Skip to comments.Used Computer issue. Please advise me. Serial number tag does not match the serial number in bios.
Posted on 02/05/2013 9:50:44 AM PST by rawhide
Serial number tag does not match the serial number in bios.
I just bought a used Lenovo Thinkpad off eBay. Received it yesterday and I noticed the serial number tag on the bottom was a little torn. No concern to me, at least at first. I also ran the s/n from the tag to see if it had any warranty time left on it. The s/n on the tag shows the warranty expired in 2011. Okay, as wthis as expected.
So, I was checking the system out to ensure it was okay, the settings were correct, and I noticed the serial number recorded in the bios was different from the s/n tag. A little strange. I checked the warranty status on the s/n from bios and it says the warranty ends in May 2013 of this year. It has a 3-year extended warranty m/a agreement.
I wondered why the difference in serial numbers? I kinda trust the s/n in the bios being the correct s/n because looking closer at s/n tag, it kinda looks to me that the serial number tag may not not the original tag, as it is torn, and does not stick well.
Should I be concerned about this? Could this have been stolen and reworked?
Could the motherboard had been replaced? Why then does the serial number in bios show under warranty?
It is a great looking laptop with a near perfect and bright display.
What do you think? Thanks for any advice you might give.
Each of the serial numbers has a different machine type and a different model number assigned to them.
Another thing I noticed is there are a couple of unusual .gov links in a separate 'favorites' folder.
And the computer has the Computrace (Lojack) program activated on the computer. I found, by searching online, that this may be extremely difficult to deactivate or even delete, as it resides in bios. There are at least a couple of file processes running in Task Manager related to this program. If ended, they are re-started at the next re-boot.
I would really like to keep this laptop, but these issues concern me. There is a 14-day return policy on this laptop.
Thanks again for any advice you can give me.
Umm, they didn’t even format the hard drive? They just gave you a used government computer?
The serial number is really a moot point if it’s “hot.” Motherboards can be replaced. Heck, with the right utilities, one could even change the S/N in the BIOS.
I don’t know what to tell you. I would err on the side of caution and contact the seller.
You can relay your suspicions to the police who can check if the s/n was reported stolen
it would be great to stop some computer thief
but other than that, not a lot you can do
They laptop came originally with MS Vista Business. The seller, I believe, upgraded it to Windows 7 Ultimate. It is activated and it is legit according to Microsoft yesterday. It also has MS Office 2010.
I wouldn’t worry about it. If you like the laptop, use it. They’re not exactly a lifetime investment nor is a used one worth the cost of repair.
Microsoft’s licensing is done by a randomly-generated algorithm based on hardware installed on the system. Make any major changes to your system, and you need to re-authenticate your OS license.
As long as the Microsoft software licensing sticker is somewhere on the laptop and the license number on the sticker is the same as the one used to authenticate the OS with MS, you’re fine from a Microsoft licensing perspective.
That doesn’t authenticate the legitimacy of the actual computer. You could go out tomorrow, steal your neighbor’s HP or Dell laptop, buy a $100 copy of Win7, wipe the hard drive, install the new OS, et voila, you’ve got a working computer. It’s still stolen, though.
Will the pigs give him the rectal exam before or after they shoot his dog? Most of them are too damn stupid to deal with computers.
doing a long format of all hard drives and ssds is a must.
pulling them out and replacing them with a new drive would be smarter.
check for root kits
expect something to be loaded on that box that wants to track you and report back.
Maybe you got a newer BIOS. The first thing I do with a new or refurbished machine is to wipe MS and install a better OS. Then I keep the machine as clean as possible—especially for cooling, etc. If a cheap component dies, I order a new component and replace it. If something more expensive dies, I get another cheap computer. It’s difficult to understand why most people buy expensive software and bother to worry about hardware warranties, when it costs next to nothing to do it all ourselves.
Same with vehicles, home energy and many other things. Many who now feel invulnerable and superior will be helpless, when government finally does the austerity measures thing (big spending cuts, big layoffs, tax hikes).
Contacting the computrace/lojack folk with the sn might be a better tactic. The seller has a vested interest in selling the box. Computrace might be able to tell if the box is hot...
As the buyer, you should be covered by ebay policy, your credit card provider, and LE (all speculation here)
It seems to me that the motherboard on the notebook was replaced Thats why your having a different serial number than the one given on the bottom of the computer.
I have had the same issue with my Dell XPS.The entire motherboard was replaced because the embedded video card failed.
I still use that notebook .
Sounds like the hard drive has been replaced!!
Thanks, but once the program is activated, it cannot be disabled. The button to change it is grayed out. That is the way this program works. Computrace can deactivate it remotely, if you are the original owner.
This Computrace (Lojack) program resides in the bios, so formatting and/or replacing the drive will not remove the program. That is why it works so good.
A newer or replaced bios may or may not work, and it may make the machine a vegetable, according to some searching on the internet. Computrace may have something to do with this happening? Too risky to coonsider doing this.
Don’t know what to tell you about Computrace. That’s new to me.
Probably a good idea, unless the laptop is indeed stolen and then that could open up another can of worms with LE? I would think eBay would cover my loss? But any legal issues would be another story.
If the motherboard was replaced, why would it show it’s s/n as the machine’s s/n and also show that it is covered under an extended 3-yr warranty? A little confusing?
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