Solved! buying a second hand laptop what to check for

Pizamotas

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Jan 2, 2016
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TL;DR
I'm inspecting a second hand laptop tomorrow what to check?

Device manager
System information
Benchmarks

Long story:
So my friend found a second hand laptop which seems a little too good to be true (It's just too cheap for what it is) and asked me what could be wrong with it. I know how to check device manager for the gpu and cpu and how to check system information for RAM.

What I was wondering mostly is there some way of faking that information. Like making the device manager display different gpu that you have installed and would there be some way of detecting that?

 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
After you verify it all works and you buy it, your very first action needs to be a full wipe and reinstall of the OS and everything else.

Even if the seller says he did it "just yesterday".
You personally need to do it.
 

Pizamotas

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That's something I've never knew before. Thanks.
 

Pizamotas

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I will make sure to do that. Thanks.
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


This does a couple of things:
1. Completely wipes out any trace of the previous users (anyone who ever touched it).
2. Verifies any OS licensing.

In the rush of "a new system", many people don't do this.
Only to find out a month or two later that the OS is bogus, or there is malware (or worse) existing in that system.
 

Grobe

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Also I'll suggest testing following:
RAM : Use Memtest for that (for bootable cd or pendrive)
COOLING / Ability to withstand GPU intensive tasks : Use 3Dmark (whatever version suitable for that aged computer) and make sure the computer doesn't get a shutdown or other temperature warnings during test procedure.
BIOS : Make sure the bios isn't password protected.

Personally - I prefer Linux over Windows on older computers so malware is not of any concerns. But I would bring with me a Linux Mint/Ubuntu, etc CD just to test that the computer is able to boot properly to other OS'es (opposed to locked to Windows).

And of course - if the computer shuts down on itself during Memtest - don't buy (unless bought for scrap parts).
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


"malware" is not the only concern with a used system.
 

robert600

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Apart from all the other good advise I would just add that I'm quite into movies so ... I'd want to make absolutly sure the hdmi out was working perfectly (both video and audio). I don't know of any way to test this other than hooking it up to a good quality TV and/or sound system and doing the Win+p thing. Malfunctioning hdmi out pretty much means a new motherboard to fix.
 
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