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Windows 7: stolen laptop. devastated

07 Jan 2012   #11
lister

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

- Anyways all is better now - I bought the latest version of the machine. It costs $2,700 retail but I got it for $500 because it is an ex-display machine. Works 100% though and it is a toughbook (semi rugged business) so im not too bothered that it is a display version. Kids bashing on the keyboard is ok with toughbooks

Anyways my question was - this time I am 100% going to install Prey - Open Source or Absolute LoJack - any ideas which people prefer? Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2012   #12
lister

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

I guess one answer is that Prey is open source/ free whilst Absolute is Paid version - but the paid version does come with support.....

think prey sounds like a good idea...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2012   #13
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

I must say lister you "done really good" by having a backup that was only 3 weeks old, though I'll bet now you'll be even more prompt about these in the future. Those of us who've suffered loss-of-data believe "you can't be too careful or have too many backups!"
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07 Jan 2012   #14
lister

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

100% right. I am zealous now about making back-ups. I have got over the theft of my previous machine but moral of the story is, 1: back-up 2: lock-up. Sounds ridicolous but when I leave my apartment I now put the laptop under my blanket! Probably oldest trick in the book but hey - if that prevents another theft then that is good news.

I moved apartment building so all is better now!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #15
lister

Windows 7 Panasonic CF F9 (used to have CF F8)
 
 

Update - I just installed Prey on new laptop and its really really good. Seriously - everyone should put this type of security on their machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #16
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Re: Prey I looked at the demo and it's still not clear to me how it works, but it sure is intriguing, especially that it's only $13.50/mo for up to 10 Home devices for the Pro plan. Seems like maybe cheap insurance?

One idea in the FAQ has me puzzled:

Quote:
We encourage you to add a BIOS password and disable booting from removable devices on your PC, so that the thief will be forced to boot into the previous installation and thus, not be able to format your hard disk easily.
I thought a BIOS password would keep someone from booting the PC *at all* thereby perhaps inspiring him to reformat the hard drive? Negating Prey altogether? Not sure about this as I've not tried BIOS passwords myself.

Anyway good luck w/the new Toughbook and let us know how you like Prey.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #17
Sbrideau

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

You can't even format with a BIOS password.

I love how easy the Windows backup system works now, and it's surprisingly good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #18
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sbrideau View Post
You can't even format with a BIOS password.
But AFAICT a thief could always pull the PC's drive, reformat it on another PC, clear-out the CMOS, maybe re-flash the BIOS, and start-over from scratch with the stolen PC?

EDIT 1: I guess I know not whereof I speak! I thought a "BIOS password" kept a PC from booting by requiring a password pre-boot. I just tried one on this PC and the password just keeps one from getting-in to the BIOS to make changes. Going away now to figure this out....!

Correction: this PC has a BIOS password with two options: protect the BIOS only, or protect the BIOS *and* require the same password to boot the PC.

EDIT 2: OK I get it now, duh; simply, they are saying in my post above that if you disable the PC's ability to boot from any device other than the internal HDD, and then protect the BIOS with a password, the thief will boot into your OS and thereby trigger the Prey mechanism. Otherwise the thief could easily boot from e.g. a USB stick and not only bypass your OS, but also still have access to your HDD to read its files (or erase the disc and start over). Instead it will be very tempting for most thieves to boot the PC and "see what's on there" whereupon Prey will track 'em. Of course, a paranoid and tech-savvy thief might think to pull the HDD w/o booting it but the vast majority will boot it first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #19
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Most BIOS, especially laptops, have a BIOS setup password and a BOOT system password. If you set the BOOT or system password it has to be entered before the BIOS loads the OS. It won't boot the hard drive without it. Also a laptop BIOS differs from a desktop BIOS in that you can't easily reset it to defaults with a jumper or by removing the CMOS battery. The passwords are stored in eeproms (E squared PROMS). They are Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. Most desktop PC's only have eproms. Removing the CMOS battery will not erase an eeprom, it has to be reprogrammed. That means you have to know the password to get in and change the password. All the battery does is maintain the date and time. If you do set BIOS passwords on your laptop you don't want to ever forget them or you could be in for a pain full experience trying to get back in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #20
Infinite

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 - 64 Bit
 
 

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 stolen laptop. devastated




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