< Back

Repair It or Replace It? Make The Right Call

The Weekly Byte – October 2015 # 2

Welcome back to the Kelley Brothers IT blog and to The Weekly Byte!

This week’s post is really short.  I just wanted to tell a story about a recent job I performed for a client.

So this client has a Macbook air from 2010 that constantly shuts down unless you are moving the mouse etc..  I spent 2 hours running every software test at my disposal with no avail.  Long story short it turns out that this problem is actually quite common and is caused by either a faulty/ worn out power button on the keyboard or a bad logic board.  Basically the computer either thinks that you are constantly pressing the power button to shut it down or it has no clue what is going on because it has the tech version of Dementia.

Well thanks to Apple’s ingenuity they riveted the keyboard to the upper case and the logic board is covered by every other component and not easily accessed.  For those of you asking, “What’s an upper case?” it’s nothing much….  it’s only the object that everything is attached to including the screen!  Here is a picture of the replacement unit for this particular laptop:


So this job was literally going to take 4-5 hours of manual labor simply due to the complexity of the tear down:

See the 41 step process for disassembling the laptop

It was also going to require a minimum of $300 in parts totaling just short of $500.   Plus there really was no surefire way of telling whether it was the keyboard or the logic board.  So if I replaced the upper case and it turned out that the logic board was bad, then there was another $550 repair between parts and labor bringing us to just over $1,000.

So of course I did my research regarding the price of a new and refurbished unit.  I discovered that it would be about the same price to buy a refurbished model from a reputable Ebay seller as it would be to replace the upper case.  And I also found out that if for some reason the problem ended up being the logic board and I did both repairs, that would cost roughly $250 more than a brand new unit from Apple.

The morale of the story is simply this, truly consider whether or not your electronic device is worth enough to fix, and make sure that your IT professional is concerned with your bottom line and not their own.  As always feel free to call me with any questions at 951-263-7336.  This is Greg, over and out.