A Follow Up On My Apple Genius Bar Experience

If you recall, I was having a less than positive experience with the Apple Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Sherway Gardens in suburban Toronto. Now I wrote the original story on this at 9:30 AM yesterday. At 1:30 PM, I got an e-mail from Apple saying that my MacBook Pro was ready for pickup. I was shocked by that as you’ll recall that they had said it would take 5 to 7 days before it would be ready. Since I was at a customer’s location, I couldn’t make it down there until 5:30 to pick it up.

I arrived, identified myself and presented photo ID (A requirement for picking up a computer in for repair) and waited for the Genius to come out from behind the wall (the Apple Stores have walls with doors that are flush) with my MacBook Pro. When he appeared 10 minutes later, he explained that all they had done was replace the hard drive and reinstalled the OS that was on it which was OS X Mavericks 10.9.4. That’s when I quizzed him on why it was ready long before the “5 to 7 days” that I was quoted. His response was that they’re told to say that and stick with that even if they know the truth is going to be something far less in terms of the time it takes to repair something. Plus, he had been asked to “put a rush” on my MacBook Pro. So one wonders if someone at Apple had read my original post. He wasn’t offering up details on why he was told to rush my MacBook Pro, and I am sure that it affected someone’s repair and I am really sorry if it did.

I then got home and set about the task of restoring my data from my backup. Now I use SuperDuper to back up my Macs and the backups are in the form of bootable disk images. That means other than time, it would be easy to restore my Mac to the way it was before it went in for repair. This is what I did:

  1. I copied the disk image from my Network Attached Storage device to an USB external hard drive via my wife’s Mac. That took 2 hours to copy 181 GB of disk image.
  2. I booted my MacBook Pro while holding the “Command” and “R” keys which booted me into the recovery partition.
  3. From there I started Disk Utility which is one of the options that you’re presented with.
  4. I plugged in the USB external drive with the disk image on it and used Disk Utility to navigate to the disk image and opened it by clicking on File then Open Image. That opens a volume that I can use to restore my data.
  5. I then selected the restore tab and followed the on screen instructions which involved dragging the backup that I wanted to restore to the source volume entry and the hard drive to the destination entry. From there, I clicked on restore.

I then had to find something to do for the next four hours. Good thing I had laundry and a few other client related things to do. Four hours later it was done and I had to reboot. I noted that the restore process had changed the name of the hard drive from “Macintosh HD” to the name of my backup. I simply had to change that back once the computer booted off the hard drive, which it did successfully. Here’s a quick list of the other things I had to fix once it booted:

  1. I had to re-enter the product key for Microsoft Office For Mac and re-activate it. That took a minute.
  2. I had to re-log into and re-sync my Box and Dropbox accounts. That took four minutes combined.
  3. I had to re-enter my password for my iCloud keychain. That was a couple of seconds.
  4. I had to rewrite my SuperDuper backup scripts as it didn’t recognize the new hard drive for whatever reason. That took ten minutes.

Other than those items, everything worked right away. I also noticed that my MacBook Pro is noticeably faster. I have a feeling that the old hard drive had been misbehaving for a while and I simply had gotten used to it. So now that I have one that works, I perceive it as being faster. Just as a preventative measure, I ran Disk Utility to repair the permissions on the drive and verify that everything was okay with the file system and the drive. Once that was done, I did a new backup to my Network Attached Storage device and I plan on keeping the backup that I copied on my USB external hard drive for a couple of weeks just in case.

Now I am happy that everything turned out the way it did, but I do have a word for Apple (since someone at Apple has clearly read my post on this issue). I get why you “under promise and over deliver” when it comes to repairs. However, you might want to find a new way of packaging it so that it doesn’t leave a bad taste in the mouths of your customers. I can help you with that if you wish as that’s one of the services that I offer. Just contact me. Seriously.

Finally, this should again highlight why you need to back up your data. All things considered, this was time consuming but not disastrous because I had a current backup. I wrote two articles on the subject of backing up. The first being for PC and the second for Mac users. You might want to take a look at them so that you can protect yourself.

Now, let’s hope that something else doesn’t go wrong with my MacBook Pro anytime soon.

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