Disabling CompuTrace

Discussion in 'Processors, Motherboards & Memory' started by Muggerprime, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Muggerprime

    Muggerprime Newbie

    Greetings everyone,

    If this isn't the right forum, can a mod please move it? I tried posting this over in the Bios forum, but it wouldn't let me post anything there.

    I refurbish computers for a living. An office in my area upgraded their laptops and sent the old ones to a recycling center in my area. The recycling center plans to scrap them for metal, because they all have Computrace active. If I can disable the Computrace, they're willing to sell them to me for cheap. They gave me one of them to play with and try to disable it. If I can't, they're going to throw these otherwise perfectly good I5 laptops in the shredder.

    They are all Dell Latitude E5430. The one I got had bios A11 on it, and I flashed it to A18 (non-vPro).

    Direct link: https://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER04135952M/1/5430A18.exe

    Computrace has 3 settings in the Bios - "Disabled", "Deactivated", and "Activated". "Deactivated" means it's ready to be set to "Disabled" or "Activated". Once set to one of those two, it can "never" be changed, and the setting in the Bios is grayed out. I want to change the setting from "Activated" to "Deactivated" so I can then go in and disable it.

    I found a video of someone doing this on a different Dell (this is exactly what I'm trying to do):

    What I've tried:
    - I tried extracting the Bios from the "5430A18.exe" file using the /writehdrfile and /writeromfile flags, but got errors and it didn't work.
    - I used "Universal BIOS Backup ToolKit 2.0" to try to backup my Bios to a file. I ended up with "DellInc.-A18.rom", which is 14MB. I'd attach it here, but there doesn't seem to be a way to attach files here.
    - I then used "UEFITool_0.22.4_win" to try to edit the Rom. I found 2 Computrace modules, and a lot a Computrace references in "SetupPrep". The modules were easy enough to remove, but wasn't sure if I should remove SetupPrep or leave it. I don't know enough to edit it. I decided to leave it.
    - I got stuck when it came time to try to flash the Rom file back. Dell has no separate flash utility for Rom/Bin/HDR files; their Bios files are all EXE. I tried a few flashing programs, but they all said my Rom was an invalid file.

    Can anyone please help me?
  2. TA01

    TA01 Newbie

    If the recycling center is now the legal owner of the used laptops, and they are willing to sell those laptops for the price of recycled metal, why would they care whether Computrace can be disabled or not?
  3. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    It is an Anti-theft mechanism. I'm sure the recycling center do not want to be held responsible for any 'stolen' laptops, especially if they are now the legal owner.
  4. Muggerprime

    Muggerprime Newbie

    Because very obviously, they can get more money for a refurbished working laptop than for a laptop's worth of recycled metal.

Share This Page