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T480 Drive Encryption

2018-06-03, 23:49 PM

I have a Thinkpad 480 on order, which should come with Windows 10 Pro, and a 512 GB NVME/PCIe/Opal 2.0 SSD drive.

 

I'm a little confused by what type of drive encryption this is expected to use.

 

I am under the impression that Windows 10 has something called 'Bitlocker Device Encryption' which is similar to, but different from the 'Windows Pro' version of Bitlocker (which can use both Software and hardware encryption in some cases). I am also under the impression that the old style ATA BIOS password is mutually esclusive with Opal things.

 

Looking at the 480 User guide, it seems to talk about three possibilities:

  

   1) Setting a BIOS Hard-drive password (sounds like old-style ATA drive password)

 

   2)  Activating Bitlocker. Unclear to me if this means software bitlocker,  Hardware bitlocker, or 'Device Encryption'.

 

and

 

   3) "Some models contain the Disk Encryption hard disk drive", and goes on to talk about setting a hard-drive password.

         I'm not sure how this differs from 1).

 

Does anyone know what this comes configured as by default? Is it possible to use the 'Pro' Bitlocker with Hardware Encryption?

 

Thanks;

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6071 Posts

10-29-2009

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Re: T480 Drive Encryption

2018-06-05, 14:29 PM

BitLocker cannot do hardware encryption on OPAL drive.  So, BitLocker will use software encryption.

 

If you want hardware encryption with OPAL drive, there are 2 choices:

1.  set a HDD password in BIOS setup

2.  use OPAL management software such as WinMagic SecureDoc

 

With either option, the hardware encryption is exactly the same.  The only difference is how the encryption key itself is managed.

 

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176 Posts

12-06-2017

GB

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Re: T480 Drive Encryption

2018-06-08, 20:45 PM

When you set the bios HDD password you effectively make the hardware encryption visible. The drive is always encrypted, but with lack of password it is open to all. 

Once the password is set, the encryption is effectively active.

 

Just make sure you do not forget the password. The drive will NOT work on any other laptop except for the one on which the password was set. Unlike bitlocker and other software encryption, you cannot format the drive on a different computer. If you forget the password, the drive is as good as dead.

Thinkpad T480s, Thinkpad T460p
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16 Posts

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Re: T480 Drive Encryption

2018-06-08, 22:31 PM

> The drive will NOT work on any other laptop except for the one on which the password was set.

 

Looking at the T480 user guide, it says:

 

"If you set a hard disk password of over seven characters, the storage drive
can be used only with a computer that can recognize a hard disk password
of over seven characters. If you then install the storage drive in a computer
that cannot recognize a hard disk password that contains more than seven
characters, you cannot access the drive."

 

That seems to imply that you could move the drive to a different computer, but there may be a limit in the password length.

(It does seem to imply that you can use more than a 7 character password on the T480 at least).

 

Am I missing something?

 

> If you forget the password, the drive is as good as dead.

 

If true, that would seem undesireably harsh (if you can not at least reset the drive to a state where you can abandon any data and reset  back to 'empty').

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5 Posts

03-17-2019

ZA

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Re: T480 Drive Encryption

2019-03-17, 20:19 PM

Hi,

 

I have a question on this, with the samsung ssd you can use opal hardware encryption but not with intel ssd, right.

 

With samsung ssd I used this: https://github.com/Drive-Trust-Alliance/sedutil/wiki/Encrypting-your-drive but with hte intel ssd it's drifferent, I had to add hard drive password in the bios to get the same results, is that correct?

 

Please let me know.

 

Thanks in advance.

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