I bought a refurbished 2013 Macbookpro off of ebay and made sure to CMD+R, reset the OS and unmount/recreate the main 512 SSD harddrive.

On setting up my computer again, when opening 'terminal', the prompt displays

Toms-AppleWatch, when the user I put in for the mac was "Darren".

Why would it show this name? I've tried

scutil --get ComputerName
scutil --get HostName
scutil --get LocalHostName 

and none of them show Toms-Applewatch.

I think someone named Tom was in my house a couple months back and DID probably have an applewatch (he is very Techie).... is this a weird coincidence or did his watch somehow set some placeholder on our local wireless network that my macbook picked up on? Or is it something with the previous owners data somehow still uploading to this mac? I signed in on my own ICloud account so it cant be that (and i reinstalled the OS!)


In System Preferences --> Network --> Wifi --> Advanced Settings --> WINS

It shows a "NetBIOS Name" equal to TOMS-APPLEWATCH.... not sure how that got there or what set it to that.

1 Answer 1


I've seen this sort of thing before, particularly when I was in a hotel. I noticed my Macbook was showing up with the name of someone else's iOS device. I'm assuming the DHCP server was re-using an IP that was previously leased to the other device.

You mentioned that scutil --get HostName did not show the offending hostname, but did it show any hostname set at all? If not, try setting one explicitly:

sudo scutil --set HostName Darren

That seemed to work for me. The HostName attribute shouldn't be overridden by DHCP, if it is set. But, in practice, this changes all the time as the host name gets set at boot and bash honors whatever old name DNS/DHCP has for the last device to use the IP address issued. This is a problem with your network issuing a new name. You could try to force bash to keep re-evaluating the correct name, but this has been so for years. It has nothing to do with your Mac being refurbished or cleanly installed (but good troubleshooting to provide those details):

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