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[Q] Is there any way to remove the factory reset option from recovery?

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xVehemencityx
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Default [Q] Is there any way to remove the factory reset option from recovery?

Hi there. I'm on a team that manages a large number of Android tablets for the company at which I'm employed. The higher ups are concerned that our users will just walk off with the tablets and do a factory reset, making the device theirs. I was hoping there was some way to password-protect the bootloader, but it doesn't seem like that's possible. So now we're thinking that even if we could remove the recovery, it would ease the minds of the higher-ups to know that if a tablet disappears, the user will have to have a working knowledge of fastboot to be able to to a factory reset on the device, and that's good enough for us. I've looked into possibly modifying the stock recovery to just remove the factory reset option, and I would be willing to flash a modified CWM or TWRP without factory reset, if either of them exist.

I know the old adage: Physical access is root access, but if we can at least dissuade them from stealing the devices, it would make my bosses feel much more at ease about spending a buttload on the tablets.


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timmaaa
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Whether or not these people are able to perform a factory reset on these devices after walking off with them, it's still theft. A factory reset doesn't transfer ownership of the device. Are these people employees? Are they customers?

Sent from my Evita.
HTC Evita | KarbonKat 4.4.2 1.0-5
S-off | 2.14 | Modified TWRP 2.6.3
Do not PM me asking for assistance, that's what my Q&A thread is for!
 
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Originally Posted by timmaaa View Post
Whether or not these people are able to perform a factory reset on these devices after walking off with them, it's still theft. A factory reset doesn't transfer ownership of the device. Are these people employees? Are they customers?

Sent from my Evita.
They're employees, and we know it's theft, but we are a very large company, and it has happened before, so we're just trying to make it harder on them, because it's not always easy to find the culprit.
 
timmaaa
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Unfortunately I doubt removing the option to factory reset will actually stop the theft. The majority of people wouldn't even know how to perform a factory reset or that the option even exists. So the fact that the option is removed is completely lost on them and it won't deter the theft. Even if you could install a modified recovery with no factory reset option, the option would still exist in the bootloader.

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HTC Evita | KarbonKat 4.4.2 1.0-5
S-off | 2.14 | Modified TWRP 2.6.3
Do not PM me asking for assistance, that's what my Q&A thread is for!
 
xVehemencityx
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Unfortunately I doubt removing the option to factory reset will actually stop the theft. The majority of people wouldn't even know how to perform a factory reset or that the option even exists. So the fact that the option is removed is completely lost on them and it won't deter the theft. Even if you could install a modified recovery with no factory reset option, the option would still exist in the bootloader.

Sent from my Evita.
Yeah.. that's what I told my boss, but he said the security team still wants some sort of deterrent. We were hoping there would be some way to password-protect the bootloader, but it doesn't really seem possible. So now, just to make the security team happy, we're going to try to roll our own recovery with the factory reset option removed. Then, at the very least, we'll make an announcement to the employees who use the tablets and tell them that they can't do a factory reset, so the tablet is completely useless outside of the facility, especially since it's in kiosk mode and can't connect to any other network than ours.
 
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You'll likely have to contract a developer to create a custom recovery for you. The option will still exist in the bootloader so you'll just have to hope nobody works that out.

Sent from my Evita.
HTC Evita | KarbonKat 4.4.2 1.0-5
S-off | 2.14 | Modified TWRP 2.6.3
Do not PM me asking for assistance, that's what my Q&A thread is for!
 
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You'll likely have to contract a developer to create a custom recovery for you. The option will still exist in the bootloader so you'll just have to hope nobody works that out.

Sent from my Evita.
Yeah.. I think we're probably going to develop one ourselves. I was just hoping someone else had already done it so I could be done with this project and on to the next one haha. We know that people can still just flash a different recovery in the bootloader, but the security guys have basically said that if they're smart enough to do that, then there's nothing we can do except try to catch them.
 
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I agree with the security guys. In the end if someone really wants to steal the tablet they'll find a way to make it work. Hopefully for most people the effort involved in just getting fastboot working (drivers etc) would outweigh the gain. I don't think you're going to find an already developed recovery without the factory reset option as it's intrinsic to a normally functioning recovery.

Sent from my Evita.
HTC Evita | KarbonKat 4.4.2 1.0-5
S-off | 2.14 | Modified TWRP 2.6.3
Do not PM me asking for assistance, that's what my Q&A thread is for!
 
xVehemencityx
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Originally Posted by timmaaa View Post
I agree with the security guys. In the end if someone really wants to steal the tablet they'll find a way to make it work. Hopefully for most people the effort involved in just getting fastboot working (drivers etc) would outweigh the gain. I don't think you're going to find an already developed recovery without the factory reset option as it's intrinsic to a normally functioning recovery.

Sent from my Evita.

Yep, I completely agree with you as well. I think we'd be much better off just trying to discourage the theft of the tablets... I said the exact thing. Physical access is root access. Outside of searching bags and pockets at the end of the shift, there's nothing we can do to stop someone from taking one if they want it.
 
timmaaa
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Couldn't agree more. Well good luck with it all.

Sent from my Evita.
HTC Evita | KarbonKat 4.4.2 1.0-5
S-off | 2.14 | Modified TWRP 2.6.3
Do not PM me asking for assistance, that's what my Q&A thread is for!

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android, factory reset, recovery, remove
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