Alternatives To Encryption Re: Prying Eyes

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  1. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,352
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #11

    I had used TrueCrypt, upon which VeraCrypt is based, but I really didn't have much inclination to go forward with that. I simply liked BitLocker because I need no third party software and I can take a drive encrypted with BitLocker to any other Windows machine and it will just work without installing any other software.

    BTW, I do have several large drives encrypted with BitLocker. Not quite the size you have, but 8TB drives. I probably have less than 1GB (this time I do mean GB!) of data that really needs to be protected, stuff like copies of my product license keys, scans of medical documents, birth certificate, etc. but I just encrypt the whole thing anyway. That way, I never have to worry about separating sensitive info from non-sensitive info.

    BitLocker to Go: Yes, you are correct about that, but you really don't need to differentiate. It's completely transparent to you. If you enable BitLocker on an external drive, it's BitLocker to Go, but nowhere does it differentiate.
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  2. Posts : 566
    windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter
       #12

    Anibor said:
    Is the disk "fast" when not encrypted and "slow" when encrypted?
    The problem may be not related to VeraCrypt itself, but to some special characteristics of the disk, for example it may be a SMR disk.
    There isnīt any explicit restriction related to disk size in the VeraCrypt documentation.
    >Is the disk "fast" when not encrypted and "slow" when encrypted?

    Are you referring to the practice 16GB drives I was using to practice using VeraCrypt or the actual 12TB external USB drives that I intended to use? If the former well yeah they were relatively slow whether or not they were encrypted or not but we (I) am talking about probably USB 2 16GB drives. I am not sure that SMR comes into play with 16GB USB flash drives. OTOH I know for a fact that the 12 and 14 TB USB drives are not SMR. All I have done to this point was practice on the 16GB flash drives just trying to get the hang of the ins and outs of VeraCrypt.

    >There isnīt any explicit restriction related to disk size in the VeraCrypt documentation

    Right, no restriction in size but it takes a lot longer to work on an entire 12 TB drive as opposed to if I was only creating a container with a 500MB VeraCrypted file inside.
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  3. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 4,408
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #13

    The only alternatives to encryption that I know of are hidden disks. Downside: They can only be created on your system partition.

    More info:

    Hidden Disk
    How to Password Protect and Hide Disk Drives in Windows 10

    Secret Disk
    Secret Disk | Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

    Or for just creating encrypted containers on flash drives:

    SafeHouse Explorer - Create Password Protected USB - Windows 7 Help Forums
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  4. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,352
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #14

    [QUOTE=phaedruspress;2206119]
    Ghot said:
    Set up a task in Task Scheduler to write zeroes to the entire drive, every night at say 3am
    So, there are a couple of alternatives here:

    If you ever do want to completely zero a disk, you can do this:

    1) Open diskpart
    2) Select the disk to be zeroed using the command "Select Disk 1" (replace the 1 with the correct disk number).
    3) Run the command "CLEAN ALL".

    From the diskpart help:

    " Specifies that each and every byte\sector on the disk is set to zero, which completely deletes all data contained on the disk."

    On a disk that already has data on it, where you want to erase all the currently unused areas of the disk that previously may have had data on them....

    When you enable BitLocker on a drive, you will be asked if you want to BitLocker the whole drive or only the used space. The ONLY reason to select the whole drive is to encrypt those areas of the disk that may have previously had data on them and you want to make sure that no one can recover that data. Once the encryption is done, there is absolutely zero functional difference, other than the fact that the unused areas of the disk are now unrecoverable.

    Put another way, there is no reason EVER to choose to encrypt the whole drive on a new drive, only when you want to zero all previously used space.
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  5. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,352
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #15

    ROFL. Not foolproof! What if I steal the drive at 2:50 AM before it gets dissolved?

    I guess you would still need to have it encrypted to counter that possibility.
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  6. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,352
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #16

    Actually, I counter with another solution:

    Simply don't make backups. I find that when I don't make backups of my data it magically disappears never to be recovered again!
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  7. Posts : 566
    windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter
       #17

    [QUOTE=hsehestedt;2206132]
    phaedruspress said:

    So, there are a couple of alternatives here:

    If you ever do want to completely zero a disk, you can do this:

    1) Open diskpart
    2) Select the disk to be zeroed using the command "Select Disk 1" (replace the 1 with the correct disk number).
    3) Run the command "CLEAN ALL".

    From the diskpart help:

    " Specifies that each and every byte\sector on the disk is set to zero, which completely deletes all data contained on the disk."

    On a disk that already has data on it, where you want to erase all the currently unused areas of the disk that previously may have had data on them....

    When you enable BitLocker on a drive, you will be asked if you want to BitLocker the whole drive or only the used space. The ONLY reason to select the whole drive is to encrypt those areas of the disk that may have previously had data on them and you want to make sure that no one can recover that data. Once the encryption is done, there is absolutely zero functional difference, other than the fact that the unused areas of the disk are now unrecoverable.

    Put another way, there is no reason EVER to choose to encrypt the whole drive on a new drive, only when you want to zero all previously used space.
    >When you enable BitLocker on a drive...Put another way, there is no reason EVER to choose to encrypt the whole drive on a new drive, only when you want to zero all previously used space.

    Thanks. Yeah, I am going to have read up on BitLocker. I know nothing about it and for the last several weeks have only been entertaining the use of VeraCrypt which I believe I have now given up on. Alternatively I'm going to be dead anyway so what do I care if my smart ass nephew finds out that I liked to watch flying monkeys have sex on trampolines or that the non PC term chick flicks make me teary eyed.
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  8. Callender's Avatar
    Posts : 4,408
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #18

    Also I just tried Winmend Folder Hidden and it seems to work on external drives. So you'd just hide the folders rather than encrypting the drive or creating an encrypted container.

    Free Download WinMend System Doctor, Registry Cleaner, Disk Cleaner, History Cleaner, Data Recovery, etc. (Click Freeware tab)
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  9. Posts : 566
    windows 10 pro
    Thread Starter
       #19

    Callender said:
    Also I just tried Winmend Folder Hidden and it seems to work on external drives. So you'd just hide the folders rather than encrypting the drive or creating an encrypted container.

    Free Download WinMend System Doctor, Registry Cleaner, Disk Cleaner, History Cleaner, Data Recovery, etc. (Click Freeware tab)
    >Also I just tried Winmend Folder Hidden

    Hmm. That looks interesting. Thanks. It seems to be a step up from what I was referencing earlier when I mentioned:

    "
    I am familiar with hiding a folder from the ribbon, as well as from the CMD prompt using something like this (are they the same)

    attrib +s +h “C:\Users\Resident 4\a” hidden

    attrib -s +h “C:\Users\Resident 4\a” unhide


    or simple password protecting folders."


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  10. hsehestedt's Avatar
    Posts : 2,352
    Windows 10 Pro, 20H2
       #20

    IMHO, information is always the key to making the best decision. Research VeraCrypt, research BitLocker, ask question in a forum like this, once you have gathered enough information that you are satisfied, you can make an informed decision on the best way to go.
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