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Apple Starts Logic Board Repair Program

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the put-down-your-stencils-and-back-away-from-the-wall dept.

Portables (Apple) 130

QuantumSpritz writes "In response to issues with iBook logic boards flaking out, Apple has posted an FAQ detailing the problems and what to do if you're affected. iBooks purchased in the last 3 years are eligible, and you may be reimbursed if you've already had to pay for repairs."

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Apple Confirms It... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8121966)

Apple logic boards are dying.

Re:Apple Confirms It... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122217)

that's because the Apple doesn't fall far from the BSD tree.

Re:Apple Confirms It... (0)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122292)

huh? what's funny? man, talk about moderation points burning a hole in your pocket... use 'em or lose 'em indeed.

That really is funny :()... (1)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123963)

I take it as a good sign of the day ahead...

Re:Apple Confirms It... (1)

kommakazi (610098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124365)

Why is that funny? You have a perverse sense of humor.

DEAD BABY FOR SALE (NIGGER BRAND) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8121988)

Nigger brand fetus for sale.

Little meat, but what there is tender on this breed.

$20 OBO

Good deal. (3, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8121997)

This is a lot better than the $50 rebate on Apple store software that users would have probably gotten with a class action. Of course, the class action might happen anyway -- there's a lawyer to be paid, after all.

Re:Good deal. (1)

the argonaut (676260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127581)

Yeah, a suit may happen, but I doubt it would get very far. I think all Apple has to do is show they are taking good-faith efforts to correct the defects and the case would lose, and since lawyers are usually paid out of the award in class action suits, I really can't see one jumping at the bit to take on this one.

Of course, I could be all wrong on this. Standard disclaimer applies: IANAL (but IAALS).

Figures ... (5, Insightful)

JMZorko (150414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8121998)

The _day_ I purchase APP for my iBook 700 (which has been sent back to Apple 4 times for this problem in 11 months), Apple does the right thing imho. Oh well -- i'm covered for lots of other things, so it's cool.

What i'm wondering is this: will they replace the board with a newer, better designed board that doesn't exhibit the problem? Yes, it's very laudable that they'll repair them without charge if this is found to be the issue, but i'd rather not have a laptop that dies every 3 months, regardless of whether the repairs are free. At least this means that I can sell my iBook 700 (and 900) and get the G4 model, without feeling like scum. I want to turn people _on_ to Apple, not sell them something that will turn them _off_.

Regards,

John

Re:Figures ... (5, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122012)

Apparently it's a particular component that's failing. From what I understand, the component (not the logic board) is defective.

In other words, once you get a good motherboard it'll stay good. If you keep getting bad ones, they'll die in a few months so just keep trying!

That said, it seems likely that Apple will try to flush the defective logic boards out of the parts inventory. Who knows how succesful they'll be, though? One would think eventually they'd run out...

Re:Figures ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122546)

From what I understand so far, there are actually two problems with similar symptoms. One is with the graphics chip on the logic board. The other is that opening and closing the ibook puts too much strain on the screen cable. Are both problems addressed?

Re:Figures ... (3, Interesting)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122772)

In other words, once you get a good motherboard it'll stay good. If you keep getting bad ones, they'll die in a few months so just keep trying!
My motherboard only died after 10 months. The first replacement I got was a dud, though (system overheated after it was under full load for 40 minutes or so).

And I'm in more or less the same situation as the grandparent: I bought AppleCare 2 weeks ago because I didn't want to risk getting another dead motherboard after my warranty has expired... Yeah well, I guess I'll be able to recoup at least some of it in the form of a new battery in a year and a half or so probably.

Re:Figures ... (2, Informative)

GORDOOM (149962) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124201)

Actually, batteries are explicitly not covered under AppleCare - which makes sense when you think about it, as batteries are the one part that one would expect to have a limited life. (Of course, if your battery dies a month after you get the computer or something, Apple will replace it for you, as that battery is clearly defective.)

Re:Figures ... (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124536)

Thanks for the heads up... I guess ;) I guess in that case I just bought one of the most expensive TechtoolPro CD's one can find <g>

Re:Figures ... (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125478)

Nah, cause this extension only covers logic board failure. It's nice to know if something else goes wrong with your laptop though, you'll get it fixed for free. Apple care is a really good deal if god forbid you need it.

Re:Figures ... (2, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122937)

Hmmm... mine took 18 months to die. My second one has been fine since the repair in August... 5 months now?

Anyway, I bought my iBook at the end of May, 2002... right at the beginning of the mfg period Apple is quoting. I called up my AASP and told them about the program (they hadn't heard anything about it yet) and asked them a) to see what they could find out from apple and b) if my serial number was in that range. I'd check, but it's at home and I'm not.

Does anyone know a way to find out your iBook serial number via ssh connection? :-)

Re:Figures ... (5, Informative)

babbage (61057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123127)

Does anyone know a way to find out your iBook serial number via ssh connection? :-)

Try this:

/usr/sbin/system_profiler --help

A while back I did a run of that -- I forget what flags I used, something like system_profiler -detailLevel 1 -xml -- and saved it to a .plist file in my home directory for later reference (generating the report takes a while; grepping the report output is very fast). One of the keys I've got in my report file is serial_number, and the value given does match what I get if I go to the Apple Menu and click About This Mac....

So, yeah, you can get this info via ssh using system_profiler. It's basically a CLI version of the GUI Apple System Profiler, so you can get acceess to any system data that the graphical ASP program can show.

Re:Figures ... (2, Informative)

EricWright (16803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123167)

I cannot confirm this, as my ibook seems to be unreachable (the wife probably closed it), but a friend suggested

ioreg -bls | grep -i serialnumber

May work, may not; may work super-fast, may grind for ages...

Re:Figures ... (3, Insightful)

babbage (61057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123252)

Yeah, that seems to be faster than system_profiler:

$ time ioreg -bls | grep -i serialnumber
....|.. "IOPlatformSerialNumber" = "UV14149YLPY"
....| |.. |.... |.. "iSerialNumber" = 0
....| |........ |.. "iSerialNumber" = 0

real....0m2.742s
user....0m1.070s
sys.... 0m1.370s

(I've converted multiple spaces to periods to keep the formatting sort of stable -- the actual output doesn't have all the dots....)

IMO, the output from system_profiler is a little prettier, but this was definitely faster. I wouldn't be surprised if system_profiler is a wrapper around this.

Re:Figures ... (1)

kommakazi (610098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124417)

18 months to a dead battery?
What the hell do you people do to your batteries to kill them so fast?!?!
I have a dual-USB iBook, the very first model, a 500mhz with a 12.1" screen (that's all they made back then) I got in 2001. The battery still works just fine and it's at least 2.5 years old...

Re:Figures ... (0)

EricWright (16803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127283)

Did you read ANYTHING about this article. Everything in there specifically mentions that this program covers people who have had LOGIC BOARDS fail. A logic board and a battery are two entirely different things. Apparently, there was a manufacturing defect in SOME of the logic boards used in iBooks (some, not all) that would cause them to eventually flake out and die.

If you bought an iBook between 5/2002 and 4/2003 and have had to pay (or end up having issues outside of normal AppleCare coverage for up to 3 years from date of purchase) for repairs specifically due to the bad logic boards, Apple with either fix it free, or refund money to those who've already ponied up the ~$500 for the repair.

To summarize:

iPod program -> battery
iBook program -> logic board

Re:Figures ... (1)

cerulean (99519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127423)

Based on a conversation I had with the guy who replaced my 3rd logic board in 10 months (under warranty), I believe the problem is that the graphics chip is mounted to logic board directly under the hard drive, in the lower left corner of the iBook. So just picking the iBook up by that corner can put a lot of pressure on the chip, and it eventually fails one way or another (I'd be curious to know whether it's the solder connections to the graphics chip breaking, or the die itself getting crunched). I've also heard that the new G4 iBooks avoid the design flaw somehow, though I haven't actually looked into where they put their graphics chip.

By the way, if you're in the Boston area, the Computer Loft [computerloft.com] in Allston, MA can do repairs under Applecare, and the people I dealt with there were very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. (Shameless plug because I got great service for my iBook there)

Re:Figures ... (1)

Zelet (515452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122857)

I've heard from a lot of people that the latest rounds of repairs have been working.

Re:Figures ... (1)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124847)

On the other hand, I just got mine back from Apple a couple of weeks ago. I'm very poor right now, and had to just shrug knowing that my 1-year warrenty would run out on Jan. 28 ... How kick-ass is this timing? I'm still screwed if anything else happens, but aside from this problem I've never had a problem with any Apple hardware that was more than a year old but less than three years. It seems to me that if it goes past the first year it's golden. If it's older than three years, I'd be likely to replace it instead of fixing it.

You can get a refund for unused Apple Care (2, Informative)

physicsnerd (607860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125098)

One of the cool things about Apple Care is that you can chage your mind at anytime and get at least get a partial refund. If you've bought it within the past 30 days you can get a full refund.

From the terms and conditions at http://www.apple.com/support/products/proplan_term s.html [apple.com]

7. Cancellation
You may cancel this Plan at any time for any reason. If you purchased the Plan in the United States or Canada, cancel by sending written notice to AppleCare Administration, P.O. Box 149125, Austin, TX 78714-9125, U.S. Your notice must be accompanied by a copy of your proof of purchase of the Plan. Unless state law provides otherwise, if you cancel within 30 days of your Plan purchase, or receipt of these Terms and Conditions, whichever occurs later, you will receive a full refund less the value of any service provided under the Plan; if you cancel more than 30 days after your receipt of this Plan, you will receive a pro-rata refund of the Plan's original purchase price, less (i) a cancellation fee of U.S. $25 or 10 percent of the pro-rata amount, whichever is less, and (ii) the value of any service provided to you under the Plan. Unless state law provides otherwise, Apple may cancel this Plan if service parts for the Covered Equipment become unavailable, upon 30 days' written notice. If Apple cancels this Plan, you will receive a pro-rata refund for the Plan's unexpired term. For Plans purchased and enrolled/activated outside the U.S. or Canada, please contact the regional Apple subsidiary for the country of purchase.

Request a new one... (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125488)

The _day_ I purchase APP for my iBook 700 (which has been sent back to Apple 4 times for this problem in 11 months),
It is apple policiy that if you send your computer in a 4th time if you request a new machine they will give you one, as closly configured to what it can be. I was having problems with my iBook g3 600/dvd-rom/10gig, on the 4th time in for repair i requested a new one and they sent me a 900MHz g3/combo/40gig. It was new, just like I had ordered it from the apple store.

"Logic Board" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122011)

It's a fucking MOTHERBOARD.

Re:"Logic Board" (4, Informative)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122018)

Macintoshes don't have motherboards, they have logic boards.

The reason is largely historical -- there used to be two "motherboards" in each unit. They were called the analog and digital (or logic) board.

I think the iBook has a single motherboard, however. More's the pity -- when a headphone jack breaks, the CPU gets replaced as well.

Re:"Logic Board" (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122912)

I think the the G4 Powerbooks and snow iBooks are all single-board units. The previous generation Lombard and Pismo G3 models did have a separate board for all the back panel connectors. I've never seen the insides of a "toilet" iBook.

Re:"Logic Board" (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125734)

the toilet iBooks were single board too from what I remember of disassembling mine.

Re:"Logic Board" (0)

PMM (68176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126537)

The correct nomenclature is: Boards with a CPU attached via a daughter board are called "Mother Boards" where as boards - like those found in all current Apple laptops and the iMac & eMac - with the CPU soldered directly to the board are called "Logic Boards"

A small but meaningful correction (4, Informative)

LippyTheLip (582561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122048)

According to the FAQ, it is not that iBooks purchased in the last three years are eligible, but rather that some iBooks are eligible for three years after purchase.

Directly from the FAQ:
How long is the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program available?

The program covers affected iBooks for three years after the first retail sale of the unit. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed.

For which computers is the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program available?
The program is available for iBooks with serial numbers in the following range(s):
UV220XXXXXX to UV318XXXXXX
iBooks with the serial numbers listed above may be referred to as:
iBook (16 VRAM),
iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM)
iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM)
iBook (32 VRAM)
iBook (14.1 LCD 32 VRAM)

Moreover, according to this article from Reuters [yahoo.com] , these models were manufactured between May 2002 and April 2003.

No Reason To Complain (4, Insightful)

Mork29 (682855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122060)

Ok, every company makes mistakes and distributes faulty components. There is no way around it. Software and Hardware have bugs. More companies need to take action like this (albeit they took a while this time). Saying that they'll not only replace faulty components but reimburse customers (in any way) for some of their expenses is truly great. This is why companies like Apple and Toshiba always have incredible customer satisfaction ratings, unlike companies who make faulty products and don't do anything about it *cough* Gateway *cough* Microsoft. When companies can bite the bullet, admit a mistake, and do something about it, it truly impresses me.

Re:No Reason To Complain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122076)

Do you pay any attention? It took a class action lawsuit before they decided that there really was a problem to begin with.

Re:No Reason To Complain (1)

ignatz'brick (648404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122901)

This site [searchrochester.com] claims to have signed up 2012 people to become part of the suit, and gives some of the history of the problem and comments from users.

Apple do seem slow to announce programmes to deal with product problems - a similar suit has been mooted over the iPod battery problems - but with the iBooks we're looking at a consistent design flaw rather than something like a non-user replaceable battery.

It's clearly been an issue for some weeks, Apple should have introduced this before now.

Re:No Reason To Complain (3, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124017)

It's clearly been an issue for some weeks, Apple should have introduced this before now.

Give them a break. When there's an issue like this, it takes several weeks just to get engineering and manufacturing to help the customer support side of the Apple world chase down, isolate, and put in place a fix for a problem like this.

While I'm sure the threat of a class-action suit lit a fire under the folks at AppleCare (who are charged with implementing these REA programs), I can assure you that they've also got a good feedback and reporting mechanism in place that probably made them aware of this problem months ago.

Again, it's no insta-fix. Had Apple announced this program a few weeks ago, without knowing the scope of the problem or having a 100% fix (or flushing service inventory of bad parts, etc.), customers would be complaining right and left that there were no parts. This happened in 1995-6 with the PowerBook 5300 series computer and Performa 52/5300 series computer REA programs, and I can assure you that AppleCare never wants to repeat that debacle with ANY product.

Interesting fact:

The serial number range also tells you exactly when the affected machines were manufactured.

UV220XXXXXX to UV318XXXXXX

Indicates affected machines were built between the 20th week of 2002 and the 18th week of 2003 - at least if Apple's serial number shorthand is still the same as when I worked there.

Re:No Reason To Complain (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125530)

Really now? What class action suit? The only thing I see are petitions to start one, I haven't seen one actualy leveled however. People need to calm down when it comes to things like recalls and service setups. A company first has to find a problem, isolate which models are having the problems. Isolate which components are the culprits. Figure out how wide spread the problem is. And then they still have to gather enough good inventory to handle repair and replacements. This stuff doesn't just happen overnight.

Re:No Reason To Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8123914)

Yes, but a lot of readers here purchased extended service plans because they were afraid their logic boards would die again after the warranty expired. Sounds to me like they made money off of existing customers by waiting. Pretty lame. As a potential Apple customer I would have serious doubts about buying an iBook from what I've read.

Re:No Reason To Complain (1)

kommakazi (610098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124523)

You just don't get it, do you? It takes some time for them to research the problem and get together the resources necessary to carry out a repair plan like this. A few weeks is a pretty good turnaround time. Most companies would leave you high and dry, since the warrenty DID RUN OUT in most cases. The class action lawsuits are a freakin joke...If Apple were looking out for themselves rather than their customers, they would have just let the lawsuit fly, it would cost them a hell of a lot less than replacing everyone's logic boards. The customers would have been screwed too, receiving maybe a $50 discount for Apple software or something pathetic. Microsoft's been selling people defective products for years, but I guess the M$ corporate cock is too far up most people's asses to actually do something about it, they just keep taking it.

Re:No Reason To Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8126139)

If Apple were looking out for themselves rather than their customers, they would have just let the lawsuit fly, it would cost them a hell of a lot less than replacing everyone's logic boards.
Not necessarily. Don't forget the costs of bad publicity, loss of goodwill, loss of returning customers.

Re:No Reason To Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8127486)

Just keep guzzling that Kool-Aid, that's a good little brainwashed cult member. Weak.

Re:No Reason To Complain (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125558)

Well, given that the program only covers logic boards, it's not like they got ripped off by buying apple care. If something else breaks, it's covered. And anyone who doesn't buy an extended waranty on a laptop is a moron anyway. I personaly buy my computers with an extended waranty, and then my credit card company doubles adds another 3 years onto that. So all of my laptops are covered 6 years.

it's not ibooks purchased in the last three years (3, Informative)

godawful (84526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122090)

its The iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program is a worldwide program covering repair or replacement of the logic board in specific iBook models manufactured between May 2002 and April 2003

any of those models, are insured for 3 years from their purchase date..

I love this place (5, Insightful)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122108)

The story about the Linux geek who got burnt [slashdot.org] by a fault that affects less than 0.2% of units shipped hits the front page, letting him complain about "hardware lock in". The vendor response about replacing the faulty part, and reimbursing people who've paid to get it fixed, makes only the apple.slashdot pages (ie buried in the paper).

So much for "new media".

-- james

Re:I love this place (3, Informative)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122171)

The story about the Linux geek who got burnt by a fault that affects less than 0.2% of units shipped hits the front page, letting him complain about "hardware lock in". The vendor response about replacing the faulty part, and reimbursing people who've paid to get it fixed, makes only the apple.slashdot pages (ie buried in the paper).

Uhhh... I only ever read the slashdot.org front page and I'm seeing this story. What are you doing wrong?

Re:I love this place (1)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122320)

well you're reading a different front page to me. It's not up there, only on apple.slashdot.org

tell me how many frontpage stories have this few comments?

-- james

Re:I love this place (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122373)

well you're reading a different front page to me. It's not up there, only on apple.slashdot.org

Maybe it only appears if you're logged in. I always browse while logged in.

Re:I love this place (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122420)

it certainly seems to be the case.

Saw this on the frontpage..
but can't see it on the frontpage when browsing with another browser that's logged out.

Re:I love this place (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122748)

I'm logged in and don't see it on the frontpage either. I suppose there's some preference you can set so all Apple stories do appear on the front page as well (which I've apparently not set).

Re:I love this place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122975)

if you select to view apple stories you get them, that simple.

Re:I love this place (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123038)

There's only an "exclude specific stories" from homepage in my preference, not a "show all stories from a specific section on homepage".

Re:I love this place (2, Insightful)

eunos94 (254614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123839)

If you select "Collapse Sections" in the preference menu-->Homepage it will place all the sections stories on the front page also.

Re:I love this place (1, Redundant)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122306)

yeah but the other story mentioned Linux so was sexier.

Re:I love this place (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122352)

The story about the Linux geek who got burnt by a fault that affects less than 0.2% of units shipped hits the front page, letting him complain about "hardware lock in".
0.2% is the percentage that signed up for the petition for a class action suit, not the percentage of users affected by the problem. There are many people affected by the problem who did not sign the petition (because they never heard of the petition, because it was repaired under warantee, because the suite is probably a US-only thing,...). I bet the actual percentage is much higher. According to Reuters, Apple declined to comment on the number of units affected. If it was only 0.2%, I bet they would have stated it. Also in their latest SEC filing, they noted an unexpected high number of warantee claims on the ibook.

Thanks Apple! (3, Interesting)

pafmax (462211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122146)

I can't say how happy I am for this. My iBook has a UV316... S# and might be afflicted by the same problem in the future (knocks on wood)... Until now I was kind of scared of being presented to the iBook's now famous "screen of death" and specially sacared of having to pay for this failure. Knowing that for the next 2 years (and a few months) I'll be covered by warranty, if this happens, is a huge, huge releif.

It's thigs like this that will make me use mac's for as log as I can, and that take the reason to all those stupid anti-apple comments. Apple DOES listen to their custumers and helds responsability for their producs, and the errors that they might have... What more can you ask?

Re:Thanks Apple! (1)

quakeslut (107512) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122351)

yeah i hear you. i've managed [so far...] to escape unscathed from this ibook madness, but with SN# UV3061F6N4Q i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

i agree with you: it is comforting to know that if shit hits the fan, apple's got my back.

good-on-ya apple.

Re:Thanks Apple! (1, Insightful)

Bob Zer Fish (568540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122379)

It took a class action lawsuit before they decided that there really was a problem to begin with. This isn't the first time they've used crappy components either. I had to send my PowerMac 5500/275 back multiple times and it was still buggy. One thing that I've always learned is this: get a 'professional' mac, not one of the cheapo ones. i.e. get a PowerBook instead of an iBook, and get a PowerMac G5 instead of an i/eMac

Re:Thanks Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122440)

> This isn't the first time they've used crappy components either. I had to send my PowerMac 5500/275 back multiple times and it was still buggy.

Yes, anybody remember the infamous powerbook 5300 and 190?

Re:Thanks Apple! (2, Interesting)

Megane (129182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122843)

Don't forget the Powerbook hinge problems. Fortunately for me, I skipped directly from a PB 145 to a Pismo. But remember, those were Apple's sucky years. I also managed to go from a IIci to a PowerTower Pro 225 to a Windtunnel, so I also missed most of that era, except as used machines. Boy those 6100s were crap. Not the falling apart kind of crap, just the underperforming kind of crap. In fact, the most ironic thing was the name "Performa", because anything with that name certainly didn't.

Re:Thanks Apple! (1)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126600)

It took a class action lawsuit before they decided that there really was a problem to begin with.

Actually, it didn't. There have been rumblings about a class action lawsuit, but there hasn't actually been one filed.

Frankly, this program probably provides a more satisfactory resolution for customers than a class action suit would have anyway...

This is great (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122165)

My iBook had this problem once before, I got a box from Apple on a Tuesday, sent it that night, and got it back with a new logic board Thursday afternoon. My computer began exhibiting the same problems and I had procrastinated on sending it in because it was still slightly usable; my linux machine was dead and I couldnt stand the thought of being without a computer for a few days. My Applecare ran out a week ago, and I had been trying, but failing, to get the money together for the extra two years. I bought it in time, but messed up during the convoluted financial hijinks I had to pull to get it and the order did not go through. The Apple people have been cool about it and are giving me some slack, but it is great to know that if I fuck it up somehow and dont get the extended coverage I dont have a very expensive and unpaid for doorstop.

First In The UK (3, Interesting)

boris_the_hacker (125310) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122346)

Apple uk weren't ready for this replacement scheme, but when I found out this morning, I phoned up and they took a while and elevated my technical support call up the tiers rapidly.

I actually asked if there was many calls, but got told that I was the first in the UK & Ireland to call :)

But they are picking up my iBook so I am happy :)

I've got one (4, Interesting)

jos3000 (202805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122376)

I've got a 700MHz iBook which started demonstrating the problems when it was 2 months over it's 1 year standard cover. I cursed myself for not extending the applecare and had to buy an eMac in order to get working again.

At this stage I had no idea that it was a common problem - I simply counted it as bad luck.

I was aware the problem could be temporarily aleviated by squeezing on certain parts of the case so I diagnosed it as a loose connection or something shorting out. With nothing to loose I took the whole thing apart and started experimenting with putting presure on the logic board at different places.

I discovered that placing a bit of cork to keep the graphics chip in place I could get the machine to be as solid as a rock. I'm writing from it now - it's just the logic board screwed to a bit of wood with the screen standing in an easel. It's been on and working since Christmas with no crashes. I only need to restart for security patches.

What I've done would have voided my warranty - but I didn't have one any more when I started taking it apart. The wording on Apple's page seems to imply this has nothing to do with the warranty anyway.

I feel that I am due some sort of compensation from Apple but I don't really know how to approach them. Should I ask for a new logic board? A new iBook? Cash? It is their fault that I had to butcher my iBook - so I feel justified that I am due something.

What do you guys think I should do?

Re:I've got one (1)

jos3000 (202805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122661)

I've been thinking about this. How do you think they'd react if I explained that after my iBook died I sold on everything but the logic board as spare parts? Then I could send them the logic board for a fix or replacement...

Perhaps I should just ring them and see what happens - but I'd like to get my story straight first!

Re:I've got one (1)

prezninja (552043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122881)

Yeah, I think that's an extremely good question. Has anyone heard about how this applies to people who have taken apart their iBook [livejournal.com] after the warranty had expired?

Re:I've got one (1)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124172)

If you can put it back together and remove all traces of the fact that you opened it you should be okay. As a company, Apple would probably turn a blind I to the fact that you tried to fix it rather than risk another black eye for looking petty. However, whomever receives the unit (especially if you go through a local shop) may be stuck in their 'rut' and give you a hard time.

Most likely if it doesn't look like you took it apart you won't have any problems. With free replacements there's no real reason to deny one to you, unless you turn it over to a power-hungry asshole.

If you can't get it back together, don't have everything, whatever, then you're probably best off calling a Customer Representative and pleading your case. I'd suggest that if the first person you get isn't very helpful, take a deep breath, wait 15 minutes, and call again. People in Customer Service are, after all, people and while it is to Apple's advantage to try to help you they may not see it that way. Of course, you may not be able to get anywhere since they are replacing motherboards and not whole units, and your only recourse will be to join the Class Action if it goes forward - though that will likely be thrown out since there is already a replacement program in place.

Re:I've got one (1)

jos3000 (202805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125385)

If you can't get it back together, don't have everything, whatever, then you're probably best off calling a Customer Representative and pleading your case.

Thanks for your advice. It's not going to fit back together I'm afraid!

I might give them a call soon. I pride myself on being very calm and reasonable (even charming!) when talking to customer services people.

your only recourse will be to join the Class Action if it goes forward - though that will likely be thrown out since there is already a replacement program in place.

I think you're right about this and I'm in the UK anyway.

Why does my ibook keep chugging along?? (2, Insightful)

acomj (20611) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122743)

I have an Ibook purchased in that time frame.. It seems like EVERYONE is having ibook problems.. Yet mine keeps working like a champ and I use it a lot. Its even hit the floor a bunch of times before we got rid of the ethernet cable...

Re:Why does my ibook keep chugging along?? (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122966)

Coz you are one of the silent majority with logic boards that are not affected by the mfg issue the rest of us were plagued with. Count yourself lucky that a) you haven't yet had a problem, and b) you should be covered for 3 years from date of purchase in case your luck runs out!

Re:Why does my ibook keep chugging along?? (1)

druske (550305) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123878)

It only seems like everyone is having iBook problems, because "iBook Still Working Two Years Later!" doesn't do much to grab headlines. It's the exceptions to the rule that attract attention, and it's the problems that make people vocal.

My 700MHz iBook was purchased in October 2002 and hasn't had any problems at all. It's a great laptop that I prefer in almost every way to the Dell and HP laptops I've been issued at work. With Panther, it feels snappier than my 1.8GHz Dell running Windows XP, and is the first laptop I've used that actually wakes from sleep mode reliably, every time, without crashing. In short, it's my first Apple product, and hands-down the finest computer I've ever owned. (I've owned more than a few since my first machine in 1979.)

In any event, I'm glad to hear that Apple is doing the Right Thing and addressing this problem. I suspect the next machine I purchase will also come from Apple. My wife, poor dear, is running Windows Me on her laptop, and I really should try to be a better husband than that... ;)

Re:Why does my ibook keep chugging along?? (1)

MConlon (246624) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127555)

Mine had the problems, and it was purchased outside of the timeframe they quote. The logic board was replaced under the extended warranty (money well spent!) but the extended warranty expires this August. I guess I'll have to keep my fingers crossed.

MJC

so NOW they're fixing their defective machines (1)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122842)

Well, that's good to know. Makes me feel a lot better about buying an Apple again, when the time comes.

Sure would be nice if they'd fix (for free) my G4 powerbook with the self-breaking firewire port [medicalmac.com] , though.

Good deal (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122864)

I recently bought an iBook myself. It came in the mail on Tuesday, and lo and behold, it died before the day was out. To say I was a bit upset would be an understatement. Being my first step into the Mac world, I was impressed by OS X, but being hit by an issue that has been known about for months(and is still apparently a problem) has left a bad taste in my mouth.

What I want to know, though, is since Apple should have a fairly good idea of the models affected, now, why they can't simply flush these boards out of their system to prevent future problems?

Re:Good deal (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125639)

It may not nessesarily be the board so much as the way the components are in the system. In which case, the best Apple can do for now is replace hopefuly with a solution to whatever was causing the problem, manufacture all the new ones with teh fix and wait until the iBook is redesigned again (next model)

Can you refund me for AppleCare? (2, Insightful)

jonnylawUSA (143213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123090)

After having replaced my third logic board only days before my 1 year Apple Care expired, I opted to buy the 2 year extension for fear of it happening again. Now that these problems are covered can I return my unused "Apple Care"? How can a company with such great products have such lousy business policies?

Re:Can you refund me for AppleCare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8123381)

Very good question. There have been many reports in the past months of Apple support trying pretty hard to sell you the extra AppleCare if you brought in an iBook with a logic board defect.

Re:Can you refund me for AppleCare? (1)

Jord (547813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124236)

Keep your AppleCare. It is cheap insurance against anything at all going wrong with your notebook.

If your like me, most of your work is on that notebook and just like your body and your car, you want that sucker insured "just in case."

Re:Can you refund me for AppleCare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8124671)

Ummm, lousy business practices? You say this based on assumption. If you want to return your applecare call them, they should prorate and refund most of it. Just keep in mind that only your logic board with those specific video related issues will be covered under warranty now.

Re:Can you refund me for AppleCare? (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125676)

Why in the world would you want to return your AppleCare?

yes you can (2, Informative)

godawful (84526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127566)

as stated here [apple.com] and in an above post. you can return apple care

hmmm (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 10 years ago | (#8123400)

something to note about the program: it only covers ibooks with serial numbers between UV220xxxxxx and UV318xxxxxx. i have an ibook purchased 11/01 with a serial starting UV141 that's been back to apple 3 times for wonky video/freezing video problems. are they claiming that the earlier dual usb ibooks aren't susceptible to this problem? and don't even get me started on the spotty battery on this thing [you can find plenty of info on batteries not holding charges on the apple forums - unless they've deleted those too]

way to go apple! you've definitely lost a 10+ year customer with this crap...

8 MB VRAM vs. 16 MB VRAM. (1)

prezninja (552043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124968)

In short, this problem should have only effected logic boards with *more* than 8 MB of VRAM.

From recent discussion the problem seemed to be narrowed down to models that employed an increased amount of VRAM over the original models. Your model *should* have 8 MB VRAM, whereas the newer models had 16 MB, which apparently had heat-related problems.

Of about 8 friends who purchased iBooks around the time of the transition: Everyone I know with a 16+ MB VRAM model has had problems, and everyone I know with an earlier 8 MB VRAM model has not had problems.

Perhaps they replaced your original 8 MB VRAM logic board with a newer board? Find out how much video memory is on your board, and if it's more than the original 8 MB, give them a call.

Re:8 MB VRAM vs. 16 MB VRAM. (1)

radicimo (33693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126593)

I don't know where you got your information, but I can confirm (albeit anecdotally) to the contrary. I have a 500mhz ibook with a serial number starting with UV139.

The classic video chipset problem has just recently manifested itself on my system. Flickering (brightness) display which can be alleviated by applying pressure to the left of the trackpad. Based on the information I've gathered, this problem does not seem to be heat related. Rather, it seems to be a loose connection with the video chip, as reported elsewhere.

I have confirmed that my system has 8mb VRAM. The logic board has been replaced once for a different issue. As far as I can tell, my problem is exactly the same as the one that Apple is providing this coverage for. I will have to convince them that my computer should be covered under the program. Wish me luck.

This is amazing. (1)

watchmaker1 (540289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124112)

I bought the iBook July 17th, 2002. The motherboard died August 4th, 2003, two weeks out of warranty.

I just got off the phone with Apple Support. They're shipping me a box to send in the iBook. Free.

Oh Frabjous Day.

Maybe they learned a lesson from the ipod battery fiasco?

Re:This is amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8124699)

you mean the "fiasco" about the two not smart brothers who somehow didnt realize *suprise* *gasp* batteries don't have an infinite charge life? Not to mention prior to apple announcing a replacement program, there were readily available do-it-yourself kits you could buy online for $50.

Re:This is amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8127604)

> you mean the "fiasco" about the two not smart brothers who somehow didnt realize *suprise* *gasp* batteries don't have an infinite charge life?

Maybe he meant the fiasco where Apple stated in the iPod manual that the battery has been designed to last the lifetime of the iPod. An unsuspecting consumer might conclude with the failure of the battery that the lifetime of his/her iPod has ended.

Re:This is amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8127556)

> The motherboard died August 4th, 2003, two weeks out of warranty.
> I just got off the phone with Apple Support. They're shipping me a box to send in the iBook. Free.

So your iBook has been dead for almost 5 months now? Then don't forget that after the reparation, the machine has been non-functional for about one third of the time that you owned it.

My TiBook does something similar (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124202)

Unfortunately, it's out of warranty, and I didn't AppleCare it, so I'm screwed.

If I flex my TiBook ever so slightly or put a little bit of pressure (not very much) in the wrong spot, I get green "crud" (random horizontal lines) all over the screen. The crud winds up in the VRAM, because if I drag a window, it stays in the same spot *in the window*, even if I take the corrective action (flex the case the other way or tickle the other secret spot). If I drag a window off the screen and back on when the machine is in the good state, then the window redraws correctly.

I mean, it's still usable, but programs with very active displays look horrible when it's happening.

I've also got issues with the Superdrive making disks that are unreadable in other machines and not being able to burn CD-Rs at maximum speed, but that's another post.

We've got 3 macs at home, but this TiBook is the red-headed stepchild of the bunch, I guess.

Something fishy about this (1)

mst76 (629405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8124247)

The repair extension program covers iBooks produced between May 2002 and April 2003, almost a full year production (and there are already lots of complains from people with the some problem with iBooks that fall outside these dates). Yet until very recently Apple maintained that there were "no known issues" with the iBook. How do they know there are no problems with the units produced after April 2003 then? If they corrected the problem, they must have known of it for at least over a half year now. I know that iBooks are outsourced to some Taiwanese ODM, but the design and reference come directly from Apple. If it was a manufacturing defect, I can't imagine that the plant silently corrected it in April last year and only informed Apple now.

Re:Something fishy about this (2, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125702)

Because no known issues means we don't have a user fix, nor a systematic fix in place. Apple may have known there is a problem for the last half year, but that doesn't mean they knew the specific problem or what to do about it yet.

Re:Something fishy about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8125910)

Because no known issues means we don't have a user fix, nor a systematic fix in place. Apple may have known there is a problem for the last half year, but that doesn't mean they knew the specific problem or what to do about it yet.
That didn't prevent them from charging people out of warantee $400 for their non-fixes. Good thing they're getting refunds now.

Re:Something fishy about this (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126259)

And they're getting refunds so what's the problem?

Re:Something fishy about this (1)

mst76 (629405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127281)

> And they're getting refunds so what's the problem?

The problem is this. Imagine you have one that broke in, say November, one month out of warantee, and you're told it costs $400 to fix. You couldn't afford it, or you decided that $400 is not good value (e.g., because you heard from a friend that the replacement board is likely to fail again). So you have an expensive doorstop for 2 months now. And just sold it as spare parts last week, only to hear today that they decided to repair it for free. Now if Apple only very recently discovered the problem, that's just tough luck for you. But if they have know the issue for a long time and just tried to whitewash the issue, don't you agree that there is a problem?

Re:Something fishy about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8126907)

the part in question was probably upgraded for any number of other reasons (cost? other undesirable/desirable features? who knows), and it's taken apple this long to narrow the problem down to that component.
sheesh.

Re:Something fishy about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8127070)

> the part in question was probably upgraded for any number of other reasons (cost? other undesirable/desirable features? who knows)

Or maybe because it was DEFECTIVE?

What about me? (1)

nazokoneko (664874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8125088)

I think Apple is doing an amazing thing here... they have to eat the cost of the entire logic board, which is no small repair (even if they are able to get them at cost). PLUS reimbursing for previous repairs... I'm not sure how that is going to work out, but lots of people on the Apple discussion boards and here have had the logic board replaced multiple times.

I couldn't afford the $400 fix, so I live in a world where black=green. Slashdot looks really nice with a luminescent green background, I must say. My website has a certain shade of gray that actually has gyrating green pixels. It's pretty psychadelic.

Unfortunately for me, I was an iBook early adopter and bought one of the first ones out (May 2001) and they are not covered. Neither are more recent iBooks exhibiting the same problems. If you own one of these machines, please call Apple at 1-800-275-2273 and ask to register a comment/complaint on this issue. You can also go to the discussion boards and add your voice.

And I agree, there is no way this topic shouldn't have made the front page. It's huge news. Luckily a friend noticed it on Yahoo and let me know, but isn't this what I read Slashdot for?!

Some info from a tech (2, Informative)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126069)

I work as an Apple Tech in a Mac shop.

We've had many of those iBooks come in. One customer who had bought about 40 of them had 12 of them with the issue - about a 33% repair rate, which is definitely abnormal. We know at that point that there was an issue.

But we've had almost no repeat repairs for this issue. We had maybe one or two which came back for slightly different problems (one was overheating, the other had a keyboard issue) for which we had to replace the logic board but was unrelated to the original issue.

Apple, a few months ago, issued a program to add to those iBooks a small plastic holder around the video chip on the backside of the logic boards. Most boards coming in for replacement already have those, and we've been instructed to install them as a preventative measure on any unit we open and on any new logic board which doesn't have them yet. I suspect (although Apple have not confirmed) that this measure is related to the logic board issue, as most symptoms are related to video. So far all iBooks which have shown the video issue did NOT have this little plastic parts installed.

So I can confidently affirm that repeat failures should not occur if the technician follows the Apple procedures.

Re:Some info from a tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8127020)

> Apple, a few months ago, issued a program to [...]

But many people reported that until a few weeks ago, Apple representatives denied that there were "known issues" with the iBook. Were they just lying?

logic repair? (1)

thinkpol (51932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8126686)

I've had no luck with my Mac. Apple has been trying to even push the 'logic' board problem on the entire ibook owning population. I showed up at one of their genius bars, with my broken ibook - the HD would crunch away for hours until finally crashing. Sometimes I'd even start it up and get greated with a sad computer.

Apple decided the logic board was the issue and replaced it. I don't think it's any suprise that a day later I came back with the computer again, experiencing the same problem...

"But they fixed this computer, the logic board was replaced."

You know, the logic board isn't the only problem with the ibook...

Re:logic repair? (0)

PMM (68176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8127268)

Sounds like your problem lies with poor tech support rather than an inferior product - whilst I'm sure your problem is unique and traumatic to you, just from your brief description and my own experience with many faulty Hard Drives, I would first suspect your Drive being the root of your problems and a faulty drive is not something unique to an iBook.

Perhaps one day when/if drives become solid state, the failure rate will diminish, but presently, what with the fine tolerances involved in manufacturing Hard Drives, I'm impressed that they last as long as they generally do.
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