Theft security/recovery/aftermarket


Does current or future Framework systems support Computrace module/BIOS firmware for tracking/theft recovery, powered by Absolute Software? Most known manufacturer laptops come with this embedded in the motherboard/BIOS which can be activated via Absolute software.

Also, since the laptop is so modular, is there any thought put behind hardware security through ownership registration or similar? Meaning, if every element can be easily sold… Framework machines would be valuable target for thieves. Apple has been making this increasingly difficult where replacing a component in an iPhone simply doesn’t work… thus selling stolen phones for parts is not so easy.


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That brings up a question, is there a serial number on the case and anywhere inside?

Is warranty period tracked by replaceable items in the unit?


Hi @H_K we do not currently support computrace.
@ImaxinarDM there are lots of serial numbers for almost every piece inside the laptop, and on the case.


Hi @Kieran_Levin
Would it be possible to add it with new versions of motherboards? It has become quite a standard within other manufacturers.
I’ve used Absolute service for over 6 years now after my laptop almost got robbed once. I know that if it goes missing, it can be found and recovered, and re-installing the OS doesn’t help at the perpetrators hands as the tracking module is baked into the board/BIOS.

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@Kieran_Levin Great to hear.

Although my inventory person is going to ask if they are all visible or do parts have to be removed to inventory the serial numbers.

If they have to dig for the serial numbers I may have to “bribe” them with a Framework of their own LOL.

The system serial number is located inside the expansion card bay, so you can easily slide out the expansion card to view the serial number.
The other components such as the main board, thermal module, battery, etc require opening the system to view these serial numbers.
You can also access the serial numbers using with WMI interface from your operating system.

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Excellent, they will be happy campers. And probably still bug me for a Framework unit.

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@ImaxinarDM good to know, we always like feedback around any IT/sysadmin requirements for businesses to see if we can accommodate them better. Framework Laptops are hot items! If I were in their shoes I would be asking for one too :smiley:


Yes they are. But since I own my companies… I get mine first. If I’m happy with it, then we can look at getting others.

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I do remember some framework employees saying you could use a different bios if you needed.

I feel like Absolute/Computrace in the BIOS is a Pandora’s box I’d rather be left shut. Thieves that are aware of Computrace can work around it, so it most effectively protects against act of opportunity thefts by allowing disabling the system or deleting data and not always recovery.

Perhaps Prey would work in your business scenarios?


How does the Prey differ from computrace/absolute?

With quick scroll through their site I didn’t see a mention about the technology behind it, but on the front it seems to offer same as Absolute.

It provides the same functionality but at one point I believe it was an open source project so the code was auditable.

Prey is a cross-platform, open source security solution that will let you track and recover your devices in case of loss or theft. It can locate your laptops, phones, and tablets on a map, take pictures, screenshots from your computer and remotely wipe the data from your device (except for iOS.)

I’m throwing my hat in the ring to vehemently oppose the inclusion of any recovery software

If it worries you so much, by an Apple AirTag or other beacon/tracker and install it in the chassis or in an expansion slot

Most thefts are opportunistic anyways so a Kensington lock(although easily broken) would offer more benefit here without compromising on privacy or software freedom


At this point privacy is an illusion. All about you and your device is known already through the OS and other built in systems.

The inclusion of such service is to give you the user some form of tracking your device. Without it this option is one sided to any government agency anyway.

And given that most thefts would be opportunistic, it is exactly something that would help to retrieve it.

If it worries you so much, by an Apple AirTag or other beacon/tracker and install it in the chassis or in an expansion slot

This brings up a good point. I wonder if there’s any space in the chassis where you could sneak an AirTag in (w/o losing an expansion card slot)

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Arguably the kensington lock would be better, most people don’t walk around with wire cutters on their person, it’s the same mentality with bicycle locks-most are pure garbage

If someone breaks into your home to steal your stuff, neither a kensington lock or computrace will save you-your best best at that point is to have your drive encrypted and have backups for your important documents/files…which you should be doing anyways

And I’ll just stay over here and fight for what privacy I have and fight for greater privacy instead of surrendering to cynicism

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Are you saying that Absolute hasn’t recovered any device through its offered service? Hard to believe their service would exists if it’s based on lies only.

If they have recovered a device, the service has been useful, as there isn’t any other way to track your device in case of theft.

The idea that if data is backed up then losing a device is nothing… Sry I don’t have thousands to throw at new hardware and not even try to do anything to prevent it.

Your computer must be powered on for computrace to run, permanently affixing a tile/AirTag would be a better solution as that will work regardless

Secondly, Computrace has been shown to act as an opening for malicious actors to attack your computer

And third, again, if someone breaks into your home with the intention of stealing your stuff, it’s likely not their first rodeo-they’ll steal your electronics and sell them for scrap before risking jail time

Computrace may protect you against idiot thieves but so would a Kensington Lock and an AirTag-it’s far more likely that your would be thief has an iPhone or walks near someone with an iPhone to set off AirTag alerts

I tried checking recovery stats but didn’t find any-not anywhere on google and not in absolutes press materials

That communicates to me that the stats are so low that they don’t want to advertise it, if they had faith in their product they would brag about how often their software results in a recovery but they don’t

It’s useless software that does nothing for non commercial users and raises the price for the rest of us since framework would need to pay a licensing fee to Absolute

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What could probably do is buy a smaller battery and use the space unused for an AirTag-it would obviously cost you battery life but ideally not too much

I think Framework did a rather good job making the most of the space they had so I don’t think there’s much empty space in there-we would need to make some by removing something

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