Shutting Down the Threat of Lost Data

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2006-04-03 Print this article Print

Review: eWEEK Labs is testing a service that could save institutions money and face.

Fidelity Investments. Wells Fargo Bank. The University of California. All are major institutions that share the ignominy of losing track of laptop computers filled with the personal information of clients, employees, customers or students. These organizations combined lost several thousand dollars worth of capital equipment, but the more expensive loss by far was the data on those systems.

Here at eWEEK Labs, Im testing a service designed to mitigate the threat of lost data: Absolute Softwares Computrace Data Protection. Absolutes newest offering allows administrators to remotely wipe clean a file, folder or entire hard drive according to the Department of Defense specifications.

Within the last year, most major laptop manufacturers added BIOS support for Computrace, allowing the Absolute software to self-heal and to continue operating after a disk format, operating system reinstallation or even a complete hard drive replacement.

Computrace Data Protection will work for devices that do not include the Persistent BIOS Agent. However, for maximum coverage, IT managers should look for laptops that provide the support.

BIOS-level support for Computrace Data Protection is now available in most new corporate-grade laptop models from Dell, Lenovo Group, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway. However, we dont expect to see this feature added to many older models that started shipping before last summer.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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