac Guy told us he'd done some research and found that MacBooks are known for an unusually high number of hard drive failures. And this forum on one of the Apple sites reveals a problem that the Apple folks apparently have known about at least since last May.

Topic for discussion: If Apple knows there's a problem, shouldn't they offer free data retrieval in this case? Or should Apple at least let customers keep the damaged drives in order to have the data retrieved on their own?

No, we didn't have the data backed up. Yes, we lost everything.


Anonymous said...

It's your responsibility to back up your work, especially if you have things on your computer which are irreplaceable.

Live and learn.

Anonymous said...

As the producer of "When Pets Go Bad 2," surely you could afford to retrieve the lost data, Mr. Kearns.

Anonymous said...

We live in a world of niche websites and smart marketing through blogging. These idiots stop by to piss on your hard drive problems. As some lady once said to Jerry Langford in the King of Comedy: I hope you get cancer and.......!!! People, don't read here if you can't enjoy the story selection. Sheesh. Buncha pansies.

Female reader, SoCal.


Anonymous said...

No computer company can be responsible for the data on the hard rive. They can Warrant the hard ware but not what you put on it. As a computer technician I am sick of people expecting the manufacturer to be responsible for what they put on their machine. Just like a car or anything else covered under a warranty they are only responsible for what you receive initially with the purchase of the machine. Not to mention the fact that because of programs like limewire and such a majority of harddrive failures are caused by the user themselves and manufactures are still covering them under warranty.