Just bought used MBA - Question about Wiping & Setup

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Wangta, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Wangta macrumors member


    Mar 19, 2012
    I just bought a used MBA from Ebay. I got the unit and everything seems to be in order, however, I'm skeptical this has been wiped and restored to factory (the seller said he did).

    First off, upon power up there is already an administrator account (the seller gave me the password). If he simply setup the account, then I'm fine with that - but i'm in Users & Groups and Advanced Options and looking to change the Account Name, Full name, (Both right now are "mac") etc - and I'm nervous about doing so as the warning says "Changing these settings might damage this account, etc".

    Plus, there are a bunch of fields that I'm not sure are important or should be changed? Login Shell "/bin/bash". Group = staff. HOme directory: /Users/Mac. And some log code for UUID (do I do set new?)

    I didn't get any CD's or anything with the computer - curious if I'm fine with it as is, or if I should restore to factory settings? The only thing I've done is reset the admin password.
  2. The Clark macrumors regular

    The Clark

    Dec 11, 2013
    Victoria, BC
    I would just wipe it clean and reinstall everything. I'm not sure how it will work on your model but on mine I just had to shut my computer down, turn it back on whilst holding the "command" + "r" key on boot and then wiping my OS and reinstalling it from the recovery menu.
  3. alvindarkness macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2009
    Using the recovery partition would be the quickest and easiest method. If for some paranoid reason you think the recovery partition was altered, you could go a bit paranoid and use internet recovery (command+option+R) and/or make a recovery usb stick (from the latest OSX installer downloaded from the app store). You'll find information for both of those options via tutorials all over the net. Ultimately if you wanted to go the whole hog, you can remove everything on there including the recovery partition, and start from scratch recreating it all.
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    This isn't being paranoid, it's the proper and smart thing to do when buying a used computer. There's no easy way of knowing if there's anything amiss with a preinstalled operating system.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Based on your description he did wipe it, and set up the machine with a new account (For no apparent reason). I don't see why you have anything to be scared about, but just to be on the safe side, and especially because I don't recommend renaming users, I would reinstall the system. Just reboot and hold down Command + R.
  6. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    The first thing I do is check the Serial Number to see if the computer is stolen.
    On used Macs (usually bought from a guy we know that cleans out storage places), I pull out the hard drive and put a new one in, and install the O/S. If you can find a copy of Snow Leopard, that will get you to Yosemite. (Snow Leopard -> get app store, then Yosemite) If not, then, if you have a Mac, make a bootable USB/HD/DVD.
    Then, I either securely wipe the old HD, or throw it away.

    The crap that people leave on their hard drives is at best, interesting, and at worst, downright disgusting. In looking at 2 or 3 HD, I've seen enough stuff I can't un-see that the new HD solution is the best.
  7. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
    Just create a new admin account with the name and password you want. Log out and then back in to your new admin account. Then delete the other account. Or reinstall.
  8. ocabj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2009
    I would wipe the entire drive and reinstall. Installing OS X from scratch doesn't take long, especially on a newer laptop with SSD. Why chance the possibility of malware, spyware, etc, either intentionally or accidentally installed?

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