iPads in use – repair process

Again from Fraser Speirs, some experience of running (and repairing) iPads in the wild. He’s got 115 of them (I think) in a school, which I suspect is as challenging an environment as a Laboratory. This is another small-but-important point – fixing the things:

We have had a couple of defective iPads. One device’s LCD developed rainbow stripes, the other developed a dead strip across the screen that wouldn’t respond to touch.

In both cases, the recovery procedure was:

  • Sync the broken device
  • Unwrap a spare
  • Restore the spare from the last backup

The procedure takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and the pupil is back up and running quickly. If you’re going to do an iPad deployment, I’m starting to think it’s essential that you have hot spares on site. The iPad is now so embedded in everything we do that to be without it for a single day – far less two or three – is unacceptable.

Both devices were replaced after a 10 minute visit to the Genius Bar. Try that with your £200 netbook.

A 30-minute restore time from bare metal is quite outstanding. And given they are consumer-grade devices, I can see this being done without IT involvement – just go and get a new one from the Stationery cupboard and send your dead one back to IT in an inter-office envelope!