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I want to install a program that would allow me to detect where the laptop is, potentially destroy the harddrive in case it's stolen.
is there a off-the-shelf solution to this?

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I suspect this will be flagged as a duplicate question but Prey is normally well recommended.

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I just want to add a comment that some people might not know. Of course with such software, it can be uninstalled, or the computer can be wiped clean if the thief is smart, and not lazy. I don't know about other manufacturers, but some of Dell's business models have this tracking protection build into the motherboard/bios so it cannot be bypassed. I have not looked at this feature in quite a while, so anyone looking for a new comp with this feature would have to call them. –  KCotreau Jun 24 '11 at 11:41
    
As suggested by KCotreau, a bios/motherboard level protection is the only real solution, and had to be implemented by the manufacturer. Purchase a notebook with this type of protection, it cannot be added to one that does not have it. –  Moab Jun 24 '11 at 14:30

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