Problem Model: MacBook

Problem component: Hard Drive

How to identify if you have the problem: “Flashing Question Mark” with certain hard drives. Processor speed = 1.83ghz, 2ghz, or 2.16ghz. HD Capacity = 60gb, 80gb, 100gb, 120gb, or 160gb.

My guess is at least Seagate drives with firmware 7.01 and 3.CAE (or 3.XXX) are covered, since those are the main bad drives from MacBooks that I’ve found.

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I’ve compiled a list of all the known Apple recalls (aka Exchange & Repair Programs). It includes current and expired recalls (so people will know if there is a known problem with their system even if Apple won’t cover it anymore), how to identify problem models, and links directly to Apple’s site for each specific recall.

This information should be helpful for Mac techs (like myself) and fix-it-yourself users, plus anyone else hoping to troubleshoot their broken Mac.

396B5C9B-7A1A-46A5-B329-5A9CD7576F65.jpg See the complete list of Apple Recalls

* Please notify me of any errors or missing recalls.

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Did you know that your Mac may have come with a pre-installed diagnostic test? Back in the days, you had to boot from the Apple Hardware Test disc that came with your Mac. For the past year or two, Apple has pre-installed these tests so you can run them without a disc.

Wondering if your Mac has a diagnostic test built-in? You could always just try booting up your machine while holding the “D” key, but if you’re having other hardware/software issues, this may not be successful even if the test is built in. Well, I just stumbled upon another way to check if your Mac came with a pre-installed hardware test:

1) Show invisible files in Finder (Onyx can do this but I prefer the free little app Invisibles).

2) In Finder, navigate to “Macintosh HD/System/Library/CoreServices”

3) If you see a hidden folder called “.diagnostic” (I think that’s the name, it’s “.diag[something]) then you have a built in test. If you don’t see “.diagXXXX” then you’ll have to boot from the Apple Hardware Test disc that came with your computer.

Next time I get a Mac with a built-in AHT I’ll re-post the exact name of the folder to look for.

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Here’s a quick tip for other Mac repair technicians: use a 50 gram scale calibration weight to hold down keyboard buttons (like option, or shift). They fit perfectly on all Mac keyboards and only cost $5 with shipping.

You can find one of these weights on Amazon.com.

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