Firmware locked MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by terry.jackson, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. terry.jackson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #1
    I recently bought a 2015 MacBook 12 inch off eBay. Turned out to be firmware locked. I got my refund from PayPal after the seller disappeared. Now I have the MacBook and nothing to do with it. Dose anyone know of a good way to recycle the machine or break it down and try to sell the few parts ? I'm lost about what to do with it. I all ready called Apple to try and track down the owner of it was lost and they could not or would not help in any way.
     
  2. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #2
    What's firmware locked mean? Never heard of that. How much did you pay for this brick?
     
  3. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #3
    It's a passcode that stops the machine from booting into any drive. I paid $850 for it but got all my money back from PayPal, now need something to do with this locked machine.
     
  4. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #4
    Get an approved repairer as you have proof of purchase to install a new logic board and you should still be on the right side of savings
     
  5. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #5

    Can you explain this more ? Do you mean to purchase a new logic board and install it and the machine should work normally again ?
     
  6. iscajal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #6
    Might well be stolen, if the seller disappeared and didn't dispute the paypal complaint.
     
  7. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #7
    That's what I thought too at first, so I called apple to give them the serial number and if they would track the owner down to let them now someone had their laptop. But they refused to do that or look up the owner.
     
  8. iscajal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #8
    Well, that's odd. What about the police? I know *I*'d be very sad if my MB12 were taken.
     
  9. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #9
    Possibly the only problem is I don't know where it could have been stolen from. I live in Chicago, needless to say our police here have their hands full. If I turn it in here I'm afraid is just going to sit in a room and never go anywhere.
     
  10. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    I would put it aside and set up a good search on ebay to email me anytime a "for parts" or broken macbook, or macbook logic board shows up for sale. I bet with patience, you can get a new logic board for it for a few hundred dollars.
     
  11. iscajal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #11
    Yeah, alright, I get that. Not meaning to pressure you into giving it up or anything. Here in Germany you wouldn't have to let it sit in a box, you'd just give the police notice that you had it and if anyone with the right credentials (sn#) would show up they'd contact you.
     
  12. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #12
    Yes, basically there's a chip on the board that's blocking you supposedly on older Macbooks there was a way to re flash this chip but not on current models, so throwaway the board less parts that can be re-used and install a whole new board

    I do not think this is really a DIY operation and you may be questioned on the validity of ownership I suggest you look at the tear down done by Ifixit to get some idea on complexity and what parts can be saved for reuse, but not much as most is pre soldered on the LB/MB
     
  13. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #13
    Thanks that cleared things up for me. Would a new logic board have the OS on it? I would guess it doesn't, so without a back up or anything from the machine how Would I install the OS ?
     
  14. SteveJUAE, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #14
    Why would they, they get to sell more new laptops and the legality of proving ownership etc etc becomes far too complicated further more we are only guessing (probably correctly) that the original seller did not obtain the device legitimately.

    If you bought the device in good faith then you should be ok if I remember UK/European law correctly. We have nothing to confirm 100% otherwise it was a stolen device it's pure supposition
     
  15. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #15
    I suspect the repair centre would re-install OSX or it's pre-installed on the SDD chips how else would they be able to test etc for you.

    else

    Just buy it from the Apple store and install all the free updates etc if you already do not own any previous apple products.
     
  16. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #16
    Just beware that many/most circuit boards on eBay are from locked devices. For someone holding a 2015 circuit board and wanting to sell it has to have an interesting story, but it is worth a try.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I'm not so sure an "approved" repair agent will unlock it. Basically, there's no proof that its not stolen. Apple will unlock a laptop if you show that you are the owner. I don't think showing an ebay receipt is sufficient because it could very well be stolen.
     
  18. SteveJUAE, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #18
    I agree sufficient proof of purchase is required but why an ebay receipt is not valid over any other is a bit debatable :) after all it's not a warranty claim.

    OP should not be asking for unlock but replacement of a part, the story he/she wishes to tell is entirely at his/her discretion
     
  19. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    Sounds like you bought a stolen computer.

    Lucky enough to get your money back.

    You could wait until a logic board becomes available, then try to swap it out.

    'Til then, just put it into the closet and forget about it, with a smile that you didn't lose any $$$.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    That's my point, there's nothing the OP can provide that will ensure that the computer he purchased wasn't stolen and infact the seller's behavior more or less confirms that something isn't right with the sale, i.e., he disappeared.

    The OP really has no options other then parting it out, which there's not much to part out, or just accept the fact he was scammed :(
     
  21. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #21
    I agree its the most likely but we have no proof to the contra just the original seller could not be contacted :)

    If we were to give the benefit of doubt to the original seller on Ebay lets say hypothetically :

    He bought a rMB for $1000 and his son or daughter played around and locked it then could not remember the code. The only recourse is to go to Apple and get a replacement LB for $650 (a guess) so now he's out for $1650 or alternatively he did not really like the rMB so sell it on ebay for $850 and only be out for $150 and get something else

    This is not very nice but could equally plausible to it's simply stolen.

    I should note that I understand the new chips cannot be flashed they have to be removed and re-soldered to the board requiring special equipment therefore I'm guessing that this is not available under warranty and probably not offered, Apple will want to simply replace the whole board.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    The issue is you cannot give the benefit of the doubt in this day and age. Plus you have to question the morality of the father in your example. He knowingly sold a computer no one could access. Again that calls into question this being anything but an innocent mistake.

    Either way the OP got his money back from paypal and there's really not much else that can be done.
     
  23. terry.jackson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    #23
    thanks for all the help, this forum is great!!! Sounds like my best bet is just to hang on to it till I can find a replacement logic board. I called around to a few stores and repair centers and no one would sell me the part. I looked into in and I don't believe replacing the board is that hard to do with the right tools so I would like to do it my self. Not a lot on eBay right now, but could anyone suggest a place I might be able to buy a good replacement board from ?
     
  24. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #24
    I'm not disagreeing with you at all, it's all a bit fishy to say the least.

    However

    Apple would almost have to accuse someone of being dishonest with out proof if they did not believe the Ebay receipt was proof of current ownership. If it's not a warranty claim which would require original purchase receipt I would be surprised if they refused to sell a replacement part, as there are very easy ways around this.

    From my own personal experience recently on an old MBA with a fried graphics chip I was never questioned ownership, just quoted replacement cost for a whole new board

    Similarly I purchase a card from Ebay to enable my IMac to act as a display but unfortunately the model I had removed this function. I tried to return the product without any luck as the Company (seller) ignored all emails for a return ticket, I was eventually compensated by my credit card company. This was just bad customer service opposed to some dishonest activity IMO.

    The consequence of not honouring the Ebay receipt for anything you buy second-hand on Ebay as it may not belong to you as if you could not contact the seller, would be far reaching IMO.
     
  25. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    I think your best bet is to be on the lookout for other 2015 Retina Macbooks on ebay with broken screens or something. Set up an ebay saved search with good criteria to email you every week or so. If you go searching for a replacement board now, you will end up paying an arm and a leg. Be patient and let the sellers come to you.
     

Share This Page