Please don’t misplace your MacBook Pro…

(Posting here for everyone’s attention – MBPs are often used by Mozilla folks)

So due to the misplacement of an early-gen MacBook Pro in Hong Kong some months ago by the owner, I ended up with it, and am trying to return to its owner(s). Here’s what I did next:

I called Apple US and initially they couldn’t help, because I had to give a serial number of the computer. The MBP had its serial number stickers at the back (it’s an early MBP) ripped off, the condition looked bad, many dents / cracks in the casing, virtually unusable ExpressCard slot, MBP looked like it was thrown, it wouldn’t boot due to a blinking power light. Number (which I thought was the S/N) pasted on the RAM modules wasn’t the MBP’s serial number. First call cut off due to bad connection.

I googled about a blinking power light – turns out to be poorly inserted RAM. Re-inserted and fixed. MBP boots. Hard drive starts clicking. Not good. Folder with question mark appears.

Having some vague experience with USB Linux boot disks, I tried SLAX or something – needed to install rEFLT which wasn’t really possible on a non-working clicking hard drive, to try to boot to a desktop to run some form of diagnostics. Gave up.

Tried another route. I booted the MBP using a restore CD from another computer which was a different model. Boots successfully from CD, then message appears about Computer not being supported. Wow. Seemed expected anyway.

Clicked OK, but I didn’t immediately restart. I could actually run System Profiler, then managed to get the Serial Number off it. Second call to Apple US, leaving the details there. This time, the Serial Number was valid.

Hopefully, the owner will contact me (Don’t bother if you aren’t; I’ve details to verify.) In the meantime,

please take good care of your MacBook Pro (or other laptop/notebook/netbook computer) and not misplace it.