What I Did When My MacBook Pro Died

Last week, my old MacBook Pro stopped working. It wouldn't power up. After reading many threads, I decided to go ahead and schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar (the service desk at the Apple store). I took it in and after checking it out, the technician showed me a significant bow in the body (and the circuit board inside). The good news is that it is fixable. The bad news is that it will cost about $1200.

After digesting this information, I decided to check out iFixit.com to run my own diagnostics. As I said, it's an old model so the warranty is expired. With no success, I began cannibalizing the components before recycling. I perform backups regularly, so I wasn't stressed about data recovery, but my hard drive was still good so I purchased a portable hard drive enclosure from MicroCenter and gave it to my better half to use as an external drive. It works great and she loves it. I chose a small, stylish enclosure that she could carry in her purse, but you can get a basic one for as low as five dollars.

Once all my files had been transferred to my iMac, I began installing the apps I use for work (Adobe CS5, Apple's iWork, Final Cut...). Luckily, I maintain a folder with most of the DMG files, so installation was quick and painless. I did, however, have to call Adobe and request another activation credit, so I could register another license on my iMac. I did not have to do so for my Apple products. The only thing I had to invest much effort in was finding and replacing my extensions for Google Chrome. Now that I have done that, all of my extensions are bookmarked on Delicious to save me that heartache next time.

The point is... I learned a few things that may help you minimize stress and get back online more quickly:
  1. The Genius Bar cost me nothing and was worth the trip. Make the appointment.
  2. If the hard drive is good, you can buy an enclosure for less than $10 to recover data.
  3. It's very simple to remove your working components (hard drive, memory, processor...). Keep them, sell them, or reuse them.
  4. Recycling is easy through Apple or any of the solutions from the EPA site. Do it.
  5. Micro Center is where geeks go when they die.
I provided several links in this post to help you find the resources that helped me, but if you still have questions (not technical Qs, as I'm not an engineer) or suggestions, please leave them in a comment.