So I bought a macbook pro on craigslist...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by honkeykong, May 17, 2012.

  1. honkeykong, May 17, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2012

    honkeykong macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    #1
    It was working great with Snow Leopard and still had all of the guys info on it. A fresh install of Lion a few hours later locks it with the message, "Hey user something already has this registered" then it was remote locked.

    I took it to the police and the serial number didn't come up in any stolen merchandise databases. They also called Apple and they said that it was not reported and suggested I go to an Apple store to see what they could do.

    The answer is - nothing really. They were not allowed to notify the original owner. He couldn't reset the firmware password - He said the only way to bypass it would be to replace the logic board for $450. Then he also couldn't give me any assurance that whomever remote locked the system couldn't do it again.

    So here I am with my $600 paperweight. Any suggestions? Anyone I can talk to at Apple to make progress with either contacting the original owner or getting this "soft" fixed?

    Update: Turns out it was one of two laptops stolen but they didn't have the serial number for this one in the report. So the original owner lucked out and I hope they are able to turn it over to her soon.
     
  2. goRoostr macrumors member

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    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #2
    What model Macbook Pro is it? If its a newer i5 or i7 you may be out of luck. Core2duo's firmware p/w can be reset by altering the hardware configuration.
     
  3. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2012
    #3
    EDIT: Scratch that, I guess there is an EFI lock (Googled it). Now to figure out how to turn it on.
     
  4. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    Jun 10, 2010
    #4
    Are you wiping the hard drive when you install Lion? I don't see how they could remote lock the computer once it has been wiped.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    Tell the police who you bought it from. Do you have any personal details on the seller? Don't post them here, give them to the police.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    Appears you bought a stolen Macbook. Unfortunate for you.
     
  7. goRoostr macrumors member

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    May 17, 2012
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    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #7
    Unless theres a firmware password set, you wont be able to boot from external media. His post wasnt 100% clear so im not exactly sure what is going on..
     
  8. honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #8
    I tried this method:

    http://osxdaily.com/2009/10/19/bypass-mac-firmware-password/

    I couldn't get it to work. I figured I'd try that after the genius couldn't reset it.

    Here is the model into:

    Intro Date: June 8, 2009 Disc Date: April 13, 2010
    Order No: MB990LL/A Model No: A1278 (EMC 2326*)
    Subfamily: Mid-2009 13" Model ID: MacBookPro5,5
    Std. RAM: 2 GB Std. VRAM: 256 MB
    Std. HD: 160 GB (5400 RPM) Std. Optical: 8X DL "SuperDrive"
    Complete MacBook Pro "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 13" (SD/FW) Specs

    ----------

    Yes, they have everything that I have on him. I have his name, phone number, email, facebook, twitter. He is not hiding. But it was never reported as stolen so the police can't do anything.
     
  9. rasto macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2012
    #9
    If it's some kind of hardware lock, replacing relevant chip might help.
    Depends on mechanism used on that board.
     
  10. goRoostr macrumors member

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    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #10
    Did you try resetting the pram 3 times after removing a ram chip? Worst case scenario is install lion on a different macbook, and then throw the hard drive in yours.
     
  11. honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #11
    Yep, got all the way to the iCloud setup. I imagine when I tried to register the serial with find my mac it triggered the lock.
     
  12. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    #12
    Yeah....guess you can hw lock it.

    This may be an expensive lesson learned and a cautionary tale to others about using Craigslist and Ebay for high priced anything, but electronics especially.
     
  13. honkeykong, May 17, 2012
    Last edited: May 17, 2012

    honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #13
    I'll give that a go in a bit, thanks.

    ----------

    Yeah. My plan was to buy a recent generation pro and throw in 8gb memory and a 128GB SSD for under $800. I paid the going rate for that generation macbook, it wasn't listed for "$250 or a handful of crack." It didn't smell funny and had real pictures...

    Ah well, now I'm going to do what I didn't want to do - finance a new one. I'll keep playing with this one to see if I can get it going for my wife or daughter.
     
  14. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #15
    Stupid question, but I excel at that :) Contact the seller to see if he had the passcode? Or at least a legit excuse?
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
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    #16
    or the previous owner thought it would be funny to remote lock his system via find my iphone app

    How does one completely untie the machine from a previous userid so the seller would be unable to say trace the buyer's position? A hdd wipe doesn't reset this
     
  16. goRoostr macrumors member

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    May 17, 2012
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    Philadelphia Suburbs
    #17
    Technically you cant unless you unbind it from iCloud from the iCloud control panel. iCloud is tied to your ethernet Mac address.
     
  17. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #18
    Are you located anywhere in/around North Carolina?

    We had a 13" MacBook Pro stolen from our department about three weeks ago. (We had an IP address, when the machine checked in on the network, the next day, but the campus police hemmed-and-hawed about pursuing the lead, as it would require contacting the ISP in question for a location.)
     
  18. honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #19
    Hasn't returned my texts or email. I'll keep trying, you never know. The name I saw before it locked was of a woman that didn't match his surname.
     
  19. bogatyr, May 17, 2012
    Last edited: May 17, 2012

    bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2012
    #20
    Actually without the recovery partition the functions in find my device don't work. You can't turn on find my device in the iCloud settings without that partition.

    And to add, when I did this on accident installing ML on my dev laptop, it now shows up as device unavailable when I look it up. Also can't turn it back on due to the option being greyed out in iCloud settings with the message saying the partition is missing.
     
  20. honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #21
    I'm Near Allentown, PA. Not that it couldn't travel. Have you reported it stolen with the real police? I assume it would have hit when the PA state police looked up the serial number.
     
  21. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #22
    Well, I guess you bought a stolen laptop. The legit owner apparently didn't care to notify the police or apple about the theft, which is stupid since he/she could get his machine back.

    It's good that you checked with the police and with Apple, although they couldn't help you in the end. At this point you should try to return the laptop to the seller, but I assume that you don't have any contact information besides the phone number.


    @mustang
    Why don't you PM him the stolen serial.
     
  22. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #23

    Ahh, little known factoid. If it was enabled BEFORE the recovery partition was nuked it does continue to work, you just can't administer it at all without the partition. I found that out when I switched to an SSD in the early days of Lion and CC Cloner didn't have the ability yet to clone the recovery partition.

    ----------

    Yeah, this one sounds pretty sketchy. Good luck. Knock on the door would make me nervous, but sounds like you're at least trying to do the right thing. Make sure you document it all just in case.

    ----------

    It would be a shame for them to do their job now wouldn't it? Stuff like that I just dunno....
     
  23. derickdub macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    VA
    #24
    Did you happened to get any of the information of the previous owner? You said her details were in there, you can try using the name you have to get in contact with her.
     
  24. honkeykong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 17, 2012
    #25
    I only saw her name a second before it was locked. Everything before I upgraded was from the guy I bought it from.
     

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