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Introduction to Mac Repair 2 - Using Technical Specifications to Advantage

Read previous part: Introduction to Mac Repair - Tips for Troubleshooting and Fixing Macs

Eli now covers the ways for learning technical specifications of one’s Mac computer and also focuses on how these details can be helpful for a technician.

Now, we go around and we learn the RAM, the processor and the graphics. The important thing is that it gives us here a serial number. The serial number we can get in a minute, but that is the most important thing for repair technician from this screen (Screenshot 5).

Serial number and hardware/software configuration details
Screenshot 5. Serial number and hardware/software configuration details

Now (we will come back to that serial number), we can also go over to the Storage tab, and this will show us hard drive space for this particular Mac. So, we can see that in total it is 121 GB of flash storage, so that’s basically SSD hard drive here. And we see there is a Boot Camp setup on this. That means there is dual boot, either Mac OS or Windows OS. So, there is a dual boot setup and we can see how much space is used.

Storage capacity
Screenshot 6. Storage capacity

For the Macintosh side of hard drive, we can see it has 26 GB free out of 60 Gb total.

Now we are going back to the overview (Screenshot 5) and we are going to go and grab serial number. So, that is a serial number specific to any Mac computer and it allows us to get very valuable information.

With that serial number, we can open up Safari or any web browser.

Looking up technical specifications
Screenshot 7. Looking up technical specifications

And the first thing that we can do, again, to make sure that we know what we are dealing with, is we can go to this website,, and here we can find a specification for our Mac. So I plug in a serial number into its search, and it brings back what Mac I have (Screenshot 7).

So here I can click on this Mac (specified as in Screenshot 7), so I know what this Mac was like when it left the factory (Screenshot 8).

A complete listing of tech specs
Screenshot 8. A complete listing of tech specs

11 or 13 inch, mid 2011, and it gives technical specification for it: you know, storage, all that kind of stuff. That is going to be very important as we get down to repairing our Mac.

Now, another thing to look at before opening up this computer, before we use a screw is that Apple for the Macs has a plan called Apple Care. That is an extended warranty plan. So, basically, if Mac is covered with Apple Care, Apple will fix hardware free of charge. Apple hardware is exceptionally expensive, so if a client can get a fix free of charge, that is just better for everybody.

The thing is, if you open your Mac, modify it in any way, Apple care goes away, you void your warranty. You never ever want to open a Mac if it is still under Apple Care.

So, what you can do is you can go to (Screenshot 9).

Checking warranty info by serial number
Screenshot 9. Checking warranty info by serial number

You can put in serial number in its relevant field. From here, you can click Continue button and that will tell you if your Mac or this particular Mac is still under cover. So, basically, in this example case on Screenshot 10 it says that this was validly purchased, but my telephone support and my repair and service covers have expired as I only bought a one-year warranty for this, there is no additional warranty. This particular Mac is out of Apple Care Warranty Program.

Every time you touch a Mac, unless you know it is over three years old, you need to check this. If you open this thing up and it still under Apple Care, you have screwed your client very badly.

Service and support coverage displayed
Screenshot 10. Service and support coverage displayed

Do not do it, always make sure it is out of Apple Care. Now, if we have problems with this computer, and we need to fix it, again, instead of redoing the wheel, the suggestion is that you find appropriate guidance on the web according to the model name of your Mac.

Fixing Mac Hardware with Internet guidance
Screenshot 11. Fixing Mac Hardware with Internet guidance

As stated above, with Mac computers almost all the problems are about the hardware. Internet based manual in this example gives you a step-by-step guide on how to fix that hardware.

So there is already instruction for this particular MacBook Air under review. We can find it here (Screenshot 11): MacBook Air 11’’ Mid 2011. That is why it is important that we have pulled out the specification as seen on Screenshot 8, because it tells us our Mac is Mid 2011.

With Mac, they do a lot of weird things, and just like in case of any other vendor, although two Macs look identical from the outside, they may be slightly different in their inside parts. So, always make sure you pull up the instructions for the right Mac.

From here (the page on screenshot 11) you may select what problem you are having. Say, Bluetooth card is having a problem. All you do is you click on that, and now it gives you an instruction as shown on Screenshot 12.

Fixing Mac Hardware with Internet guidance - replacing Bluetooth
Screenshot 12. Fixing Mac Hardware with Internet guidance - replacing Bluetooth

Below on this page you will find easy but tedious, real step-by-step instruction, so pull up a screw, pull those things off etc. and, of course, they will try to sell you a professional toolkit.

So, these give you all the instructions of what you need to do to fix the Mac.

This is the basic information. Basically, you learn details on this Mac, and from there you can find all the other stuff.

Read next part: Introduction to Mac Repair 3 - Advanced Maintenance Options