Encrypting / securing a hard drive
Thread poster: Damian Harrison

Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 22:18
German to English
Oct 14, 2008

I'm moving to New Zealand in December and plan to have my desktop work PC (Win XP) shipped with our stuff. I'd very much like to encrypt / lock the C drive so that it cannot be accessed if the computer goes missing. Can anyone suggest a reliable program for securing hard drives?
Thanks in advance!


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Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 05:18
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
dismount it Oct 14, 2008

Dismount the hard disk and take it with you.

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Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:48
German to English
+ ...
Preferable not to use the native Win XP encrypt features Oct 14, 2008

I've had a rather unpleasant experience using the native XP encrypt features.

After I encrypted the files, I continued to be able to use them on the same machine, of course. But when I moved to a new machine (also XP), the system wouldn't allow me to read the files on the new machine. As a result, I lost the use of those files for good.


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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:18
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Dallas Oct 14, 2008

but if that's not an option perhaps try: http://www.truecrypt.org/

Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication).


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:18
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Encrypt files, not drive... Oct 14, 2008

Remember that in transit your computer might suffer significant vibrations and shocks (have you seen airline baggage handlers at work? If not, it better stay that way...). It might be possible that the hard disk will suffer minor damage. With an unencrypted disk there still might be a good chance of recovering some of the contents, even with consumer software. With an encrypted disk it is barely possible...

If you really have to, copy the sensitive files into zips (or rars - the encryption is better, I think). Duplicate the files, to be safe, and set a very long password. While it is possible to crack those, it takes so much time and effort, that it makes it rather unattractive...

[Edited at 2008-10-14 12:08]


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:18
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
REMOVE HDD and take with you. Oct 14, 2008

and let the rest travel without the HDD... It is easier and more useful way, as you will be able to use the data before the PC arrives.

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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:18
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Take the HD with you Oct 14, 2008

As a few people have already mentioned it is the most secure and reasonable way. If you still insist on encryption I am with Jabberwock - encrypt important files or folders if necessary rather than the HD itself and most of all - make a back-up or even better 2 and take it with you on DVD or external HD.

Good luck


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