It’s happened to all of us. You step away from your computer and come back a few minutes later. While you were gone, your computer’s hard drive lights start flashing — but what exactly is it doing? It’s natural to be a bit suspicious.
This is generally nothing to worry about. All normally configured Windows systems will do this regularly. Malware is always a possibility, of course. You can run an antimalware scan if you’re worried. Read more >>
Set up a new disk on Windows 8.1 or 8 and you’ll be asked whether you want to use MBR or GPT. GPT is the new standard and is gradually replacing MBR.
GPT brings with it many advantages, but MBR is still the most compatible and is still necessary in some cases. This isn’t a Windows-only standard — Mac OS X, Linux, and other operating systems can also use GPT. Read more >>
Windows’ BitLocker encryption defaults to 128-bit AES encryption, but you can choose to use 256-bit AES encryption instead. Using a 256-bit AES key could potentially offer more security against future attempts to access your files.
Is this really more secure? Well, that’s a matter of some debate. You might naively assume that 256-bit encryption offers more security, but it isn’t that clear. Read more >>
BitLocker normally encrypts entire drives and partitions, but you can also create encrypted container files with tools built into Windows. Such encrypted VHD files can easily be moved between systems, backed up, and hidden when not in-use.
This trick allows you to create TrueCrypt-style encrypted volumes as files on your computer. Like other BitLocker features, it requires a Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows, or Ultimate for Windows 7. Read more >>
Windows can encrypt entire operating system drives and removable devices with its built-in BitLocker encryption. When TrueCrypt controversially closed up shop, they recommended their users transition away from TrueCrypt to BitLocker.
BitLocker Drive Encryption and BitLocker To Go require a Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows 8, or 8.1, or the Ultimate version of Windows 7. However, the “core” version of Windows 8.1 includes a “Device Encryption” feature that works similarly. Read more >>