Thursday, February 10, 2011

Laptops Laptops Laptops

My ThinkPad X301 decided to enter failure mode while I was at FUDCon Tempe. I travelled with two laptops, so I was still able to get online, but the ThinkPad is my primary development system. The other laptop was really just for email, IRC, and web browsing.

I waited until I was back in Honolulu to get the X301 serviced. That ended up becoming 2 weeks of phone tag between me, Lenovo, and IBM. As well as some other interested/concerned parties wanting to learn more about why my laptop was still not working. As of today, the system board, wireless card, battery, and fan have all been replaced. The SSD is on order and will be here at the end of the month.

Based on the condition of the X301, my employer overnaught me a T60 so I could get my development environment back up and running. The T60 arrived on Tuesday and it took me a day to get it reinstalled and data restored (in between working on things via my netbook).

Lastly, before all of this started, I decided to order myself a new personal system. I bought a ThinkPad X201 and it arrived today. So I now have three ThinkPads in my office, two of which are usable.

I am really tired of FedEx coming by to drop off or take laptop parts, IBM coming by, and Lenovo calling me. I appreciate the concern, but really I would have just preferred the depot warranty service rather than the onsite service. It has been a colassal waste of my time.

While the situation has been irritating, I suffered no data loss from the incident. And getting new systems back to the same state as the X301 has been easy. I keep a collection of kickstart files for all of my systems that do an install the way I prefer (partitioning, package set, system systems, etc) and then run a number of postinstall scripts to configure things necessary for work and my own use. I back up my data each night to tape, so restoring /home was a matter of plugging in the tape drive and using tar.

I'll probably post more information about the X301 repair story later.

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