Buying a used computer?

Just take pot luck and hope for the best


Or read on for a handy guide to knowing exactly what to look for and what to avoid when considering falling in love with a used mac that isn’t technologically obsolete …

References Apple Mac computer help Frome

This ‘advert’ is for a fully working Powerbook G4 using a version of the Apple Mac operating system software called Tiger. Connections to the modern internet using the Powerbook’s old built-in wifi technology are no longer supported, it can however use an ethernet cable to connect to the net, surfing the internet as fast as Douglas Adams ever experienced. The Powerbook G4 is technologically obsolete, it could be programmed to open your garage door but will struggle with the speed of the internet today. Sensible offers should show consideration for the distinguished provenance.


Don’t buy anything older than 5 years, unless you are a collector.

Computers older than 1,827 days can still be used for offline tasks and specific uses.


Something on your secondhand mac will not work.

No one uses their personal computer in the correct way as designed or agreed to in the terms and conditions eagerly torn through when the box is first opened. A used computer may have more than one previous owner. Recent studies conclude most damage is done by corn products, water and lazy programming. Before switching on your secondhand purchase turn it upside down and gently shake, any crumbs are a sign you’ve probably fixed the reason it was for sale, whereas no crumbs suggest a well looked after mac. Inspect with a UV light to understand why you should always buy new. Use a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol to clean any external ports. Computer chips slow down in hot climates, hence the Apple Beachball.


Check everything before accepting receipt

Batteries expand causing trackpads to fail under pressure, water gets in and somehow only affects the 4 5 and 6 keys, processors can overheat in Bali, entire vertical rows of screen pixels can just stop working due to nearby magnets, DVD drives often only work properly a few dozen times until they eject everything inserted, small pieces of KitKat foil wrapper can get stuck in the USB ports which then only work if you wiggle the dongle, something – probably a crumb – may be wedged under the left option key, the computer can smell funny when hot. Spyware is probably installed to record and transmit everything from the camera, microphone, keyboard and trackpad back to a previous owner. Ask yourself, is the seller likely to be an enemy of the state, fond of late night crumbly biscuits and daytime KitKats or recently in Bali on business?

Buying secondhand means you don’t have the protection enjoyed by Apple customers with a computer under warranty. After you’ve shaken all the crumbs out, take your eBay risky purchase to Apple and ask how much it will cost to fix it, for free – you can find out exactly what is broken before paying, if Apple still support it.


Apple currently support all MacBooks from mid-2012

Right now the best-buy is a mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15″ with macOS Mojave, at least 8GB RAM and an SSD minimum 500GB internal storage for a rock-bottom price today of around £200. **OUT OF STOCK**

At the time of writing the current macOS is Mojave 10.14.5. Apple announced the Autumn 2019 release of macOS 10.15 named Catalina. All mid-2012 MacBook Pro / iMac / Mac Mini machines may become obsolete with the release of this latest Apple operating system.


Erase and install, like you ain’t seen me

Some spyware can still reside in boot loaders filed on the internal hard drives and storage areas of most modern computers. Make sure you initialise, partition and reinstall the boot volume before using a secondhand computer. Thoroughly erase and completely overwrite your risky purchase – switch on, hold down CMD and R until you see the Apple logo, follow the prompts to erase your hard drive and reinstall macOS from the internet. It is irrelevant that the computer comes with MS Office / Adobe Suite / All the latest software BECAUSE YOU MUST ERASE AND INSTALL.


Recommended Primary Action

STOP looking on fleabay for a used Mac desktop or laptop

buy an eleven inch iPad Pro or SO


Overriding Recommendation

Call Fromester for full service and support, risk insured, discretion assured, wired and wireless. Half hour chats available for as little as an expensive cup of coffee and a short walk.