Category Archives: Repairing stuff

My attempts to fix things. Usually humorous.

Fixing Computers…

So, since unemployment ran out, I’ve been fixing computers to try to make ends meet. It’s funny how much fixing computer is simultaneously easier and harder than it was eight years ago.

Easier, because current operating systems tell you much more about the system configuration and installed applications, and the built-in tools actually work.  Harder, because some errors and issues show NO SIGNS in logs or diagnostics.

And I’ve worked on three different computers over the past week.  Each has had a strange combination of issues.

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Laptop Repair Failed

Well, the laptop itself is fine, but the hard drive is dying.  Much like my laptop hard drive failed.

It’s much earlier in the failure process, but shows many of the same symptoms – SMART status was fine, but there are blocks are going bad with more and more going bad with each drive scan.  In this case, I was able to review several fsck checks and it appears the superblocks disappeared.  All of them.

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Repairing a MacBook Pro, 2010

It boots to the dreaded “?” icon flashing in the center of the grey screen.  So, I booted to the boot selection screen, and it only showed options for a network boot and the optical drive.  I booted from the installation DVD, and Startup Disk couldn’t find the Hard Drive at all.  Disk Utility could, and the partition tables and filesystem check out fine.  So, I nuked the partition table, rebooted, and checked to make sure it was gone.  Now I’m repartitioning and zeroing the drive.

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Just When I Was Gonna Give Up…

The bolt-extractor bit snapping in the bolt pretty much made up my mind, and bopping myself in the forehead when it snapped cemented it, I should give up on this repair.  The hardened bit won’t be drilled through, and various online and offline discussions pointed out that this would be a difficult job from here on out.

I was already researching how to get rid of the car, when a friend pointed out that we could try cutting off the caliper bracket and bolts, to give us access to drill out the bolts.

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