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Macs/Apples/Identifying the needs of a used MacBook Pro Laptop

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Question
Dear Mr. Dyer,

I'm not very computer technical. My older brother gave me a used 5 year old MacBook Pro 15 inch laptop that his daughter didn't want anymore. He said it would need a battery and possibly a new operating system (He suggested Apple's Leopard OS). This is the closest image I could find to resemble what I have:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2279371,00.asp

Several months ago someone identified the battery to purchase. This is the link to it:
http://www.amazon.com/Replacement-MacBook-15-inch-Battery-Capacity/dp/B00DKTVM3M

Can you help me to identify a compatible plug to purchase for this laptop? Also, if the battery itself is rechargable, shouldn't I buy a "recharging device"? If so, can you help me identify one?

Thank you for your time and patience during your busy schedule.

Sincerely,

David

Answer
David,
Thanks for writing! It's very important to identify the EXACT model of MacBook you have when purchasing a replacement battery and power adapter.  This may help:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201608

After you've identified the family and model of MacBook, you may find that the suggested battery replacement may or may not be compatible.  I suggest looking at www.ifixit.com for compatible parts, as well as repair/replacement guides.  Installing a new component for someone who is not technical or familiar with the equipment can be challenging.

Regarding the OS (operating system) you need, your brother may already have a version of the MacOS on the computer, unless he wiped the drive.  Once you identify the model of computer, you'll probably also find out the newest version of the OS you can install.  If your computer has a DVD drive, it may be a simple matter of purchasing from Amazon or Apple (or other retailer) and installing.  You may also be able to download and install directly over the internet if your machine is new enough and connection fast enough.

Lastly, you mention a "recharging device;" yes you will need one, and they are called "AC Adapters" or "wall chargers" or something similar.  They come in varieties of 45-85 watt and are device-specific, but most of them have the same "MagSafe" plug where they attach to the laptop.  Depending on the model you have, you will need a 65-85w version in all likelihood.  They can be found on Amazon, Apple, and other store pages:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_17?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field

http://www.apple.com/us/search/Macbook+Power+Adapter?src=globalnav

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!  

Macs/Apples

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Ed Dyer

Expertise

I don't answer Mac OS 9 questions anymore, thank you. Current Tech: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.8, Some shell scripting, cron, Mac OS X Server 10.2-10.6, AD-OD Integration, Automator, Word Press Blogging, All CURRENT Mac models, iLife '09 and previous, iWork '09 and previous, Apple Remote Desktop, WiFi, iOS jailbreaking/unlocking, some MS SharePoint (design, not development) Devices: iPhone(original-4s) & iPad(through 3rd gen), AppleTV(all models), Airport Express, Time Capsule Old Skool, meaning I have this experience as a base, but don't answer questions on it anymore: Mac OS Environment 7.5.3-OS 9 (please upgrade for pete's sake!), PowerBook G3/G4(all models), Mac/Windows Networking, PowerPC 604-G4 desktop models, Outlook 2001, Photoshop 7 and previous, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX Mac OS X Public Beta-10.4, all Windows Server operating systems and use. Dabbler: Newton 2100 w/ WiFi and NSync, Yellow Dog Linux, Suse Linux (PPC), Ubuntu Linux, Vista Business

Experience

I worked in IT for ten years with a specialty in Macintosh technologies and Project Management.
I've worked with the Macintosh Operating system and various machines since my first PowerMac 8500 running Mac OS 7.5.3 in 1996. I support my friends and family in keeping their Macs healthy and upgraded. Now I use a MacBook Pro for our home media network and we're pretty much down to iPads and iPhones for daily use.
Most important: I've also worked on PCs for a number of years with various flavors of Windows(95,98,NT4,2000,2000Server,2K3Server,SBS 2K3Server,Mil,XPHome,XPPro, Vista Business), but I've always used the Mac as my platform of preference.
Publications
http://www.macwindows.com : VPNs and Outlook(2001)


Organizations
Mac OS X Certification Alliance, Linked In

Publications
http://www.macwindows.com : VPNs and Outlook


Education/Credentials
I'm an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) through 10.4 and have the lower certs as well (ACTC for 10.1 - 10.6), an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for 10.3 (ACHDS) and a member of the Apple Consultants Network, as well as an Apple Product Professional for 2002-2009.
I have an MCP cert. from MS as well...

Past/Present Clients
Navy Federal Credit Union (Washington, D.C.) Whole Foods Market (Mid Atlantic Region) Army Times (Washington, D.C.) Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) Dodge Communications (ATL) ...and a plethora of All Coveredô clients throughout the United States of America (now a part of Konica Minolta)

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