The Tale of the MacBook Pro

So I made a decision to buy a new computer this year. After looking at all of my options I made the decision to buy a 13″ MacBook Pro. The decision was for a myriad of reasons. The first is that it is portable and I wanted a device that I could use on my deck and sit outside. I looked at the 12″ MacBook, but need something a bit more powerful for programming and being able to have multiple items plugged in at once. So, it was a 13″ MacBook Pro.

With the MacBook Pro not being user upgradable, I chose to get 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. I ordered the laptop and waited for it to arrive. Once it arrived, I set it up and began using it. Last Friday, it decided to Kernel Panic while I was trying to do an update. It is not a good thing when any computer Kernel Panics but having a new laptop do so, is unsettling. After it restarted, I logged back in and attempted to do the updates again, and it Kernel Panicked again. It rebooted again and began kernel panicking again immediately.

I looked into what to look at that could be the cause. After resetting the PRAM and SMU, and running diagnostics. The error message provided by diagnostics was “There may be an issue with the memory module.
Reference Code PPM002”

This is when I called Apple. After zapping the PRAM again, and resetting the SMC, the tech support person indicated that I should re-install OS X. So, I attempted to re-install OS X Yosemite. After three and half hours of attempting to re-install, I called Apple again.

The second Apple tech support person had me partition the hard drive. This resulted in an error, specifically “An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again.” This led to the tech having me try and verify the disk and subsequently repair the disk. This also failed.

The exact error message for this was “Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. Back up as many of your file as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files”. When this failed, the Apple support tech scheduled a Genius Bar appointment for last Saturday. I took the MacBook Pro to Apple, they attempted to re-install OS X again, and received the same error messages I got. So I left the laptop at the Apple Store to be repaired and they quoted me a four to five day turn around time.

It has now been a week and I received a call today from the Apple Store. They tried to replace the logic board twice and it did not work. The issue appears to be the memory on the logic board that is the problem.

The Apple tech gave me three options. The first is to return the laptop and order a new one. Option two is to have Apple order a replacement laptop, this option would take two to four weeks to come in. The third option is to send it off to the Repair Depot and have them replace everything that is needing to be replaced. This last option may take an additional four to five days, beyond the week it has already taken.

While the first two options were both tempting, I opted to go for the third option. The laptop I ordered is the one I wanted to order. If I had compromised before, I probably would have taken option one and then gotten the one I really wanted. But I had already done that. While ordering a new one would get me a brand new one, it will take just as long to have it delivered. Hence, why I chose option three.

If I did order a new laptop, I would not change the configuration at all, so in the end it does not make any sense to order a new one. The laptop will be under the same warranty even if I bought a new one. One thing I did not order with the original laptop was Apple Care. However, I did order it afterwards and I am waiting until I get my laptop back to add the Apple Care to the laptop.

One possible decision to make, if I chose to return it, would be that I could wait even longer for the next refresh of laptops to order a new one, but that would not likely be until next year, and I need a new Mac now, not in a year from now.

With having the laptop sent to the repair depot, you are given an option of picking up the device at the store or having it shipped back to you. I opted to pick it up from the store, since I do not know when it will arrive and it will be secure at the store.

Once the MacBook Pro returns to the Apple store, they will test it to verify that it meets all of their criteria before calling me to let me know it is ready for pickup.

Overall, this is how technology goes. While it sucks not having a laptop, the thing that I can say is that I would rather have this happen three weeks into having the laptop rather than six months into owning it, when I would be more used to using it on a regular basis. Also, this is why I get Apple Care on everything, I would rather have a device covered for three years instead of only one.