MacBook Air – Dead On Arrival

Dead MacBook AirThe doorbell rang around 11:00am yesterday and I immediately thought, ‘Could it be?’ As I answered, the red and orange clad DHL driver held a rectangular package that a MacBook Air would fit in nicely and as I clumsily scrawled my signature, which turned to unintelligible scribbles on the driver’s touch pad, I could feel the anticipation rising.

It had finally arrived. The MacBook Air won in the Webmaster-Talk.com contest was now just two packing boxes away from actually resting in my hands. The dull kitchen knife cut through the plastic shipping tape and revealed the inner box that contained the prize. Even the packaging on a MacBook Air is a thing of beauty. It’s hard to believe there could really be a full size laptop computer, with all the accessories, in this box not much larger than a dictionary.

I removed the cellophane wrap from around the sleek black box with the familiar logo and fixed my eyes upon the prize. My initial reaction was almost of unbelief that such a nice prize, when I had not previously won anything of such value, was sitting before me. The MacBook Air’s amazing thinness also caused me to pick it up and turn it in every direction, viewing it from all angles to verify it was actually as thin as it looked.

The next step was to turn it on, run through a normal set up procedure and connect to the web through our wireless home network. Rather than hastily fumbling through hooking up what appeared to be the the power cord and turning on the new laptop only to come across something I didn’t understand (I’m not a Mac person), I sat down and meticulously read through the documentation so no one could throw the RTFM acronym at me.

Done. Read. Time to boot this puppy up and get down to business. Power cords in place, open up the Mac Air, press the start button and wait…and wait…and finally I see a flashing file folder icon with a question mark on a white background and…nothing. Hmm, ‘I’ll just reboot and all will be well.’ Waiting…waiting…same icon with the flashing question mark, indicating all is not well. Read and attempted the troubleshooting procedures to return the computer to factory settings…nothing. Additional troubleshooting procedures only tended to confirm the obvious, my new MacBook Air, that I had waited 6 weeks for, was dead!

Even spending an hour on the phone with a more than helpful AppleCare Support rep and trying additional tricks not in the manual were not enough to bring the Mac Air back from a computer afterlife. Only a hard drive transplant and complete system software reinstall would bring a full recovery.

The only solution was to place my sleek and beautifully brand new MacBook Air, which I had just peeled the protective plastic off of, into the hands of a computer tech who had been working on boxes all day. In his examination of my baby, he immediately smudged it with computer grime from systems that lay in heaps in the back room, filled with cold test equipment and probably colder coffee.

I left the black product box with the tech so as to give my first Mac computer at least some sense of comfort while away from home for a few days.

The anticipation continues…

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11 Responses to “MacBook Air – Dead On Arrival”

  1. Sorry to hear that it’s dead. Talk about a letdown and total anti-climax. I’m sure the tech guy will figure it out and return it to peak operating performance. Since you’re not a Mac guy, I’d love to hear some analysis on whether you like the Macbook Air more than a PC. I’ve never used a Mac and am curious to know why so many people swear by it.

  2. My current Macbook went dead on me with a similar HD failure about five weeks after I got it. I had it sent in and they quickly returned it with a new drive. It’s been running fine ever since.

    Hopefully, this doesn’t spoil you on the Mac experience. Once you get the hang of OS X you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you can be.

  3. Hahaha your writing is so interesting. :) SUCKS that your mac is dead. How sad.

  4. Was the mac brand new? Or did you win a used mac?

  5. so sad to hear…..I hope your mac experiences once you get it back are a bit better than this. Being a PC and Linux person, that’s one of things I never liked about a Mac, the fact that you have to take it to a Mac shop for repair. I had a CD-Rom go DOA in one of my laptops, and I just called the warranty hotline and they sent me a new one next day air. I installed it myself in 5 minutes and was up and running again.

  6. Alan –

    Sorry to hear the woes on the new prize!!

    I can tell you from 7 years of experience with a fortune 100 PC manufacturer, DOA is more common than people talk about!


  7. Unique writing style in that post. That’s gotta be a bummer.

  8. Oh man! Poor Alan. Your story just gets worse doesn’t it? Its surprising they don’t do quality checks at the factory.

    We’ll see how the other laptops turn out that went to the winners.

    Personally I would have asked the tech to wash his hands. :/

    I hope everything turns out well for you. *sends virtual hugs*

  9. Ouch! I’m really sorry to hear that Alan. 6 weeks waiting and finally when it arrives it is dead…I can’t imagine how disappointment you felt when it happened… :(

  10. Hang in there with the Mac. I’ve never owned a PC, only Macs.

    I’ve always purchased my Macs through a computer store or from Apple directly, and have never had a problem.

  11. I buy hundreds of macs every year. I’ve found a little less than 3% have a problem right out of the box. Most of the time it’s a dead HDD and is easily replaceable.

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