Broken computer

22nd December 2008 – 6.17 pm

My desktop machine suffered from a failure, most likely the video card overheating. I take the machine in to the local authorised service centre and leave it to be diagnosed and fixed. When I call to get a report I am told that the problem was reproduced on my machine but when they booted from an external drive the problem disappeared. A live chat they conducted with Apple led them to resolve the issue as a software problem.

It sounds like a curious software problem, but I am told that software now controls all the sensors so it isn't impossible. I am also told that software repairs are not covered by my warranty, but that's not too much of a problem because I can install an OS easily enough. I bring the machine home.

I boot the computer holding down 'T' so that it powers-up in target disk mode, making its internal drive just a firewire device. Daisy-chaining my notebook to the desktop and then to an external drive I am able to back up all my data without hassle using SuperDuper!, after which I reinstall the operating system. The only problem is that after a completely fresh installation of the OS, including formatting the hard drive, the GPU fan is still spinning at high speed, even just after boot sitting on an empty desktop screen. This is not right.

I call Apple and they are baffled by what is causing the problem. My frustrations continue when I am told that software repairs are covered under warranty, making it seem that I was lied to by the service centre. On top of that, Apple don't know why the service centre didn't run further hardware tests rather than apparently concluding quickly that the problem was software related. My machine should be fixed by now but it is still broken. Instead of having a chance of getting my desktop computer fixed before the Christmas holidays it has to go to another service centre and I definitely won't have a working machine when I have a week off from work.

My notebook is running World of Warcraft quite capably, but it is not a comfortable set-up for playing games. It's good that I bought the notebook because I have a computer that does anything I need to do, which is certainly better than having to do without a computer completely for the next week or so. But I'm not happy about the service I've received so far for a warranty repair. In fact, I'm getting quite angry overall.

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