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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


More Blogspot

December 28, 2005

What is it about the coming New Year that make me want to write in my blogs? Well, most of my activity from now on will be found at my blogspot blogs, here: - My Tech Machinations - Our 2005 Vacation Out West (and later other trips). - Odd stuff and memories

Enroll Your AppleCare

December 28, 2005

Wow, sometimes the hardest part about obtaining service is the paperwork. I'll give you the short version first: if you buy AppleCare, you must enroll it to obtain service. And God forbid that you should throw away your AppleCare box. This is exactly what one of my clients didn't and did (respectively) do.

The PowerMac G5, dual 2Ghz had always been quirky (this PowerMac G5), and I'd always suspected hardware problems. The main symptoms were that the fans would run hard when the G5 was barely working. If you did something really challenging, it sounded like it was going to take off. Often it would kernel-panic, and many mornings we found it with the fans running full-blast, but a dead screen. Plus a myriad of other problems (some of which are discussed in the above link). At any rate, the G5 had been through every software fix possible (archive install, reformatting, etc.). So, it needed fixing.

The trouble with this, though, is that the G5 was a production machine, and always in use. A few crashes a week were more tolerable than a few days of downtime. So all of my previous repair attempts had to be completed within a fairly narrow window. As luck would have it, we finally got a real server (Xserve) installed for this client and the G5 was replaced with the old server (an identical G5).

With the G5 now "spare" I had the luxury of bringing it down for extensive testing. We took the hard drive out of this G5 and put it into the old server, putting the server HD into this G5. Since they were "twins" this was a great troubleshooting step. In one move we eliminated any possibility of software problems, versions, etc. But the machine still crashed, even when doing nothing. Gotta be hardware. Of course, the Apple Hardware Test (AHT) turned up no errors; darn.

Since the G5 had AppleCare, I knew that Apple would be much more helpful and more ready to listen to my complaints. The thing you have to know is that Charleston is 2 hours from any authorized service provider. Without AppleCare you are driving to Savannah, GA, or Columbia, SC. With AppleCare, you miraculously find out that there is a local warranty repair company who will come out to service your Mac.

Well, it had AppleCare, and I had an invoice to prove it, but the box was nowhere to be found, and it had never been enrolled at Apple. This would have been a total loss had we not bought it directly from Apple. Since they had records of the purchase, they were willing to work with me. Of course, it took 3 hours on the phone to get all of the paperwork found and the product enrolled. After that nightmare (4 total hours on the phone over a 5 hour period in two phone calls), I finally got a dispatch for a technician to come out an service it. Yea!