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How to configure Orbicule Undercover on your Mac OSX

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Last year in June I bought a Mac Book Pro and said good bye to the PC – since then I haven’t looked back once with nostalgia, nor is there an application that I miss and cannot run: many are written in Java and are Mac compatible, others are happily running on windows thanks to VMWare and my licensed copy of XP 🙂

I had read about Undercover early on in my Mac ownership days and finally found the time to review the service and implement it.

Undercover works as your Mac guard – you purchase a license, install the software, and your Mac is protected in case you happen to “loose” it to others.

The company has some neat reviews to show off and anyone who is serious about their data and Mac should be prepared to pay the price they are asking for their services (In case you are wondering I am in no way affiliated to or have any interest in this company – this is free and honest review I think they deserve).

Installation and verification is a breeze – no problem whatsoever. But there is one point they make about securing your Mac in case of theft: You most likely protect your Mac with a Password BUT factory configurations will allow anyone to boot your Mac from a disc and by-pass your password protection, and re-install the operating system; then your Mac becomes theirs.

But there is a way to prevent this.

The Orbicule website has an FAQ section where I found a link to the Apple Knowledge Base, an article on setting up firmware password protection in MAC OS X

I had never performed any configuration on my Mac before so I consulted assistance after reading the article. I did insert the Mac OSX Disc 1 but stopped when the indications from the article became significantly different from what I was seeing on my screen.

In fact the setup is slightly different when compared to the procedure described in the article. But you can work your way through it without any problems: simply insert DISC 1 of OS X, restart your Mac and press C – your Mac will boot from the DVD and you will immediately be served a menu where you can choose to impede booting your Mac from DVD.

All this was done with the assistance of Apple support, a Spanish guy speaking very good Italian, but who was a bit annoyed by my request – he had never done the procedure before and was having a difficult time performing the configuration (for the very first time) ad instructing me as well.

This was the easy part – then came the question: How do I revert this configuration in the event I need to boot my Mac from DVD once again ??

Well that was another story and a rather long one too !!

Here’s how you need to approach the problem:

Open Systems and Preferences and select Startup Disk

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Insert disk 1 of Mac OS X and press restart to boot.

Unlike what old article and tips describe, this is the only way you can boot your Mac once you have disabled the boot on disc option.

I know this isn’t the best set of instructions but at least it’s starting point and I welcome anyone with more information and experience to contribute by adding a comment – I’d be glad to host a post that goes more into the details of this – there isn’t any documentation out there as far as I have seen and judging by the amount of time I was on the phone with Apple Support, they don’t have much experience as well.

That means there are a lot of unprotected Macs out there.

At the end of the lengthy procedure (which lasted more than 70 minutes) the Spanish guy providing support was no longer annoyed – he had learnt somethign new and also understood the importance of my initial request.

3 Replies

  1. This is just the information I was looking for. I had a close call the other day and wanted to make sure my Mac was completely safe.

    Very good read and I have implemented your suggestions

  2. Thanks for the information. It was really helpful!

    I’m also using undercover but didn’t have the firmare password protection until now.

    Grazie mille

  3. Joe

    Thank for Share Best Content, Very Useful