Questions

I want to encrypt my laptop, so if I ever lost it, my files would be safe

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0 Votes
Locked

I want to encrypt my laptop, so if I ever lost it, my files would be safe

Slayer_
I have never done this before, what tool should I use (brief net search shows lots of choices).

My system is Windows 7 Home prem, I have 2 HDD's and 3 partitions total. I'd like them all to be secure.

Thanks for help.
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    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You can use a product like True Crypt the Encrypt the HDD's and Partitions but you should also add something to find the NB again as well.

    Something like Prey is a good utility but no matter what else you need to remember that nothing beats a Solid Backup that you have control over. Also remember that you need to be able to access the files in your Backup from another computer so you need to find a part way decent Disaster Recovery Solution.

    http://preyproject .com/

    http://www.truecrypt .org/downloads

    Though a more likely better idea is Intel's Anti Theft Technology which will do what you want as well as help you locate the NB if it ever goes missing.

    http://www.intel .com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/anti-theft/anti-theft-general-technology.html

    I haven't used any of these so I have no idea how Cost Effective they are or how well they work. Others here who work with this type of Technology may have better options though.

    Edited to add Don't forget to remove the spaces from between the Domain Name and the .com

    Col

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    Slayer_

    I only looked at truecrypt, but I was a little concerned when it said it made a virtual hard drive and mounted that each time. Is that normal? (is that reverseable if I don't like the performance impact?)

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    1 Votes
    critchdizzle

    Another solution is Microsoft's BitLocker, which comes with Windows 7. Not sure if it comes on Home versions or not, but from what I've seen, it's pretty good. however I do agree with @OH Smeg, something to find your laptop if it gets stolen would probably be better.

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    Slayer_

    You'd never find it.
    And if you did, you couldn't get it, it would go onto a reserve almost immediately, you'd have to be crazy to go there.
    I checked, I don't see bitlocker in the home version.

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    Slayer_

    I'm frankly less concerned about getting it back then I am of people finding my tax forms or my bank information, heck, the freaky mods I have installed in Oblivion :) .

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    1 Votes
    ian.mcpherson001

    My work PC has a program called SAFEBOOT installed. When you install this it encrypts the entire PC and when you start up, you don't get the Windows login screen, you first get the safeboot login and if you don't have the username and password you cannot even get to the Windows login page (and the pc is encrypted, ideal if it is stolen) when you install the program you create a key to unlock it just in case you forget the password.

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    Slayer_

    Hmmm.... Do you know where I can get this program? Google wasn't too helpful.

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    1 Votes
    robo_dev

    For encrypting the whole disk, I have used the McAfee App for that, but for the company laptops...not sure if that would be the best for personal laptop ($$ ?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_disk_encryption_software

    There are free apps such as TrueCrypt that can encrypt folders, but they are a pain, since you need to lock/unlock it every time you open/close your files.

    BUT: Then you have to think about what files you care about, and what would be safe in the hands of a bad guy.

    My approach is for any laptop that leaves the house is to try to keep ALL data on a USB jump drive, so there's no juicy data to find. (However, then being careful not to lose the drive or forget to make a backup of it.)

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    1 Votes
    Charles Bundy

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/self-encrypting-drives/
    http://www.enovatech.net/
    http://www.addonics.com/category/encryption.php

    PS Take this with a grain of salt as I've not used TrueCrypt but the virtual disk feature is different from encrypting whole partitions. You won't have too much performance degradation on a boot disk. I have used commercial SW solutions and encountered the following - if you need to chkdsk or repair sector damage you need to remove the encryption. A most time consuming process for the whole disk. Thus I recommend having a separate encrypted partition where you keep sensitive stuff.

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    Slayer_

    I may do that, just encrypt the sensitive parts.(My whole user profile :) )

  • +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    You can use a product like True Crypt the Encrypt the HDD's and Partitions but you should also add something to find the NB again as well.

    Something like Prey is a good utility but no matter what else you need to remember that nothing beats a Solid Backup that you have control over. Also remember that you need to be able to access the files in your Backup from another computer so you need to find a part way decent Disaster Recovery Solution.

    http://preyproject .com/

    http://www.truecrypt .org/downloads

    Though a more likely better idea is Intel's Anti Theft Technology which will do what you want as well as help you locate the NB if it ever goes missing.

    http://www.intel .com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/anti-theft/anti-theft-general-technology.html

    I haven't used any of these so I have no idea how Cost Effective they are or how well they work. Others here who work with this type of Technology may have better options though.

    Edited to add Don't forget to remove the spaces from between the Domain Name and the .com

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I only looked at truecrypt, but I was a little concerned when it said it made a virtual hard drive and mounted that each time. Is that normal? (is that reverseable if I don't like the performance impact?)

    +
    1 Votes
    critchdizzle

    Another solution is Microsoft's BitLocker, which comes with Windows 7. Not sure if it comes on Home versions or not, but from what I've seen, it's pretty good. however I do agree with @OH Smeg, something to find your laptop if it gets stolen would probably be better.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    You'd never find it.
    And if you did, you couldn't get it, it would go onto a reserve almost immediately, you'd have to be crazy to go there.
    I checked, I don't see bitlocker in the home version.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I'm frankly less concerned about getting it back then I am of people finding my tax forms or my bank information, heck, the freaky mods I have installed in Oblivion :) .

    +
    1 Votes
    ian.mcpherson001

    My work PC has a program called SAFEBOOT installed. When you install this it encrypts the entire PC and when you start up, you don't get the Windows login screen, you first get the safeboot login and if you don't have the username and password you cannot even get to the Windows login page (and the pc is encrypted, ideal if it is stolen) when you install the program you create a key to unlock it just in case you forget the password.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Hmmm.... Do you know where I can get this program? Google wasn't too helpful.

    +
    1 Votes
    robo_dev

    For encrypting the whole disk, I have used the McAfee App for that, but for the company laptops...not sure if that would be the best for personal laptop ($$ ?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_disk_encryption_software

    There are free apps such as TrueCrypt that can encrypt folders, but they are a pain, since you need to lock/unlock it every time you open/close your files.

    BUT: Then you have to think about what files you care about, and what would be safe in the hands of a bad guy.

    My approach is for any laptop that leaves the house is to try to keep ALL data on a USB jump drive, so there's no juicy data to find. (However, then being careful not to lose the drive or forget to make a backup of it.)

    +
    1 Votes
    Charles Bundy

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/self-encrypting-drives/
    http://www.enovatech.net/
    http://www.addonics.com/category/encryption.php

    PS Take this with a grain of salt as I've not used TrueCrypt but the virtual disk feature is different from encrypting whole partitions. You won't have too much performance degradation on a boot disk. I have used commercial SW solutions and encountered the following - if you need to chkdsk or repair sector damage you need to remove the encryption. A most time consuming process for the whole disk. Thus I recommend having a separate encrypted partition where you keep sensitive stuff.

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    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I may do that, just encrypt the sensitive parts.(My whole user profile :) )