Tag Archives: applecare

How to Order a New MacBook Pro


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According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro line is the fastest and most powerful ever. They now come with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Each one happens to contain next-gen nVidia graphics. I am about to order one of these gorgeous little babies for myself, thanks to PC Pitstop.

I like the big screen, so I decided to go with the 17″ MacBook Pro. The big question to be answered is in the type of screen… glossy or matte. My current MacBook Pro has a matte screen, which is anti-glare. I like that a lot. However, crumbs and crud collects around the edge of the screen. The new glossy screen doesn’t have that issue. It’s a more seamless design.

In terms of performance, we’re looking at a pretty big boost in speed over the last generation of MacBook Pro. When building, I went with the i7 processor. The vote in the chat room was unanimous on that, so I had to follow their directions. Memory-wise, I went with the 8 GB of RAM. When it came to the hard drive, I went with the 512 Solid-State drive. I have an SSD in my Mac main machine, and I LOVE it.

I had to choose the screen type next. The chatters convinced me to go with the glossy screen. I’ll end up getting a matte screen protector I’m sure. We chose the English keyboard, of course. I skipped getting the mini display port to DVI, because Griffin makes one I really like. I did end up grabbing the mini display port to VGA, though, since I travel a lot.

The AppleCare Protection Plan is an absolute must. I clicked that particular button with a flourish. It’s saved my butt – and my wallet – MANY times in the past.

I do have to thank PC PitStop once again for sponsoring this awesome new machine.

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Hard Drive: Fail!


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My Macbook is working now, thankfully. I had to get a new hard drive. Instead of an Apple showing up when the Macbook booted up, I saw a symbol with a circle through it, suggesting there was a problem. After much diagnosing and talking with others via Twitter and Geeks, I learned that indeed – my hard drive had died.

I tried all of the suggestions that all of you gave me, and nothing really worked. I went online on Apple’s site, and made an appointment via my AppleCare. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: AppleCare is well worth the money you’ll spend for it. It completely takes the stress out of any problems that may arise with your equipment!

I took the Macbook in, and the tech plugged in a Target Disk Mode. That’s where you plug in a FireWire drive, and boot off of that. Then they ran a Smart Disk Utility check from that. Indeed, the hard drive was failing. I knew that they would replace the drive, and they had it in stock. I begged them to let me have my dying drive back, even though it’s not policy. After signing my life away, they did give me the bad drive. That gave me the opportunity to try and recover the information off of it.

A few months ago, I talked about the NexStar Hard Drive Dock. I wasn’t sure I’d really have much use for it again. Boy, am I happy now that I have this little thing! I plugged it in and connected it by USB. I was able to mount my dying drive, even though it was read-only. I didn’t have a lot of things I needed to copy off of it, but there were some things. I use the Macbook to sync my iPhone, so I wanted to be able to get an index of all of the Apps I have!

The NexStar works perfectly! The connection is a bit flaky, but as long as you don’t touch it you should be ok. I ran into some problems using OS X Copy feature. Instead, I dropped to a command line, and did it that way. I was able to get all of the data that I needed from my old drive.

What should I do with the dying drive now? Should I take a hammer to it? When asking the chat that question, someone mentioned that I had “learned my lesson”. Uhm, seriously… this isn’t an Apple problem. It’s a hard drive. They fail. It doesn’t matter what kind of machine they might be in. However, AppleCare was amazing, and I had an excellent experience. How could I complain about that?

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