Need MacBook repairs but Apple can't seem to help much
November 25, 2012 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Macbook Pro (13", mid-2012) has been freezing and shutting down, and then sometimes not booting back up. Apparently it's an issue with either RAM or logic board. I have warranty but I'm in remote-ish Canada so Apple can't really help. Help!

I live in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada. The nearest Apple service provider is on the other side of the province, nearest Apple store is in the next province over.

My MacBook Pro (that I bought in June) is giving me guff. It occasionally (once every day or two) freezes up and shuts down. Sometimes it will boot up again fine, sometimes it just beeps at me (three beeps) and won't boot for a while. It's been doing this for two months or so. It blows.

I have AppleCare warranty, so I called Apple and they said the best thing would be to take it to an Apple store. I was going to Toronto, so that worked out fine. I made an appointment, brought it to the store, they said there was either a problem with the RAM or the logic board. They could repair it, but they would have to order parts. Unfortunately I had to leave TO before the parts got in, but they said that I would be able to mail my computer to a store and they could fix it pretty quickly. Okay, awesome!

After being on the phone with Apple for multiple hours, they basically said that no, they don't do mail in orders in Canada. I would have to physically bring it to a store or Apple Service Provider (the nearest of which is in St. John's and has a massive backlog of repairs, earliest mine would be done is January).

So friends: any ideas? I'm under warranty but they can't really help me.
posted by tomcochrane to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have any friends in Toronto who can mail it to you when the repair is completed?

Apple is REALLY good about getting repairs completed fast. It would only be a few day turnaround time.
posted by cowmix at 9:09 AM on November 25, 2012

If it is indeed RAM-related, buying some yourself would likely be cheaper than a repair (which would likely involve replacing it with the same). And even if the logic board is the problem, you're going to fix it anyway, so at the end of that you'll have a faster machine, so it won't go to waste. 16GB of RAM from Amazon is $69.99 at the moment.

Did the Apple store take your Mac apart at all? The RAM could simply be loose. Since RAM is user upgradeable, then it's probably worth your while to take out the RAM in it now and reseat it. It'd certainly save you a lot of travel hassle!
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 9:11 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should be able to get it sent to a larger Apple repair center from the St. John's service provider. The tech shop at my workplace is an Apple Authorized Service Provider. For larger repairs and parts that take some time to order, they offer the option of shipping the laptop to one of Apple's larger repair centers. Is the St. John's shop too backlogged to put your laptop in a box and ship it?

I recently had a cascade of failures on my 2011 pro, starting with the logic board. Turnaround time was always a week or less, although in my case it turned into an exasperating progression of two logic board replacements, then the keyboard/top assembly, and finally the heat sink and hard drive. Make sure and run it through its paces when you get it back, the drive from Corner Brooke to St. John's looks a little more involved than the walk from my office to central IT and the first three rounds in my case resulted from issues that were immediately apparent ;-)
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 9:29 AM on November 25, 2012

I've just gone through the same thing with my MacBook Air, except in my case I was able to bring it to the Apple Store in Edmonton. They can fix it in a couple of days, but can't ship it. So I just got a friend who lives nearby to pick it up.

If you have a friend who lives near an Apple Store, this is your best bet. Send it to them and have them bring it in for repairs (and pick it up).

The other non-Apple service centres aren't going to give you the same level of service -- some are quicker, better, some are slow and crappy. In my case, the local service centre didn't even think the issue with my computer was covered under warranty.
posted by MiG at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2012

Buy a good Phillips 00 screwdriver (lest you strip the screws) and try removing and re-installing your RAM. Reseating RAM occasionally clears up intermittent errors.
posted by itheearl at 10:17 AM on November 25, 2012

Also reset the PMU or SMC. Instructions vary according to model.
posted by Gungho at 10:34 AM on November 25, 2012

Cowmix: That's what I'm leaning toward right now, I think.

jaffacakerhubarb: I've reseated the RAM myself a number of times already, so it's hard to say if the RAM is just giving out or it the slots themselves aren't working properly. I just ordered 2 8gb SODIMMs to try. If that doesn't work, I'm going to fire it in the mail.
posted by tomcochrane at 11:15 AM on November 25, 2012

tomcochrane: Ah, ok. Another thing worth trying is taking one of the RAM chips out and seeing if it behaves better like that. It's basically a dance — one RAM chip in each slot, then the same deal with the other RAM chip. That should clue you in to whether it's the RAM itself, the slots, or even something else.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 1:29 PM on November 25, 2012

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