Laptop Security

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I'm a recent convert to a Laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100).
I worry about what will happen if it gets lost or stolen as I move it
between home and work.
I back up to my desktop computer regularly and use Ashampoo Power Encrypt to
encrypt my data on the Laptop (on partition D) to hide it from prying eyes;
but what about cookies, passwords for banking details etc on the C drive?
What do other folk do?
Tony
25 answers Last reply
More about laptop security
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    passwords are kept in my head, not on my computer.

    "ajh" <a@b.c> wrote in message
    news:GMMQc.66568$a8.2721@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
    > I'm a recent convert to a Laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100).
    > I worry about what will happen if it gets lost or stolen as I move it
    > between home and work.
    > I back up to my desktop computer regularly and use Ashampoo Power Encrypt
    > to
    > encrypt my data on the Laptop (on partition D) to hide it from prying
    > eyes;
    > but what about cookies, passwords for banking details etc on the C drive?
    > What do other folk do?
    > Tony
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    ajh wrote:

    > I'm a recent convert to a Laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100).
    > I worry about what will happen if it gets lost or stolen as I move it
    > between home and work.
    > I back up to my desktop computer regularly and use Ashampoo Power Encrypt to
    > encrypt my data on the Laptop (on partition D) to hide it from prying eyes;
    > but what about cookies, passwords for banking details etc on the C drive?
    > What do other folk do?

    Set a password for the HDD.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks, I've done that now and feel a lot safer now. Can't think why I
    didn't know about it before.

    "Sparky" <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote in message
    news:VuPQc.21351$zc4.8858797@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...
    > ajh wrote:
    >
    > > I'm a recent convert to a Laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100).
    > > I worry about what will happen if it gets lost or stolen as I move it
    > > between home and work.
    > > I back up to my desktop computer regularly and use Ashampoo Power
    Encrypt to
    > > encrypt my data on the Laptop (on partition D) to hide it from prying
    eyes;
    > > but what about cookies, passwords for banking details etc on the C
    drive?
    > > What do other folk do?
    >
    > Set a password for the HDD.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "ajh" <a@b.c> wrote in message
    news:GMMQc.66568$a8.2721@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
    > I'm a recent convert to a Laptop (Dell Inspiron 5100).
    > I worry about what will happen if it gets lost or stolen as I move it
    > between home and work.
    > I back up to my desktop computer regularly and use Ashampoo Power Encrypt
    to
    > encrypt my data on the Laptop (on partition D) to hide it from prying
    eyes;
    > but what about cookies, passwords for banking details etc on the C drive?
    > What do other folk do?
    > Tony
    >
    >

    Along with everything else, stick a StuffBak label on it; learn more at
    http://www.infosystemspro.com/ilike_004.htm

    Carmine Castiglia
    InfosystemsPro.com
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    ajh wrote:
    > Thanks, I've done that now and feel a lot safer now. Can't think why I
    > didn't know about it before.

    You're welcome - good luck with your laptop.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:
    >Set a password for the HDD.

    Does this actually encrypt the HDD data, or can you still pull the
    hard drive and read it in another machine?

    Does this have something to do with the SmartCard function?

    --
    William Smith
    ComputerSmiths Consulting, Inc. www.compusmiths.com
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Sparky" <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote in message
    news:XThRc.39430$zc4.14033062@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...
    > ajh wrote:
    > > Thanks, I've done that now and feel a lot safer now. Can't think why I
    > > didn't know about it before.
    >
    > You're welcome - good luck with your laptop.

    Out of interest, if someone else got hold of my laptop what would they have
    to do to get past the password? Could they disconnect the bios battery, and
    is that easy to do, or would they have to send the laptop to Dell to fix it?
    If they took the hard drive out and put into another machine, would they be
    able to read it?
    Sorry to ask so much. I've searched around for quite a while on google etc
    but haven't found the answers to these questions.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "ajh" <a@b.c> wrote in message
    news:BVmRc.90387$a8.84453@fe2.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
    >
    > "Sparky" <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote in message
    > news:XThRc.39430$zc4.14033062@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...
    > > ajh wrote:
    > > > Thanks, I've done that now and feel a lot safer now. Can't think why I
    > > > didn't know about it before.
    > >
    > > You're welcome - good luck with your laptop.
    >
    > Out of interest, if someone else got hold of my laptop what would they
    have
    > to do to get past the password? Could they disconnect the bios battery,
    and
    > is that easy to do, or would they have to send the laptop to Dell to fix
    it?
    > If they took the hard drive out and put into another machine, would they
    be
    > able to read it?
    > Sorry to ask so much. I've searched around for quite a while on google etc
    > but haven't found the answers to these questions.
    >
    >

    Laptop manufacturers (and chipset designers) long ago recognized the problem
    and put in place appropriate measures. So far as I know, the only way to
    get around a BIOS password on a Dell notebook is to call tech support and
    convince them that you are the rightful owner of the device.

    As to the hard drive, if you are not using hard drive data encryption then
    it would be a fairly simple matter to remove it and attach to the drive
    controller in any desktop. Adapters are available to go from the large
    connector on a standard IDE drive cable to the somewhat smaller connector on
    a 2-1/2" notebook disk drive.


    Carmine Castiglia
    Get your stuff back for less with StuffBak Labels & Tags -
    http://www.infosystemspro.com/pdaparts.htm
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    William, P.N., Smith wrote:
    >
    > Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:
    > >Set a password for the HDD.
    >
    > Does this actually encrypt the HDD data, or can you still pull the
    > hard drive and read it in another machine?
    >
    > Does this have something to do with the SmartCard function?

    Head over to comp.sys.laptops.

    This topic has been recently discussed, ad nauseum.

    Notan
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks Notan and Sparky, The ng you mentioned has provided me with good
    reading. I am totally convinced that HD password is good enough for me. What
    a pity Dell didn't refer to it in the handbook.

    "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
    news:41163AFB.F5609819@ddress.com...
    > Head over to comp.sys.laptops.
    >
    > This topic has been recently discussed, ad nauseum.
    >
    > Notan
  11. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    ajh wrote:
    >
    > Thanks Notan and Sparky, The ng you mentioned has provided me with good
    > reading. I am totally convinced that HD password is good enough for me. What
    > a pity Dell didn't refer to it in the handbook.

    As others (Barry, in particular) have suggested, your HD password
    is your best bet against data (not laptop) theft.

    Good Luck!

    Notan
  12. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
    >William, P.N., Smith wrote:
    >> Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:
    >> >Set a password for the HDD.

    >> Does this actually encrypt the HDD data, or can you still pull the
    >> hard drive and read it in another machine?

    >Head over to comp.sys.laptops.
    >This topic has been recently discussed, ad nauseum.

    I must be dense, I've grepped for {password, security, hard, drive}
    and seen nothing about what kind of security is offered by putting in
    a hard drive password.

    Can you point me to a thread, or give me the subject name?

    Thanks!

    --
    William Smith
    ComputerSmiths Consulting, Inc. www.compusmiths.com
  13. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    William, P.N., Smith wrote:
    >
    > Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
    > >William, P.N., Smith wrote:
    > >> Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:
    > >> >Set a password for the HDD.
    >
    > >> Does this actually encrypt the HDD data, or can you still pull the
    > >> hard drive and read it in another machine?
    >
    > >Head over to comp.sys.laptops.
    > >This topic has been recently discussed, ad nauseum.
    >
    > I must be dense, I've grepped for {password, security, hard, drive}
    > and seen nothing about what kind of security is offered by putting in
    > a hard drive password.
    >
    > Can you point me to a thread, or give me the subject name?

    Sure!

    Try "Must we trash an excellent laptop?"

    Notan
  14. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    William P.N. Smith wrote:

    > Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>Set a password for the HDD.
    >
    > Does this actually encrypt the HDD data, or can you still pull the
    > hard drive and read it in another machine?

    For IBM ThinkPads (which is what I own) the HDD password is stored on
    the HDD and travels with it, so moving the HDD to another machine
    wouldn't help. Setting the HDD password doesn't encrypt the drive (XP
    Pro can do that it you want).

    From:

    http://www-3.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-45916

    Passwords

    ....

    * A HDD Password (HDP) protects HDD data from unauthorized users. Once
    HDP is set, data on the HDD cannot be accessed without the correct HDP.
    Because the HDP is stored in the HDD, the data remains protected even if
    the HDD is removed to another system. The HDP password prompt appears:

    o Each time the system is turned on

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.nortek.on.ca/hdd_pw.html#HDD

    Nortek claims they can remove a HDD password - insuring the data content
    costs extra:

    Our proprietary process removes the password protection from a locked
    notebook (Travelstar™) Hard Disk Drive without the loss of user data or
    replacement of the drive. If your problem is just a locked HDD, Nortek
    requires only the drive for servicing; the ThinkPad™ can stay in your
    possession. The development process of Hard Disk password removal
    involved our custom servowriting positioning equipment, specialized
    hardware, software, and a class 100 clean-room.

    * Unlock $85 US* (no data recovery).

    Password protection is removed, and the drive is returned to the
    customer. No testing or certification is performed, and Data is not
    preserved. Nortek will not provide any warranty of any kind as to the
    operational condition of these units. (We do not recommend this option
    unless the exact condition of the drive, before it was locked, is
    known.) TAT 1 business day (on request).

    * Unlock and Certify $145 US* (no data recovery).

    Password protection is removed and the drive is fully tested, certified,
    and burned in to ensure the unit meets OEM specifications. Data is not
    preserved. Nortek will warranty these drives as to operational condition
    for a period of 30 days. (We recommend this option for customers who are
    interested in the drive and it's good working order.) TAT 1 business day
    to a maximum of 2 business days.

    * Unlock, Retrieve Data, Certify, Restore Data $295 US* (complete data
    recovery).

    Password protection is removed, existing data is sector-level duplicated
    onto a temporary back-up device, the drive is fully tested, certified
    and burned in to ensure the unit meets OEM specifications. All data is
    then restored to the drive, exactly as it was prior to the lock. Nortek
    will warranty these drives as to operational condition for a period of
    30 days. (We recommend this option for customers who require 100%
    turnkey data recovery solution.) TAT 1 business day to a maximum of 2
    business days.

    *The above listed Hard Disk password removal prices are based on IBM
    Travelstar drives; the service charges may increase and turnaround times
    may vary if your Hard Disk Drive is not manufactured by IBM; please
    email us (support@nortek.on.ca) your HDD model/type for further details.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www-3.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=YAST-3JXNTY


    How to set, remove or change a hard disk drive password - ThinkPad General
    Applicable countries and regions

    This document contains information on how to set, remove or change a
    hard drive password on your IBM ThinkPad 365X, 380, 385, 560, 750, 755,
    760, 765.

    Note: Do not forget your hard disk password! Keep it in a safe place. If
    you forget your hard disk password, there is no way to reset your
    password or recover data in the hard disk drive. Neither an IBM
    authorized reseller nor IBM marketing representative can make the hard
    disk drive usable.


    *Removing a Hard Disk Password:
    The procedure to remove a hard disk password depends on whether or not
    it is set to the same password as the power-on password.

    When the hard disk password is set the same as the power-on password:
    Remove the password by following the procedure below. This operation
    removes both the hard disk password and the power on password.

    You must remove your password at the password prompt that appears when
    you turn on the computer. To remove the password, at the prompt: Enter
    your current password, press the Spacebar and then press Enter.

    When the hard disk password and the power-on password are different, or
    a power-on password has not been
    set:
    1. Turn off the computer and wait at least 5 seconds: then turn it on.
    2. If you have set the power-on password, type it; then press Enter.
    3. When the hard disk password prompt appears, type your current
    password, press the Spacebar, and then press Enter.

    *Setting a Hard Disk Password:
    This procedure is for setting password on the HDD in the ThinkPad, for
    HDD in the Select-A-Dock refer to your user guide.
    1. Start Easy-Setup by pressing and holding F1 and then turning on the
    computer.
    2. Select Password icon and then select HDD-1 or HDD-2 according to the
    hard disk type you want to set.
    3. Type your desired hard disk password; then press Enter. You can use
    any combination of up to 7 characters. Use a combination of any letters
    or numbers (A to Z, 0 to 9) in uppercase (A) or lowercase (a). Uppercase
    and lowercase letters are treated the same.
    4. Type your hard disk drive password again to verify it; the press Enter.

    ....

    Document id: YAST-3JXNTY

    Last modified: 2003-08-12
    Copyright © 2004 IBM Corporation
  15. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Actually *re:* "Must we trash an excellent laptop?" (Aug 5th)

    "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
    > Try "Must we trash an excellent laptop?"
    >
    > Notan
  16. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
    >Try "Must we trash an excellent laptop?"

    Thank you! Just the discussion I was looking for. For future
    reference, hard drive passwords are implemented in the hard drive
    itself, and they will not respond at all until the correct password
    has been transmitted to them, nor will swapping boards allow them to
    work. Probably not proof against the NSA, but pretty good for us
    ordinary mortals.
  17. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    William, P.N., Smith wrote:
    >
    > Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
    > >Try "Must we trash an excellent laptop?"
    >
    > Thank you! Just the discussion I was looking for. For future
    > reference, hard drive passwords are implemented in the hard drive
    > itself, and they will not respond at all until the correct password
    > has been transmitted to them, nor will swapping boards allow them to
    > work. Probably not proof against the NSA, but pretty good for us
    > ordinary mortals.

    You got it!

    Notan
  18. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Hi
    For those of us who are less computer savvy, how do we set a PW for the
    HDD?
    Thanks
  19. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    From the BIOS.

    "How do I enter the BIOS, CMOS, Setup, or System Setup on my DellT
    computer?"
    http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1012573&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19


    Ted Zieglar
    formerly "Rocket J. Squirrel"

    <yodasue@webtv.net> wrote in message
    news:3653-41188684-37@storefull-3256.bay.webtv.net...
    > Hi
    > For those of us who are less computer savvy, how do we set a PW for the
    > HDD?
    > Thanks
    >
  20. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ted Zieglar aka Rocky wrote:
    > From the BIOS.
    >
    > "How do I enter the BIOS, CMOS, Setup, or System Setup on my DellT
    > computer?"
    > http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1012573&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
    >
    >
    > Ted Zieglar
    > formerly "Rocket J. Squirrel"
    >
    > <yodasue@webtv.net> wrote in message
    > news:3653-41188684-37@storefull-3256.bay.webtv.net...
    >
    >>Hi
    >>For those of us who are less computer savvy, how do we set a PW for the
    >>HDD?
    >>Thanks
    >>
    >
    >
    having just ordered my 5150 yesterday, I am trying to uncover all of the
    support resources that I can. I have found a couple of forums, this
    newsgroup a few web sites, and of course I have tried to sort through
    the dell support site, So, this is a newbie question. How did you find
    the above mentioned document?
    (http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1012573&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
    )
    Is there a searchable tech pubs section of Dell support that I keep
    overlooking?

    Any other helpful links woukld be appreciated.

    jimc
  21. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    The Dell web site has an enormous amount of support resources. The article I
    cited came from Dell's Knowledge Base. Dell also has the Dell Community
    Forums - which is an outstanding source of information - as well as
    downloads, system documentation, software reinstall guides and much more.
    Unfortunately, you have to do some hunting to find all this material, but
    once you do find it just bookmark the address for easy reference. Several of
    the expert contributors to the Dell Community Forums maintain their own web
    sites for help with Dell computers (as well as some neat tweaks.)

    Of course, the Internet has a virtually unlimited supply of support
    resources. Some are terrific and others are full of bull. And every major
    software and hardware vendor has their own support resources.

    With all the excellent information out there, you'll rarely find a need to
    call Dell technical support. That's why I've said that, for the most part,
    calling Dell technical support is for the lazy or the loser.
    --
    Ted Zieglar
    formerly "Rocket J. Squirrel"


    "jim c" <ex99125b@netscape.net> wrote in message
    news:Ff4Sc.280992$XM6.279335@attbi_s53...
    > Ted Zieglar aka Rocky wrote:
    > > From the BIOS.
    > >
    > > "How do I enter the BIOS, CMOS, Setup, or System Setup on my DellT
    > > computer?"
    > >
    http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1012573&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
    > >
    > >
    > > Ted Zieglar
    > > formerly "Rocket J. Squirrel"
    > >
    > > <yodasue@webtv.net> wrote in message
    > > news:3653-41188684-37@storefull-3256.bay.webtv.net...
    > >
    > >>Hi
    > >>For those of us who are less computer savvy, how do we set a PW for the
    > >>HDD?
    > >>Thanks
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    > having just ordered my 5150 yesterday, I am trying to uncover all of the
    > support resources that I can. I have found a couple of forums, this
    > newsgroup a few web sites, and of course I have tried to sort through
    > the dell support site, So, this is a newbie question. How did you find
    > the above mentioned document?
    >
    (http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?d
    n=1012573&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
    > )
    > Is there a searchable tech pubs section of Dell support that I keep
    > overlooking?
    >
    > Any other helpful links woukld be appreciated.
    >
    > jimc
  22. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks!
    I have heard, though that fooling around with the BIOS if everything is
    running smoothly can be problematic.
    Are your security suggestions only for new computers then?
  23. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    yodasue@webtv.net wrote:
    >I have heard, though that fooling around with the BIOS if everything is
    >running smoothly can be problematic.

    Adding security settings isn't going to screw up your BIOS. Fiddling
    with hardware and other device settings after Windoze knows where to
    find things might get you in trouble, but adding a hard disk (and/or
    BIOS) password isn't going to effect anything else.

    [FWIW, and this isn't well documented, setting the BIOS PW and HDD PW
    to the same thing will result in your only having to enter it once on
    boot]
  24. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On my Dell (Inspiron 5150 bought in Oct last year) I press F2 right after
    switching it on to get into the bios.
    Go through several screens by pressing Alt-P till you get to a page headed
    "System Security". If you can see something marked "Hard disk passwords"
    then you can enable it and set a password by following onscreen
    instructions.
    Whatever you do, don't forget the password or you will be in BIG TROUBLE.
    If you don't see this feature then you haven't got it. I understand this is
    a recently introduced feature so older computers don't have it.
    BTW, don't apologise for being less computer savvy. I've been using
    computers since the late sixties and still class myself as a newbie.
    Tony

    <yodasue@webtv.net> wrote in message
    news:3653-41188684-37@storefull-3256.bay.webtv.net...
    > Hi
    > For those of us who are less computer savvy, how do we set a PW for the
    > HDD?
    > Thanks
    >
  25. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks Tony!
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