RESOLVED - New install kills off (replaces) other machine in dashboard

Every so often, Prey sends me an email that auto-update has failed and I should update manually. So I go to my 3 free machines and over-install Prey, this time 1.9.1 (all Windows 10 now).

Except that now I am limited to two machines in the dashboard. When I re-install on the third machine, one of the existing machines disappears from the dashboard (without any warning or confirmation). If I re-install the one that was deleted, the new one appears and another one is deleted.

How do I install the third machine without deleting one of the others?


Hi @mcbsys,
I’m sorry to read that. Could you please send me an email to I will be glad to help you.
Have a nice day

For future reference, this problem happens because Prey is detecting the hardware in one of the computers as the same as the other one, so it considers this a reinstall. To force Prey to detect every new installation as a new unit, go to your Device management settings and disable the Identify devices when linking option. This will force every install to add the units to your Prey account, but will also do this if you ever reinstall Prey on any of your computers. Just keep that in mind.

Thanks for the prompt answers.

Why did this just start happening? I’ve been using Prey for years without seeing this issue. Is this a new feature? Once this time, I got the prompt asking which device to delete. After that, it’ just randomly deletes one.

Okay, I think I see one of the issues. Examining the Activity Logs, the MAC Address Changed events show the MAC address of a router or Wi-Fi access point, not of the NIC. In fact, if I search for the MAC address from the Activity Log in the Hardware information tab (which lists all the NICs), the MAC address is not found. Of course, many devices in my network share the same Wi-Fi access point so if all devices behind an access point are considered duplicates, that might explain this behavior.

Disabling Identify devices when linking did allow me to get the third device back onto the account.

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This is not a new feature. Prey automatically detects hardware since the very beginning, so you don’t have a new device in your account whenever you reinstall. The problem happens when units don’t have unique hardware identifiers, you restore an image or settings from a computer into another, you use some kind of USB network interface, etc. The reasons why this fails could be several different ones, but the way to fix it is the same.

I’m glad this helped. Please feel free to open a new thread whenever you need assistance in the future.