Broken MacBook worth $350?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bobbytomorow, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. bobbytomorow macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #1
    This is a private sale in my local area through a local classified.

    Ad goes like this:

    I contacted him via email and got him down to $350. He doesn't seem to have much technical knowledge but claims that it will boot into linux w/ a live cd(which kind of implies he has some technical know how).

    If its just the hard drive or optical drive I think $350 is worth it, but I fear that maybe it could be something else. I am pretty much a Mac noob although I am pretty savvy with PC's.

    Any advice on this?

    ~thanks
     
  2. highjumppudding macrumors 6502

    highjumppudding

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #2
    stay away. sounds like either a scam or a hassle that will cost you time and money. look for refurbs.
     
  3. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #3
    Yeah I am definitely a little leary, but if it only needs a new HD then a new one only costs $50. That would be like $400 for a nice MacBook.

    But like I said I am worried it may be something worse and maybe he isn't letting me know, because if it was that easy han I figure he would do the fix himself.
     
  4. yoppie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #4
    Being that this is in a local classified ad, ask him if it's OK to meet him at a public place to take a look at it.
     
  5. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #5
    Well I would definitely be trying it out first' I have my own Linux live CD so I am thinking if it will run ubuntu desktop off of the live CD for a good amount of time then it will be one of two things, either his OS X discs are bad or the Hard Drive is bad. If its his discs, then awesome if its the hard drive I can get a 160GB for $50 which I still would be making out Ok.

    hmmm decisions. I just hope its not something like the logic board.
     
  6. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #6
    It's a pretty low-end macbook.

    My guess is he had a liquid spill and is trying to cover it. Consider it a buy for parts only and if you can get it up, you've got a bargain.
     
  7. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #7
    Well I picked it up. I popped in a Linux Live CD but it will not install or boot into the live desktop. It just spits out a bunch of errors. Also the optical drive is finnicky, it is loud and sometimes will not spit out the CD. I am thinking that its a bum optical drive. Which still if I can replace it I will have a good deal. I managed to talk him down to $340 and he included a mini dvi dongle, and tv out dongle.

    He formatted the drive so it has no operating system at all on it.
     
  8. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #8
    Just an update, I took it completely apart and used some compressed air to clean out every nook and cranny and blew out the optical drive. I then put it back together and had more luck with the Ubuntu Live CD and have managed to install Ubuntu with complete success.

    My conclusion is that the optical drive is a little finicky so thats my next step, to locate a compatible drive I can slap in there and I'm good to go.


    Thank you for the help all :)
     
  9. TsuaSai macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    TX
    #9
    sounds like you did good. Congrats! Will you be keeping ubuntu on there or installing osx?
     
  10. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #10
    Thank you!

    I would really like to run OS X. I do not have it though so I put a wanted ad on craigslist for Leopard or Tiger, I did state that it must work with Intel Macbook. Hopefully I will get a good deal on that too because I am a cheapskate:D

    I actually think the optical drive is fine now, after I took it apart and blew it out with compressed air it has been working like a charm ever since. Ubuntu installed without a hitch and I just let a DVD movie playback and everything was fine. I suspect that there must have been something in the drive obstructing the laser or a mechanism or perhaps just some dust or hair. Either way I am a prett hapyy camper right now.
     
  11. Royale w/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #11
    You might want try and contact Apple support to see if you can buy restore disks for it. They were usually about $20 or so, but in my experiences, it is hit or miss. I once called for a 12" powerbook disk, they person told me they did not have them, but before we were done talking, the call dropped, I called back and the lady who I got next shipped me one. This has been about 2 years ago so I do not know if the policy has changed any, but it can be a cheap way to get some disks. I have also heard that an Apple store has reinstalled OSX for free for some people, but I have no idea if that would be true, but wouldn't hurt to ask them, but I definitely wouldn't count on that. But your best bet would be to get a Retail install of leopard, they come in handy.
     
  12. bobbytomorow thread starter macrumors 6502

    bobbytomorow

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #12
    Wow I just called Apple support this morning and I provided them with the serial number and previous owners name and they then registered the Macbook under my name and are shipping me the Tiger Install discs (2) for free! I can't believe how nice they were and how smooth that went, that was literally the best experience I have had with customer support.

    Now I know why people love Mac :D
     
  13. Royale w/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #13
    Glad I could help, You should be held fine over until we work the kinks out with today's updated machines:) You may want to see if you can find a leopard upgrade on eBay though, it is quite a bit better in my opinion, especially for new users, only one, albeit fairly small, learning curve.
     

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