back to article Hitachi ships Travelstar 7K200 encrypted hard drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has begun volume shipment of the Travelstar 7K200, a high-capacity, high-performance laptop hard drive with new optional data encryption technology. The new drive features up to 200GB capacity, a 22 per cent overall performance improvement over its predecessor, and improved shock tolerance, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But is it manageable?

    A really nice feature, but this may only be interesting for smaller businesses.

    I suspect many large businesses would prefer an encryption system they can manage (e.g. enforce password changes, reset passwords for users, etc) so that the data is secure, but the risk of users losing passwords (not uncommon) is minimised. An added bonus of a software implementation is that you can use your remote system management tools to enforce the disk encryption and expand it to cover things like external storage (USB keys)

  2. Jeff

    "Technical layperson"?

    "software encryption, which is generally not well understood by the technical layperson"

    Is this a layperson who is technical (an oxymoron)

    Or a person who is unversed technically (a tautology)?

  3. Boris Blank

    Hitachi click of death

    [Sarcasm] Well at least this technology allows drives to be RMAed without giving Hitachi sensitive info. If their drives still have a propensity to suffer from "click of death", this could prove invaluable. [/Sarcasm]

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So.....

    So, this means that is will be easier to get rid of all that pesky pr0n on the executive's laptops?

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Why haven't drives done this before?

    Seems to me this should be a default option on pretty much any hard-drive - whether laptop or desktop. Let the bios enforce the password and the disk is automatically secure against casual theft (of course, if the No Such Agency and its friends want to know, they're going to be able to apply the necessary de-encryption effort anyway) and automatically becomes usable irrespective of OS - or even as shared areas between two OSs on the same machine.

    Mind you, I'd like to see how the bios does the password/phrase.

  6. Tom Richards

    I'm sorry, is this prnewswire.co.uk?

    I'm wondering how useful a press release from a PR company is in evaluating this product.

    "Sageza’s Go-to-Market services provide clear messages to key audiences about product launches"

    Indeed.

  7. Dave

    eh?

    SO let me get this straight...my laptop sends unencrypted data down the sata cable to the drive, which then encrypts it and stores it. I request the data and the drive unencrypts it and sends the unencrypted data back up the sata cable.

    Have they offered any proof that this is actually happening? If not I have a flying car you may be interested in. It will only take off when you're inside and flies at an altitude of about a foot ;o)

  8. joe_bruin

    Key management

    I may be missing an important aspect here, and that is key management. That is, the encryption takes place on the drive, and the drive holds the key (I'm guessing) until told to forget it. So where does theft protection come in? If someone steals my laptop, can they read the drive unless they purposefully wipe it out? That's absurd.

    Either this press release, er, hardware review is missing some important information (such as a password required at startup for the drive to correctly read its contents or other key management scheme), or this feature is, well, useless.

  9. Eduard Coli

    DRM anyone?

    Will this become part of compnant hardware based DRM/CP?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great way to lose data forever

    Imagine this: you drop the laptop and damage the motherboard, but the drive is OK.

    You move the drive to another machine, but you can't read the drive because you don't have the AES key (it's in the BIOS of the dead machine) or the new machine doesn't support this kind of drive.

    Bye-bye data. Not good.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this new? Is this PRnewswire?

    Well yes, those questions asked already are good questions.

    The ATA-3 spec included password-protected drives, and that was some considerable time ago. Password protected drives would seem to offer an opportunity to easily prevent unauthorised access to data, when sensibly implemented by an organisation with a clue. The spec also included a "master" password to cover the "I've forgotten my password" scenario. Very few people know about this capability, and/or very few products used it - but the recent outbreak of clueless organisations who have lost unprotected laptops may make it suddenly more interesting.

    One vendor offering this capability, back in 1998, was Compaq, who called it DriveLock. A Compaq technical whitepaper on DriveLock can be found ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/supportinformation/papers/na118a0598.pdf

    The HP Compaq nx6125 which I bought a couple of years ago has DriveLock; I don't know whether it's in today's HP range or whether other vendors offer similar functionality, but it seems like a fairly basic requirement for a business-class notebook in an organisation with a clue.

    One might hope that a competent "industry analyst" article might provide this kind of historical and market background, but a vendor-sponsored pure-PR piece might not be expected to do so.

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