Mismatched Serial Number?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hotlips69, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. hotlips69 macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #1
    I've been given an old (circa 2008) but working MBP & I simply put in a new hard drive, increased the RAM & installed the latest OS that it would take (El Capitan 10.11.6) and I thought all was fine initially, until I realised that the Serial Number in the "About This Mac" is totally different from what is on the base of the laptop!

    Where would the operating system get this serial number from, as this is also strangely invalid when I try it at everymac.com, but the one on the laptop base is working & seems appropriate for this machine.

    It may or may not be relevant to this query, but it also won't let me login to iMessage or Facetime with my 100% working Apple ID.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    It sounds like the logicboard was replaced at one point and that the technician that did it did not put in the correct serial number on the new logicboard. You cannot change it once it is set.
     
  3. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

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    Nov 9, 2015
    #3
    Wouldn't the serial number be physically on the board and therefore the operating system should pick that up?
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    When a board is installed there is a tool that needs to be run to program the system serial number into the ROM chip. What probably happened was someone took a couple systems with different faults (maybe one with a bad screen and another with a bad logic board) and "Frankenstiened" them together to make a working system. At that point, I don't believe the serial number can be reprogrammed.
     
  5. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #5
    Thanks for the reply.
    Is there any way to manually change this within the OS by way of plist or similar, in the same way you can amend all the other details in the "About This Mac" section?
     
  6. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    Rockville, MD
    #6
    I suggest you take it to Apple store and see if they can fix the issue for you. I wouldn’t mess with it personally.
     
  7. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #7
    It's not worth my trouble to take it to a store as my finances are very tight.
    I'm a techie & would like to try & solve the issue myself if it's possible.

    I've just noticed that the serial number on the machine is actually 13 digits instead of the 11 or 12 it's supposed to be!

    Is it relevant that it won't let me login to iMessage or Facetime with my 100% working Apple ID ?
     
  8. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    Rockville, MD
    #8
    Since Apple tech made the mistake in the first place, I would think that Apple should not charge you to correct their own mistake.

    It’s worth asking. I’m sure they can look up the history on your MBP in their database. So I see no reason for them to charge you 5 goats and 2 chickens in the first place.

    Out of curiosity. Why do you want or need to correct the serial number?
     
  9. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #9
    As it won't let me successfully login to Facetime or iMessages due to an authentication error, I'm wondering if the invalid serial may be something to do with this?
     
  10. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    #10
    Right. You did say that, my apologies.

    Take it to Apple store and I see no reason for them to charge you money to resolve the issue.
    I suggest you call Apple directly and make an appointment before going to the store.
     
  11. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #11
    Yes, without a valid serial number, iMessage and FaceTime will not work. There’s no way to change the serial number of the board once it’s been encoded.
    Apple stopped supporting these computers several years ago, so there’s no point trying to take it to an Apple store as they will not help you.
     
  12. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

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    Nov 9, 2015
    #12
    I can successfully log into the App Store & iCloud though!
     
  13. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    #13
    I have hard time believing that Apple won’t fix their own mistake.
    I live by a simple moto; it never hurts to ask and if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

    @hotlips69
    Call Apple customer service and ask them what your options are to resolve the issue at hand.
     
  14. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #14
    Apple will not even look at the computer. The error could have been made by a 3rd party repair facility. Apple does not keep parts for these and it would be necessary to replace the main board to correct the serial number.
     
  15. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    #15
    I love a good challenge.
    Right now I’m going to call Apple support on behalf of my “my friend” with exact issue and see the response I get.
    Brb.
     
  16. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #16
    @KGB7, I'm with @chrfr in that this was likely not done by Apple but by someone recycling computers and trying to make one good one out of one or more busted one's.
     
  17. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    #17
    @hotlips69
    Pm me Your SN#. Apple SCR need a # to look up the history of your laptop.

    P.s.
    SN should be 12 digits according to Apple CSR I just spoke with.
     
  18. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #18
    The one on the bottom of the case is:
    W88071F7XAG
     
  19. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    #19
    And the sn reported by OS?
     
  20. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #20
    w87390qunysra

    which is too many characters to be genuine.
    I haven't tried removing each character one by one until I may get a valid number though!
     
  21. KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    Rockville, MD
    #21
    So good news bad news.

    Motherboard was installed by 3rd party. Apple has no record.

    Your issue not able to login in to iMessage, has nothing to do with SN# or motherboard SN#.

    El Capitan is no longer supported by Apple, thus the reason you are not able to login to FaceTime or iMessage.

    If you want to know how to continue to use FaceTime and iMessage, go to Apple store or contact Apple CSR directly.
     
  22. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #22
    Thank you for the info.
    It's the login bit that I need to get fixed, so you've given me some hope with that. :)

    I don't suppose you found out the accurate s/n for the motherboard?

    Did Apple tell you all of this or is this your opinion or what you've read online?
     
  23. KGB7, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    KGB7 Suspended

    KGB7

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    #23
    her
    It’s a short version of word for word I had a convo with Apple CSR.
    You are my old high school buddy for the past 22 years and you are computer illiterate, so I called on your behalf to help you.

    Apple has no record of motherboard. So they can’t help you with sn#.
    OS outdated version is the cause of your issues. Call them and see if they have a solution. But I was told there is no solution...aka outdated OS and no longer supported by Apple.
    It won’t hurt if you ask again for a solution.
     
  24. hotlips69 thread starter macrumors newbie

    hotlips69

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    #24
    I can successfully log into iTunes, iBooks, iCloud, App Store and everything else EXCEPT iMessages & Facetime.

    I wonder why just these 2 apps and not the rest?
     
  25. Richdmoore, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #25
    I remember reading about this years ago. No idea why they need it, but they do.

    http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20130527122605929

    It might be worth exploring what people with hackintoshes do to fool the system into getting messages & facetime to work, maybe you can adapt the same settings/changes to get your real mac operational.

    FYI: More discussion: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/53466/What+is+apple+serializer+software
     

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31 November 8, 2017