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Serial number tag does not match the serial number in bios.

I just bought a used Lenovo Thinkpad off eBay. Received it today and I noticed the serial number tag on the bottom was a little torn. No concern to me, at least at first. I also ran the s/n from the tag to see if it had any warranty time left on it. The s/n on the tag shows the warranty expired in 2011.

So, I was checking the system out to ensure it was okay, the settings were correct, and I noticed the serial number recorded in the bios was different from the s/n tag. A little strange. I checked the warranty status on the s/n from bios and it says the warranty ends in May,2013 of this year.

I wondered why the difference in serial numbers? I kinda trust the s/n in the bios being the correct s/n because looking closer at s/n tag, it kinda looks to me that the serial number tag may not not the original tag, as it is torn, and does not stick well.

Should I be concerned about this? Could this have been stolen and reworked?

Could the motherboard had been replaced? Why then does the serial number in bios show under warranty.

Thanks for any advice you might give.

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Stolen would be my first thought. Replaced the outer tag so a quick look would make it seem clean. When you checked the warranty on that outer tag did it show the model of the machine?
I'm not sure there is much you can do though... local police often keep a list of hot serial numbers, but I don't believe they get shared nationally. And most people don't know the serial numbers from their machines so can't report them anyway.

minidrag said:   Stolen would be my first thought. Replaced the outer tag so a quick look would make it seem clean. When you checked the warranty on that outer tag did it show the model of the machine?

Yes, in fact, each of the serial numbers have a different machine type and a different model number assigned to them.

Another thing I noticed is there are a couple of unusual .gov links in a separate 'favorites' folder.

And the computer has the Computrace (Lojack) program activated on the computer. I found, by searching online, that this may be extremely difficult to deactivate or even delete, as it resides in bios. There are at least a couple of file processes running in Task Manager related to this program. If ended, they are re-started at the next re-boot.

GeorgiaBulldawg said:   minidrag said:   Stolen would be my first thought. Replaced the outer tag so a quick look would make it seem clean. When you checked the warranty on that outer tag did it show the model of the machine?

Yes, in fact, each of the serial numbers have a different machine type and a different model number assigned to them.

Another thing I noticed is there are a couple of unusual .gov links in a separate 'favorites' folder.

And the computer has the Computrace (Lojack) program activated on the computer. I found, by searching online, that this may be extremely difficult to deactivate or even delete, as it resides in bios. There are at least a couple of file processes running in Task Manager related to this program. If ended, they are re-started at the next re-boot.

Wow.. that looks like a mess.
If I were you, I would contact Computrace so you dont seem like the one who stole the computer. Yeah if they take the PC you'll be out some money (if you dont get it back from eBay/paypal), but atleast you wont be a criminal in the eyes of Computrace (or hell, the US government.. if it's one of their PC)

I'd report it to the seller (in writing) and see what they reply (hopefully in writing too). Keep that just in case you need it later down the line. If it was me I'd ask for a full refund and return the machine. I'd also let eBay and Paypal know this stuff too. Keep your documentation to them as well.

Good luck.

I'd assumed the machine had been wiped. Silly me. Run a quick recovery scan (recuva or some other free program) and see if there is a bunch of stuff on there. Over the years I've had a few stolen laptops brought to my shop for repair. The data on them made them it pretty obvious they were not from the person who brought them in so I contacted the police. In most of the cases they had a file open for the owner, having reported it stolen. But that's local - not really any way for you to do that because you don't know where it came from. But.. you may find an original owner email address or something on there and be able to contact them directly. I did that once too - they were very happy to hear from me.

minidrag said:   I'd assumed the machine had been wiped. Silly me. Run a quick recovery scan (recuva or some other free program) and see if there is a bunch of stuff on there. Over the years I've had a few stolen laptops brought to my shop for repair. The data on them made them it pretty obvious they were not from the person who brought them in so I contacted the police. In most of the cases they had a file open for the owner, having reported it stolen. But that's local - not really any way for you to do that because you don't know where it came from. But.. you may find an original owner email address or something on there and be able to contact them directly. I did that once too - they were very happy to hear from me.

That's too funny minidrag. Someone steals a laptop and then brings it to a computer repair shop!

If they are going to steal a laptop/computer you would think that they could learn how to quickly wipe the hard drive, wouldn't you?

Glad you helped the police get the bozos.



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