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Used Computer issue. Please advise me. Serial number tag does not match the serial number in bios.
Vanity | 2-5-13 | Self

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.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computer; computertrace; lenovo; number; serial; thinkpad
Let me add this:

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.

1 posted on 02/05/2013 9:50:53 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

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.


2 posted on 02/05/2013 9:54:20 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rawhide

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


3 posted on 02/05/2013 9:55:11 AM PST by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: rarestia

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.


4 posted on 02/05/2013 9:57:54 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

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.


5 posted on 02/05/2013 10:00:33 AM PST by bigbob
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To: rawhide

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.


6 posted on 02/05/2013 10:06:43 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: bigbob
The program Computrace calls home once a day, and provides the Computrace the location of where the laptop is located, and other details of your laptop.
If the laptop is reported stolen, then Computrace can remotely tell the laptop to call home every 15 minutes, so the machine can be traced.
Computrace can also download details about your computer and even remotely wipe out your hard drive.
If I can get this program deactivated, then that would not happen.
But Computrace will not deactivate the program, except if the original owner puts in the request.
7 posted on 02/05/2013 10:09:30 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide
This link suggests you can turn it off in the BIOS. Do a Google search on "disable Computrace"
8 posted on 02/05/2013 10:23:31 AM PST by upchuck (America's at an awkward stage. Too late to work within the system, too early to shoot the bastards.)
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To: Mr. K
"You can relay your suspicions to the police who can check if the s/n was reported stolen"

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.

9 posted on 02/05/2013 10:25:40 AM PST by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: rawhide

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.


10 posted on 02/05/2013 10:38:54 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: rawhide

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).


11 posted on 02/05/2013 10:40:11 AM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: rarestia

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)

Good luck


12 posted on 02/05/2013 10:44:41 AM PST by petro45acp (No good endeavour survives an excess of adult supervision)
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To: rawhide

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 .


13 posted on 02/05/2013 10:50:19 AM PST by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: rawhide

Sounds like the hard drive has been replaced!!


14 posted on 02/05/2013 11:10:30 AM PST by ontap
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To: upchuck

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.


15 posted on 02/05/2013 11:12:28 AM PST by rawhide
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To: sten

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.


16 posted on 02/05/2013 11:14:38 AM PST by rawhide
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To: familyop

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.


17 posted on 02/05/2013 11:17:40 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

Don’t know what to tell you about Computrace. That’s new to me.


18 posted on 02/05/2013 11:19:33 AM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: petro45acp

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.


19 posted on 02/05/2013 11:20:32 AM PST by rawhide
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To: puppypusher

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?


20 posted on 02/05/2013 11:24:12 AM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide

Motherboard was replaced


21 posted on 02/05/2013 11:33:50 AM PST by Fully Awake DAV (Navy Vet when homosexuality was not tolerated)
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To: rawhide

Sensible.

Make haste slowly...but within the 14 day return limit.

Cheers


22 posted on 02/05/2013 11:36:45 AM PST by petro45acp (No good endeavour survives an excess of adult supervision)
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To: rawhide

I’d be nervous that the operating system has been upgraded, rather than wiped clean. Who knows what lurks? If you don’t have the Windows system disks to wipe the drive and reinstall the newer operating system from scratch, then you are screwed and should return the machine. Or else install Linux. :-)


23 posted on 02/05/2013 11:45:00 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: rawhide
I'd return it. And make sure any future purchases are guaranteed to not have tracking software installed.

Think Pads are one hell of a notebook. I've had several of them. Built like a tank. Can absorb lots of (unintended) abuse. Wouldn't have anything else.

If you return this one and want another, check out the Lenovo Outlet Store. Lots of bargains there.

24 posted on 02/05/2013 3:33:49 PM PST by upchuck (America's at an awkward stage. Too late to work within the system, too early to shoot the bastards.)
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To: Slump Tester

“the pigs”..??

seriously...

I thought only lefty libtards from the 70’s still used that term. Granted there are some seriosuly bad dudes who wear a badge, but we generally support law enforcement here dontt we?


25 posted on 02/05/2013 3:36:58 PM PST by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: Mr. K

You gonna support them when come door-to-door for your guns? For every good one who won’t do that, there’s another 5 or 10 who are already hard just from thinking about it.


26 posted on 02/05/2013 7:42:08 PM PST by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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