Refurbished Mac: previous owner's files

macnewbie86

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 3, 2014
34
6
Just bought a macbook pro refurbished. The thing is, there are files from the previous user on this computer. There were pdfs of math homework for example. Is that common in refurbished models? I thought the apple technicians install a fresh copy of osx. anyway, there's also apparently 800mb of pictures and 1gig of music that I can't find according to the disk utility. where are these files?

Maybe I should reinstall a fresh copy of osx. The refurbished macbook doesn't come with a usb installer for mavericks though. Where do you buy them? I couldn't find any at the online store.

I'm such a newb. thanks in advance for helping me.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
I'd give them a shout. In all the years I've been reading MacRumors, this is the first time I've heard of Apple not completely going over a refurbished item.

If they "forgot" to delete the previous owners date, I wonder if they even looked at the physical condition of the Mac. I'd be inclined to send it back and have them send me another one, if I were you.

If you want to reinstall Mavericks, Google "Internet recovery Mavericks". The last couple of Mac OS releases haven't been available physically. The recovery thing will download Mavericks and install it for you. You will have manually go into Disk Utility and format the drive first though. It's not hard, but it's not something you should be expected to do. :/
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,268
725
I'd give them a shout. In all the years I've been reading MacRumors, this is the first time I've heard of Apple not completely going over a refurbished item.

If they "forgot" to delete the previous owners date, I wonder if they even looked at the physical condition of the Mac. I'd be inclined to send it back and have them send me another one, if I were you.

If you want to reinstall Mavericks, Google "Internet recovery Mavericks". The last couple of Mac OS releases haven't been available physically. The recovery thing will download Mavericks and install it for you. You will have manually go into Disk Utility and format the drive first though. It's not hard, but it's not something you should be expected to do. :/
Have to agree with you that this certainly does sound very strange and makes one wonder about the state of the hardware itself. If Apple is letting items like this go through, it is a very bad sign of Apple's well recognized quality control for refurbs doing down the crap chute path.
 

macnewbie86

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 3, 2014
34
6
Thanks for the replies. I agree, this seemed very strange. I was trying to avoid sending it back because I got a free upgrade to an i7 processor. But I don't think it's worth it to keep it anymore. Who knows what else could be wrong with the computer. I will send it back to apple. Thanks again.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
I think someone shipped from the incoming bins of computers rather than the outgoing. I agree with the previous poster, take it to an Apple store. That this could happen is kind of scary and will now make me think twice. Apple replaced my computer several years ago. While I'd only had it a month, I would hate to think what could have been left on it.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,534
3,132
Thanks for the replies. I agree, this seemed very strange. I was trying to avoid sending it back because I got a free upgrade to an i7 processor. But I don't think it's worth it to keep it anymore. Who knows what else could be wrong with the computer. I will send it back to apple. Thanks again.
Having documents from the previous owner absolutely should not happen, but it isn't something that affects you negatively. The MacBook should have been checked to see if there is anything wrong with it, and that possibly didn't happen, but you can check for yourself. And you have a year warranty anyway. If you got a free processor upgrade, I'd keep it.

You could always go to an Apple store and let them check over the MacBook.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,449
5,665
My opinion only, but...

... what's the overall condition of the refurb?

Is it clean?
Does everything seem to function properly?
No problems other than the old files?
If the old files -weren't there-, would you be completely satisfied with what's in your hands?

If that's the case, I'd just re-initialize the drive, install a clean copy of the OS and Apple apps, and start over.

Why make things too difficult for yourself?

Although if there's an Apple store nearby (not a long trip), you might bring it over to them, explain what you're seeing, and have -them- do the re-initialization and re-install of the OS...