Need advice on a stolen (now recovered) MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hushmartin, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. hushmartin macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Like I said in the subject line, my low-end 2011 13" MBP was stolen on the 21st. It was recovered yesterday. We have very good reason to believe that it was sitting abandoned, out in the open for 6 days. I had activated the remote lock and wipe and they probably became frustrated that they couldn't get it to work.

    Anyway, at least one of those days it was drizzling/sleeting out. It probably got thrown from a car window or something. I have NO idea what the condition is yet. The cops can't tell me anything yet because their computers have been down. Also, a hard drive-- probably my time capsule-- was apparently with it.

    I guess what I'm asking is, What is the likely condition of these things? Are they delicate enough for that level of moisture to cause damage? Are there moisture sensors in the MBP? Is it possible that components could fail later on due to all this? I'm worried about taking home my recovered stuff only for it to fail next week due to something that happened when they weren't even in my possession. If there is only minor or cosmetic damage, what's the likelihood of it being "totaled"? I haven't any idea what the repair costs are on Apple stuff, as I have yet to ever need a repair.

    Does anyone have any relevant experiences to share??
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    If it was thrown from a window and rained on? Totaled.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Expensive if you have Apple do it. The quote will be free, at least.
     
  3. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Switzerland
    #3
    It could be fine, it could be damaged beyond repair... how should anyone know?

    If the lid gets a bit of water, it can survive without damage. However if anything got inside the machine, or if it was lying in a puddle, things will be ugly.

    Whatever the condition is, it might be worth bringing it to an Apple store and explaining the whole situation. They might offer you a discounted flat rate repair or something. I don't claim that they will do it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

    The bare repair costs, if more than one part is damaged, will easily be above the price for a new machine.
     
  4. nippyjun macrumors 65816

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  5. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

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    #5
    Since he said he activated remote lock and wipe, he used Find My Mac via iCloud, which uses geolocation via your WiFi network to see the current location of the device. Basically, it's Find My iPhone, but for your Mac.

    BTW: Congrats on getting your MBP recovered! I hope you can get it working again! :)
     
  6. hushmartin, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

    hushmartin thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    We have insurance, so for my peace of mind I'd rather it be totaled. I can't worry about this when I'm writing papers for school. I would like my data back that was on my time capsule, but other than that Id hate to get stuff back only to have problems later.

    Long story warning: I discovered our house was robbed, police were called of course. After they left I remembered I had a find my Mac on there so I remote wiped and locked and all that. I didn't really know what I should do and I was being flakey and I could have done things better, I'm sure... But I sent a message to it saying to return to police. Then I discovered the "play a sound" option and decided to annoy the ever loving hell out of the theives. Every time they tried to use it, it played a sound and it had locked, so they were sol. It stopped popping up on the map on the 22nd, the day after the robbery. We had been notifying the cops every time it checked in, with zero results. I'm guessing that they assumed it was a lost cause and ditched it, probably along with the time capsule since it was password protected. The last check in it made was the 22nd and very near where it was found. It was nasty weather all day and part of the next.
     
  7. ShoG macrumors member

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    Dec 6, 2011
    #7
    So does find my Mac work without the power on? Or was the power on for it to use the gps? If the latter then you know its in some sort of working condition.
     
  8. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

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    #8
    Find My Mac works by doing some sort of geo-triangulation of the WiFi Network's Base Station, and estimating how far away the Mac is away from the WiFi base station, and giving a (99.9% accurate) estimation of the Mac's location. The Mac has to be turned on, and connected to WiFi for Find My Mac to work.
     
  9. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #9
    I've got a soaked early 13 inch unibody working by totally stripping it down and leaving it in warm dry place (a central heating airing cupboard) for 48 hours. My customer was lucky, most are totally bricked and you will have to pay for an out of warranty replacement and applecare.

    I'd do the same to the time capsule - the hard drives in that and the Mac may be recoverable data wise as long as you don't switch it on before drying it out and they haven't been broken by impact damage.
     
  10. praetorx macrumors regular

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    Apr 7, 2010
    #10
    Plan on investing in a home surveillance system. It can be anything from a dedicated appliance box to a webcam connected to a computer and surveillance software.

    I've not been robbed and hope not to get but I've noticed someone entered my apartment without my permission. I saw footprints on the carpet near the entrance but nothing was missing and the door was locked. I suspect it was someone from maintenance but they didn't admit so the next time they'll try something like it I will have proof, at least to get them fired for being dishonest.
     
  11. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

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    #11
    If you need to "total" it out just have Apple do a diagnostic look on your machine (99 bucks I think) and let them invoice you on all the stuff that's screwed up. If they tell you the logic board and screen need to be replaced ($$$$$$$$$) send that to your insurance company and they'll let you buy a new one.
     
  12. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    #12
    You should invest in a home security system. While they can be broken down by professional thieves, I see no reason why they would attack your house unless you are a billionaire. It's not that expensive and while mine hasn't gone off yet, my neighbors has and it saved them a lot of hassle.
     
  13. phaedarus macrumors regular

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    Dec 27, 2008
    #13
    A stolen Macbook is a worry of mine to be certain.

    Other than the iCloud, are there other tracking services that work without the notebook being turned on? My belief is that if the thieves are in any way competent or professional, they will likely utilize sophisticated means to disable any security, including remote web camming. Or worse, disassemble the MBP and cannibalize it for parts.

    So perhaps the best (and only) way to recover a MBP intact is to notice immediately that it is gone and call a third party security service center that uses a GPS chip attached to the MBP to track it and pass it to the local police. The rest would depend on how quickly the authorities are eager to respond to the theft of a MBP in progress.

    I know that Smartphone theft is HUGE in North America and you'll often come across small teams of thieves dedicated to the art of stealing phones and fencing them in record numbers. In such cases, you're better off buying a new phone - the same can't be said for a $2000+ laptop :(
     
  14. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #14
    Actually most of the stuff is quite resistent to a moisture if it is turned off.
    The HDD doesn't like it at all though and the screen neither.
    If the screen got damaged should be easy to see. The HDD is cheap to replace but probably dead if there got water inside.

    The rest like logicboard and so on just needs time to dry. I would disassemble
    it completely and let it dry for a day and reassemble.
    Fans could be a problem but those are also cheap to exchange. Logicboard only suffers if it is on. The only expensive part is the displays that could have suffered irreperable damage but that should be easy to see and it really would need to lie in a puddle or a bad position to get wet.
     
  15. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #15
    yeah... they will immediately send a squad team, lock down the whole area, call air support...

    They won't do much... it's just theft. Also, find my mac is not accurate enough. It has no GPS so it can only locate itself using Wlans, with much lower precision. Unless it is in a single family home surrounded by forest, there's little chance of recovery.

    A new unlocked iPhone is about $800. I don't see how this is much different from a stolen laptop.
     
  16. phaedarus macrumors regular

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    #16
    The sarcasm was unnecessary.

    Also, I was referring to third party services such as LoJack that work with law enforcement to help locate and recover stolen laptops.

    It is troubling however that 97% of all laptop theft cases go unsolved.

    A smartphone and a laptop serve separate purposes with the laptop being the more valuable of the two given the amount of work that could potentially be lost. Then there is the obvious price difference - especially for higher end models. Additionally, not ever Macbook user has a $800 unlocked iPhone; some actually use cheaper devices that are quite a bit less painful to replace.
     
  17. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #17
    yes, that would help. Still I think the response of the local authorities would be slow, if they can do anything at all. A month ago someone here told the story how is MBP was stolen and he could track it to a small area using Find My Mac, but the police basically said they couldn't get a search warrant for all the houses.
    so do bike thefts... with this I unfortunately have experience. These things are just too easy to turn into money without questions asked.

    If heard cases of robbers giving back smartphones after noticing that they are not iPhones.
    I think the monetary value should only play a small role in deciding which crime to prosecute first. I would give an armed robbery priority over a theft for example, independent of the value of the stolen devices.
     
  18. hushmartin thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    We have plans for various security modifications, including security cameras. Likely won't do ADT or other monitoring services because they are purely reactive. All they do is tell thieves that they have to hurry up and get in and out fast. On the other hand, cameras and lights are deterrents.

    I've figured out what to do. If there is any moisture damage whatsoever, we all know that Apple will void the warranty, in which case I am insisting on replacement. They can't fix water damage and restore the factory warranty.
     
  19. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Apple can do this I think
     
  20. psykick5 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Yeah you can get a security system... or a dog and a .357.
     
  21. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a

    Steve.P.JobsFan

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    #21
    Better yet, get those turrets from Portal! Place those around your house, and place a neurotoxin generator in your yard, and link it to your house.

    But, why not do a company like ADT? They sell security cameras, and they have a really slick iPhone, iPod, and iPad app to monitor it. You can also remotely trigger the alarm, if needed.
     
  22. hushmartin thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Because for under 300 bucks I can buy and then install security cameras with a dvr to record the feed-- no monthly fees. Because alarms are nothing more than pacifiers to make people *feel* safe, even though they do NOTHING to prevent OR catch thieves. Everyone I've ever known who had alarm systems got robbed despite there being an alarm-- I kind of wonder if the installers are usually crooked. If not, it probably just leads the robbers to believe there was plenty worth stealing. Camera monitoring from alarm companies is EXPENSIVE, especially considering how well and cheaply we can do it ourselves. The right set up (again, only about 300 bucks) can even stream the feed online, just like the big companies do. Costs to install a security system (basic, no cams) runs 600-700 bucks. For that much I can install cameras, lights and fortify the doors to be highly kick resistant, if not kick proof. What it all boils down to is that I believe people who pay security companies are chumps: "a fool and his money are soon parted".
     
  23. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

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    #23
    How about a fortified panic room? My sister found one in her house that was never mentioned to her by realtor or previous owner. It was only after cleaning the closet and noticing a small crack in the wall that it was a false wall and opened into another room. It's a good idea.
     

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