I dropped my personal laptop as I was packing up to leave work tonight, and now it won’t start. It was only from the height of my chair, and I did manage to slow its fall a little, but still it won’t power up.

Well, more accurately, when I first tried to start it up, I got a white screen with some ASCII text in the upper left corner saying something about firmware and asking me to type one of two commands (either resume startup or “shut-down”) at the prompt. I winced and typed “shut-down.” It did shut down, and when I tried to turn it on again after that, I heard the startup sound but got no response from the screen. I tried several times with the same results.

I have an extended warranty, but the hours shown on the Apple support documentation are 8AM to 8PM CST, so I have 9.5 hours left to freak out before I can call.

So I’m posting this entry from my Treo, and looking for sympathy, suggestions (man, if someone has an idea on something I can try that won’t void my warranty and WORKS that person will be my new best friend), uh, sympathy again… yeah, and suggestions. And sympathy.

But no fair telling me what an idiot I am for dropping it. I already know that.

Edited to add: It’s working again, hurrah! But thanks to everyone for the comments, both sympathetic and suggestive. Er. You know what I mean.

Freaking out!

15 thoughts on “Freaking out!

  • July 25, 2006 at 10:57 pm
    Permalink

    What kinda laptop? Mac or PC?

    Reply
  • July 25, 2006 at 11:05 pm
    Permalink

    Well, for starters, admitting that you dropped the machine will void the warranty. If you don’t say that it’s been dropped, they may suspect it, but they’ll at least try to fix it under warranty.

    The prompt is really weird. I’ve never seen that on a Mac. Weird.

    If you’re hearing the start-up sound, you may be able to boot the mac as an external hard drive on another machine. You may also be able to just use an external monitor. I’d try the first option to get all your data off. Do you have access to another Mac? I’ve had to do this several times when the video went each time I had a logic board failure.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2006 at 11:05 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t have a core or a peel of knowledge about the Apple world, but I do know about sympathy…you certainly have mine. I had an old Zen MP3 player that i loved..20gb, and i had tons of tunes on it, which of course I dropped on the way to work one day while i was trying to adjust the settings..i got the firmware message as well, but the firm truth was that i was once again zen-less.

    I’m sure you will fare better!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 12:10 am
    Permalink

    Oh no! That totally sucks, Kate. I hope you discover that it’s nothing serious.

    -J

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 12:24 am
    Permalink

    Gravity sucks. I will try to be mean to it for you.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 9:19 am
    Permalink

    Oh man, it’s almost as bad as dropping a baby on its head 🙁 Sounds like you might have knocked something loose in there. It’s hard to help diagnose remotely (as I am sure you’ll find out when you call tech support at Apple) but let me paste you this in case one of them helps you:

    Mac OS X Startup Keystrokes:

    * Start up in Open Firmware: Command-Option-O-F
    * Reset parameter RAM: Command-Option-P-R
    * Bypass startup volume: Command-Option-Shift-Delete
    * Open the Startup Manager: Option
    * Force Mac OS X startup: X or Command-X
    * Start up from an optical disc: C
    * Eject optical disc: mouse or trackpad button
    * Start up from a network server: N
    * Reset PowerBook screen: R
    * Start up in Target Disk mode: T
    * Start up in Safe mode: Shift
    * Start up in Verbose mode: Command-V
    * Start up in Single-User mode: Command-S

    Reset PowerBook Screen, Safe Mode and Single-User Mode are the ones I’d try first.

    Best of luck!

    J

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 12:44 pm
    Permalink

    oh pout, I’m so sorry.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:02 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, I’m totally saving this list. Thanks for the awesomely useful response!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:04 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you! This was a great suggestion. I have no idea if having the external monitor plugged in actually helped or if the laptop just needed time to heal itself or whatever, but it was a great idea either way. Gold star!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:05 pm
    Permalink

    Mac, and it’s all good now. Thanks for your reply.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:06 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, I did fare better! But I’m cringing at your story. Sorry you had to lose your zen.

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:07 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t know much I actually discovered about it, but I’m tickled pink that everything appears to be OK. Whew!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:08 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for the sympathy, but everything appears to be OK now. Whew!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2006 at 1:09 pm
    Permalink

    Maybe your gravity-bullying was what did the trick and made everything all better. Interesting possibility.

    Reply
  • Pingback:The Bee Hive » Blog Archive » It’s working! Hurrah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.