Is Apple Blind to Nvidia-Related MacBook Pro Failures?

Between 2007 and 2008, some MacBook Pro models shipped with faulty Nvidia GPUs, which can cause blank screens or image distortions. Apple will fix the problem free if it can detect it, but a new report calls its diagnostic process into question.

Apple Admits MacBook Hard Drives Defective, Offers Free Repair Program

In a move reminiscent of the warranty extension Apple (s aapl) offered to MacBook Pro owners affected by NVIDIA-gate, the Mac maker announced this week that it would offer a similar consideration to some MacBook owners whose hard drives are crashing. Eligible models (black and white MacBooks sold between May 2006 and December 2007) affected by the problem will be repaired at no cost.

On the support page created to describe the problem and the resulting warranty extension, Apple doesn’t mention which brand of hard drives are affected by name, which could mean that the problem doesn’t lie with the hard drives themselves, but with some other system components. Another indication that this is indeed the case is that all capacities of hard drive are also affected. Read More about Apple Admits MacBook Hard Drives Defective, Offers Free Repair Program

Reason to Quit: Apple Warranties Void for Smokers

I quit smoking four years ago, but before that, I was a dedicated smoker for a solid decade. Luckily, I never had any Mac trouble that would necessitate a warranty replacement during those 10 years, or I might’ve been out of luck. Apple (s aapl) has denied Applecare warranty service in at least two separate instances due to the effects of secondhand smoke, according to Consumerist.

In both cases, smoke was to blame for repairs not performed, but not because the malfunctions the computers suffered were due to damage related to cigarette smoke. Instead, the fact that the Macs had existed in houses where people smoked had resulted in the machines being labeled health risks, which was grounds for repair personnel to refuse to work on them. Read More about Reason to Quit: Apple Warranties Void for Smokers

Apple Stores Can Now Replace iPhone Displays While You Wait

For many of us, the iPhone has become a staple item in our daily assortment of tech gear. Like any product that gets heavy use on a daily basis, sometimes it can fail. For the iPhone, that means a trip to the often crowded Genius Bar for help. Now as more consumers are adopting the digital device, Apple is facing an increasing number of iPhones in need of repair. The good news for consumers is, the majority of those repairs can now be done by your local Genius.

Why Apple’s NVIDIA GPU Extended Service Program is Inadequate

Nvidia GPUs PossibleA tip of the hat to fellow TheAppleBlog contributor Clayton Lai in his recent column NVIDIA Killed My 2007 MacBook Pro, and the people who commented with similar tales of premature hardware failure woe, for finally convincing me to cross the late 2008 MacBook Pro off my short list of candidates for my next system upgrade.

Clayton’s ‘Book fell victim to what evidently is a not uncommon defect in the NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT graphics processor units in May 2007 and Early 2008 revisions of the MacBook Pro, combined with a simultaneous hard disk issue which rendered the machine unbootable. The good news is that Apple came through with a repair that involved replacing the entire logic board under a recently announced extended service program for these models even though Clayton’s computer was out of warranty. The bad news is that it seems many owners of these MacBook Pro models are experiencing similar difficulties to such a degree of frequency that Apple announced in October:

“In July 2008, NVIDIA publicly acknowledged a higher than normal failure rate for some of their graphics processors due to a packaging defect. At that same time, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.”

Apple and NVIDIA stepping up and taking some responsibility for this defect is a good thing as far as it goes, but it almost certainly does not go far enough. There seems not much probable cause to believe that (a) this problem will not eventually afflict most examples of those MacBook Pro models if they are used long enough, and (b) that once repaired there’s any guarantee of the issue not repeating itself after the two-year extended service eligibility or even three years of maximum AppleCare extended warranty coverage.
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Check Mac Warranty (AppleCare) with Serial Number

My work is a Mac shop. Everyone has a Mac, some people even have two (desktop and laptop). Anyway, I recently decided to do an inventory to see what we had and what was/was not under warranty.

I started by making a Google docs spreadsheet and named it “Office Macs.” (Creative…I know). I then went around to each workstation and recorded the the type of mac, admin username & password, the OS version, GHZ, RAM, and serial number:

  1. Click the apple in the finder bar
  2. Click “About this Mac” (that will pop up a smaller window that tells you: OS Version, processor, Memory)
  3. Click “More Info” (that will pop up another window, which you can get the serial number from)
  4. Record all of this information in your Google doc

After you have all your info, you can go to this link, where all you do is input your serial number and country, and then click continue. After a few seconds you will be shown the type of Mac and the type of warranty on it. Have fun!