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How to secure your Laptop before taking it to a repair shop?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 20, 2013 11:31:15 AM

Hello,

Alright, my Toshiba S855-S5378 Laptop has a screen problem http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACGhNGiGjig Next month I am going to take it to a Toshiba Repair Shop. I am using Windows 8.1 Pro and has 750 GB of hard drive partitioned into 2. Local Disk C: (OS) and the other one is Backup Disk D: (Data drive) I turned on Bitlocker in Backup Disk D: so that It will ask for a password before someone can access it. I have two local user account. mine as an admin with a password and the other one is a guest account without a password.

My BIOS has also has a password, secure boot enabled, and UEFI enabled too. I also installed all the latest security patch in Windows Updates. Windows Defender is also up to date. I already removed the private documents(Bank details) on the Backup Disk: D and the remaining files will be some movies, music, and games installer.

I want to know if this setup is enough before I take my Laptop in a Repair shop. I also want to know on how to check all the serial number or part number of the internal peripherals like CPU, RAM, HDD, DVD-ROM etc so that I can identify if some parts are replaced without me knowing. Please comment if I can add more layers of security.

Thank you.

Toshiba S855-S5378
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
CPU: i7 3630qm
RAM: 8GB 1600mhz
HDD: 750GB 5400rpm

PS: Computer technician here in the Philippines cannot be trusted so I need help. Thanks!

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October 20, 2013 11:49:11 AM
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1. I removed 2/3 of the irrelevant tags for this.

2. Just to turn it on, they will need the BIOS password. If necessary, any other passwords (Bitlocker). So once they have that, they have access to the whole system.

What I would do is save off any critical/personal data. Then restore it to the factory load of software.
When and if they fix it....bring your personal data back from the backup.

If, as you say, they "can't be trusted", you have to assume that whatever is on the drive will be accessed and copied out. Just because they can.
October 20, 2013 12:06:42 PM

USAFRet said:
1. I removed 2/3 of the irrelevant tags for this.

2. Just to turn it on, they will need the BIOS password. If necessary, any other passwords (Bitlocker). So once they have that, they have access to the whole system.

What I would do is save off any critical/personal data. Then restore it to the factory load of software.
When and if they fix it....bring your personal data back from the backup.

If, as you say, they "can't be trusted", you have to assume that whatever is on the drive will be accessed and copied out. Just because they can.


Thanks I already remove some tags. About the serial number, I already got the processor id, motherboard serial number, memory serial number, and hard drive serial number. I do not know how to get the dvd rom, lcd screen and the wlan network card serial number. Is the guest account that will be use in screen troubleshooting enough?
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October 21, 2013 11:45:38 AM

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October 21, 2013 11:49:06 AM

Tiny LittleBEE said:
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1. Don't bump threads.
2. No, the guest account would not be enough for troubleshooting.

Why are you taking it to a shop where you do not trust the techs?
October 21, 2013 12:26:21 PM

To find the serial numbers of all the individual components you will need visually inspect each component so that you can take a photo of it. This can be something as simple as removing a panel to access the RAM and hard drive, to completely disassembling you laptop to get to components like the CPU and a RAM slot that may be under the keyboard depending on how the laptop was designed.

The technician may need to install software to diagnose whatever problem you may have. They need admin rights for that. If you are concerned about personal data then simply back up that data to an external hard drive and delete them off of the laptop. I would also either clear all internal browser history and the cache. You can also uninstall the internal browser as well unless it is Internet Explorer which is basically integrated into Windows.

Are electronic technicians in the Philippines known for being frauds, or just the ones you are dealing with? Why not go to an electronics repair shot that you can trust? Or are there none?
October 21, 2013 11:39:00 PM

USAFRet said:
Tiny LittleBEE said:
Up


1. Don't bump threads.
2. No, the guest account would not be enough for troubleshooting.

Why are you taking it to a shop where you do not trust the techs?


What kind of account I am going to create for the technician? Should I create a standard local account. Will they be able to change any settings or something? I will take the laptop to a Toshiba Repair Shop. I just want to add layers of security.
October 21, 2013 11:45:41 PM

jaguarskx said:
To find the serial numbers of all the individual components you will need visually inspect each component so that you can take a photo of it. This can be something as simple as removing a panel to access the RAM and hard drive, to completely disassembling you laptop to get to components like the CPU and a RAM slot that may be under the keyboard depending on how the laptop was designed.

The technician may need to install software to diagnose whatever problem you may have. They need admin rights for that. If you are concerned about personal data then simply back up that data to an external hard drive and delete them off of the laptop. I would also either clear all internal browser history and the cache. You can also uninstall the internal browser as well unless it is Internet Explorer which is basically integrated into Windows.

Are electronic technicians in the Philippines known for being frauds, or just the ones you are dealing with? Why not go to an electronics repair shot that you can trust? Or are there none?


I am sorry I am not comfortable removing internal parts of my laptop. I already got some serial number using the "wmic" command in command prompt. Is this fine?

Electronic technicians here in the Philippines are known for replacing your good parts with a compatible but less powered or old one.
!