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[How-To] Track a Stolen Laptop

Monday, 17 November 2008, 9:02 | How-To, Software, Tutorials | 14 Comments | Read 1347 Times
by Vaibhav Pandey

Though we do take steps to prevent our laptop from getting stolen, but still when it does get stolen; we find ourselves stuck in a situation with no ends. This post will help you get out of such a situation and show you how you can track your stolen laptop.

In the commercial world, we do have many softwares available which can help you track your stolen laptop; but the good news is that Adeona, a free and open source software can also do all that a commercial software does, in terms of tracking your stolen Laptop.

What is Adeona?

Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go — there’s no need to rely on a single third party.

What’s more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner’s choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

What do I need to do to track my Stolen laptop?

Before your laptop gets stolen, ensure that you download and install Adeona. Adeona only requires downloading and installing a small software client. Adeona is free to use.

How does Adeona work? Does it require an Internet connection to work?

Adeona’s Current location checks are run approximately once every 30 minutes. Each time Adeona runs, it collects your machine’s internal IP address from the operating system, the external IP address from a third-party reporting service, the name (if any) of the wireless network to which it is connected, the names of nearby routers as reported by traceroute, and (if available) a photo via iSight camera. It stores this information securely in an encrypted local cache. At some random point in the future, it uploads the collected report to the distributed, decentralized OpenDHT network. Yes, Adeona requires Internet connection to update and retrieve the details about your laptop.

I have downloaded Adeona, what next?

Once you have downloaded and start installing Adeona, it will ask you for a password of your choice. Enter and remember the password as this is your key to further steps when your laptop is actually stolen. When the installation is compelete, Adeona will start a background service which will then keep sending details to the server every 30 mins ( default time).

Adeona Installation password will be used to retrieve details.

Adeona Installation password will be used to retrieve details.

It will also save a file called “adeona-retrievecredentials.ost” to your desktop. Ensure that you take a backup of this file either by saving it on another drive or simply by emailing it to yourself. This file will be required when you wish to retrieve the details about your Laptop.

My Adeona setup is up and running, how do i retrieve the details?

Once your Adeona setup is up and running, you can determine the location of your laptop. Run Adeona Recovery Tools. This tools was installed alongwith the installation of Adeona ( provided you didnt deselect the option). You would be required to enter the location of adeona-retrievecredentials.ost file and the password you had set during the installation.

Details retrieved using Adeona.

Details retrieved using Adeona.

Once done with all the options and authenticated, Adeona will recover the details by connecting to its server and populate a txt file with the details.

Once you have the details, You can then use a free service like IP2Location to figure out more details about the IP Addresses retrieved using Adeona.

Do remember that any thief can always stop Adeona service thereby making you paralyzed from getting any further information. Thus, always believe in the old saying ” Prevention is better than cure”.

Image Source: SimpleHelp

Also read: [How-To] Disable Simple File Sharing on Windows XP

[How-To] Recover lost Outlook PST Password

[How-To]Bypassing Passwords in Windows

 

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Cheers

Vaibhav



Follow me on Twitter at @vaibhav1981
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  • mayank

    i have lost my face wash, is there any way to retrieve it ?

  • vallabh

    Vaibhav:

    This is an interesting item. I’ve installed it, but pray to God to not give me a reason to use it!

    cheers
    -vallabh

  • shailendra kumar

    in case if system has been stolen…do you any technique that we can trace the location of that system……kindally inform me at my email id…..coz my my two laptops has been stolen last night..

    thanks
    shailendra kumar

  • shailendra kumar
  • http://mxlaptop.com MX Laptop

    Cool, I didn’t know that there is a way to track stolen laptop with a software…

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  • bballerandy

    i recently had my laptop stolen from my car. How can i find it? or delete everything on it

  • http://www.ncusa.com/backstopp.html Graham

    BackStopp Data loss prevention
    Backstopp enables organizations and individuals to perform a remote deletion of data files on any lost or stolen PC, Laptop, PDA or Mobile phone utilizing either the GSM (mobile) network, Internet or RFID.

    Off-premise solution As soon as you realize your device is lost or stolen simply login to the BackStopp web console to securely delete all data on the device using US Department of Defense standards. Once your data is secured a detailed report will show what data was destroyed, the device’s last known location and even a photo of the culprit.

  • Harsh Bansal

    HI

    I was having Dell Studio 15 laptop . Somebody stolen it . I was having no tracking software installed on it . Please tell me is there any way so that I can track it . PLEASE HELP.

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