New $2,500 Apple MacBook Pro disabled by $0.25 CD
Apple seems to be getting really serious about increasing their market share in personal computers, especially with their introduction of Boot Camp – which I installed and found quite stable.
But any new product has it problems, the first model always having the most defects, and the MacBook Pro is no exception.
Daily Tech: One Week with Apple's MacBook Pro - Despite its popularity as a "must have" Apple product, the MacBook Pro is encountering a lot of issues. Many users are reporting similar issues to the ones I pointed out. To recap from my blog:
- AirPort does not automatically rejoin a preferred network after waking up from sleep mode. This does not happen with my PowerBook. Settings are the same.
- AirPort would drop down to nearly 1 block randomly once in a while. This also does not happen with my PowerBook.
- At the lowest screen brightness setting (one block), the LCD's backlight flickers noticeably. This is pretty annoying.
- Heat is a big issue. The MacBook Pro gets so hot that I cannot place it on my lap if I'm wearing shorts. And even if I am wearing pants (instead of shorts), it's still very uncomfortable. Using the AC power, the palm rest area becomes very warm, and the area above the F keys is very hot.
Apple is aware of these problems and has released different revisions of the laptop. My current laptop appears to be revision E, but still suffers from the extreme heat issue. Still, the heat I can stand; what has me fuming is the fact that my laptop has been completely disabled by a mis-burned CD.
Anytime a recording program burns a CD, it locks the disk into the drive so that it cannot be ejected in the middle of recording. When a burn goes south, the recording software sometimes forgets to tell the drive to let go of the CD. The easy solution to this problem is to reboot your computer and reset your
Unfortunately, this does not work with the new MacBook Pro. The CD stuck in my drive is preventing the laptop from booting, because the system cannot determine whether the CD is bootable or not. The drive continually spins up and down trying to read it. No commands can be issued--not even the emergency CD eject command. After some searching on the Apple support forums, I found the answer: send the laptop to Apple for repair so that they can replace the drive.
The problem does not appear to be with the hardware but rather the firmware. The new Intel Macs use something called EFI, not the standard BIOS system. And the first revisions appear to have no retry-limit failsafe.
Hopefully, Apple will provide a firmware update to fix the problem.