LAPTOP FRU WHITELISTS

Many laptops unknown to the user use a whitelist for the hardware installed. We have seen whitelists for Wi-Fi cards, batteries and even cellular cards.

Acer, Asus, MSI and Samsung are not known to use any whitelists, hardware can be modified as desired.

KNOWN WHITELIST USERS

  • Lenovo
  • Toshiba
  • Dell
  • HP/Compaq

Whitelist users hide behind nonsense FCC regulations. The truth is that the whitelist is really a form of digital rights management. It forces users to buy only from the original equipment supplier at grossly higher prices.

Consider a poor performing 1T1R single band Wi-Fi card and the need for a better performing 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi card. Whitelists prevent the upgrade.

Toshiba is now largely unknown for selling machines due to very restrictive practices. The paid the ultimate price as the market moved against them.

OUTSIDE THE US

Whitelists actually are illegal in Canada and in the EU. So far regulators have not pressured the industry to clean up its act. In Canada, the Competition Act is clear that taking anti competitive steps is illegal.

FIXING THE PROBLEM

One way to get a new Wi-Fi card installed is to hunt down a fixed BIOS that has the problem fixed. Many laptop makers try to use the DMCA to take down such fixed BIOS images but they are available for most machines.