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Apple Begins Fixing MacBook Pro Issues 410

Hack Jandy writes "For those of you who bought one of the first generation Macbook Pros, a new replacement may be in your future. Flickering LCDs, overheating and intermittent WiFi connections are all common place for many of these first generation machines, but apparently Apple is fixing the problem. The article claims 'According to Apple, it has begun replacing the mainboard inside its MacBook Pros with a new revision. It calls the updated product "revision D," which is identifiable by product serial number.' If you have a reservation at an Apple Store, they may even replace your MBP with a new one."
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Apple Begins Fixing MacBook Pro Issues

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  • Nice! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sonic McTails ( 700139 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:44PM (#15054325)
    Sweet. Apple's warrenty and repair service has never managed to let me down. Most other companies would state that the problem is in the users head, and save themselves $$$ by ignoring the issue.
    • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by realmolo ( 574068 )
      Actually, most companies wouldn't have released a product with such obvious bugs in the FIRST place.

      It's not like Apple was re-inventing the wheel. It's an Intel-based notebook. They've been around a while.
      • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Oopsz ( 127422 )
        I had similar problems with a sony vaio.. it was poorly engineered-- the power connector to the motherboard was only held on with solder and less than a year's worth of plugging and unplugging stressed the joint until it came undone. Similarly, the RAM SODIMM slots were machined with extremely poor springs that only made intermittent contact after the first eight months or so, which really confused the poor OS when half the memory suddenly disappeared and reappeared out of nowhere. This wasn't their first
    • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by d2_m_viant ( 811261 )
      You're right. If the battery on your Dell laptop dies on the 366th day after you bought it, Dell's standard response is to just flip ya the bird and walk away... Cudos to Apple for rectifying their mistakes.. I sure as hell know which company my $2500 is going to next time around...
      • Re:Nice! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by xwipeoutx ( 964832 )
        I'd probably flip ya the bird if your battery died too. Not so much if it was your hard drive, or mobo or something... But a battery really isn't expected to last much longer than a year in my experience.
        • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Informative)

          But a battery really isn't expected to last much longer than a year in my experience.

          A year?! 3 years is more realistic. My iBook is going on 3 and a half years and it still holds a charge for about 3-4 hours.

          • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by xwipeoutx ( 964832 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:52PM (#15054674) Homepage
            Clearly, you're not using Dell.
            • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Interesting)

              by fshalor ( 133678 )
              Agreed.... I've had about a 50% failure rate within the first year with Dells. One in 5 toshiba's had a severe hard drive issue, which in the end turned out to be a winXP issue with the sata controller.

              - one spent 7 months in and out of the shop for overheating issues. I finally threw it away. Dell never fixed it.
              - one spent about 2 months doing fine, then decided it didn't like wireless anymore. Enabling wireless is about the same as hitting it with a hammer. Click it on and: boom! Windows goes unsta
      • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:38PM (#15054878)
        I sure as hell know which company my $2500 is going to next time around...

        I like Dell too, but I don't know if I'd buy 4 of them.

    • Re:Nice! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the argonaut ( 676260 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:21PM (#15054795) Homepage Journal
      Sadly, my experience with my iMac G5 monitor has not been so great. If it's in use for more than an hour or two (actually, anytime after startup - 8 or so hours of being on, but usually within an hour or two), a green line appears going down the screen. I explained this to their phone support. They said take it into the Apple Store. I did. Of course, the "Mac Idiot" couldn't see the problem, because it USUALLY ONLY SHOW UP AFTER THE COMPUTER HAS BEEN IN USE FOR A WHILE. The asshole "genius" said he couldn't do anything, and I had to take my 'puter home. I'll be back in next weekend with pics of the error, and if he knows what's good for him and his children and his children's children, he'll send it in for repair.
      • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nege ( 263655 )
        They should probably keep it in their repair shop for a while and witness for themselves. My iMac G5 had a problem where it would cut off (power) after being on for an hour or so. The "genius" (what a bad name for low-level tech support. I cringe anytime I have to say it) kept it in the store for a while so he could witness it happen. When he did notice it turned itself off he sent it off to get a new power supply and motherboard. That seemed to fix the issue. Maybe you could reccommend something li
      • Re:Nice! (Score:3, Informative)

        No tech will repair somethign that's intermittent that you can't reproduce in front of them unless it's a known problem.

        I had issues with my titanium powerbook for about a year before I was finally able to get it fixed. it was a display issue that usually reared its ugly head during heavy usage. it took me forever to reproduce the problem, but I was able to do it by playing 2 DivX files, a DVD, running quake3 and tenebrae quake1 all at the same time. it would glitch out in about 4 seconds.

        their answer was t
  • by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:46PM (#15054326)
    they may even replace your MBP with a new one.
    That's nice, what do I have to do to get them to replace my 3 year old iBook with a new Mac Book Pro? That's infinitely more interesting to me ;)
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d2_m_viant ( 811261 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:47PM (#15054331)
    Why do people even buy first generation products anymore? Why not just wait until the 2nd or 3rd generation when these problems are weeded out? This is commonplace among products nowadays (Apple not excluded)...
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:48PM (#15054336)
      Why do people even buy first generation products anymore? Why not just wait until the 2nd or 3rd generation when these problems are weeded out?

      Because if no one buys the first generation, there isn't any second or third generation to buy...
      • Besides, there are always "early adopters" who like to have the first revision of stuff to claim they were first. And the people who don't know or care that it's the new revision (example: my mother).
      • Still going strong since 1999! Gotta love it. Blue Clamshell. Takes a knockin' and keeps on rockin'. That's what Apple engineering is at its best.
      • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

        Because if no one buys the first generation, there isn't any second or third generation to buy...

        Well, no, not exactly. If no one buys bug-prone and defective first generations, companies will realize that they really need to pay for their own beta testing. Then, first generation hardware will become useable and buyable again.

        Cinnamon (an apple fangirl, who is still going to buy a 12" Macbook pro when they come out.)
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jay Maynard ( 54798 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:01PM (#15054715) Homepage
      I've got a first generation MacBook Pro because my boss told me to go buy a laptop NOW, and yes, I could buy a Mac. If someone wants me to spend $4000 of their money, I'm not going to argue.
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by v1 ( 525388 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:03PM (#15054723) Homepage Journal
      Some people have to have the latest and greatest. I generally have bought a new powerbook every three years, and I get the cutting edge top model at the time. I get a kick out of owning a laptop that can still smoke a desktop a year later. And I'm never left wanting for something. A lot of the time this gives me access to gadgets that no one else even considers possible, let alone practical.

      In 1999 I had a laptop that could burn CDs. I couldn't say that I knew anyone else that could do that.

      Maybe it's an ego thing, or maybe it's wanting the latest gadget, or maybe not wanting to worry over upgrading a year later. Maybe a combination of the three.

      That, and an important lesson I learned from my mother - "If it's important, don't go cheap." I've found this rule is very wise. If you're going to make a big purchase, it better make you happy and keep you happy for awhile, so why risk it buying mediocre or cheap? If it costs a little more and makes you a lot happier, or does not risk making you very unhappy, it's worth it.

      But yes, I agree that when you buy on the bleeding edge you can get cut. I guess so far I've been lucky, and I think what we see in the press is mainly the bad news. (it's easier to find that 10% person that got a bad unit complaining to the world, than it is to spot the other 90% singing the praise)

      I personally would have liked to have seen the powerbook line go just a liiiitle further, maybe to a 2ghz 15" PBG4, because that's about the point where I would have made my next upgrade. I'm a little skiddish about the macbooks so I will probably have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the Intel world. I hope this powerbook lasts at least another year.
      • Maybe it's an ego thing, or maybe it's wanting the latest gadget, or maybe not wanting to worry over upgrading a year later. Maybe a combination of the three.

        Hmmm, let's see...

        Some people have to have the latest and greatest

        I get a kick out of owning a laptop that can still smoke a desktop a year later.

        In 1999 I had a laptop that could burn CDs. I couldn't say that I knew anyone else that could do that.

        Pretty sure it's your ego.

    • Why this "first generation" phenomenon with Apple, which users seem to take for granted? I mean they're not exactly short of resources so why on earth haven't they tested these things? Is it too much to expect a technician to sit down with one of the new Macbook Pros and, duh, see it gets too hot? Isn't that one of the first things Apple should have tested when releasing a model with a new chip architecture? It seems Apple are walking on water right now to the extent that they can get away with releasing un
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b17bmbr ( 608864 )
      Why do people even buy first generation products anymore?

      I bought a shiny new G4 iBook when they first were announced. Thankfully I bought the extended care, because the trackpad has gone out a few times on me. It finally crapped out for good, and while the warranty still has a few months left, I had to pop the shell to swap hard drives (long story) and I figure that f***s the warranty. So, I drag a usb mouse along with me, which is actually no problem, as I really don't like any trackpads. I'd kill
  • Refurbs! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saihung ( 19097 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:49PM (#15054344)
    Hopefully this means that we'll get some sweet, sweet refurbished lovin from the Apple Store. I can't imagine that Apple will simply scrap the defective machines - or am I just not imagining hard enough?
    • Actually, I think they already have refurbished ones up on their website. Yep, go to the Apple store, go to the bottom on the right hand side for "Looking for a Great Deal" with the Red tag. Get a refurb.
      • They have the marker for it, but nothing is up for purchase yet. Hmmmm. I guess they are sold out or they are about to post them.
        • There were a whole bunch of them up there this weekend. Core Duo 1.83 MacBook Pro for $1699, and the 2.0 for $2299. They had iMacs with Intel procs starting at $1099 also.

          Keep in mind that it's very easy to get a 40% discount on them, and I'll tell you how right now. If you use it for your job, and have it shipped to your work address, you can write it off on your taxes next yet. It depends on what tax bracket you are in, but for a lot of the people on here it will save them 40%. Of course, you should
    • They're only replacing the main system board, not the entire machine.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:51PM (#15054356) Journal
    How long will the repair take?

    I know some of the /bots are barely willing to part with their precious laptops while they sleep, much less for a week to get the mobo replaced.
    • by mhore ( 582354 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:11PM (#15054473)
      How long will the repair take?

      I've had my stuff replaced by Apple in the past (1st gen 15" Al PowerBook. Doh!). Basically it goes:

      1) Get box from DHL
      2) They receive laptop by the next day, fix it, and drop it off at DHL.
      3) You get nice new laptop back.

      Takes about 3 days total.


      • Or, if they are servicing your TiBook:

        1. Leave it at the Apple store.
        2. Wait 2 weeks with no information.
        3. Hurricane hits where the computer is stored.
        4. Finally get told that they can't repair it (now four weeks after #1).
        5. Get sent a new AlBook.
    • by Knightmare ( 12112 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:28PM (#15054552) Homepage
      I had to part with my 15 inch titanium powerbook Sunday and they said it would take two weeks to get it back. It's a really slick process when you have something wrong with your machine. I called support and said um.... ya it doesn't turn on and he said you live close to an apple store would you like to drop it off for them to diagnose it. So I said sure and he set me up a "Genius Bar" appointment while I was on the phone. I showed up and they called my name ran a bunch of diagnostics and said yep... it's broke. So I cried a little bit until he pried it out of my hands.

      But I didn't let that stop my Mac fever, oh no! I have been wanting a Mac Mini for awhile and now had a perfect reason/excuse! So I bought the Core Duo and headed home to set it up and continue feeding my addiction.

      It's really funny, I used to make fun of Mac users because it was so cult like, but then OS X came out and all the suck went away and I got drawn towards the light. I guess long story short, you can put me on the list of people that wouldn't want to be without mine for an extended period. All my windows boxes are gone, it's just my PB and my linux firewall/fileserver/proxy/dev/dhcp/ntp/Myth Tv/asterisk server. And I guess the new family member my Mac Mini.
    • Seriously, though, I have had some of these issues with my MBP, particularly the noise issue, which is fairly annoying. Can anyone verify that they have in fact taken their MBP to an Apple store and had it replaced?

      By the way, it's true that if you get the static noise sound, you can open the 'Mirror' widget, then close it, and it *usually* won't return unless you reboot or use your camera. Still obnoxious, though. I took mine to an Apple store last month, and a 'Genius' there told me that the noise was w
  • Caveat Canem (Score:5, Informative)

    by hugg ( 22953 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:51PM (#15054357)
    Beware first generation hardware, and if you decide to load the chamber and pull the trigger, get Applecare. I went through *three* iBook G3's before Apple replaced it with a shiny new iBook G4. Nice of them, but I would really rather have my 40 hours of lost productivity back.

  • Of course... (Score:2, Redundant)

    ...the vast majority of MacBook Pro owners don't have any issues at all, and Apple typically addresses issues the inevitable issues that do exist in product revisions.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:58PM (#15054402)
    Flicking LCDs, overheating and intermitting WiFi connections are all common place

    If you people would stop flicking your LCD panels around they probably wouldn't break so often. They're quite delicate you know.
    • From what I can tell by googling, "intermitting" means "taking time off from classes" so apparantly these macbooks are such time wasters that people are dropping out of college.
  • I respect Apple... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zweideutig ( 900045 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @07:59PM (#15054407)
    Not every company will (without hesitation) own up to its mistakes and be generous enough to offer repairs. Even good products can have problems early on. I have owned many laptops over the years and have found IBM Thinkpads and Apple iBooks/Powerbooks to be some of the best. I currently own a G4 iBook as well as an older Wallstreet Powerbook 233 MHz G3 (great for running Darwin). These only problems I have had with either machine have been the CD tray failing to eject once on the iBook (I am running Debian PPC Sarge) and a dead PRAM battery in the old Powerbook (to be expected due to its age). Both of these computers are running 24/7 except when I put the iBook to sleep to keep the disk parked when I transport it each day. Some of my other laptops I own, like my Dell Latitude and Armada have suffered from hinge problems, display problems, etc. I have taken apart the Latitude so many times to repair it that the screws are loose. I plan to buy a Macbook in the near future if I don't see any Intel-based iBooks soon. Even though iBooks require significant disassembly to replace things such as the HDD or logic board, I haven't had to do this. And if I ever do, it will be fun. I think we can expect the next generation of Macbooks to be very reliable. Even this generation should be suitable with the logic board revision applied.
    • Not every company will (without hesitation) own up to its mistakes and be generous enough to offer repairs.

      So then why am I still waiting 12 months later for them to fix my damn superdrive? [crc.id.au]
    • I sent the same iBook to Apple THREE TIMES at their expense to have the system board replaced which was listed on their website as faulty. Each time they sent it back with nothing replaced except the plastic around the battery lock and a rubber foot or two.

      Respect Apple? No thanks.
    • I plan to buy a Macbook in the near future if I don't see any Intel-based iBooks soon.

      I don't know if any Mac rumor sites have mentioned this (I don't follow them), but the new Celeron M CPUs based on Core Solo architecture (Yonah) are due in mid-April [theinquirer.net]. Since the iBooks are Apple's last remaining Mac products with an ancient CPU/chipset architecture, I wouldn't be surprised is Apple adopted these new Celeron M CPUs as soon as they're available (like they did with Core Duo for PowerBook/MacBook Pro). Als

  • XP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:01PM (#15054420)
    A stock copy of Windows XP won't install on my MacBook.

    I have contacted Apple numerous times without any response.. what the hell kind of support is that?

    I really hope they fix my issue or I am going to be a pissed off Apple customer.
  • by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:03PM (#15054431)
    ..I was in the libraries basement working on a project, and the macbook pro kept making the intermittent "moo" sound. It was about 11 at night, and no one else was around, so it scared the crap out of me, it sounded like a distant ghost. I felt like an idiot after searching the whole library trying to find out what the noise was when it was right in front of me! I guess I need to make an appointment with the closest apple store to get a replacement.
  • I'm glad I didn't have the urge to get one of these. They replaced the innards of my iBook last year, something like 2 years after it started acting up. I think it took a lawsuit to get them to do the right thing. Does that mean the Macbook problems are even worse? The whole time I was having trouble with the iBook their support system was telling people to replace memory, re-install the OS and a dozen other time-wasting exercises hoping that you would just give up and go away, which is in fact what I
  • by rogerbo ( 74443 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:05PM (#15054441)
    Mine came on friday (UK) and luckily I checked the serial just now and it is REV D main board....

    I've been using it on my lap already and didn't notice any issues, it doesn't get that hot.

    This is by far the nicest laptop I've ever had, it's got teh snappy something bad and just feels fast.

    And no mystery announcement April 1st... I'm very happy I decided to get one now.
  • by ben_rh ( 788000 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:31PM (#15054565)
    If anyone's interested, I just picked up a new 2GHz Macbook Pro yesterday, serial number starting with W8612.

    I have the CPU whine, which is fixed by running MagicNoiseKiller [red-sweater.com]. Not a problem at all, since I just set it as a startup item.

    My screen is perfect, no flickering or dead pixels, really bright and vivid. Once MagicNoiseKiller has done its thing, this laptop is really pretty incredibly quiet - a lot better than the Toshiba P4 mode it's replacing.

    I think the recent cries to the effect that Apple's build quality is slipping are pretty overrated - this laptop feels incredibly solid and well built. I'm a very happy Apple customer - to the point of chuckling madly.
    • I think the recent cries to the effect that Apple's build quality is slipping are pretty overrated - this laptop feels incredibly solid and well built. I'm a very happy Apple customer - to the point of chuckling madly.

      Have you used a Thinkpad? Those suckers are super well-built.
      • Thinkpads are well-built... near indestructible, actually, and from what I've seen that hasn't changed since the Lenovo takeover. But they...

        • don't have DVI (what, it isn't 2001 yet?) and therefore can't drive big monitors well
        • on most models, insist on taking up half the back panel with a gawdawful parallel port (oh, it's not even 1997 yet)
        • and are housed in ugly angular cases made of 1992-look shiny black plastic

        I will say in spite of all that I find them very pleasant to use (other than the unfortuna

    • I'll have to wait until I get home to check the serial number, but I held out for the 2.16ghz model, and the only issue I have with it is the heat problem --- you definitely can't set it on bare or thinly covered skin if you've been using it for any length of time... Otherwise, I'm quite happy with it...
  • I Told you so. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:34PM (#15054582)
    I warned about getting 0 Revs but this is what I got...

    This isn't just a "first rev" like so many Mac users seem to think. Honestly, Apple did a really smart thing by keeping the previous form factor: it effectively means that the new-architecture notebooks inherit a huge amount of engineering from their predecessors.

    Actually, if you knew the majority of hardware problems with the initial G4 PowerBook were all related to the case (which had problems with it's hinges - which got stiff and cracked, the plastic border round the side which split apart due to stress from the hindges and weak points such as the audio port, the cable for the LCD panel which got streched leading to the displays breaking down, the rubber feet were always coming off and this lead to overheating and stability problems - and this is just a partial list), you'd understand why it's significant, and why the OP has an valid point.

    Intel has been shipping fundementally the same motherboard for a few years, so this isn't exactly a brandnew system under the hood.

    If it was a PowerPC-based Mac with internals done by PowerPC-partner then I'd wait. Seeming this is designed by Intel with way way more in debt experience making personal computers I wouldnt worry as much. The external casing is still basically a tried & tested Apple Albook so I wouldnt worry too much.

    If you're a pro user with a need for native Adobe & Macromedia apps then I'd wait for the universal binaries that are expected late this year or 2008. By that time OS X 10.5 Leopard is expected to be out.

    No everyone say to yourself Apple is just a companies not a God.
  • Schrodinger's Pixel (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ElephanTS ( 624421 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:58PM (#15054961)
    Bought and set-up a 2.1GHz MacBookPro for a client. Managed to arrange things so I had the machine at home for three days as my little perk. Machine was great - best laptop I've ever used - but then on day3..... Dead Pixel!!

    Couldn't believe it - it was right in the centre of the screen aswell. Had to give it back to the client and knew he was going to blame me for it as I knew he had no understanding of the dp concept. Got to his place and said there's some bad news, there's a dead pixel and proceeded, after his obvious shock and dissapointment had settled down a little, to fire it up to show him. A miracle occoured and the pixel was 100% working again. I just couldn't believe it.

    I mean what happened there? Was I touched by the hand of Jobs?

    2 weeks later the pixel is still fine . . .

    Anyone ever had this on a screen before I really would like to know.....

  • D? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by itomato ( 91092 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:32AM (#15055566)

    Buying a first generation Apple product is, in effect paying for the privilige of owning one of their "ready for the public" prototypes.

    Seriously, look back in time through all major Apple releases - especially those since the NeXT takeover.

The only thing worse than X Windows: (X Windows) - X