Does an EFI password block physically changing the hard drive?

darnocs

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 24, 2009
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@Weaselboy (since I've seen you post a lot about EFI stuff here), if I have a 2011 MacBook Pro with an EFI password, that doesn't prevent someone who has physical access to the computer (i.e., a thief) from physically taking out the hard drive and replacing it with a different one and booting from that, right? I should know the answer to this question as I've replaced my HD before, but I can't remember if upon first boot I had to enter the firmware password.

Basically, am I correct in that the only benefit of having the firmware password is preventing thieves from booting up from other devices connected to the computer? And it wouldn't prevent them from just swapping my password-protected hard drive with a clean one with OS X installed to resell?
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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@Weaselboy (since I've seen you post a lot about EFI stuff here), if I have a 2011 MacBook Pro with an EFI password, that doesn't prevent someone who has physical access to the computer (i.e., a thief) from physically taking out the hard drive and replacing it with a different one and booting from that, right?
It would prevent that. The EFI password locks the system to the current boot drive.

And it wouldn't prevent them from just swapping my password-protected hard drive with a clean one with OS X installed to resell?
An EFI password would prevent this.
 
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SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
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@Weaselboy (since I've seen you post a lot about EFI stuff here), if I have a 2011 MacBook Pro with an EFI password, that doesn't prevent someone who has physical access to the computer (i.e., a thief) from physically taking out the hard drive and replacing it with a different one and booting from that, right? I should know the answer to this question as I've replaced my HD before, but I can't remember if upon first boot I had to enter the firmware password.

Basically, am I correct in that the only benefit of having the firmware password is preventing thieves from booting up from other devices connected to the computer? And it wouldn't prevent them from just swapping my password-protected hard drive with a clean one with OS X installed to resell?
The only secure thing you can do is encrypt your drive as Apple (with original receipts) or for around $70 I understand you can get the firmware unlocked and then swap the drive etc