This is why I'll use the system recovery feature so I can start it as cleanly as possible.
As to the HDD swap, I wonder why one can't wipe the drive and use the recovery media. But I'll stop here as I did share what I would do.
Hello Everyone. This is my first here on CNET! I guess I am a CNET noobert. I am not a noobert when it comes to PC's.
I purchased a refurbished Dell D820 Laptop last fall (out-of-warranty) thru circuitcity.com. When it arrived there was still data and other info from the previous owner. I contacted the 3rd party and they say Dell is at fault. I contacted Dell and they want to charge me. I don't have the money and don't want to invest more into it.
So... with that I started snooping around for other things that might be on it, and
discovered that it had a software 'lojack' program on it from Absolute Software. This runs over a process called rpcnet.exe. I've tried removing and stopping this process, I've tried reformatting multiple times... no luck. Apparently it is built into the BIOS for obvious reasons. I've contacted the Absoulte Software helpdesk and provided them with all my info, screenshots, etc. and they affirm me that it is not connecting to their servers and that it is not active. The only way they say they can remove and/or disable is by it connecting to their servers.
I guess my million $ question is... where is it connecting to? I've used monitor software to no luck. Now, everytime I use this laptop it becomes hijacked, with the latest nasty being a rootkit or something of that nature. I've reformatted 7 or 8 times now and the same thing happens everytime. I know how to secure my PC's. I don't go to oddball sites risking compromise so it has to be something on it.
At this point, everything is pointing back to the lojack software and where it is really connecting to? Several questions:
Has anyone ever dealt with a refurbished PC that had existing data on it? The company that sold it too me says I need to contact Dell. Dell wants to charge me. Who is really at fault here.
Will flashing and re-installing the BIOS remove it? Is there any other place it could be hidden?
If I swap out HD's, instead of flashing the BIOS, would the lojack still be there? Would a rootkit or anything else infect the new HD?
Thank you for reading... And hopefully responding. Have a great dat!