tech . Reviving a MacBook with a dead SSD

A routine shutdown of my (Early 2016) Macbook that will be the last time I will see my desktop. Together with all the work I have done for the last 3 nights. It doesn’t help when Macbook only have a single USB-C slot, which limits my USB connection to only 2 with the USB Hub. I had to unplug the external hard disk, which doubles as my Time Machine, for my scanner (Yes I’m old school and I still prefer scanner than in a Hi-Def smartphone camera era). And out goes my routine Time Machine backups, and with it my work for the last few days and nights…

the lost work…

Macbook – my ideal travel companion, on or off the saddle. its importantly lightweight, thin to pack and enough power to do what I need on trip – map routing (with my Garmin device), blogging, hotel booking, music (old-school again! still prefer it over an iPad or iPhone).

I don’t consider myself an Apple fanboy but I do prefer their product for its user-friendliness and no fuss ease of use. Unlike the Window & Android which seems to cater to Geeks, if they don’t make you feel like an Idiot, This is not my first Apple products. Let me recalled what I owned before. My first Apple ][ and it’s a clone Cubic 99 from Creative Technology (now known as Creative Labs),  PowerBook 150, Power Macintosh 7100/80 AV, PowerBook G3, MacBook Pro (2009), MacMini (Server, 2011) and now MacBook 2016. The latter being the first Apple product that failed me in its life time, in less than 2 years!

Another logo… gone with Apple

Sending to the Apple Authorized Service Provider without an AppleCare ( I wouldn’t expect such a hardware fail!). I paid S$130 (US$95) upfront for a diagnostic fee, which I already knew what the problem was. 3 days later and the repair cost came back – a whopping S$1096 (US$808) to replace the logic board. What’s wrong with the logic board ?

The new Macbook and Macbook Pro have their SSD drive soldered into the main logic board. So if one if them fail, the whole board was to be replaced. Well, it doesn’t make sense for me to pay  repair cost for half the price of the MacBook. I could save that amount for the next release (If they can resolved that issue). Knowing that my logic board wasn’t the caused but a failed SSD within, I have a more economical and sensible solution. Since this MacBook is solely for my travel use, I do not have any of the ‘professional image’ to deal with.

Reviving my MacBook with an external SSD

A good thing about MacOS is, it can be installed and run from external drive – USB stick, external hard disk or network drive. A search on online store and I found exactly what I need – a Western Digital My Passport SSD from (use promo code JP7A37 for cash voucher). For only S$139 and same amount of the inconsequential diagnostic cost at Apple, I got myself a solution. Fair enough I have to lung along another small drive for the trip, but it’s definitely smarter to pay that repair cost to Apple for their design mistake.

A further check into the deep hidden warranty and consumer law rights within Apple website. I discovered that other Asia-Pacific countries like Australia, China and New Zealand will have such manufacturer’s defect covered in addition to the Apple’s one yer warranty. Unfortunately our own consumer law protects these corporation and we will have to pay Apple for their hardware fault upon the expiration of their one-yer warranty.

Back to – 5 working days to make a delivery! excluding Sunday! for a small city state like Singapore ?! In China, a purchase like this will have my product delivered the next day within the same city and sometimes even neighboring province. Even orders originated from other province across China will not take more than 3 days to be delivered in my doorstep. I was already not hoping to receiving my delivery as I will be outstation in 2 days. As I need to redo my work, not including the time I need to reinstall my MacOS on the external SSD. I am not taking any chances and proceed to complete my design on my old trusty MacMini. In the nick of time, I complete my re-work and in the evening before my departure and before the delivery of my SSD drive.

Re work my logo on my trusty old MacMini of 2009, while waiting for the 5 workdays delivery time.

The courier came, but without any text notification as stipulated in their delivery email. The delivery from Honestbee ( appointed courier) just dropped my package at my door. It could have sat there exposed to theft for the whole months while I was away.

No comment from here onward when it comes to online shopping in Singapore. Still a long way to catch up comparatively…