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Lenovo & Dell Laptops with CompuTrace & Blancco on them Help

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#1 jackz4000


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Posted 08 June 2015 - 08:49 AM

Recently I bought 2 laptops on Ebay each without an OS, a Lenovo T500 Thinkpad and a Dell Precision M6400. They were formerly corporate laptops and appear to be in excellent shape and I thought I would just install Windows 7, drivers, and update the Bios. 


Except for a very brief inspection they've been sitting in their boxes for awhile and a few days ago I took them out and powered them on and charged their batteries and left them on for 5 hours and double-checked the Bios settings. I planned to install Windows 7 etc this week. Until I paid closer attention to 2 little things.


Dell Precision M6400:    Everything looks good to go, but it has this pesky Computrace in the Bios. Seems manufacturers install it on the motherboard for corporate clients. Like Lojack for laptops--- it sends out little packets of info to Computrace periodically. In Bios it tells me it is active and I can't change that setting. Luckily I found this thread here:




So I plan to call Computrace after I install Windows 7 etc and they can disable it. Seems the best route to take. The above link may help another with this problem.  :(


Lenovo T500 Thinkpad:   On this laptop I also have Computrace, but in Bios it says it has been deactivated. Since I'm not 100% sure I'll call them about this unit to be certain it is off.


When I power-up I get this Blancco back and white screen which lists various hardware items. It does not go away and I've tried esc and turning it off and on etc. Supposedly Blancco does secure erasure of computers and this page was a report page? I can boot right to Bios and then I get the normal menu. 


I don't know if this Blancco page will disappear when I install Windows 7. I don't know if I can lose it when I do the fresh install?  Any advice appreciated. 




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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 08 June 2015 - 09:30 AM

From this page, the report is stored in the MBR of the drive. Since you will be overwriting the MBR when you install Windows 7 by deleting any partitions you should be able to remove the report screen. 


You can do it before hand by downloading the bootable version of Partition Wizard and doing a Wipe fast zero fill on the drive. Zeroing out the disk would be the best option for a clean install of Windows 7. You can also do a zero wipe using the Windows install disk but Partition Wizard is the easiest way.

#3 jackz4000

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 11:29 AM

Thanks JohnC I was thinking the Windows install would take care of it, but not 100% sure. Thanks for giving me the other option too. :)

#4 Lion face

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 09:10 AM

I messed up and bought a cheap Dell D630 from a shady little company via Amazon marketplace that had computrace active. (The price was too good.) They didn't mention it on the web page. No mention anywhere. I was so pissed I intended to call them the next day and demand my money back, call the police, file an FTC and FCC complaint. After researching computrace and the company and sleeping on it I decided that I had at least a week before I could use my shiny new system and the effort wasn't going to be worth it. I bought it to use as a Linux system and was determined to make this work. So here's what I did.

I burnt a copy of puppy Linux to a CD
Booted puppy and wiped the hard drive with gpartd
Removed the hard drive and attached to one of my other laptops
Booted that laptop with my Linux USB drive
Installed Linux
Put new Linux hard drive back in the D630
Booted! Working Linux system for a good price.

Still, they are out there waiting to take your money folks.
What I learned is never never never buy a used Dell.

Hope this saves a lot of head slaps and regret for someone else.

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