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X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

X200/X201/X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300/X301 Series
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rvdginste
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X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#1 Post by rvdginste » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:09 am

Hello,

I recently bought a Thinkpad X200 that has Computrace activated in the BIOS.
I read some posts on this forum regarding how to disable Computrace and followed that: I contacted Absolute software with the serial number of the machine and they let me know that they disabled computrace on the laptop. In the mean time, we are a week later and even though the "rpcnet" process seems to not be running anymore (rpcnetp files still exist on the disk), I still cannot disable the computrace feature in the BIOS.

Now I read somewhere that for certain (earlier?) versions of Computrace, there was no possibility to disable computrace in the BIOS after it was activated once, and that in other versions Computrace can be disabled in the BIOS after it was disabled for that laptop by Absolute software. Can someone tell me whether it can be disabled or not on the X200?

rvdginste
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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#2 Post by rvdginste » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:43 am

I've been emailing with someone from Absolute for some time now. Every time they change "something" and I should leave the laptop online and then "something" should happen and Computrace should be "completely disabled". Except that it isn't.

The best I got up till now is that the "rpcnet" process is reinstalled after boot, and that it gets removed after being online for some time, but the warning in the BIOS stays active and the setting remains frozen.

It seems not to be an issue with the original owner that should release the laptop since there was no talk about that. It seems to be a purely technical issue to disable Computrace. This makes me wonder whether it can be completely disabled on X200... I found several examples of it being disabled on X201, but never on X200. No one here went through this experience with X200?

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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:19 am

In the Security/Computrace there are some settings:
Computrace Module Activation [Enter]
Current setting: Enabled/Disabled/Permanently Disabled
Current Status: Activated/Not Activated

What does your BIOS say?

Also don't leave it on all the time, reboot every once in a while and leave it off overnight.
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rvdginste
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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#4 Post by rvdginste » Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:17 am

The BIOS says:
- setting: Enabled
- status: Activated
Setting is greyed out and cannot be changed.

I mostly left the machine on without rebooting; will reboot it from time to time.

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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:08 am

Get Absolute to confirm that CT has been deactivated.
If need be, escalate the case and ask to talk to your contact person's manager.

I can remove that CT for you (see my website) if Absolute doesn't 'come through'.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
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rvdginste
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Location: Mechelen, Belgium

Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#6 Post by rvdginste » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:03 pm

A small update, since the issue is resolved.

In the end, the person from Absolute sent me an installer for Computrace and a tool to trigger a test call from the laptop to Absolute.
This worked correctly, and afterwards he disabled Computrace from their side again. And this time it went through.
I rebooted the machine and the warning in the BIOS was gone, and I could finally "Permanently disable" Computrace.
It took a lot of time, and I don't know exactly why it didn't work earlier on, but I'm very happy that it's resolved.

@RealBlackStuff, thanks for the offer to help.

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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#7 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:26 pm

rvdginste wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:03 pm
I rebooted the machine and the warning in the BIOS was gone, and I could finally "Permanently disable" Computrace.
Permenantly disable Computrace is also irreversible (short of programmers)... I would leave it disabled/deactivated, but just so you know, though not like anyone is gonna enable computrace in the future anyway
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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:26 am

Hold it!
If CT is only Disabled and you put in a HDD or SSD from another laptop with CT Enabled, it will activate CT in your BIOS!
viewtopic.php?p=786947#p786947
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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#9 Post by rvdginste » Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:47 am

I set it on "Permanently disabled". I will not use Computrace and even if I would sell it later on, I don't think anyone would make a problem of it.
It is already an older machine and I assume Computrace is mostly relevant in a corporate environment.

Anyways, I can finally do a clean install of Windows 10. It runs Windows 10 now, and it does that surprisingly fluently (on SDD).

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Re: X200: possible to reset Computrace to disabled in BIOS?

#10 Post by madicetea » Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:26 pm

rvdginste wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:47 am
I set it on "Permanently disabled". I will not use Computrace and even if I would sell it later on, I don't think anyone would make a problem of it.
It is already an older machine and I assume Computrace is mostly relevant in a corporate environment.
Congratulations! I'm happy to see that CompuTrace is still active and out there helping hapless Thinkpad users who happen to purchase a Thinkpad with CompuTrace activated.
rvdginste wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:47 am
Anyways, I can finally do a clean install of Windows 10. It runs Windows 10 now, and it does that surprisingly fluently (on SDD).
Windows 10 is nice enough when run on a slightly older machine with an SSD, but please don't use an HDD for it. Even the 7200 RPM ones will see a noticeable performance hit, and the SSHDs are still moderately slow in comparison to an SSD. Can't speak for Windows 11, I'm a rather bit more partial to the upcoming Windows 10 LTSC 2022 myself.

Best to your adventures in the future ...
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