Do you remember the disk problems with my laptop? Well, here is the rest of the story. Sit back and shudder.
To recap: during the last week of August my Macintosh Powerbook 667Mhz started acting strange: programs freezing when doing a lot of disk accesses, the disk making intermittent shrieking noises, and finally on Friday August 27th my TiBook refused to boot from the internal disk. R.I.P.
On Wednesday September 1st I found (which is a small wonder in and by itself) and bought a replacement disk (Hitachi Travelstar 2,5″, 5400RPM, 60GB). That one stopped working after half an hour. What I didn’t tell you last time was that the disk didn’t come in a sealed package as is common practice everywhere in the world. The explanation of the vendor was that he had to open the package to put a sticker onto the disk “for the guarantee”. Wipe the smug grin of your face, each of you!
On Friday 3rd, after exhausting all diagnostic and repair efforts, I returned the disk to the vendor. They said they were going to test it themselves and let me know what they would find. I told them this was useless, I even gave them the low-level error code, but they were convinced that it was all my fault.
On Monday 6th the technician called me to triumphantically announce that the disk had no problems whatsoever. “Did you do a low-level format?” I asked him. Silence at the other side. “Did you try to copy a 60 to 70 megabyte directory onto it?” I asked again. More silence. Then, after a few seconds, “No, but I will do that this afternoon and I will call you back”. We parted on those good intentions. He never called back that day. The next day I called him at the end of the afternoon. “I was just about to call you” the technician said. Yeah, sure. Anyway, he was now convinced that the disk was defective and they would give me a properly working replacement, no problems. I asked if I could come and get it right away. “No, no, we have to send this disk to Athens, and them we wait till they send us a new disk”. How long that was going to take, I asked. “Well, we never know, it could be 5 days or it could be 10 days, we never really know.” I silently prayed that it would be closer to 5 days. I had learned in 18 months that trying to force things being sped up was utterly usesless and only a source of frustration. I added that I wanted a new disk, in a sealed package. “Sure, of course”, as if it was the most obvious thing.
So, I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Patience is a virtue I now fairly master.
Finally, on Friday 17th, my patience ran out and I called the vendor again. “I was just about…”, you guessed it. I went over, and the owner/manager personaly handed me over the “new disk”. It was wrapped in this bubble plastic which is so popular with furniture movers and taped completely and thoroughly, so that I couldn’t read the label inside. I asked for a pair of scissors or a knife, and reluctantly was given one. The disk was NOT in a sealed package! Moreover the label read that it was a 4200RPM disk. Too slow. Not what I had ordered. They didn’t like it one bit! Neither did I. I asked my money back, but that “was not possible, I had to understand, I surely would, wouldn’t I?” No, I didn’t. After a lot of arguments back and forth I was given the guarantee that they would do everything to get me the correct disk as fast as possible, “after all, this was not their mistake, was it?” and “we can’t help it if our supplier screws up”. I wanted to go into a discussion about customer service and such things, but felt it would be completely lost on them. I had waited almost 3 weeks, a few more days wouldn’t do me that much harm. “How long is it going to take this time?” I wanted to know. “Ah, we first have to send it to Athens…” You know the rest. “But we will phone you as soon as it arrives!”
I waited 10 more days and then I phoned them on Monday 27th. “I was just about…”. Oh! Forget it! The news was that their supplier had just announced to them that the disk would be shipped the next day, and that they had thrown in a 80GB model for free because they didn’t have any 60GB models left. “That is good luck for you, isn’t it?” the man at the other side said. I asked if they had checked that it would be a 5400RPM speed disk. “Yes, yes, no problem, you will soon be very happy with your new disk”. I was a bit more sceptical. To the question when the disk would arrive at their shop, he answered “It could be 1 day or it could be 2 days, but we will phone you as soon as it arrives here”.
Today, we are now Thursday 30th, I phoned them at 2 o’clock. “I was just about…”. “What about the disk”, I wanted to know. My painfully acquired virtue had been steadily fading over the last few weeks. “Yes, yes, it’s here, it’s nicely packed, it’s brand new, you will be very pleased!”. I forgot to ask about the size and the speed. They wouldn’t have screwed up this time. They couldn’t, could they?
I rushed over to the shop, and was handed over the disk in a nicely SEALED package. It was 80GB alright, but the manufacturers code didn’t look familiar. I started having doubts. Would it be possible that they actually screwed this up again? Whatever I was thinking I kept for myself. I went back to the office and found an overview of the specifications of the current line of harddisk made by Hitachi on the internet. One glance at the code on the SEALED package was enough. This was a 4200 RPM disk. When I tried to phone the shop, it was past 3 o’clock and they were closed. At six this evening I will have some bad news for them…
Good thing it is still summer!