"New" Asus Computer from Harvey Norman - Suspicious?

Today, I bought a new laptop from Harvey Norman (Asus UX461UA, if anyone cares). However, when I opened the box and inspected the computer, I found some odd signs, so I'm wondering if that is normal, or if I should take it back and get a replacement. I previously bought exactly the same model for a different application, which was bought from Bing Lee. These are the differences between the two that I could observe:

1) The ASUS black sticker was already broken, to be replaced with a "Your computer doesn't include virus protection/Office etc" sticker covering the opening
2) One of the cardboard tabs that hold the inner laptop box securely is missing (one of the cardboard triangle that sits on the corners), meaning the inner box was moving around
3) The plastic bag that holds the carry sleeve is missing
4) The white thin sheet to separate the keyboard and screen was under the laptop, not inside
5) the power supply brick has no plastic protection, and there is one area with a lot of scratches (all other areas seem fine)
6) When I first booted the laptop, a default "user" was already made. The previous Asus started with a "welcome - create a new user" screen
7) All of the Asus software, e.g. that controls the battery, keyboard backlight, etc was not installed. Only the base Windows seems to be present.
8) The Wifi shows 1.48 GB used in the last 30 days, but no stored Wifi network

I have checked the logs, and it seems there was a boot maybe a day ago. I'm wondering if it is normal for Harvey Norman to preload the system (e.g. for people unfamiliar with computers) so it can operate right from boot? Are there anything else I can check to see if it was previously used / display model?

Thanks in advance.

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Comments

  • +10 votes

    I'd be taking it back. The lack of Asus software would to me indicate that the system has had a reinstall done from a Windows install USB/CD and not through a recovery disc/partician, and to me that is suss.

    •  

      Yup. Everything else could just be a result of someone checking the laptop is in proper physical condition before being shipped out, but:

      All of the Asus software, e.g. that controls the battery, keyboard backlight, etc was not installed. Only the base Windows seems to be present.

      Suggests this was possibly a return that they just hastily did a Windows reinstall on.

  • +4 votes

    I have checked the logs, and it seems there was a boot maybe a day ago. I'm wondering if it is normal for Harvey Norman to preload the system

    Not normal. It should be fully sealed by manufacturer in the box, all preloaded in factory.
    Definitely take it back, that list of defects is massive

  • +3 votes

    Definitely either used, or display, and not factory reset either based on the missing apps and default user

  • +7 votes

    Buying PC from Gerry
    Suspicious?

    Hardly Normal.

  •  

    take it back op, and tell them the situation about it, from what i read, there is enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt it was used or on display.

  •  

    Ok, thanks all. I will take it back tomorrow. So annoying… hopefully they don't force refund and recharge my card (used 3 cards for AmEx deal)

    •  

      Don't bring those cards, or say you haven't brought them. They can refund to a different card if they have to and then repurchase, else do a credit swap but save the original receipt in case there is issues down the line.

      EDIT: Notice I'm behind the times. Glad to see the swap went well

  •  

    Check the event log for a better idea of usage.

    •  

      I did; it claimed to be operated in the wee hours of this morning/last night, around 5 am (the local time on the laptop was wrong, so I'm calculating backwards). Nothing before that.

  • +2 votes

    Guaranteed used and returned

  •  

    Was it new?

    If so, take it back and ask. Seems someone could've been doing something suspicious there…or they just do it as standard to make sure everything works.

    • +1 vote

      The price was for a new one, that's for sure. Seems the consensus here is that it's not what I got…

    • +3 votes

      Run recovery on the drives, you may find nuclear launch codes.

      Extract some dead skin from under the keys. Run a DNA test to figure out nationality/ethnicity.

      Trace the IP the laptop has contacted.

      Lads, we have a nuclear war to stop.

  •  

    First thing when you bought the notebook all box should be seal. If it is not seal you need to check inside. I believe it is like refurbish to me. It would be hard when you return. As Harvey Norman have very difficult to deal from my past experience. So normally I don't buy with them. I bought my things from other retail shops.

  •  

    Sounds like it was a floor model that they use to advertise, had a basic account on it and all that I'm guessing they just repackaged it (maybe it was last one left?)

    I'm wondering if it is normal for Harvey Norman to preload the system (e.g. for people unfamiliar with computers) so it can operate right from boot?

    Honestly would still be taking it back even though I doubt they do, when I buy new I expect straight from the manufacturer new, not someones used it and turned it on and opened it and everything.

  •  

    This happened to me last year when I bought an HP from Harvey Norman. I initially thought suspicious but then just kept it considering it would have been a display model. Now I am using it for about 13 months. But I would advise, please take it to get a brand new sealed one.

  • +2 votes

    Could you please tell me what did they do to resolve the issue? would be interested to know thanks.

  •  

    Obviously a 'returned' laptop that HN have sold as a new machine.
    Demand the 'new' laptop that you paid for, and check the packaging before leaving the store.

  •  

    Hi all, back from the exchange at HN.
    I talked to the tech guy there, and after a quick look, he knew right away what happened, and was happy (almost elated??) to exchange it.

    According to him, he was the one who had opened it and "upgraded" it to Windows Signature previously. The "user" was something they put on there as default. He also claimed that I "should have been charged an extra $200 for the upgraded Windows Signature", because it is a super clean Windows (no bloatware, manufacturer software, etc) that runs up to 25% faster. The staff should have told me it's an upgrade and to charge me extra, but apparently it was a new guy and didn't know (?).

    Now, I'm familiar with computers, but I've not really heard of "Windows Signature". I googled it, and supposedly it's slightly faster, but to me, having no manufacturer's software means there is no optimisation (not to mention functions like backlight on my keyboard is missing). Even IF it is actually as good as he says, that laptop should only be considered a "refurbished" laptop, as the fresh Windows has removed traces of prior use. I don't understand how anyone would be happy to buy that laptop. Even if I had wanted Windows Signature, I would first ask for a brand new one (sighted), then pay the $200 to get them to upgrade it on the spot. Not a "preloaded" one…

    Anyway, they're happy to take it back, and I'm happy to get a proper one (ASUS seal intact), so win-win? Happy to hear comments/opinions of the "missed opportunity" the tech guy seemed to be suggesting.

    •  

      FYI, why I initially didn't notice the broken ASUS seal was because they slapped a big yellow "YOUR LAPTOP HAS NO VIRUS PROTECTION! BUY NOW! YOUR LAPTOP HAS NO MICROSOFT OFFICE! BUY NOW!" sticker over the top of the box. So if you see this yellow sticker, really really check the laptop!!

      •  

        Additionally, the laptop STILL had all of Microsoft's bloatware- Apps in the Create, Explore and Play sections in the Start Menu, like Drawboard PDF, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Bubble Witch 3 Saga.

    • +1 vote

      "Windows Signature" is branding the MS Store uses in the US for machines without pre-installed programs / "bloat".

      However when they sell machines with this branding, they actually INSTALL the drivers that the system needs to work - and they don't charge extra for the privilege of having it installed this way.

    • +3 votes

      LOL what a load of shit. Who cares though, you got your sealed unit.

    • +1 vote

      Sounds like a normal Harvey Norman experience.

      Glad it worked out for you op, it doesn’t for most Harvey Norman (ex-) customers

    • +3 votes

      He also claimed that I "should have been charged an extra $200 for the upgraded Windows Signature", because it is a super clean Windows

      What crock of sh!t, Gerry and his minions.

      You should get $200 discount for an opened box, aka refurbished. That sales guy must be on ganja or something.

    •  

      This salesman needs to sit down, put pen to paper and start writing the next critically acclaimed trilogy with film adaptation.

    •  

      He also claimed that I "should have been charged an extra $200 for the upgraded Windows Signature", because it is a super clean Windows (no bloatware, manufacturer software, etc) that runs up to 25% faster. The staff should have told me it's an upgrade and to charge me extra, but apparently it was a new guy and didn't know (?).

      That's a whole load of BS.

      Windows signature is used for laptops sold in the Microsoft store, with no pre-loaded stuff from the manufacturer.
      You do NOT pay for the "upgrade'.

      It's the same as if you re-installed windows yourself which takes 1-2 hours.

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