Sunday, August 18, 2019 23:13

RMG200 – How to Get a Broken Mac Fixed

Posted by on Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 21:08
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Last updated 17 July, 2006.

This information will be most useful for Apple computer users. The information on repair providers will be of most interest to listeners in the US.

Almost every day, I get a call from someone who has a broken computer and is looking for advice on where to get it fixed.

This guide covers what to do when you’re sure the problem is with the hardware itself (the physical part of the computer) and not the programs (software) which run on it.

I’m assuming that you’re not a Flashing 12 and that you’ve checked all the “duh” things. I’m also assuming that you’ve got your internal hard drive (or at least the important information on it) backed up.

Usually, it’s pretty easy to tell if your hardware is broken or if the problem is with the software or network. Start the computer up using the software on a CD (or DVD on newer boxes) instead of the internal hard drive. On a Mac, you do that by inserting a bootable CD, restarting the computer, and holding the “c” key down.

If it boots runs somewhat normally, it’s time to get out that Disk Warrior CD and try to repair your hard drive. If Disk Warrior won’t fix things, then it’s time to decide how important that data is. If it’s real important, call DriveSavers. If you give them the MacGuys promo code of DS10232, you might save a bit.

If the machine won’t run from a bootable CD, then it’s pretty likely that the computer needs work.

If your computer is still under warranty, this is a good time to call 1-800-SOS-APPL and talking to one of the award winning Applecare consultants.

If your Apple computer is less than a year old, consider buying a AppleCare Protection Plan for it.

If you live in an area where there’s a local Apple Store, having Apple themselves provide warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan service is a no brainer.

You can reach AppleCare at 1-800-SOS-APPL.

If you live in the “whitespace”, your options are much more limited. “Authorized” service providers handle repairs for Apple, and some of them do a good job. There is a lot of variability in “Authorized” service providers. Remember, it was Apple Computer” that got the high marks in customer satisfaction and not necessarily the 3rd party provider that you’re visiting.

For those of us who don’t have a reliable local service provider, and for those who do but want to save a few dollars, there are some pretty decent mail order repair providers. TechRestore does fairly priced repairs on Laptops, iPods and even Sony PSP’s. AllMac (formerly 1-800-we fix macs) has done great work for me in the past. They will fix your mac or sell you the parts to do it your own self.

Before you spend a whole lot of money on a repair, think carefully. Wouldn’t you really rather buy a new computer?

This podcast ends with a tune from Austin (tejas) band La Tribu. The tune is Sylvia and comes to us from

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