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How To Tell If A laptop Is New Or Used

Many electronic stores are currently full of laptops from various brands and with wide range of specifications. With the influx of the laptops into the local market, used laptops from abroad have also gotten their way to the laptops stores. It therefore remains a challenge to tell whether a laptop has been used before or it is brand new.

Are Used laptops Of low quality?

Used or refurbished laptops are not of poor quality. What differentiates the two is that one has fairly been used while the other one has never been used ever since it was manufactured and assembled. While used laptops can serve you fairly well as a brand one, their lifespan is shorter compared to the new ones.

How to identify a used laptop

There are quite a number of ways one can apply to identify a laptop that has already been used. Here are some of the ways you can use to single out a used laptop.

  1. Check For Scratches

This is one of the best physical ways you can use to identify if a laptop has been used before. Whereas scratch marks might not ultimately mean the laptop computer was used before, the presence of scratch marks indicates physical handling of the laptop. Check for any scratch mark on the body of a laptop before buying it.

  1. Check the battery power

Battery power is an easy way to check if your laptop is used. New and with a full charge, your laptop battery should last several hours. A new battery should last at least two years. If your battery dies sooner, chances are high your laptop, or at least the battery, was used

  1. Check the hard drive

Hard drive is one of the best computer part that can guide you to know whether a laptop has ever been used before. If the previous owner has deleted files on or even reformatted the hard drive, it leaves behind a trail that certain software programs can pick up. Use a program like Disk Editor from Norton or Disk Investigator to check if your hard drive has been used.

  1. Contact a hard disk health test

Hard disks always have a lifespan and by checking the hard disk health, you will be able to know if it had been used before. By running the hard disk through programs such as Hard Disk Sentinel, your hard disk will be analyzed by the software and determine whether it had been used before. The software will also be of great help in determining any hard disk problems and report any problem.

  1. Extract the product key

The product key of a laptop can easily be found on a sticker below the battery on most laptops. Take the product key containing both the serial/model number, type the product key into the manufacturer’s website to see details for when the computer was built and sold.

  1. Check For Signs of Dust

A laptop that has gathered dust especially on the interior parts is likely to have been used before. Dust around the opening will be a clear indicator of exposure. A new computer may have some dust buildup, but won’t have nearly the amount of dust as a computer that’s been used for a month or two. To have a clear view on whether the internal parts have gathered dust, you can remove the back cover and check for any sign of dust. However this might not be possible especially if the laptop is still in the shop.

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Photo courtesy
  1. Check the laptop screws

Check for any mark of seal on the screws of the laptop. A laptop that was opened before will not have the mark of seal. This might get you in a fix in case your laptop breaks down and you want the product warranty to cover the repair or replacement costs.

Any mark of blunt or scratched screw heads is a clear indicator that the laptop is not brand new.

  1. Check for Unusual Noise from the laptop

Before you buy any laptop, it is important that you power it up and switch it on while still at the shop. Programs responding slowly or any abnormal sound from the laptop is an indicator that the laptop might have been used before.

Also Read:How To Recover Your Phone Or Laptop after Liquid Spillage


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Majira M

Keeping you in the loop. I write to share information that matter. From technology to business tips, I share information to inspire and educate