Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




1 post

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 52562 4-Dec-2009 13:05
Send private message

We were burgled a few days ago and my laptop was stolen.

These people didn't seem too smart. My laptop was password protected (Acer on Vista)

Are you able to delete everything off the laptop without logging in? I doubt they'd know how to take a computer apart or rebuild.

Thanks for any help...

Create new topic
264 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 279338 4-Dec-2009 15:01
Send private message

You can reformat it using an OS cd without needing to know any passwords or anything. Just put the disk in when as the computer is booting and it will go straight to install mode.

2584 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 279340 4-Dec-2009 15:06
Send private message

Once someone has physical access to the machine then you password is worthless. If you used something like bitlocker then they would not be able to access the data protected with bitlocker but they can reinstall a new OS without needing your password are needing to access the inside of the laptop.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

 
 
 
 


1877 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 623

Trusted

  Reply # 279341 4-Dec-2009 15:09
Send private message

If it was a BIOS password it might be a bit harder for them to use the laptop. I'm not sure how many laptops have easy bios resets these days.

Your data should be fairly safe, unless someone really wants to get it off there.




It looks like I'm using an adblocker. I should consider whitelisting Geekzone in my adblocker or a subscription. The Quick Reply box will appear for me when Geekzone is whitelisted. Hooray for me! If I want to reply to this topic I should click on Compose Reply.


264 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 279344 4-Dec-2009 15:11
Send private message

There's also a few tools out there (UltimateBootCD is one of them) that can attempt to change your passwords by editing the registry of the windows machine before it loads windows, meaning someone can still get into the machine that way.

Unfortunately if someone has physical access to the machine there is no way to stop them from gaining access to data or wiping it for their own use.

53 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 279470 5-Dec-2009 00:07
Send private message

Mot a silly question at all. If the thief/thieves have access to some hard drive adapters they can simply "take owmership" of your infotmation. That's kust a softeare term for getting access to secure files. Unless the drive is encrypted etc as mentioned above you information will be accessible.

I assume the aithorites have notified your laptop manufacturer of the theft? Its always handy to have your model # and serial # passed on to service agents etc in case the laptop gets taken in to be looked at...

Sorry to hear about the robbery :-(

635 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32
Inactive user


  Reply # 280088 7-Dec-2009 19:00
Send private message

you can protect your data by using a hard disk password. This type of password is a function of the hard disk bios and very hard to by pass.

You are prompted to enter it at boot time and you cant even format the disk without entering the password.

This is different to a bios password. It can be bypassed but not easily.

Al

2584 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 280248 8-Dec-2009 08:26
Send private message

bigal_nz: you can protect your data by using a hard disk password. This type of password is a function of the hard disk bios and very hard to by pass.

You are prompted to enter it at boot time and you cant even format the disk without entering the password.

This is different to a bios password. It can be bypassed but not easily.

Al


However you have to be very careful with this method. If you motherboard fails you have lost access to all the data on that HDD.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

635 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32
Inactive user


  Reply # 280260 8-Dec-2009 08:47
Send private message

Nety:
bigal_nz: you can protect your data by using a hard disk password. This type of password is a function of the hard disk bios and very hard to by pass.

You are prompted to enter it at boot time and you cant even format the disk without entering the password.

This is different to a bios password. It can be bypassed but not easily.

Al


However you have to be very careful with this method. If you motherboard fails you have lost access to all the data on that HDD.


Motherboard fails?? Eh - a Hard Disk password is completely independant of the motherboard and is a function of the Firmware on the Hard Disk. You can stick a password protected hard disk in any computer you like and access the data ONLY if know the password, else you cant even format that disk!

Details here:

http://www.eevidencelabs.com/article/ATA_Security_Roadblock_to_Computer_Forensics.pdf

or here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_ATA#HDD_Passwords_and_Security

It is part of the ATA standard and very hard to get past.

-Al


2584 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 280272 8-Dec-2009 09:16
Send private message

Opps sorry too early in the morning. Was thinking back to when I played around with TPM's on our IBM laptops some years ago and had a laptop (mine) that had a glass of wine tipped over it (and no not by me). Killed the TPM chip rendering the HDD which did survive inaccessible.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

635 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32
Inactive user


  Reply # 280284 8-Dec-2009 09:34
Send private message

No prob. Whats a TPM chip?

2584 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 280285 8-Dec-2009 09:35
Send private message

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Platform_Module







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

635 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 32
Inactive user


  Reply # 280289 8-Dec-2009 09:44
Send private message

Ahh.....knew it rang a bell

Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Phone prices rising as users move upmarket
Posted 24-Nov-2017 17:16


Talking net neutrality on RNZ Nine-to-Noon
Posted 24-Nov-2017 12:11


Air New Zealand experiments with blockchain technology
Posted 23-Nov-2017 15:39


Symantec selects Amazon Web Services to deliver cloud security
Posted 23-Nov-2017 10:40


New Zealand Ministry of Education chooses Unisys for cloud-based education resourcing management system
Posted 22-Nov-2017 22:00


Business analytics software powers profits for NZ wine producers
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:52


Pyrios strikes up alliance with Microsoft integrator UC Logiq
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:51


The New Zealand IT services ecosystem - it's all digital down here
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:49


Volvo to supply tens of thousands of autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber
Posted 22-Nov-2017 21:46


From small to medium and beyond: Navigating the ERP battlefield
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:12


Business owners: ERP software selection starts (and finishes) with you
Posted 21-Nov-2017 21:11


Why I'm not an early adopter
Posted 21-Nov-2017 10:39


Netatmo launches smart home products in New Zealand
Posted 20-Nov-2017 20:06


Huawei Mate 10: Punchy, long battery life, artificial intelligence
Posted 20-Nov-2017 16:30


Propel launch Disney Star Wars Laser Battle Drones
Posted 19-Nov-2017 21:26



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.