I went to a client’s business in Northeast DC this afternoon to set up a brand new laptop that had been ordered directly from a major manufacturer. I’ve done this a million times. I opened the factory sealed box and removed the laptop and AC adapter from their respective plastic bags. I opened the laptop and put the little styrofoam sheet neatly back in the box with the other packing materials. I plugged the laptop in to a power outlet and turned it on. Everything is good so far. It boots in to Windows 10 and I’m prompted for the password of an Outlook.com email address I’ve never seen before. Weird… perhaps our client paid the manufacturer to preconfigure their laptop (unnecessary since they’ve already paid us to do that for them as part of their service contract). So I called over the location’s supervisor and asked if she knew the password to log in to the laptop. “There shouldn’t be a password. It’s a new laptop!” she replied. I showed her the mysterious Outlook.com user account. She took a photo on her phone to show her boss and we packed it back up to ship it back to the manufacturer.
I’ve been providing IT service professionally for fifteen years and this is the first time I’ve ever come across a manufacturer shipping a laptop that someone had already logged in to with a personal account (at least without covering their tracks).