12 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2013 12:03 PM by 59KamT
59KamT Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My daughter has a macbook pro she has ued for 4 years through college.  She would like to have it refurbished and continute to use for a little while longer.  Does Apple do refurbishing for customers or just to resell?  If they do, what parts do they replace and/or change out and the approximate cost?  She is trying to figure out the most cost effective route. 


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (58,255 points)

    59KamT wrote:


    Does Apple do refurbishing for customers or just to resell?

     

    No

  • 2. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    Refurbishing refers to the practice of taking damaged or defective machines that have been returned, fixing them and then re-selling them at a lower price, which is not what you're looking for. What problems is your daughter having with her machine? There are probably ways to fix whatever those problems are without doing anything to the hardware.

  • 3. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    59KamT Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick reply.  When she opens up her machine to log on sometimes the beachball just starts spinning around for long periods (5 minutes or longer) She can not even log on.  She has tried shutting it down and rebooting but that didn't help.  She is also getting a message that her battery needs replaced.  it is starting to run a lot slower than she would like it to run.  She had to divide the hard drive and have a windows side for college but is now considering taking it off.  She would like to have it cleaned up internally to get all the unnecessary stuff off of it and she doesn't kow how to do that maintenece.  Any suggestions?

  • 4. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (58,255 points)

    Get a new battery, replace the hard drive with an SSD and upgrade / max out the RAM, and the computer will be better than new.

  • 5. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,690 points)

    59KamT wrote:

     

    When she opens up her machine to log on sometimes the beachball just starts spinning around for long periods (5 minutes or longer) She can not even log on...She had to divide the hard drive and have a windows side for college but is now considering taking it off.

    This description makes it sound like the amount of disk space or RAM may be too low for what she is doing. A MacBook Pro of that era is easy to upgrade. She should check how much free space she has on the Mac side of her disk and if it is below 50GB then she might either eliminate the Windows partition and reclaim the space, or just upgrade to a bigger/faster drive. If the laptop has the original drive, a new hard drive will probably feel faster, and if it was an SSD (if she can afford that) disk access would be much faster than now.

     

    If she has 4GB or less of RAM, that would be a cheap upgrade that would extend the life of the Mac.

     

    Have her look through the Login Items for her account because if there are too many in that list that she no longer needs, they're still loading at startup and slowing the boot time.

  • 6. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    Before you throw any money at upgrading that hardware, you need to explore software fixes. If she's still doing the same things she always has been, with the same software as always, then the performance problems aren't caused by insufficient hardware. I would recommend going through the suggestions in my Mac Performance Guide.

     

    As for the battery, that sounds like a real issue that will need to be addressed, unless she is willing to use that machine as a desktop. (A MacBook Pro with a bad battery can still be used just fine while it's plugged in.)

  • 7. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,690 points)

    The reason Thomas's advice might be good to follow is that "old" parts should not, on their own, cause problems like a 5-minute startup delay. In other words, if you replaced all the parts with new parts, that should not have any effect on a 5-minute startup delay. A normal system of that age should still boot up in a reasonably short amount of time, and you could test this if you installed a fresh OS X system on an external drive and booted from it. Something else is going on, whether it is a software conflict or the system thrashing because there is no space left on the drive if that is the case. She needs to find out the real reason it is so slow.

  • 8. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (58,255 points)

    Network 23 wrote:

     

    The reason Thomas's advice might be good to follow is that "old" parts should not, on their own, cause problems like a 5-minute startup delay. In other words, if you replaced all the parts with new parts, that should not have any effect on a 5-minute startup delay.

     

    A failing hard drive or one with bad sectors can easily cause problems and affect startup times.

  • 9. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,690 points)

    Templeton Peck wrote:

     

    A failing hard drive or one with bad sectors can easily cause problems and affect startup times.

    That can be true. There is a way to find clues about this. On more than one occasion when I didn't know why there was a long delay, I opened the Console utility and watched the system messages roll by during the delays. I saw many consecutive instances of I/O errors roll by in the log and that told me there was something wrong with reading/writing the disk.

     

    If 59KamT's daughter sees consistent long delays all the time, or when accessing specific files or folders, I might suspect a hard drive that is beginning to malfunction, especially if I/O errors are prevalent in the log. However, if the long delay is only at startup and at no other times, and I/O errors are not seen in the log, that might point suspicion away from a dying disk.

     

    However, errors or not, once a hard disk has been in service 3-4 years, it is still a good idea to replace it before it fails.

  • 10. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    59KamT Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the advice.  We will go through the software fixes first and see what happens before we invest in upgrading her laptop.  I appreicate all the input and quick responses.  Will let you know the outcome once we narrow down the problem(s).

  • 11. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    However, errors or not, once a hard disk has been in service 3-4 years, it is still a good idea to replace it before it fails.

     

    I wouldn't really agree with that. As long as you have adequate backups (which are a requirement in any case if data loss is to be avoided), there's no reason to replace a hard drive before it shows signs of failure. Of course, I would recommend replacing it at the first sign that it is failing (such as if Disk Utility cannot erase it successfully, or problems come back right away after erasing).

  • 12. Re: Does apple refurbish macbook pros?
    59KamT Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I wanted to let you know we went through all the steps advised and took off some software things no longer being used, deleted unused files.   We went to the Apple Store and they ran some diagnostic tests and the only thing found was a faulty battery.  We lucked out that my daughter's AppleCare has about 45 days left before expiration.  They replaced the battery and advised how to upgrade the memory.  The hard drive is not showing any signs of failure and she backs up her work nightly.  The machine is running much better and hopefully she will get to use it for a while longer before having to purchase a new one.  Thanks so much for all the helpful information and awesome problem solving skills.  The Apple Store was very helpful and thorough as well.