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Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Re: Fedora 4 on Dell XPS M140

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  • Herman
    ... You can t replace the HDD in a stolen notebook - the machine is gone - you don t have it anymore. Unless you are the asshat whole stole the notebook...
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 2, 2006
      >Finally, you say the Dell HDD password is useless, I disagree, you'll
      >find that it's cheaper to replace the HDD in a stolen notebook than
      >send it off to get the HDD password reset. Yes it's possible to
      >circumvent but the disk won't just work in another machine, and the
      >average 10yo won't be much help. It also protects the whole disk,
      >including the windows partitions, with no overheads (unlike software
      >encryption of specific partitions).
      >
      >
      You can't replace the HDD in a stolen notebook - the machine is gone -
      you don't have it anymore. Unless you are the asshat whole stole the
      notebook... ;-)

      The purpose of encryption is to prevent the person who stole the
      machine, from reading your accounting and other sensitive data.
      Mandriva uses AES encryption. Without the passphrase, a thief cannot
      access your data. The only thing the thief can do, is format and
      re-install. (I had an IBM Stinkpad stolen and got an $8000 credit card
      bill a couple of months later - since then, I'm using encryption
      religiously!).

      The Dell BIOS password doesn't help in this regard, since it is trivial
      to circumvent. As I mentioned, simply insert the disk drive in a
      desktop machine and read it. The password may be good protection
      against your little kid sister who doesn't know how to use a screw
      driver, but it sure won't help against my teenage son... :)

      Cheers,

      H.
    • parenthetically_yours
      Herman Not sure if you re aware of the Dell passwords. There are three, user, admin and a separate HDD password. The HDD password does pretty much what you
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 2, 2006
        Herman

        Not sure if you're aware of the Dell passwords. There are three, user,
        admin and a separate HDD password.

        The HDD password does pretty much what you describe, and more. It
        prevents the disk from being used outside the machine. IT WON'T WORK
        IN A DESKTOP WITHOUT THE PASSWORD. A thief can't even reformat and
        reinstall which is why I say it's cheaper to replace the locked disk
        than read it. The links I posted give more details.

        You mention being defrauded after losing a thinkpad - out of interest,
        why did you feel the need to store information that could let you be
        defrauded in the first place? If you knew you had lost such
        information surely you'd have to do the same things you'd do for a
        lost wallet (cancel cards etc.)?

        /PY
      • herman@aeronetworks.ca
        parenthetically_yours wrote .. ... OK, wasn t aware that Dell now use those kind of disks. However, all you need to do to recover the data, is replace the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 2, 2006
          parenthetically_yours wrote ..
          > prevents the disk from being used outside the machine. IT WON'T WORK
          > IN A DESKTOP WITHOUT THE PASSWORD.
          OK, wasn't aware that Dell now use those kind of disks. However, all you need to do to recover the data, is replace the controller card. If a perp has hardware access to the disk drive, then only encryption can keep the data safe.

          Only the paranoid will survive... :-)

          > why did you feel the need to store information that could let you be
          > defrauded in the first place?
          I run Quickbooks on my notebook, since I work all over the place, this is handy. Older versions of Quickbooks work on CxOffice.

          However, I think what the perp accessed was a scan of a credit card statement, which was still on the desktop. Fortunately, the damage to me was only $50, thanks to state law.
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