cfulmer12
1 Copper

Warning: Buying Refurbished!

So, just bought a refurbished XPS 17.  While going through the normal stuff to set the machine up how we like I, I went into Windows Update.  When I did so, I was presented with a message that said "You Receive Updates: Managed by your system administrator."   Upon investigation, I discovered that the computer is set up to connect to get updates from some private server and not from Dell!.  So, I called Dell Support, who had me reinstall from the recovery partition.

I did that, and there's no change!   It appears that the previous owners overwrote the recovery partition with their own image, and Dell never replaced it!  Who knows what else is on the disk -- there could be a rootkit installed, and I'd never know.

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cfulmer12
1 Copper

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

Sorry -- I meant it was set up to receive updates from a private server, and not from Microsoft.

kirkd
4 Ruthenium

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

How did you determine it was a private server?

Are you signed on as a user or administrator? Only an administrator account can make most changes to the system.

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cfulmer12
1 Copper

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

Well, two ways:

  (1)  I googled the line that came back from Windows Update, and the results indicated that the machine was being managed by WSUS, which is a tool that it commonly used by corporate IT departments to manage end-user machines.

  (2) I looked at the windowsupdate.log file and noticed that it was trying to connect to an address in the 172.x.x.x space.  (I don't remember the full address off-hand.)  A chunk of 172.x.x.x is reserved for private networks, like 192.168.x.x .

 

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jec4312
2 Iron

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

hi, I don't know if the attached will help:

 

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/winserverwsus/thread/9081d0eb-8949-4f82-b332-53e9463842ac/

 

this may only be relevant to the server which previously had wsus installed, but the article may still be of use to you - especially the bit about the clean up utility.

 

 

 

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cfulmer12
1 Copper

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

Thanks.  That does give some interesting information.

There are really two problems.   The first, of course, is that the recovery partition has the wrong image on it.  So, even if I can find and fix everything wrong in that image, if I ever have to recover, it'll all come back again.  I've only had the computer for 3 days, so it seems likely that there may be other oddities that I'm not aware of.  I know, for example, that the Dell Support software that typically comes pre-installed, isn't there.

The second problem is a bit more insideous:  when you buy a refurbished computer, you expect that the refurbishers would have reformatted the drive and re-installed everything from scratch.  After all, who knows what happened with the previous owner -- there could be a rootkit installed in the boot sector or something.  Instead, it seems clear that the refurbishing people only reimage from the restore partition.

So, the solution I'm going to ask for when Dell support calls me back this afternoon is for them to send me a new hard drive with the correct image pre-installed -- that's the only way I'll know that there's nothing wrong with the disk. 

My reason for posting here is really just a warning to others.

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hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

I don't know how it went when you asked for a hard drive, but the easiest solution for all parties os for them to send you the correct version of Windows 7 so you can reinstall the OS. Doing so is the only way to be 100% sure you know what you are getting.

Community Member Since 2003

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danishwali1
1 Copper

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

Are you wanting to save some money on your next PC? If so, refurbished desktop computers might just be your best option. You see, when you buy refurbished desktop computers for sale, you can get away with paying a much more affordable price without sacrificing quality or worrying about it being in terrible condition.
I was also looking for a refurbished pc.. Bought it from "ElectroComputerWarehouse" and the product id is "dell_gx280_250gb_tower"

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danishwali1
1 Copper

Re: Warning: Buying Refurbished!

I needed a laptop for reading emails and using word at uni and thought getting a refurbished laptop would be my cheapest option. Finally bought a refurbished laptop from "ElectroComputerWarehouse" and the product id is "dell_d620_laptop".