Can a laptop be traced?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Gifted1, Feb 6, 2007.

Feb 6, 2007

Can a laptop be traced? by Gifted1 at 9:20 AM (1,263 Views / 0 Likes) 10 replies

  1. Gifted1
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    Member Gifted1 GBAtemp Fan

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    Ok, my friend has this laptop for sale. He's selling it pretty cheap and I don't want to pass up this offer because I been needing a laptop for a while now. The thing is... I don't remember him ever having a laptop before and when I asked him why he's selling this laptop, he said he doesnt use it much. Anyway, I think he stole it. So if I buy the laptop from him and use it to go online or whatever, can the original owners trace it back to my place or something (assuming its stolen)?
     
  2. wayne

    wayne Newbie

    everything is traceable, it got serial numbers, only if you distroy all serial number will it not be traceable
     
  3. nintendofreak

    Member nintendofreak Around. Shoot me a PM.

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    there are ways of tracing it.. There is actually lojack for laptops, and it activates when u go on the internet.. Plus it allegedly resists re-formatting of hard drives... so I'd replace the whole hard drive if you buy it.
     
  4. pewpz

    Member pewpz GBAtemp Regular

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    Higher end models, yes. Low end bargain laptops, probably not. Look up the specs for that laptop, the manufacturers website will list all of the features including any security measures. Also jump into the BIOS and disable security features, if any. Reformat the drive and if you're really paranoid, install a MAC spoofing utility, like SMAC.
     
  5. Takrin

    Member Takrin GBAtemp Fan

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    Yea format, look up specs for security features, unless your friend ripped off james bond or something i really wouldnt worry about tracking. if its hardware based tracking as someone stated above, that resist formatting i dont think you can use software to spoof it.

    i think most i'd do is prob do a format and look up specs to see how good of a deal i got [​IMG]

    i do agree with wayne, remove all serials etc. also check for those security dots or whatever (like anyone uses them lol)

    at the end i'd say very few laptops have security features as tracking, gps, etc. so far i've not seen a single laptop someone owned with any security system beside a lock or those stupid finger print junk.
    even the alienware thats 5k doesnt have much security.
     
  6. Gifted1
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    Member Gifted1 GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks for the info guys. I went to my friends to take a quick look at it again and I took down the model number. It looks like an older model of a laptop because it doesnt have all the fancy gadgets on it. The model number is 400SD4 and its a Gateway. I'm going to check it out and find some info on it.
     
  7. iamwhoiam

    Member iamwhoiam Honorary R4 Fanboy

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    "a friend of mine...."
     
  8. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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    Wait a minuite, you're wondering if this laptop's stolen and your first question is "how can I stop the guy he nicked it off tracing it to me?" Wow, that's real noble of you. If it is stolen and you buy it off him you're just as bad as him.

    Do police keep lists of serials of goods reported stolen that you can check it against? Or look for a UV postcode mark on the bottom somewhere (or are very few people sane enough to mark their stuff now?).
     
  9. Strider

    Member Strider Next to the mainstream

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    How about asking the manufacturer if this notebook is stolen...

    (Too easy, huh?)
     
  10. jtroye32

    Member jtroye32 GBAtemp Fan

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    i'm sure about 1% (if even) of laptops have any hardware tracking programs integrated into the mobo. i'd just format.
     
  11. Strider

    Member Strider Next to the mainstream

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    Ok, regarding the technical side of tracking - hardly. Even software is rather unlikely.

    Reinstallation of the OS should be done in any case anyway, if you want a clean system.

    So, that leaves the MAC address - which isn't seen after the next router anymore.

    The only thing to worry about is if the notebook is really stolen - and the answer to that I already gave you above.
     

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