A fly in the ointment

Things have been going pretty well, lately, although I ran into a pretty big snag back on Friday.  I went to use my iMac, and hit the key to enable unlocking the screen saver, and nothing happened.  That happens occasionally, so after a few tries, I gave up and held down the power button.

After five seconds, still nothing happened.  Uh oh.

Finally, it occured to me that it was probably not on, for some reason (I knew I had left it on, Thursday night).  So I turned off the external drive, and realized I couldn't hear anything.  Uh oh.  Not only was it off, but I'd already hit the power switch with nothing happening.

I checked that the power hadn't come out, and that the UPS was still on (my kids have been known to turn it off without knowing what they're doing.  I thought I'd gotten that out of their systems, but you need to check).  Everything was fine there.

Just for grins, I took it down (wall mount) and tried plugging it in elsewhere.  No surprise, nothing doing.

So I got online to see when I could take it to the Apple Store.  Saturday, 1230.  Set it up, then realized that wouldn't work.  Couldn't do anything sooner.  Well, maybe I can do better taking it directly to the Apple Store.

Got there, was told I'd need to wait an hour and forty-five minutes for a Genius Bar appointment.  Ugh.  But, I need it to do work, so no choice.  Waited around a bit, reading some documents for work (did take the iPad with me for a reason).  Was debating what to do about parking, as it was only free for two hours, and decided it didn't matter.  I'd just stay as long as it took (I was only half an hour or so into my wait).

Then, quite a break.  One of the Geniuses came up to me and said they could talk to me immediately.  Awesome.  Talked, was told the problem was most likely going to be the logic board (not something I wanted to hear, both because of the expense, and because I had come in 100% sure it was the power supply).  They had the logic board in stock (a bit of a surprise, for a machine almost six years old), but not the power supply.  They said they'd try the logic board right away, and that they'd order the power supply, just in case, and they'd call me within 48 hours with the status.

I waited until Monday to call them back (giving them a break on the 48 hours, as 24 of those hours were Sunday), feeling a lot of trepidation: that logic board's expensive.  At least 2/3s the value of the whole machine.  That, needless to say, did not make me feel good.

Anyway, called Monday, talked to repair people in California (or wherever the call center is that Apple uses; you can't call the local store directly).  The automated reply said it was in progress, and nothing further.  After talking to a person, they were able to forward me to the service department.  The service department said it looked like things were complete, and they called the store to find out more.  After being on hold for a while (they offered a call-back, but I preferred to wait), I finally got someone from the store, who confirmed that it was available.  Yay.

It did turn out to just be the power supply (1/5-1/4 the cost of the motherboard), thank goodness, so I was happy to pay the bill and get it back (though they did threaten to take my power cable, saying that they never took those for repairs.  Even though they had.  But they agreed to give me one after hemming and hawing for a minute or two).

So, a few dollars poorer, I'm back in business (literally and figuratively).

It was my first time doing a non-warranty repair for one of my Macs.  No complaints.

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