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Safety of reinstalling an OS from a bootable drive used at a large store


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#1 Guest_oamru8_*

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 01:12 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I'm about to reinstall the OS on my Macbook via a Genius Bar appointment at a particularly large Apple store in Australia. They have a bootable drive with every OS from 10.4 to the latest one, 10.11, El Capitan. It's been recommended to me that I don't reinstall the OS from an online source, but what's the risk of using the external of the Genius Bar that's presumably been plugged into many Apple products before? BadUSB, etc. Would it be less risker to do it online via the Apple store's unsecured wi-fi? I know for a fact that on a clean install, the Macbook's firewall is not turned on.



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:44 PM

Can I presume that you have backed up - or will back up - all your own data before you take your laptop in for this work ?

 

I am not quite sure what your concern is - whether is is with possible corruption or infection of a downloaded source or the same possibilities from the store's equipment.

 

Purely as an opinion I would think you would be safer with the store's version. After all they are doing the work and presumably have a reputation to maintain. Apart from that I imagine you would have some sort of consumer rights under Australian law if the job went bad.

 

But back up your data first. In the event of something going wrong the OS and all your applications can fairly easily be replaced. Your own work can't.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Guest_oamru8_*

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:48 PM

Can I presume that you have backed up - or will back up - all your own data before you take your laptop in for this work ?

 

I am not quite sure what your concern is - whether is is with possible corruption or infection of a downloaded source or the same possibilities from the store's equipment.

 

Purely as an opinion I would think you would be safer with the store's version. After all they are doing the work and presumably have a reputation to maintain. Apart from that I imagine you would have some sort of consumer rights under Australian law if the job went bad.

 

But back up your data first. In the event of something going wrong the OS and all your applications can fairly easily be replaced. Your own work can't.

 

Chris Cosgrove

 

Hi Chris,

 

Yeah, I'm not concerned about losing my work/data, that's all fine. I'm concerned about any malware on the bootable drive being transferred to what is supposed to be a clean erase of hard drive and clean install of the OS. Presumably since this is the bootable drive the Genius Bar folks have plugged into many Macs before, and as a general rule I've been told not to trust any USBs you haven't managed yourself...I'm a little worried.

 

Thank you for your contribution.



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 07:33 PM

  When I took my Windows 8 laptop to Altex [AustinTX] for a rollback to Windows 7 Pro, I could have been concerned with getting PUPS, kittens, etc. Naw, I chose to not worry, for the same reasons as a previous poster gave:  this business also had and has a reputation to uphold.    My vote:  go with the Apple store.


Edited by RolandJS, 12 October 2015 - 05:24 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 jonuk76

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:39 AM

Not quite answering your question (I have no evidence of safety or otherwise, but would be inclined to think it's safe to allow the Apple Store to install an OS for you - you could even bring your own blank USB stick - making a bootable key is a 5 minute job) but if you choose to download, you might be interested to know how to verify the integrity of any downloaded files using SHA1 hash checking (link explains). If the calculated SHA1 sum matches the expected value you can be confident that the file is complete and not tampered with.  This page gives SHA1 (and MD5) values for the El Capitan installer components.


Edited by jonuk76, 12 October 2015 - 10:40 AM.

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