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Theft protection system that can survive a fomatting?

I am looking for a piece of software which wil let me track my laptop in the event its stolen, before windows loads. I have no GPS module, so it needs to rely on internet connection.

Using a windows service is not an option as I have a full disk encryption using TrueCrypt.

Any ideas?

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marked as duplicate by Tog, sblair, techie007, BloodPhilia, ChrisF Feb 14 '12 at 21:51

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you could get a small gps tracker that is powered on the USB bus. wire it to your internal USB hub and stash the device inside the laptop. dunno. i think i've been watching too many spy movies lately... –  kobaltz Feb 14 '12 at 3:24
    
@kobaltz "i think i've been watching too many spy movies lately". LOL –  Moab Feb 14 '12 at 4:51
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3 Answers

I would suggest LoJack for Laptops, but I'm not sure if are fully protected on a computer that didn't come with that option. LoJack for Laptops has software that works at the BIOS level, so if the hard drive is replaced, this software will install into the new operating system. Laptops that didn't come with this feature I don't know if this will work. Their website says it would.

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"A small portion of our technology is embedded into most computers at the factory. When you install LoJack for Laptops, you're installing the Computrace® Agent that will activate our technology. It is very difficult to detect and is virtually tamper-proof." Most? I find this hard to believe, if its not installed by the PC maker, then you are out of luck on notebooks. –  Moab Feb 14 '12 at 4:48
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What you are asking for is something that can connect to the internet, send out a message to some server saying: "Here is my IP" (that is the only information it will have), cannot be encrypted (or else if the truecrypt protection is not cracked, it will never run).

In essence then, it is an OS that will attempt to send out a message (might take long time (10+ seconds at least), then kill itself and run truecrpyt.

I don't think there is anything like this out there.

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There is also Prey for Windows. IIRC the software is open source, but if you don't want to set up your own webserver you can use the default one from the preyproject, which is commercial, but unless you plan to have your laptop stolen on a monthly basis, the scanty free features will suffice for the occasional theft.

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I had Prey installed previously. Its a great peice of software! But if my drive is encrypted fully, a theif wouldnt even be able to make it to the point that prey would be able to boot. –  MichaelH Feb 14 '12 at 12:08
    
You know that it's actually recommended to allow the thief to login and go online. This increases the chances of you finding the thief in stead of the criminal just selling it. youtube.com/watch?v=U4oB28ksiIo –  Redsandro Feb 14 '12 at 14:56
    
I have seen that clip before, personanly love it. I know they have better chances, but I need the disk encryption. I have too much sensitive info on my laptop. This is why I was looking for something that locates my laptop before boot. –  MichaelH Feb 15 '12 at 4:39
    
If you found a way, it's all good. But you can also have a 'guest' user with it's settings on a different unencrypted partition. Your main user can remain encrypted. –  Redsandro Feb 15 '12 at 9:42
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