The Computer Doctor is IN

A few days ago, my step-daughter Stevie complained that her iBook wasn’t booting right. All the symptoms pointed to her having the logic board problems that her model of iBook is heir to, but the warranty on that design flaw was only three years and her computer is 3.5 years old. She took it to the local Apple store where they told her it would be over $700 to fix. I can’t see spending $700 to fix a 3.5 year old computer, considering that it only cost us $1400 new, and she graduates in 2 or 3 months any way. So I proposed a fix: She sends her computer to me, I swap the hard drive into Vicki’s computer, and she uses Vicki’s 3 year old iBook to get her through the season, and I see if I can eBay a logic board for her computer. And if not, Vicki wants a new MacBook, so no risk, eh? (Personally, I wouldn’t mind a MacBook either, but it looks like Adobe won’t be porting Photoshop any time soon, and I’ve heard it runs dog slow under emulation. Plus I love my 17″ screen.)

The laptop arrived today. Thanks to The ifixit FixIt Guide, I had step-by-step instructions on how to take the two laptops apart and put one back together. It was pretty daunting, especially the part where after half an hour of prying open cases, taking out screws and removing cables, I get to the point where it says “Remove the following 16 screws”. But I got the first one apart without breaking anything worse than it was before. And Vicki arrived home with a 15″ Powerbook Titanium DVI that she borrowed from work. So surgery got another step. So first I opened up Vicki’s laptop, and put in Stevie’s hard disk. It booted, and I made sure the trackpad worked (I was worried about the cable), the sound worked, and the keyboard worked, and the Airport card worked. So now it was time for surgery 2 – I took Vicki’s hard drive, and put it into the Powerbook. That was way easier – only 7 screws to open the case, and two to take out the hard drive. The only wrinkle was getting the hard drive cable back on this tiny little connector. But it booted, and I made sure the sound, trackpad, keyboard and Airport all worked on it too.

So I’m two for two, and now I’m off to find if I can get the logic board cheap on eBay.