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John117

stolen laptop recovery tool. even if hd wiped . . .

5 posts in this topic

#1 ·  Posted (edited)

I am working on a app that reports the ip of a laptop. The idea being if the laptop is stolen you can get the ip when it has one. I was thinking maybe a hidden partition. I could easily work the program startup into an exsisting OS, but would like it to boot in another way. If the HD is formated, the app is still good because it's on a hidden partition, but the new OS will not be setup to run it. Anyone have any ideas? Could bios or otherwise be set to load the program?

-Can an exe be started by anything other than an OS?

Edited by Hatcheda

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You HAVE to be in an operating system that supports the exe format to launch such a file, it is reliant on a lot of the operating systems inner workings.

Windows setup will report all partitions hidden or not (think pre-fab PC (Acer, dell etc) that all have recovery partitions, if you drop in a normal XP install CD it shows the recovery partition).

If you are intent on creating something capable of this, you are going to have to make it hardware based, and find a way to attach it directly to the network card interface of the laptop. (like, the outgoing pins)

Then run it on a small embedded system that is capable of sending details to 1 email address, this way it is completely detached from the functions of any operating systems or inner workings of the laptop, and any thief would have to physically open and remove the device in order to disable it.

About the only way it would be active long enough to be of use, is if the thief kept your laptop running its original OS, In this event, you need to set the exe file as a service, and have it read a remote site for commands, looking for a particular word in a text file for instance. when it sees "golive" or something like that, it will fire up and send its global IP to you. However, i would be very surprised if such a program did not get picked up as a virus or trojan.

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#3 ·  Posted (edited)

Yeah, already have the second suggestion working. Not picked up and doubt it will be as it behaves as any exe that uses the internet. I(it uses IE and sends a text from a website) I am just trying to figure out away beyond a harddrive format. The exe would still work from the os, but with a format, there would be no one to start it after the new os loads. :)

Edited by Hatcheda

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computrace allready does this. It is a bios feature found on many new dell laptops.

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I have a dell, three years old . . . Gonna see if they have an update :)

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