This is how we spent our weekend.
I got a new Macbook for Christmas which means we have to sell the old one to pay for it. We've been petty strict Mac geeks for years now. (I know - Obama voting, NPR listening, mac loving, artsy fartsy, coffee snobs... we're such a cliche we disgust ourselves...)
But before we could sell the old one we had to fix whatever had was making the disk drive make crazy monster noises and violently spit out everything you tried to feed it. Mac support in Brazil is few and far between and likely to cost an arm and a leg (Macs are considered luxury computers here.) Luckily I found a amazing site that gives really clear step by step instruction on how to fix your Mac yourself.
Little did we realize that in order to get at the disk drive, we had to literally take apart the ENTIRE computer. The Powerbooks are rigged so that every single last part, widget, screw, doodad - from the airport card through the logic board - has to come out before you can get to the disk drive.
There were no fewer than 78 pages in the instructions and 66 screws, each with a slightly different shape and function. I made copious notes and scribbles labeling everything and separating all the parts into little dishes and vitamin sorters. Some of my notes read like this: "remember that the bigger black twisty wire has to go on the left of the smaller squiggly thing with the sliver claw like bits pointing inwards."
About half way through the disassembly, the instructions on the site said "take a deep breath, this next step is scary" and we both started to have a melt down.
But in the end it was so worth it. The problem was caused by two tiny screws had come loose and one of them had been eaten by the disk drive. We got it out, (don't you just love my liberal use of "we" throughout this post...) screwed them back into place and - hours later - managed to get the whole thing put back together without a single left over screw. And what's more amazing... it turned on!!! And the disk drive worked!!!
If we had sent it into Apple they probably would have charged us $200 bucks in labor and another $200 for a new and unnecessary disk drive. Whew!
(While I get an A+ for organization, extra special kudos go to C for doing all the delicate handiwork. Although he deals with all these technical kinds of things every day at the recording studio, I could tell that there were a few moments he was sure we were in over our heads - the crazed look on his face was the give a way, the one where he frowns and purses his lips in zoombie concentration ...)