should I buy a used MB with bad battery for $300?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chris7777, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. chris7777 macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    I have a friend offering a used macbook (he doesn't know the specs)
    for $300 , it apparently has a bad battery.

    He is going to loan it to me tomorrow so I can look at it and see if I want it.

    What things should I look at to see if this is a good deal?

    Can I get a 3rd party battery from ebay, or should I avoid them and get a branded one.

    if it does not have a restore disk, can I get one from apple, or elsewhere?

    Does this sound like a good deal, or should I avoid it and try and save up for a new one?
  2. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2008
    If its just a bad battery, and the computer is in good condition, you should for it...Broken macbooks go for more on ebay
  3. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    +1 go for can get battery for around $120...not will still be worth more than that...
    checkout everything carefully before buying...
  4. chris7777 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    I think he is honest, he knows next to nothing about computers much less macs.

    He ended up trading a brand new laptop for it to give to his wife(I ran into him buying it)
    But apparently the battery was the main (hopefully only problem) and she got a new laptop and the macbook has sat.

    I am a bit concerned with not knowing how old it is, and the specs.

    I had all but given up getting a mac anytime soon and was thinking of getting this
    and dual booting ubuntu on it.
    Celeron Dual Core T3000 1.8Ghz, GeForce 8200M G

    I am concerned about the macbooks older graphics card, and if it will give me good performance. in comparison with the meager msi (which in turn decimates my current laptop)

    If I get it I will probably run CS2 with boot camp, and try and save up, on some programs.

    If I get it It will end up being my only computer, my current laptop is from fathers day 2005, it has been pretty good but my hard drive crashed, and my usb ports seem to be going out, it has just been temperamental since replacing the HD,otherwise I was trying to save up on a unibody "13 pro, or a tablet.If I get this one, should it last me hopefully a couple of years or so?

    that's my biggest reservation (that it is used), and I could end up in the same boat, As I am in now. ,of course if its as reliable as I am hearing it may turn out to be a blessing

    oh yeah any ideas on recovery disk if he doesn't have them?
  5. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    Having used a lowly 2 GHz Core Duo MacBook, I can say that even the low end computers should be adequate for everyday use. Don't even bother with gaming or heavy graphics work, though. The graphics card in my six year old PowerBook completely kills the GMA950. I'm not sure about the later X3100 chip. The new battery will cost $129, equaling a $429 total cost. That is an incredible deal, on par with the cost of some netbooks. As for CDs, if it was released before October 2007, any non-machine specific Leopard/Snow Leopard CD should work. Otherwise, you would probably need to contact AppleCare and see if they could sell you a set.
  6. chris7777 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    What do you think the minimum specs to run say photoshop cs2, in bootcamp should be?

    I will hopefully find out the tru specs in the morning
  7. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    I run CS4 in MacOS X with a X3100 and it is working well.
    And Windows graphic driver are almost always better the Mac ones, so even an integrated Intel Graphics should do fine with CS2.
  8. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    I guess I'm the only one who thinks for another $400 you could get a new MacBook with a warranty. If you could buy it and sell it on eBay for more than you paid I would do that but I hate slow computers.
  9. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    Yes, but maybe the OP doesn't want to spend so much. There's a huge difference btwn 300 & 700.
  10. zbasarab macrumors member

    May 29, 2009
    imho, prices of used macs are way too high. this is good for sellers, but bad for buyers. i see g4s being sold for like $400 on craigslist locally, and my jaw drops. To tell you the truth, unless your buying refurbed warranty, nevahr buy used computers. they can break down at any moment.
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #11 the specs once you get to play with it...
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    You may be able to find an apple branded battery for cheaper on ebay. Check the local authorized 3rd party repair shops in your town, I've gotten a good price on their 'diagnostic' batteries for discontinued laptops.

    Also, you may be able to try the 'dead battery in the freezer' trick to coax a little more useful life out of it. Wrap it in a papertowel and put it in a sealed ziplock for a day or two. Let it thaw completely and see if it will charge. Try it a couple of more times.

    Once you find out the specs, post it here, and also look it up on , as well as looking up similar models on craigslist.

    If you've got a friend you can loan you a techtool deluxe disc, that would be highly recommended to check for possible defects before you buy. If its anything other than a battery or hard drive, mac portables are neither cheap nor easy to repair.

    Good luck.
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    A MacBook with a dead battery is also a perfectly fine desktop computer.
  14. chris7777 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    It is probably a no go, it is actually an ibook g4 14 inch, it is passworded so I am waiting on the password to get the specs, but it is listed as A1055, with a 2003 date on it.

    I really wanted something newer than my 2005 laptop, especially since I can get a brand new pc laptop with win 7 (dual core celeron) for $340.

    I don't know what to do.

    I had frys check my credit and they passed,
    I guess I could try and reinstall window again on my laptop, and see if it will soldier on a little while longer.
  15. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2009
    Not bootcamp, but I used cs2 under Tiger on old mac mini 1.5GHz core solos with 1GB of RAM. It wasn't fun, but it got the job done for the student paper.

    If money is really that tight and you're going to run bootcamp anyway, I think that $340 deal is really a steal as long as you can live with:
    and not knowing the physical dimensions (most likely ~1.5" high at the thickest point). If you're working with 10-12MP photos or big page layouts or whatever in CS2 on that resolution, all I can think of is pain in the ass; but to each his own.
  16. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    $400 is too expensive for a G4 iBook with a dead battery. I say pass.
  17. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
    Lol, how good a friend is this?:eek:

    There is no way to mistake an ibook for a macbook.

    I'd pass cuz now I wouldn't trust them on what else could be wrong with the computer. If money is really that tight for you, get a netbook or wait for black thursday and get a cheap windows pc.

    If you have the money, do what a previous poster said, check apple's refurb site, you can get the just prev gen mb for $699.
  18. chris7777 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2008
    He does construction, the laptop is his wifes, he knows nothing about them.

    I knew as soon as I saw it, that it wouldn't work, But I didn't have the heart to hand it back without looking at it first.

    its a 1.2 power pc g4with buck and a quarter ram, and it looks like the quarter is soldered in.

    I guess I need to fix, or find someone to fix my current laptop, and try and ride things out till I can save up for a 13' MBpro
  19. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    And don't forget an iBook is PPC, and will NOT run bootcamp or windows.
  20. macshill macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2008
    London, Ontario, Canada
    lmao Aw, you're sweet. :p:D

    Now think of a nice way to pass on the offer. ;)

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