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  • Getting rid of Computrace on Dell Inspiron mini 10v (Inspiron 1011)

    Posté le 8th septembre 2009 sberthelot 10 commentaires

    Today I just received my very small and not so shiny Dell Inspiron mini 10v (1011 model). I will possibly make a review later if there is enough popular demand :)

    Playing with the BIOS I activated « Computrace » to see what it means, thinking that it was some sort of TPM module. What a mess !! I didn’t pay attention at all that this setting could not be changed later… or could it ? :)

    Do the following at your own risk of course …

    I grabbed a bootdisk (floppy image) with Dell utilities on it (especially ASSET.COM and EE-VALUE.EXE)

    (Google is your friend, don’t even try to ask about any non-opensource download here…)

    After some fight with those utilities I finally found how to change Service Tag and Asset Tag from my small laptop. I read posts on different forums that it should be enough to reset Computrace but it wasn’t …

    So to change Service Tag use

    ASSET /S /D (to delete and set it up again in the BIOS menu) or

    ASSET /S NEWTAG

    Depending on asset version it should work flawlessly, I tried ASSET_A209.EXE and it didn’t work for me (an old version did)

    Use similar commands without /S to change Asset Tag.

    But the trickiest part was to deactivate the damn Computrace module in BIOS.

    This time we would use EE-VALUE that allows to set a value directly on the BIOS NVRAM (not sure about CMOS of NVRAM but anyways…) and looking at different values I finally found (using EE-VALUE /D to display contents) that there was a strange value at offset 0×50.

    Using

    EE-VALUE /W=50,FF

    will reset it to default and then you will be able to select or disable it again.

    If you have any doubt or if you have a different laptop check first with

    EE-VALUE /D

    and try to find any « 03″ (activated) or strange value around 0×50.

    Very strong protection from Absolute Software guys ! It takes seconds to remove once your laptop has been stolen, very efficient …

    I had this error for a long time before discovering I could do it directly with EE-VALUE so I put it here for indexing purposes :

    SVCTAG.EXE version 3.3

    I told you what I am. But what are you?

    EE-CPB.exe: Error 0

    Now, then I’m going back to my fresh Slackware 13.0 install again. Thanks for reading and I hope this will help people with Dell laptop to manage their « Computrace » settings like they want.

     

    10 réponses à “Getting rid of Computrace on Dell Inspiron mini 10v (Inspiron 1011)” Icône RSS

    • Hey,

      I managed to f*** up my laptop by enabling CompuTrace and cannot disable it now.

      I´ve tried what you did but EE-VALUE just hangs the computer for me.

      Do you have any ideas?

    • when trying to use asset, I get the following:
      The operating system is preventing this utility from operating properly (SMI is not allowed)
      any ideas?

      • Hi wertert,

        Are you using the tools under Windows ? They are obviously only working in *pure* DOS environment.
        Use FreeDOS or similar to boot on a pure DOS (no Windows) environment to use them …

    • hey,, just wanna why you guys dont want computrace on your dell laptops?? what’s wrong with this embedded software…?
      -just having thoughts of activating it.. but i couldn’t decide if it’s worth activating for
      -is it really a mess enabling it on my inspiron laptop?
      please respond… thanks..

      • Hi hanivani,

        This tools installs spyware on your laptop and automatically reinstalls it whenever you reinstall or clean your system so it’s somewhat « sticky ».
        You cannot (if you don’t use my method) change your mind after you have activated or disabled it in your BIOS. The option won’t be available after and you would have to try the tools I listed to change its status. Those tools are working more or less depending on your exact BIOS version so I would simply recommend to *disable* it once for all.

        Trust me, you don’t want it on your laptop. Even if I’m running exclusively Linux (Slackware) on my laptop I forced it to be *disabled*. Having spyware on my computer, from a company or a hacker is exactly the same for me : non desirable (to stay polite …)

    • im using SVCTAG version 3.3 and i can change the service tag without problems but when i run EE-VALUE /D i get this error (fatal error, failed to read value from serial EEPROM at address 00), my laptop is a dell studi 1555 and i want to reset computrace in my bios, can you tell me what im doing wrong, thanks

      • peter,
        Are you doing this under pure DOS environment ? (FreeDOS, …)
        If yes, you should try other versions of the tools, I had to try many to get one working.
        I didn’t understand (nor take time to) how Dell manages versions of those tools and for which model they are working…
        Maybe you don’t have a similar eeprom/cmos chip from the one on mini 1011v. I’m almost sure that removing the battery and shorting CMOS is not enough, you have to find a way to list/modify data stored in a non-volatile rewritable chip along the bios (eeprom, flash, …). If you have a different chipset type it may require using a different executable or a newer EE-VALUE tool …

        Don’t give up !

    • Can someone help me with computrace in my inspirion mini10v (1011).i activate its in bios and at now i have no access to the hard drive.i can only boot system from pendrive.no results to find the dell ultilities and files asset.exe and ee-value.exe.please help me.

    • Hiiiii

      thanks for sharing.
      Pleaaaaaaaaaze all help me to disable this features.

      I have a DELL XPS L501 with the latest bios A7.

      PLZ help me and tell me how to do it.
      Now i have my PC which is rebooting randomly and some keys of my keyboard are desabled as ctrl, windows, altGr, alt …

      PLZ contact me in my adress

      Realy thank you.

    • Hi
      The same question
      I have DELL n5010 i5. Computrace enabled.
      How to disable it? If anybody have the same model and any experiense – wich utils to use – share please.

      Thanks.