Diagnostics

Policy  

Diagnostic tests are performed on all machines that are taken in for repair. There are four possible diagnostic procedures that must be used depending on the manufacturing year and/or issue with the machine. 

  1. Any Mac made prior to 2006 (non Intel):
    —Run FSCK using single user mode
     
  2. Any Mac made 2006 - 2008:
    —Run MRI using AST and run FSCK using single user mode
     
  3. Any Mac made 2009 - mid 2014:
    —Run MRI and SD using AST
     
  4. Any Mac made since mid 2014:
    —Run MRI and SD using AST2 through GSX*

    *AST 2 supports iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014), MacBook Pro (Mid 2014), all Late 2014 Mac Computers, and any subsequently released Mac Computers.

Procedure

Explain to the customer that you must run some preliminary tests.

Explain to the customer that you are running mandatory, preliminary tests that can help diagnose the issue they are having and that it will only take a few minutes to complete. Also explain to the customer that the tests are not definitive, but may give us some information regarding the source of the problem.

LIQUID DAMAGE: Assess whether there has been liquid damage, especially machines that are brought in because they won’t power on.

  1. IMPORTANT: If there is any sign of liquid do not run any diagnostics and do not power on the machine. Powering on a machine that has been exposed to liquid could cause further damage and potential electric shock. Machines with liquid on them must be taken immediately to the tech department to have the battery removed as time is of the essence. 
  2. Kindly ask the customer if there is any possible liquid damage to the machine and examine the machine for signs of liquid damage. Be sensitive to the customer and do not blame or accuse them of spilling liquid on their machine. 
  3. If a customer brings in a machine that does not power on and they do not mention any liquid spills, kindly ask them if there is any potential that the computer was around even a little liquid. For example, "Was the computer next to an open window during a rainstorm?" Sometimes customers do not mention liquid exposure because it may have only been exposed to “a little bit.” Politely explain that computers are especially vulnerable to liquid and so even just a little bit of liquid can cause damage.
  4. If there is any known liquid damage to the computer, bring it back to the tech department, explain the liquid issue to the tech on duty and ask them to remove the battery.

Ask customer if they have a backup.

  • If the test results indicate the date of the last Time Machine backup, record this in the “Problem Description” field, in the "Backup Status" Line.
  • Always ask the customer how they are backing their machine up in case they are not using Time Machine, they may be using a cloud-based service instead.
  • Confirming that data is safe is extremely important and must be made very clear to the customer.
  • If they have no backup and this is an upgrade or a problem with a hard drive, this is a good opportunity to discuss backup strategies.
  • Explain to the customer that we can run the backup before we do the upgrade or once we recover the hard drive we can setup a backup so they will never again have this awful feeling that they have lost everything.  

Determine which tests to run depending on the manufacturing year and issue with the machine. See procedures for specific instructions for each year.

  1. Any Mac made prior to 2006 (non Intel):
    —Run FSCK using single user mode

    There are no Apple Diagnostics that can be run at the GeekBar for these computers. Instead you will run a File System Check (fsck –yf) to help determine hard drive status or condition.
    Go to instructions
     
  2. Any Mac made 2006 - 2008:
    —Run MRI using AST
    —Run FSCK using single user mode
    Go to instructions

     
  3. Any Mac made 2009 - mid 2014:
    —Run MRI and SD using AST

    AST is a simple, quick program used for diagnosing Computers that can be used by any employee. AST can run many tests, but for the Front of the House purposes we run two tests: Mac Resource Inspector (MRI) and Storage Diagnostic (SD). To run AST, the Computer must be an Intel Mac, must be able to power on, and must be able to connect via ethernet. 
    Go to instructions
     
  4. Any Mac made since mid 2014:
    —Run MRI and SD using AST2 through GSX

    Apple Service Toolkit 2 (AST 2) is a cloud-based diagnostic system to help technicians triage and verify repairs for Mac Computers. AST 2 supports Mac computers starting with the Mid 2014 models up to the most current models (Late 2016 as of 02/28/17). 
    Go to instructions

False-flags

There are certain events that can trigger AST into producing false-flags that may appear to be failure of certain components. The most common examples of these false-flags are as follows:

  1. If the wrong power adapter is connected, a warning will appear on the power adapter test that the wrong adapter was used. Find the correct adapter and run the test again. (see support.apple.com/en-us/HT201700)
     
  2. When running MRI on an old Computer with a non-Apple drive you may receive a “hard drive failed” result. Ask the customer if they have had the hard drive replaced and refer to any previous SROs to determine if the drive was replace by us. This warning does not necessarily indicate an issue with the drive – it merely does not recognize the new technology.
     
  3. In 2011-2012 MacBook Pros you may receive a “VST warning,” which refers to an issue with the video cards in some of these computers. This is an issue with the soldering of the video card and the logic board must be replaced. Please refer to Apple’s replacement program (ended 12/2016 or four years from date of purchase, whichever is longer: www.apple.com/support/macbookpro-videoissues/)

Consult a technician if there are any uncertain results of the tests.

Document all results of all tests in SRO.

Critical: All test results must be documented in the “Problem Description” field of the SRO (see “Setting up an SRO” policy and procedure for more information). Pre-set fields have been created to prompt you to enter the required information.