Questions concearning buying a used Mac...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dewey decibel, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. dewey decibel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #1
    Hi, this is my first post here. I've done a lot of searches on this forum and others but am still confused about a few things.

    I'm considering buying a used ibook, powerbook or maybe a macbook. What I'm concerned about is what they come with as far as software, OS and the like. Are they all supposed to have iLife stock? Is that something that comes preloaded or on a disk? But further more I'm concearned about licensing.

    If I get a used laptop I assume the seller will either wipe the hard drive or leave it. If they wipe it I guess I need install disks for the OS as well as any software (like iLife)?

    If they don't wipe the harddrive will I still be able to use all the programs left on and update them? What if it comes with non-apple programs?

    It seems warranties and Applecare are transferable but what about software? Any other things I need to consider when buying used?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #2
    All Macs come with installation DVDs. These DVDs have OS X and some extra apps (which include iLife).
    If you buy a used Mac, make sure the owner gives you these DVDs.

    It is very probable the Mac would come with a fresh install. Firstly because the seller won't want personal information stored in the Mac and secondly because if he has any apps that aren't free (meaning he bought them) it is illegal to don't erase them when selling the computer.
    Even if he does not re-install OS X and leaves some bought software installed, the correct thing would be that you re-install OS X.;)


    Aside from that, just make sure the Mac comes in good conditions.
     
  3. dewey decibel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    A lot of times I'll see that a laptop comes with an OS 9 disk, but they say they've done a fresh install of OS 10, but that the disk for it isn't included. Any issues with this?

    Also, if it only has OS 9 installed and I want to run OS 10 will I have to buy it?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Yes. Walk away. You'll be getting a copy of OS X that you have no legal right to use, because it's undoubtedly also installed on some other computer by the person who actually paid for it.

    Limit your search to a computer that comes with either the original install DVD containing OS X and iLife and/or one that contains the retail discs. If at all possible, look for a computer with included media for iLife 06 and Tiger (i.e. any computer purchased in 2006 or later).

    If you look here on MR, one thing that helps is that our forum rules prohibit the selling of computers with software installed without transfer of the physical media itself (unless there is no physical media ... i.e. software purchased online). In any event, you'll get physical iLife and OS X discs.
     
  5. dewey decibel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #5

    Sounds like a plan- thanks. :apple:
     
  6. dewey decibel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #6
    One more quick question- when purchasing a new Mac you have up to a year where you can still purchase Applecare, correct? If I purchase a used Mac that's less than a year old, can I still purchase Applecare? I assume I can't get Applecare if the unit is more than a year old, regardless of when I get it, but correct me if I'm wrong...
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    I'm pretty sure the answer to the Applecare question is yes, although I've never done this (or purchased Applecare at all -- I have one Mac I purchased used and one I purchased new).

    One or two more things to consider briefly:

    - Avoid buying a computer, particularly a notebook, without pictures. If you look at used Macbooks, ask about cracks or discoloration of the plastic. If you look at used Powerbooks, ask about dents and (if you look at an older Titanium one for some reason) any hinge damage.

    - Ask about dead or stuck pixels. It's rarely an issue on the iBooks and Macbooks, from what I've heard. It crops up occasionally on the bigger, fancier screens, such as the 17" screen for the PB/MBP.

    - EDIT: Oh, and ask about battery life, at least to get a general idea (whether you're getting an almost-useless or a near-new battery). If you get an iBook or Powerbook, ask if the computer was affected by the battery recall and if the battery was replaced.
     
  8. dewey decibel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #8
    Thanks again. I've been doing a lot of research and am hip to most of what you've mentioned in your last post, but it's still tough as I haven't had a lot of hands on experience.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Yeah, I know what you mean.... I've always either purchased new or bought hand-me-downs, with the exception of my iMac, which I bought from another MR member with whom I'd already interfaced a lot (so I felt pretty safe). I think once you get all the basics down, it can be not-so-bad to buy used, andit makes great business sense.

    Although... Apple's refurb options are a much safer feeling option, if you end up going as new as the Macbook.

    Good luck, anyway! :)
     

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