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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Bought a gorgeous second hand MacBook Pro 2012 - Advice on setup please


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Bananaman54321

 
Member Since: Oct 13, 2013
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Hello,

I'm a newbie and was hoping one of you could help me with a question concerning a gorgeous second hand MacBook Pro I have just bought.

I was hoping someone could help with a question concerning security.


When buying a 2nd hand Mac, i would imagine it is prudent to wipe the computer and re-install an OS in order to ensure that the previous owner had not installed any malicious software. I've heard that an unscrupulous previous owner could install key loggers or software such as Prey to see what I am doing and maybe access bank details........the prospect worries me.......

Is this a correct assumption or am I being over cautious? How do I go about wiping the Mac and re-installing what I presume will be Mountain Lion (assuming what it had on originally)? Is it difficult?

Thanks you in advance for your response?
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Mavericks is definitely pre-release and you shouldn't be using it unless you are a developer and the previous owner shouldn't have left it on there. Secondly unless you also got the installation media and keys for Windows 8, that's also illegal.

Hopefully the seller gave you the original CDs that came with the MBP. IF it was snow leopard, upgrade to 10.6.8 to get the Mac App Store and purchase Mountain Lion and install that. You should do all this after a clean format of the HD as well.

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bobtomay

 
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You would be correct in your assessments and am guessing you received no install discs.

You're going to need an Apple ID - do you have one? If not, you can get one here.

When you open up the Mac App Store - are you logged into your Apple ID?
You can try downloading some free app to find out.

(You're not going to be able to install 10.6 on a 2012 Mac.)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Bananaman54321

 
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Oh no......might have bitten off a little more than i intended here....

I have no intention of doing anything I shouldn't, so how do I correct the situation? Closer inspection reveals that it is NOT Mavericks.

Could you please post the order of things I should do?

1. Reformat hard drive? Is this through disc utility?
2. Restart mac and let the automatic Internet OS recovery do its business to re-install whatever OS it should have come with originally?
3. Log onto Apple and download Mountain Lion?
4. Anything else?

Thanks
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bobtomay

 
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Based on what you're saying above, you're way ahead of the average 1st timer and should be ok getting it done.

If the machine is running 10.8 currently:

Yes, I would reboot to the Recovery partition. When you get there, I would head into Disk Utility first and repartition the drive.
Select the top level of the drive - go to the Partition tab - select "1 Partition" from the drop down - you can leave everything else as default (or give your drive a personal name if you want).

Once partitioned, you can quit Disk Utility, you'll be good to go for a clean install of the OS.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If the machine is running 10.7, you could still do the above, or:

Log in to the App Store with "your" Apple ID, purchase and download Mountain Lion.

Don't install yet - you're going to need to create a boot disk of the installer.
For that, you need a 8 GB minimum size flash drive and grab LionDiskmaker (easy way to create tthe bootable disk).

Once you have the boot disk, reboot the machine while holding the 'option' key, select the boot disk and then the same process as above to partition and install.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
edit to add:
If in the App Store and it has some other ID - click Store on the menu bar and then Log out.
You can then either log in with your ID or it has the option to create one there also.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Bananaman54321

 
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Thanks very much for the advice.......

Despite your suggestion otherwise, even the basic steps detailed above will tax my very limited computer acumen to the limit....

Will give it a go this week!

I assume the steps detailed above will prevent any security issues by essentially, cleaning the mac back to the state it was initially sold in? I've read about certain program's that can be installed and lay dormant despite wiping the HDD? Will a new OS boot keep me squeaky clean?
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First time always seems a little daunting at first - it'll be a lot easier than you think once you get into it.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Yes to your other question. Everything will be gone from your current install.
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markusaurileus

 
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Out of completeness, should the guy erase with a "zero out data" option while he's in Disk Utility before reinstalling 10.8?

Or this is unnecessary?
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A single-pass "zero out" is a good option for the paranoid (I don't mean this unkindly) and only takes a couple of hours on most drives. The 7-pass and 35-pass is completely unnecessary unless your last name is Snowden or something and takes FOREVER. It's total overkill.
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If I was handing a computer off to someone else - I'd replace the drive or run a pass on it depending on what data had been on the drive.

Getting a computer from someone else - I would not.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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markusaurileus

 
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Ah ok, good to know. I lean a little bit towards the paranoid side, so... well I've already said too much lol

"Babe, if you were DNA, I'd wanna be your helicase so I could unzip those genes." So smooth.
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hotrod351

 
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erase and install new os.thats what i did with mine.
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If you're apprehensive, YouTube can be a fine source for how-to videos. I know I'm more of a visual person, so I looked up a video on there some years back when i wanted to replace my MBP hard drive and RAM.
HTH

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Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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