Why shouldn't I use bitlocker?
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Thread: Why shouldn't I use bitlocker?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Why shouldn't I use bitlocker?

    I used to use TrueCrypt to protect a data drive partition. I'm switching out a 6-year-old HDD, and rethinking my encryption. It's already 3 years since Truecrypt has been abandoned, and I worry that one day a Windows update will break it. I'm thinking it's time to move on, for safely's sake.

    I tried Veracrypt, and I liked it - except it took about 30 seconds to mount an encrypted drive - or to tell me I mis-typed the password. I'm not going for that. Apparently the programmers stress security above all and won't let the users make it less secure, but faster. The thing is, I don't NEED to keep the NSA out, just curious/fumbling members of my extended family. There's no great secrets, no treasure, just some run-of-the-mill mainstream porn that I'm tucking away out of courtesy to them. I'm in the hospital from time to time, and they may need access to certain things on my computer. I'm not encrypting out of distrust of them, I'm simply trying to respect their bible-belt positions on carnal matters. They don't need to be doing things for me and run across stuff that will upset them, even if I don't think it should.

    I'm not wild about Veracrypt. 30 seconds to see, 'incorrect password' is too long. It's too long for me when it WORKS, for that matter. Veracrypt is forcing me into encryption overkill.

    Next in line, Bitlocker. I've already set up a partition and been testing it, and I like it. I don't know much about it. My friend, who is very knowledgeable about computer matters usually, but whom I now suspect hasn't looked seriously at encryption methods in a few years, adamantly told me I shouldn't use it, but got pissy and wouldn't say why. He made some cryptic comment about not losing my 'hash', or I'd be screwed. I just type in a password, and Bitlocker works. I don't mess with a 'hash'. I never messed with a 'hash' in Truecrypt or VeraCrypt either. Just a password, and it always worked.

    I did some googles, and no one is out there warning people off of Bitlocker, not that I've seen, anyway. It's always recommended right alongside Veracrypt and Truecrypt. Anyone here have any experience or opinions on the safety (in the 'not losing my data forever' sense) of using Bitlocker on a data partition of a drive?

    Bear in mind I'm not encrypting my whole system, just a data-storage partition on one of my drives. I wonder if my friend even read my post properly, or if he thinks you HAVE to encrypt your entire operating system or something. It's hard to get some people to read EVERYTHING you write, even when the details are important.

  2. #2
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    The one issue with Bitlocker for the average user is that, if it is not set up properly, you can get locked out of your files. A good article detailing the issue can be found at the link below:

    https://askleo.com/avoid-bitlocker/

    If we assume that you are also backing up your files on the encrypted drive, you may want to do the following:

    Make an encrypted backup of the unencrypted files using something like Acronis that can encrypt the backup image files. Then, if your Windows user account gets corrupted or a Microsoft update breaks Bitlocker, or some other disaster occurs (your storage hard drive with the encrypted files dies, or a fire destroys it), you can still restore the data to a new encrypted drive.

    Bitlocker versus Veracrypt link:

    https://lifehacker.com/windows-encry...ker-1777855025

  3. #3
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    Nov 2017
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    This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for, thanks. I've read the LifeHacker article(closing on 18 months old at this point), but didn't see the AskLeo page. My google-fu is weak these days.

    I went to AskLeo's page and followed the link he updated his post with. I'm just password protecting the partition, no fancy USB keys. K.I.S.S. He suggests I simply keep a safe copy of the recovery key. BTW, WRT AskLeo's page, I REALLY wish ppl would prominently date their articles. It's important to know in what year they formed the opinion they're sharing, especially with Bitlocker and Veracrypt, where things have changed a lot in the past couple years.

    So, keep my recovery key safe, do the data backup thing, and I should be OK with Bitlocker, AFAIK.

    I appreciate the response. Even those that read this and didn't respond told me they didn't feel strongly about the subject, which is just another way of saying there's no controversy here.

    I'm doing something that I will be committing to for the next few years, and it could result in data loss if something goes awry, so I wanted to check here to make sure I wasn't missing something. Thank you. I appreciate the help.

  4. #4
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    Glad you found the information useful.

    I don't know how much data you will have in your encrypted partition, but for backup purposes, you can create encrypted image files using software like that in the links below (or Acronis or other similar software). These encrypted image files can be stored off site (on DVDs if there isn't too much data, or a portable hard drive for larger amounts). If the image backup files are encrypted, only you will be able to access them or restore the data.

    https://www.easeus.com/backup-software/tb-free.html
    https://www.easeus.com/spec/tb-free.html
    https://www.easeus.com/todo-backup-guide/
    https://www.easeus.com/todo-backup-g...em-backup.html
    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/eas...do-backup-free

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdc2000 View Post
    Glad you found the information useful.

    I don't know how much data you will have in your encrypted partition, but for backup purposes, you can create encrypted image files using software like that in the links below (or Acronis or other similar software). These encrypted image files can be stored off site (on DVDs if there isn't too much data, or a portable hard drive for larger amounts). If the image backup files are encrypted, only you will be able to access them or restore the data.

    https://www.easeus.com/backup-software/tb-free.html
    https://www.easeus.com/spec/tb-free.html
    https://www.easeus.com/todo-backup-guide/
    https://www.easeus.com/todo-backup-g...em-backup.html
    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/eas...do-backup-free
    I've pretty much limited backups to my 1TB external Toshiba drive in recent years. DVD's are getting to be too small, and HDD's are more economical then burned Blu-Ray disks. More than DVD's for that matter. I need to set up automated backups some day soon, though. Too easy to be lazy when it's manual. Thanks for the links!

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