16

I have bought a new MacBook Pro 13, 2015.

How can I check whether it is a new or used one? I don't mean optical checks. Maybe some kind of system values, etc.

  • 1
    Installed macOS version, timestamp of key system directories, package it came in, trustworthiness of vendor etc, there might be a lot of indicators – nohillside Jan 20 '17 at 9:20
  • @patrix it was some not actual OS and I have updated it after first start. I don't know which one it was. – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 9:28
  • @patrix the rest of your comment - I don't know how to check it :) thats why this question – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 9:28
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    Perhaps filling in the serial on the Apple warranty site can give you sufficient information to determine if it's new? I don't have my mac with me to check what information is provided on that site. – Saaru Lindestøkke Jan 20 '17 at 9:30
  • @SaaruLindestøkke - I have checked it on this site. This information is ok - 1 year after the first day I have used it. – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 9:32
23

The only thing I can think of that cannot be tricked by an Erase and Install of the OS is the cycle count on the battery, provided it's the original battery. Essentially this number tells you how many times the battery has been depleted and recharged.

Cycle count of the battery: Click the Apple menu and then 'About this Mac > System Report... > Hardware > Power' and look for "Cycle Count" under 'Battery Information > Health Information'

The lower the number the better. Now there is a chance that the reseller you bought it off of replaced the battery, but it's highly unlikely. It's a lot of work to remove and reinstall a battery in these models (see the full 34 steps here) so unless the battery is faulty or nearing the end of its life cycle, it just wouldn't make sense to replace it.

You could also call Apple Support and ask if the serial number of that machine has been previously registered under a name other than yours. They cannot tell you the previous name or any other information on the account if it has been registered before (due to privacy laws), but I don't see why they couldn't just let you know if the machine has already been registered with them in the past.

  • 1
    cycle count = 1 – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 10:04
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    @NYKg, what makes you so sure that it's not possible to spoof the number? (Genuine question.) I don't doubt that the battery cycle count is generally a very good indicator of a MacBook's usage. But I wouldn't be sure that the counter couldn't be overwritten with some trickery. – Emil Jan 20 '17 at 12:07
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    @Emil Fair question. When I worked for Apple this is actually a question I asked an engineer when I had to escalate a particularly difficult case and I was told at that time that it was not possible. My mind has also wandered and sometimes I think maybe there is a human out there smart enough to figure out how to write a script or execute something in Terminal to change that number, but it would be software-based (for lack of better terms). After an E&I (which is usually done before or after a resell) it would revert back to its natural state. – NYKg Jan 20 '17 at 12:46
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    @Emil: Modern high-performance re-chargeable batteries have their own microcontroller with their own OS. The battery itself is doing the counting, macOS just gets the data from the battery. Now, it could be possible to hack the microcontroller on the battery, but I highly doubt that. – Jörg W Mittag Jan 20 '17 at 18:58
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    @MikroDel My apologies, it means 'Erase and Install'. It's where you erase your Macintosh HD (usually after backing it up) and reinstall the operating system from the Recovery Partition instead of simply reinstalling the operating system from the App Store. – NYKg Jan 21 '17 at 10:45
5

Take a look at the hard drive. The SMART statu should have lots on informations.

Here is how to look at it:

Is there a utility for mac that shows the information of an SSD like the health etc…?

A samble output from my computer:

0x01  0x008  4           17080  ---  Lifetime Power-On Resets
0x01  0x010  4           13034  ---  Power-on Hours
0x01  0x018  6     71009610622  ---  Logical Sectors Written
0x01  0x020  6       689785468  ---  Number of Write Commands
0x01  0x028  6     96669153261  ---  Logical Sectors Read
0x01  0x030  6      1474232041  ---  Number of Read Commands

It's even less likely they would have replaced the hard drive than the battery :)

  • There is no way to check it without some apps you should buy or trials? With onboard tools its not possible? – MikroDel Jan 21 '17 at 10:26
  • 1
    @MikroDel smartmontools is free and has a low footprint (>500 kb) – klanomath Jan 21 '17 at 13:15
  • Yep. Read the other answers. – Antzi Jan 21 '17 at 13:46
1

One approach is to look in the Library/Receipts folder; this will show you a lot of installations/updates, with dates, and gives a good indication of usage that isn't tied to any user (the user info can be easily removed). That seems to work for older OS X (10.9).

On recent OS releases, the Receipts folders are deprecated; instead of looking for install/update traces there, open System Information, and look at Software/Installations for a listing of installed patches/updates etc., with dates. In the last six years, keeping my system updated has logged hundreds of entries there.

  • I have found "Library" but I have not found "Receipts" – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 10:48
  • It might depend on the OS version; I find both /System/Library/Receipts having recent dates, and /Library/Receipts with older dates (back to 10.5). – Whit3rd Jan 20 '17 at 11:21
  • I have 10.12.2 OS – MikroDel Jan 20 '17 at 13:45
  • The problem here would be if the nefarious seller did a fresh install of macOS, which is quite easy to do, the folder you mention would be empty. – Allan Jan 21 '17 at 13:14
  • @Allan: yes, but that would give an indication (it would be missing, presumably, the factory test CPU_AHT entry). – Whit3rd Jan 22 '17 at 0:35

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