Three Things That Happen When You Swap Out A Motherboard On A 17″ MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro (15.4" widescreen) was Ap...


So last week, I was a victim of the nVidia GPU problem on MacBook Pro computers.  I have to applaud Apple and nVidia for making this repair costless to me, except of course for the irritating hassle of trudging to the Apple store, waiting for the out-of-stock part, waiting for repair, etc.  But Apple is two for two this year on free repair (not under AppleCare) for defects.  In January, before the GPU problem, poor little Haizman (pictured, right) suffered from the warping battery cover syndrome, which Apple replaced free as well.

Anyway, the defective GPU is hard-soldered to the motherboard, which means the whole mobo needs to get swapped out.  This blog post is to document what happens when you swap out the mobo on a MacBook Pro, but leave the internal HD intact.  Of course, everybody says “nothing” happens, but only for certain values of “nothing” is that true.

New 17″ MacBook Pro Motherboard: The Consequences

1) New mobo means new mobo serial number, which means that aggressive copy-protection is triggered for those applications that have it.  On my machine, that meant Ableton Live, which forced me to dig up my key and reenter.  No sweat.

2) Screensaver resets to default.  Shrug.  Whatever.

3) Most bothersome: Time Machine gets stupid.    I attached my external 1TB drive and waited for TM to do that voodoo that it do.  Instead, it looked at me like a confused terrier, unable to pick up the many-months-long incremental backup I have been working with.  No perms problem, no problem at all, just TM losing the hardlink to the folder.  Bummer.  Did some web research, pestered my brothers on irc.freenode.net’s #mac channel and came to the conclusion that starting fresh with a new TM backup was the way to go.  And go. And go.  It’s been 14 hours and we’re at the 78 GB mark of a 135 GB backup.  Sigh.

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