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MacBook Car-nage: Surviving a drive-over

Yesterday, I had a distraught customer come into the store and lay the remains of a black MacBook (13-inch Early 2008) on the front counter. My immediate thought was that the machine had been trashed and was just at the shop to be recycled.

I asked the customer what happened and he explained that it had been run over by a car. At this point I thought to myself, "Yikes, there's gotta be a story behind this one." As it turns out, it was just an unfortunate accident of forgetfulness. He just returned home from a road trip and set the machine down to bring in a load from the car. After being inside for a bit, he came out and decided to check his mailbox, which was just down the road. He stepped into the car, backed up and... CAR-NAGE!

What's most amazing here isn't the accident, but what he discovered when he tried to power up the MacBook. Even after having a car completely crush it, it still worked. When the customer told me this, I couldn't believe it. I opened the display -- which you can see is absolutely smashed in the picture -- and pressed the power button. To my excited surprise, the machine turned on and booted into Leopard.

After running a full suite of diagnostics on the machine, I found it needed a display assembly, optical drive, and optical drive bezel (the part of the inner frame that the discs go through). All of that was cheaper than getting a new machine, so I went to work. It took me a couple hours and some frame bending here and there, but after all was said and done, I gave the customer back a machine that would pass any warranty inspection at the Genius Bar. See the gallery for more pictures!

Disclaimer: The Unofficial Apple Weblog cannot and will not be held responsible for any damage done to your computer by cars. Just because we think it's cool that it may survive doesn't mean you should go out and crush your MacBook.

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