Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Death of a Laptop

In 2008 my work was crunched for cash, so they decided to sell off some old technology equipment auction-style. I wound up "winning" an auction for a Titanium Powerbook G4 for $215! It was my pride and joy--I mainly used it for the classes I took (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.) and for writing. It was the best investment EVER and ran beautifully. Until last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday I lugged it to the library to sit down and compose a few blog posts. After typing furiously for a good hour or so, I decided I was done and started packing up. I unplugged the power cord from the wall and went to put it away, but the block was HOT and I wound up dropping it... down, down, down onto my beloved Powerbook! It made a dent near the mousepad, but otherwise didn't seem to have any other damage. I continued to put it away.

On Wednesday, D asked me if he could borrow the Powerbook for the class his is taking (his first Master's class--yay!), and I said no problem. Well, when he got home on Thursday he said he had a problem--he booted up the computer in class and it got stuck on the gray Apple "loading screen." Rut-roh. He left it on for 3 hours and it never booted up. Double rut-roh.

Friday I spent time looking up troubleshooting tips, ideas of what to do, etc. and on Friday night after the kids were in bed I set out to try and figure out the problem. I didn't think a ding to the chassis would do much damage... boy, was I wrong. After several attempts to fix the problem, I gave up for the night. Upon waking on Saturday morning, ready again to 'attack', I was able to boot up the computer and run a diagnostic... and learn that my hard drive was on the brink of failure.

We went to the Apple Store yesterday and as soon as I whipped it out (THE COMPUTER) at the Genius Bar, they said it was obsolete and there's nothing they could do about it. Obsolete? Up until last Tuesday it was in beautiful working order! Obsolete? Oh no, the PC-based laptop I bought the same year this Powerbook was made (2004) is obsolete. This is anything but! (The guy also told me if I took it to a shop and they charged more than $100 to repair it, it wasn't worth it. Right, because it's SO much cheaper to buy a new laptop for $1500 when you come out with a new model every year!)

So for now... my Powerbook is dead. Sad. I've lost everything on the hard drive... but thankfully most is backed up and what isn't is unimportant. Next week we'll be taking it to a Mac authorized repair shop. We had our iMac restored by them after a crash a few years ago, and we trust them. I just really hope they can fix it. It needs a new hard drive, and possibly a new chassis.

In the meantime, my posts might not be as plentiful. Not having my laptop to type whenever I get a free chance might seriously cramp my style.

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