When purchasing a Mac secondhand, there are a few things you should check. Even though Apple builds high quality machines, there can still be an occasional problem with the hardware, and because they are complicated pieces of machinery, there are a lot of things you will want to look at before purchasing secondhand.
- 1 Getting Ready to Buy Secondhand Mac
- 1.1 Are Secondhand Macs Obsolete?
- 1.2 What Should I Check When Buying a Secondhand Mac?
- 1.3 How Can I Check that the Advertised Secondhand Mac Matches the Description?
- 1.4 How Can I Check for Hardware Errors?
- 1.5 How Do I Check the Hard Drive of a Secondhand Mac?
- 1.6 How Do I Check the Optical Drive?
- 1.7 How Do I Check the Keyboard, Trackpad, Mouse?
- 2 Links
Getting Ready to Buy Secondhand Mac
Are Secondhand Macs Obsolete?
Much like any other item, picking up a secondhand Mac doesn’t necessarily mean that you are buying an obsolete device. In fact, Apple products have a healthy life span, so models from a couple years ago will still function admirably. Plus, buying a secondhand device is a great way to pay less than the premium that Apple charges on brand-new computers!
What Should I Check When Buying a Secondhand Mac?
You need to check that the computer you are buying is powerful enough to meet your needs and that it is in good working order. Of course, you have to determine whether the computer has a warranty still available and make sure the price is reasonable.
How Can I Check that the Advertised Secondhand Mac Matches the Description?
It is possible to get a lot of information about a secondhand Mac that even the seller might not be aware of. You can get information about a Mac via an application called System Profiler. To access System Profiler, go to Apple, then tap About This Mac from the menu bar, next click Mac Info. The System Profiler utility will display a wide range of information, from the type of hardware it contains, to the installed software.
Ask the seller about the installation disks for any software included in the sale. If they don’t possess them, you may have legal problems in the future regarding the licenses. Without the installation disks, you’ll be unable to reinstall the software or obtain any updates for the software to keep your device running smoothly..
How Can I Check for Hardware Errors?
One of the key concerns when buying a secondhand Mac is whether the machine has an unknown hidden fault with the hardware. While problems with the software can usually be rectified, issues with hardware can give you a headache. We expose below lists of items to check prior to handing over your money. Note that hard drives and optical drives both have moving parts, which makes them more error-prone.
How Do I Check the Hard Drive of a Secondhand Mac?
Prior to buying a secondhand Mac, listen to the noises the hard disk makes when idle as well as during use. Copy a large file (such as a movie clip) and paste it to another place. You can also highlight a large file and select File – Duplicate from the bar menu (you can also press ᴂ + D).
Open the Disk Utility app by choosing Finder menu – Go – Utilities (you can use the combination SHIFT + ᴂ + U). Next, double-click Disk Utility. The hard disk should remain almost silent when it is not copying a file. During copying, it may emit a faint clicking noise. If the disk makes a scraping or whining noise, something may be amiss. A high-pitched whine should be of particular concern. Quite often, a computer component makes an odd noise before it fails, in addition to being annoying.
First of all, the utility enables you to check the S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, Reporting Technology) status of the hard drive. The report appears at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. It should read: Verified.
How Do I Check the Optical Drive?
Optical Drive should be tested before the purchase of a used Mac. Insist to observe it in action before purchasing. When a computer comes with a slot-loading optical drive, replacing it is both expensive and difficult. So, make sure to test the optical drive thoroughly. At the very least, the optical drive needs to accept and eject CDs without problem. The computer should eject a CD smoothly, with an electric whir. Files must be copied from the optical disc to the hard disk without errors. A slight whirring in process is quite normal, as the optical drive spins up prior to the data being read. Any unusual, scuffing, high-pitched noises and whines suggest that the optical drive is not spinning cleanly.
How Do I Check the Keyboard, Trackpad, Mouse?
Give a thorough test to the keyboard, trackpad and mouse before you purchase a secondhand computer. Usually these components are well built, but they are the parts that receive the most physical use. To test these components, type out some sample test and try to copy and paste lines, words and symbols (the fastest way is to open the TextEdit application – Finder menu – Go – applications or ᴂ +A combination, then double-click TextEdit).
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