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How to unlock a computer that was locked by Anti-Theft


Environment

Affected Products:
McAfee Anti-Theft 1.5, 2.x

Affected Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows 8 (applies to version 2.x only)
Microsoft Windows 7

Summary

McAfee Anti-Theft service prevents unauthorized use by locking your computer. Until the computer is unlocked, it cannot be used.

The most common way to unlock a computer is by using the eight-digit numeric passcode you created when you enrolled the computer to the service. 

NOTE: Anti-theft 2.x has implemented a secondary method of unlocking the computer using a recovery token.   

Perform the steps in this article to unlock a computer enrolled in the Anti-Theft service.

 

Problem

The computer is locked by Anti-Theft. While a lock-out can occur for several reasons the steps to unlock are the same. 

Possible Lock out triggers

  • The computer has not checked in to the Anti-theft service within a defined time period.

    NOTE: You can manage the amount of time from within your Anti-Theft account.
     
  • The computer is marked as stolen.
  • The computer has been physically tampered with.

Sample of a text based lock screen:
Intel(R) AT Supported System lock due to: Disable Timer Expired
Time Left to enter Password:  2 sec
Please select one of the following for platform recovery:
1 - User Password
2 - Server Token Password
 

This device has been locked and may have been lost.
If found, Please use the following information to return the device


For help, contact XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Platform ID: XXXXXXXX
Intel(R) AT service provider ID: 5,000

Select one of the above options to proceed

 

Solution 1

You can unlock Anti-Theft normally with the password you created during install. Select the on-screen option to enter a password (passcode/passphrase) and type your password.

If you cannot remember your password, or it fails to unlock your system, continue to the appropriate solution for your version of Anti-Theft.

IMPORTANT: Your Anti-Theft web account can manage more than one computer. If you have multiple devices enrolled in the Anti-Theft service under the same account you must select the correct device to recover the correct password.  
 
To perform the solution steps in this article you need access to:

  • Your locked computer
  • A second, unlocked computer
  • The email account you registered with Anti-Theft
  • Your login information for the Anti-Theft Web Console
  • The answers to your secret questions
If you need to contact Technical Support, you may also require your Proof of Purchase (receipt).

Determine which version of McAfee Anti-Theft you have installed:

McAfee Anti-Theft 1.5
You access your Anti-Theft web console from https://mcafeeat.intel.com/login.action, which has a blue border at the top of the page, and the log in fields have a blue background behind them.

For unlock steps, see Solution 2.


McAfee Anti-Theft 2.x
You access your Anti-Theft web console from http://home.mcafee.com, which has a white border at the top of the page, and you click Log In on the gray menu to log in.

For unlock steps, see Solution 3.


Solution 2

Anti-Theft Version 1.5: Recovering your Unlock Password
The steps in this solution assume that you were unable to unlock your computer using the steps in solution 1.

NOTE: All functions in the portal have a ? icon that provides contextual help.

  1. Go to the following link from an unlocked computer to log in to your Anti-Theft Account:

    https://mcafeeat.intel.com/login.action
     
  2. Select the appropriate computer to manage from the Device Nickname field drop-down menu.
  3. Click Unlock Password.
  4. Use the Retrieve function to send your registered email account a message with recovery information.

    You receive the message An email will be sent to the registered email address, would you like to proceed?  
     
  5. Click OK.

    IMPORTANT: This information is sent to your registered email address. If you are unable to access this email account, you must update your Anti-Theft account with a valid email address.
     
  6. Click the link in the email to begin the password retrieval process. The link opens a recovery website.
  7. Answer your secret questions. After you type the correct answers, a pop-up window displays the unlock password. Make a note of this password for the following steps.

    If you cannot recall the answers to your secret questions you must contact Technical Support:

    http://service.mcafee.com/LocaleSelect.aspx?sg=TS&pt=1&st=PHONE

     
  8. On the locked computer, select the Password / Passcode / Passphrase option.

    NOTE: The password option could be F1 or numeral 1, depending on your computer hardware.
     
  9. Type the unlock passcode from the previous steps. As you type, the passcode displays as ***** for security purposes.
  10. After the computer unlocks, perform a sync:

    1. Right-click the tool tray icon and click Sync.
    2. Allow the sync to complete.
    3. Verify that the sync status in the web console shows the correct time stamp.


       

Solution 3

Anti-Theft Version 2.x: Using the Recovery ID
The steps in this solution assume that you were unable to unlock your computer using the steps in solution 1.

IMPORTANT: The following steps require you to take actions on the locked computer and an unlocked computer while you are logged in to your account. You must complete these steps before the timer expires (approximately five minutes). If the timer expires before you complete the steps, you must start over. The locked computer may restart or shut down.

You have two options available within your web console to help you unlock a device. You can use the new lock out password recovery option or the recovery token function.


Accessing the web console

  1. Click the following link to access your Anti-Theft Account from another unlocked computer:
     
    https://home.mcafee.com

     
  2. Log in to your McAfee account.
  3. Select the computer with Anti-Theft installed.
  4. Click Go To Web Console in the McAfee Anti-Theft section. 
  5. Click Help.
NOTE: If you have difficulty accessing your web console using the link in the previous steps, use https://home.mcafee.com/secure/antitheft/console.aspx instead. This link requires you to log in.


Lock Out Password Recovery

  1. From the unlocked computer, on the home screen of your web console, navigate to Is your device locked? under Device Status.
  2. Click Show Password to reveal your unlock password.

    You can also click Hide to obfuscate the password.
     
  3. On the locked computer, select the Password / Passcode / Passphrase option.

    NOTE: The password option could be F1 or numeral 1, depending on your computer hardware.
     
  4. Type the unlock password from the previous steps. As you type, the password displays as ***** for security.
  5. Perform a sync:

    1. Right-click the tool tray icon and click Sync.
    2. Allow the sync to complete.
    3. Verify the sync status in the web console shows the correct time stamp and location tracking history. 

Server Token Password Recovery

  1. On the locked computer, select the option to enter the Password / Passcode / Passphrase.

    NOTE: The password option could be F2 or numeral 2, depending on your computer hardware.
     
  2. Make a note of the Recovery ID.
  3. On the unlocked computer, type the Recovery ID in the '26 Character ID' field and click Get Recovery Code.
  4. Press F2 or numeral 2 on the locked computer (this option differs depending on your computer hardware).
  5. Type the Recovery code.
     
    NOTE: Both the recovery code and the recovery token are 26 character alpha-numeric strings. Take care when reading the recovery ID string, as some characters can be mistaken for others (such as 2 and Z, 0 and O). 
     
  6. Perform a sync:

    1. Right-click the tool tray icon and click Sync.
    2. Allow the sync to complete.
    3. Verify the sync status in the web console shows the correct time stamp and location tracking history. 
       
Reset the unlock password

IMPORTANT:  If you cannot recall the unlock passcode, you can change it after you successfully unlock the computer. Do not change your lockout password if the computer is in a locked state or is not synchronizing.

  1. Click Settings on the Anti-Theft home page.
  2. Scroll down to the Intel AT Service Password section and type a new password.
  3. Click Save.



     

Related Information

Glossary of terms used in this article:

McAfee "My Account" home page: http://home.mcafee.com  
Anti-Theft Password, Passcode, Passphrase: The credential used in various locations to unlock AT.
Anti-Theft: This refers to the AT technology.
Anti-Theft Service: This refers to the application and the back-end.
Anti-Theft Client: This is the Windows application.