Difference between revisions of "Mac As-is Checklist"

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AS-IS System Checklist
AS-IS System Checklist

Latest revision as of 12:19, 30 March 2014


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AS-IS System Checklist

The system you are inspecting has been designated an “AS-IS” system. This means it is either slightly below our minimum Spec Level or it has issues that prevent us from being able to offer it with a warranty. In other words, it's not quite good enough to go through the Build process, but might still be of use to someone. We ensure basic functionality, but do not perform the more detailed tests of the Build and Quality Control processes. Thank you for your help!

Data Security Check

We are responsible for securely wiping or destroying any data storage device that is donated to Free Geek. This is the most important step in the Recycling process. In most cases this means removing hard drives from computers so the data can be wiped, but keep an eye out for other kinds of data storage devices. If you are not sure how to remove the hard drive, use the website ifixit.com for a step by step disassembly guide to most systems.

Check for Hard Drives

  • Separate any hard drive caddies and adapters from the hard drive.
  • Tape them (along with their screws) back inside the hard drive bay. These should stay with the system unless your instructor needs them for parts.
  • If a hard drive or other storage device is found, it should always be given to your instructor.
  • Some systems, mostly desktops, may have two hard drive bays.

Check for Other Storage Devices

  • Check the Optical Drive for disks.
    • You can manually open the drive by pushing a paper clip into the small quick-release hole in the drive faceplate.
    • To verify there are no disks in a laptop optical drive, try to insert a disk into the drive (do not put the disk in all the way), if the disk seems to slide in easily, there is no disk, if you cannot push the disk in, there is a disk in the way. You will need to turn on the system to remove that disk, or remove the whole optical drive.
  • Look inside and around the chassis for other less common storage devices, such as:
    • 1.8” or other small-form-factor hard drives
    • Mini PCI, mini-PCIe, or mSATA solid state drives (SSDs)
    • SD cards or MemorySticks
    • SIM cards (usually under the battery)
    • Floppy disks
    • PCMCIA (PC Card slot) hard drives

Physical Inspection

  • Take a close look at the system you are evaluating. Inform your instructor if you find any of the following:
    • Floppy Drive
    • Missing cover plates on the bottom of the system
    • Missing Battery (laptops)
    • Missing Optical Drive
    • Missing keyboard or individual keys (laptops)
    • Cracked or broken hinges (laptops)
    • Cracks, discoloration, scratches, or marks on any surface
    • Evidence of liquid spills or oxidation residue
    • Dirt, dust, cat hair and/or grime above and beyond what can be cleaned
    • Damaged ports or power jack (look very closely)
    • Visible screen damage (laptops)

Stop here and check with your instructor if the system has any of these issues; they may have you go through the Recycling process instead.

Find an Appropriate AC Adapter

If you are working on a laptop, you will need to the appropriate AC adapter for it. Adapters are sorted by magnetic or non-magnetic plugs, then further more by voltage (V) and amperage (A). Most laptops will have this information on the back side; if you cannot find the voltage and amperage, ask an instructor.


  • Plug in the power supply, network cable, and keyboard/mouse if needed, then try turning the machine on while pressing the 'N' button.
    • It may take a while for it to boot to the network. You will see an Apple logo, or a globe.
    • If the system does not boot to the network, ask your instructor for an external hard drive. Turn off the machine, plug in the external HDD, then try turning the machine on while pressing the 'Option' key. You should see an icon for booting to the external HDD.
  • Click 'Ignore' if a disc insertion warning box starts up.

Identify and Test the Hardware

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top, left corner.
  • Click on About This Mac
  • Note the CPU type and speed.
  • Note the amount of RAM installed. We normally send As-Is machines out with 1-2gb of RAM installed. If more or less RAM is required, turn off the machine then remove/add as needed.

Stress-test the CPU

  • Click on the CPU Test icon (green check mark) on the Menu Bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Choose the option primenet as the test type and start the test; this will take a few minutes
  • If this or any other test fails, consult your instructor
  • Note if this test passed on the Keeper Label

Stress-test the GPU

  • Click on the Apple icon in the top, left corner.
  • Select System Preferences, then click on the Desktop & Screen Saver icon
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the list and select GPULife
  • Select Options, verify limit framerate is not selected and that show framerate is selected.
  • Set Zoom to 1 and click OK , select Test.
  • Look for any artifacting or other issues
  • These would be popping lights, obvious glitches, lines, and cross hatching
  • The frames per second should remain consistent, it may take a moment to appear.
  • If this test fails, we are making it a System Sold for Parts (see Step 5), if it passes, we are making it a System Sold As-Is (see Step 6).

Parts Sticker

  • Get a Parts sticker from the binder, stick it to the system and use the information gathered in the previous steps to fill out these fields:
    • Does the system post (YES or NO)
    • Does the screen work (YES OR NO). Leave this black if you are working on a desktop which does not have a built in screen.
  • For Parts Systems ONLY remove the following:
    • Battery (laptops)
    • RAM
    • Hard Drive caddy (laptops)
    • Any additional cards on the motherboard (desktops)

AS-IS Sticker

  • Get an AS-IS sticker from the binder, stick it to the lid of the system, and use the information gathered in the previous steps to fill in these fields:
    • CPU type
    • CPU clock speed in GHz
    • RAM amount
    • HDD size, if the instructor wants you to add a blank hard drive to this system.
    • Leave all other fields blank.
    • Keep batteries, RAM, slot covers and caddies with this machine.
    • Remove any additional cards on the motherboard (desktops)

Final Steps and Sign-Off

  • Remove any sticker identifying the previous owner or with personal information.
  • Remove any potentially offensive sticker or other material. If you are not sure if something might be offensive, just remove it anyway out of an abundance of caution.
  • Make sure the system is completely reassembled.
  • Give the system a quick cleaning with a rag. Don't go too crazy.
  • Ask your instructor to sign off on the system, then put it in the AS-IS bin on the cart.
  • Check with your instructor for your next task. Thank you for helping