MacBook Stolen 3 Weeks Ago

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sorrycharlie, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. sorrycharlie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    Stockbridge, Georgia
    #1
    Hello fellow Apple-eaters. I'm in a desperate situation... rather, my wife is. Someone broke into our apartment and stole her MacBook Pro. She actually bought it with the insurance money from when her Sony VAIO was stolen from our apartment back in January. (We were on the terrace level, facing the woods. Last week, we moved into a third-story apartment facing other apartment buildings.)

    Within an hour after it being stolen, I signed into her iCloud account and set it to notify me by email when her Macbook was located, and to lock it. Three weeks later and still no email. I sign onto iCloud occasionally, but it always says "Offline" and "Pending: Lock."

    Should I give up hope of ever locating her laptop? We can't afford to buy her a new laptop right now, even with the insurance money (moving expenses, security expenses, new tires for the car, etc). I thought that the Find My Mac/iPhone service was infallible. Isn't it still supposed to kick in when connected to the internet, even if the hard drive was wiped? She had a strong login password, so I don't think they could've guessed her password within one hour. What do you guys think? Is there still hope?

    (PS: Yes, I gave the police the serial number.)
     
  2. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    Yes, it's gone. Report the serial number to apple as well just in case it's ever taken into a store.
     
  3. sorrycharlie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    Stockbridge, Georgia
    #3
    So how did they get around the location detection? :(
     
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #4
    As far as I gather the security isn't as locked down with these Mac's as it is with the iOS devices. If you registered the Mac with her Apple ID I would inform them that your Mac has been stolen and then hope the buyer tries to use it. Check your apple support profile online with the Apple ID to see if it's registered to you still first and if not in the list register it immediately.

    It could quite easily be broken up into spare parts I'm afraid. Horrible thing is getting burgled i know only too well...
     
  5. JacksTLOS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    #5


    They never put it on-line and just wiped the hard drive. Happened to me before too! What I did with my current Mac is locked the firmware by booting up into the recovery system and entering a firmware password. This way nobody can reformat the hard drive or even replace it without the password. Activation lock for mac :cool:
     
  6. YanniDepp macrumors 6502

    YanniDepp

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #6
    As I understand it, Macs lock down when iCloud tells them they're in lock mode. So if you connect a Mac to the internet after lost mode has been activated, they'll reboot to a locked-down password screen and won't let you access the boot options.

    If you steal a Mac and don't connect it to the internet after lost mode has been activated, it doesn't lock down and you can wipe it.

    Reinstalling OS X from the recovery partition will deactivate lost mode. So will a standard PRAM reset. Of course, if the device is in lost mode, you can't use these options. But if you reboot them before the Mac checks with iCloud, you can wipe them.

    This, people, is why you set OpenFirmware passwords. But even these can be removed on older Macs by removing a stick of RAM temporarily.
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #7
    That works for the post 2007 versions, earlier you just had take a ram stick out to reset it! I wish it was as locked down as iOS as the bios chip can be reprogrammed quite easily on the logic board for under 120 bucks.
     
  8. acctman macrumors 65816

    acctman

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Georgia
    #8
    the downside to a firmware lock, you pretty much eliminate zero chance at getting your Mac back. Wifi will never activate and the party who stole the Mac will more than likely destroy it. Unless they're dumb enough to take it to Apple for service.

    ----------

    did she not have a login password?
     
  9. sorrycharlie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    Stockbridge, Georgia
    #9
    Yes, she did.
     
  10. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #10
    I think you misunderstand what a firmware password does and doesn't do, have a read here but if TL-DR then

    "Note: Firmware password protection does not prevent someone with physical access to the computer from restarting it or turning it off."
     
  11. bushido Suspended

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #11
    worst case couldnt the thief just put in a dif ssd and use it as their own?
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #12
    Don't think so, starting from another HD is blocked, access to the Startup Manager is also blocked.
     
  13. lokster macrumors 6502

    lokster

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    #13
    adding a firmware password is like icloud activation lock. The password resides in the logic board, regardless if the hard drive is removed or changed.

    sorry for your loss =/
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    Two break-ins since last January?

    Your first priority ought to be finding an apartment in a safer location...
     
  15. sorrycharlie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    Stockbridge, Georgia
    #15
    I know what my priorities are. This thread isn't about that. It's about my wife's stolen MacBook and if/how we can expect to get it back.

    ----------

    So what I'm understanding so far is that since we didn't set up a firmware password, the thief could've booted up into some other mode and wiped out everything and reinstalled everything to start from brand-new factory settings... all before connecting to the internet and having Find My Mac send me the location and locking the computer?
     
  16. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #16
    Correct AFAIK.
     
  17. HowEver macrumors 6502a

    HowEver

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    Yes, that's why you add a firmware password, but ALSO activate the Guest Account.


     

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