Hipsters’ emblematic item, a MacBook is more accessible than one might think. A fresh Mac release or Apple’s main event can be a signal to start hunting for a second-hand purchase. This is when some previous models become more available.
You can read our previous post about the advantages of buying a MacBook instead of a Windows PC.
The key elements here are who to buy from and how to check properly. Take into account the following details:
What Should We Consider When Buying A Second Hand MacBook Pro?
“Value for money” – this should be your main goal when buying for a second hand MacBook. Sure, there are so many stores out there offering refurbished Apple MacBook. And some of them will even give you huge discounts. But, are you sure you are getting your money’s worth?
This Is My Used MacBook Pro – Photo Concept by: Jason Miraples, Corporate Photographer
1. The Seller
Reputed vendors, with their warranty for refurbished stuff, are a safer option than some Craigslist catch. Make sure you will be able to return the Mac if its performance quality disappoints you.
A temptingly low price is a 9/10 mark of a scam. Insist on a clear buying/selling chain up to the original dealer.
A trustworthy seller has no problems with questions on the origins of the device, reasons for selling it, and such.
Take reasonable safety measures when meeting a seller. Do not hesitate to leave in controversial cases. Your “gut feeling” may be your best adviser.
2. Pre-purchase diagnostics of Mac’s software and hardware
You should pack stuff like:
- an external USB/hard drive with preinstalled MacOS;
- a drive management tool;
- external mic and headphones;
- a CD and a DVD (in case of an old-school optical drive Mac).
The device in question should be supplied by original recovery DVDs. They are stuffed with the OS version and hardware test. Also, look here for some handy file recovery tools.
The examination starts with Mac’s body. Pay attention to details like loose screw heads, warped case, deep dents, display lid closing unevenly. Mind the display hinges and overall adjustment of elements. Visual damage may serve you right for a discount.
Apple offers assistance in distinguishing the models:
3. Check The Authenticity Of The MacBook You’re Buying
For further specification of Mac’s age and authenticity, check its serial number on the bottom. It should coincide with that in the software. This number helps track the necessary info. A not-so-old Mac might still enjoy Apple care or warranty. Check it at Apple’s Check Coverage’ website. The serial number also shows up through the “About This Mac” option when the device is on.
4. Booting Up MacBook For Testing
Before it gets on, we should boot it, right? What if it does not go all the way to the OS X desktop pic? This is where your bootable external hard drive comes into action. Use preloaded OS X via the Option/Alt key.
5. Password Protected MacBook
Time to get rid of the possible firmware password protection. A locked Mac is not an option, whatever seller’s arguments are.This may mean messing with a stolen device besides limitations in command.
Invoke the password by the Option/Alt key while restarting the system, right after the startup chime, and ask the seller to call the password off. Make sure he/she also disables the myMac feature and deactivates his/her iCloud account.
6. And Here’s More Steps
Next steps on your way to not-so-new MacBook include:
- The display condition check. A couple of “stuck pixels” is no big trouble, while a group of them put the display quality under doubt;
- Keyboard test (Keyboard Viewer and Text Edit app come in handy);
- Optical drive test (remember, you grabbed a pair of those disks?);
- Checking the audio, USB, and Firewire ports with your mic, headphones and external hard drive;
- Trackpad check (explore every corner and edge of glass multi-touch trackpads);
- iSight camera diagnostics (Photo Booth prog or Facetime application);
- System settings test (may take checking both graphics processors);
- Hard drive issues scanning (see S.M.A.R.T. status in Disk Utility; hold from purchasing the model with Failing status);
- Battery check (System Information>Power section + Apple battery cycle counts link+ running the model unplugged);
- RAM examination (decent performance requires at least 8GB);
- Running Bluetooth and WiFi.
7. Do An Extended Testing
As a final chord, conduct the Extended Testing option of the Apple Hardware Test. Its meaning is to reveal the possible hidden hardware failures. Beforehand, remove external devices and plug the Mac to AC power.
Final Words – You’re Lucky!
Suppose after all these stages, you are a lucky Mac owner. Last but not least, take care of its total cleaning and factory reset. Reinstall the OS with an upgrade to the desired version of OS X or macOS.
You should also consider creating a backup of your MacBook OS into an external hard drive. It may come in handy someday.
And it might interest you also this topic we’ve written before on how you can access your Mac from an iPhone. You should be able to do things remotely even you’re far away from your machine.
Now it’s finally your Mac, your setup, your rules.