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Old 01-23-2019, 06:40 PM   #41
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Whatcha using for encryption? Bitlocker - Windows pro? Something else? Apple ecosystem? Linux ecosystem?


I don't know if I want to cough up for Windows Pro, but I may go there...
Apple ecosystem. FileVault is very solid and in the latest generation of systems the encryption is handed in hardware so no impact on performance.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:54 PM   #42
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Same here. I think FileVault (built into the MacOS) is about as bulletproof as anything these days.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:39 PM   #43
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This post is coming to you from a complete reinstall. I thought I'd give you a bit of my experience of what happens with a solid state drive failure, mostly so people can add responses about how diligent they are in backup and shame the rest of us into backing up better.
Here you go. But first, my sympathies on your hard drive crash.

I have had several complete hard drive crashes in the 34 years since my first one, including one in past five years. It's easy for me to recover from a crash, because I do multiple weekly backups to external drives and have done so since that first devastating crash. Don't know if this sort of routine backup habit would work for somebody else but thought I'd mention it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:46 PM   #44
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Here you go. But first, my sympathies on your hard drive crash.

I have had several complete hard drive crashes in the 34 years since my first one, including one in past five years. It's easy for me to recover from a crash, because I do multiple weekly backups to external drives and have done so since that first devastating crash. Don't know if this sort of routine backup habit would work for somebody else but thought I'd mention it.



It's a good discipline, and something I need to work on.


Thankfully, I configured Quicken to request a backup to an external drive each time I exit the program. That's the thumb/button drive mentioned above. The other files I produced (a few Word docs, some pictures, my weekly weigh-in numbers) were lost. Oh well. I can always fake my weight. But, yeah, I need better discipline, like weekly, instead of every 6 months or so.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:02 AM   #45
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Once again , I'm reminded I should do a clone of my drive.
I do back up my files every wk or so, but just installing all the programs and configuring them to be like they were, would be such a pain, compared to restoring an image.

I also encrypt my drive, it's built into Ubuntu, so if someone steals my computer they cannot read the HD.
I use veracrypt to make flash drives or external drives encrypted.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:32 AM   #46
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Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s instructive. I backup to an external HD always, but I’ve never had a complete failure of a home desktop HD (I did see it at work a couple times, but we had bulletproof backups there). I did have an external drive that starting acting weird, and replaced it after a few weeks fortunately. I’ve done HD diagnostics a few times, I need to do that mo’ better - thanks. And I assumed my next desktop/laptop would be all or part SSD, but I guess I’m not in a hurry to get there. I’m retired, HD access speed isn’t that critical?
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:34 AM   #47
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A couple of comments from a former SSD firmware engineer: ...
Thanks @SecondCor521.

I love this board!

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Primary SSD failed on my computer at 4 years
Old 01-24-2019, 07:03 AM   #48
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Primary SSD failed on my computer at 4 years

This thread is one of those gifts that keep on giving (for me, anyway).

This post is Mac specific.

SecondCor521’s comments made me think a little more about checking SMART status on my iMac’s internal SSD (primary storage).

It seems to me that MacOS’ Disk Utility does recognize and report the SSD status. If you select the SSD itself (not a partition), there is a box reporting the status (“verified” means A-OK). My SSD is labeled (in Disk Utility) something like “APPLE SSD SM1024G Media”. It checks out, which is comforting.

My external drives, however, do not report anything according to Disk Utility (“not supported”). To check those, I can use bundled Western Digital software. It’s a very fast check.

SecondCor521’s comment about SMART being OS-agnostic is what caused me to look into this more. The filesystem checks (fsck) are OS-specific, while the SMART status is the drive itself reporting if it’s been feeling poorly lately.

I think.

[ADDED] Here’s some background on SMART technology from Wikipedia for anyone unfamiliar:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:35 AM   #49
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Apple ecosystem. FileVault is very solid and in the latest generation of systems the encryption is handed in hardware so no impact on performance.



Is there a noticeable slowdown when writing and reading files from encrypted drives?







Does anyone know of free or affordable options for windows computers that encrypt a drive?
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:36 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Apple ecosystem. FileVault is very solid and in the latest generation of systems the encryption is handed in hardware so no impact on performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post



It's a good discipline, and something I need to work on.


Thankfully, I configured Quicken to request a backup to an external drive each time I exit the program. That's the thumb/button drive mentioned above. The other files I produced (a few Word docs, some pictures, my weekly weigh-in numbers) were lost. Oh well. I can always fake my weight. But, yeah, I need better discipline, like weekly, instead of every 6 months or so.



Sounds like you are not using some software to mirror a drive. Have you looked into that? Anyone else? Would be nice to just have an external drive plugged in which is an automatic near real time copy of the target system drive. I don't know what tools are available for that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:49 AM   #51
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I haven't tried an SSD yet. My current desktop, which I built several years ago, has three internal 1TB HDDs. The first contains only the OS (Win7) and programs. The second is for data and files. And the third is for a daily automated backup of the second. I don't bother backing up the OS or programs, as those are easily replaced. Additionally, the data and files are backed up weekly to the cloud, except for highly sensitive files like tax returns, which are manually backed up to a flashdrive and kept in our fireproof box.

For my next build, I'll probably use a small SSD in place of the first HDD to hold the OS and programs. Last I checked, SSDs are still way too expensive for mass data storage and long-term reliability is still a question mark. I've had my share of HDD failures over the years and it's never fun. But if you set-up an automated backup routine, it should be fairly painless. I tend to reinstall the OS every couple years anyway just to clean out the registry and other gunk. So, it's about the same effort as that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:51 AM   #52
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Is there a noticeable slowdown when writing and reading files from encrypted drives?


Does anyone know of free or affordable options for windows computers that encrypt a drive?
I have used TrueCrypt in the past. Note there have been changes since I started using it (ie original developer's no longer recommending using it for some reason...)
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:17 AM   #53
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I have used TrueCrypt in the past. Note there have been changes since I started using it (ie original developer's no longer recommending using it for some reason...)
The rumor mill scuttlebutt was that the product was compromised. The original developer walked away from it and some people think it's because the government got involved and he received a National Security letter which would have forced him to do something he was unwilling to do (basically leave open a vulnerability or something similar) if he had remained involved with the project. Note that you are not allowed to discuss NSLs you receive.

It's hard to say for sure, but that's what a lot of people think.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:45 AM   #54
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Is there a noticeable slowdown when writing and reading files from encrypted drives?

Does anyone know of free or affordable options for windows computers that encrypt a drive?
I use an SSD, the entire drive is encrypted by the OS, Ubuntu, and I cannot tell any speed issues.

The external drives I have usb 3.0 which have a veracrypt file (large spot to put in files), is a little slower, but not by much. These files veracrypt files are 60 Gig to 500 Gig in size.
I plug in the external drive.
open veracrypt, and decrypt the external drive file (container).
Then transfer files like normal.
Then unmount (close) the external veracrypt file.
then unmount (eject) the external drive.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:52 AM   #55
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I haven't tried an SSD yet. My current desktop, which I built several years ago, has three internal 1TB HDDs. The first contains only the OS (Win7) and programs. The second is for data and files. And the third is for a daily automated backup of the second. I don't bother backing up the OS or programs, as those are easily replaced. Additionally, the data and files are backed up weekly to the cloud, except for highly sensitive files like tax returns, which are manually backed up to a flashdrive and kept in our fireproof box.

For my next build, I'll probably use a small SSD in place of the first HDD to hold the OS and programs. Last I checked, SSDs are still way too expensive for mass data storage and long-term reliability is still a question mark. I've had my share of HDD failures over the years and it's never fun. But if you set-up an automated backup routine, it should be fairly painless. I tend to reinstall the OS every couple years anyway just to clean out the registry and other gunk. So, it's about the same effort as that.
I also have three drives in my desktop for the same purposes as you describe but my OS drive is an SSD. I have used Hard Drive Sentinel for a number of years and it seems to provide enough information that I will be warned before my drives start to experience serious degradation. Currently my SSD has been on for more than 1200 days and has a health rating of 91%, and total lifetime writes of just under 38 TB. It is a 250 GB Samsung SSD and contains dual-boot WIN7 and WIN10. About 2/3 of the SSD is used between the two systems which reside in separate partitions.

I use Acronis True Image for regular backups and that has allowed me to recover at least once from a serious crash. I am evaluating various cloud options for storage of important files. I like drop box and may just pay for an upgrade to more than I get for free currently.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:02 PM   #56
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One thing to remember is there are two kinds of backup; archival and disaster-recovery.

The DR backup is the one most people think about, and it's good to have. Keep a copy of all your important stuff somewhere different from your "production" copy.

Archival is what a lot of people forget. If you screw up your production copy, and then back it up, you may have erased the "last good" copy. Or you may need to go back to see how things were at an earlier point in time.

There are ways to automate this, but one thing you can do is just use versioning. Some applications will do this for you, or you can simply save a duplicate, renamed with the current date in the file name, whenever you make substantial changes.
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:26 PM   #57
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Yea, a SSD used as the main drive only is going to die after 4-5 years of fairly significant usage. SSD's are more limited on how many read/writes they can do.

Like some others have mentioned, I use a SSD for my OS drive, and a HDD for my data. Since I don't reboot very often, that means the SSD is getting accessed only 1% of the time. I also occasionally backup important files on an external, since HDD's are that much better for reliability, just relatively better. Either way, this setup generally lets you get to your next system/hard drive upgrade by sharing the load, unless you wait 8+ years.

I've had this setup for about 5 years, and am getting really close to needing to upgrade my 8-year old HDD due to low space+age.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:40 PM   #58
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Yea, a SSD used as the main drive only is going to die after 4-5 years of fairly significant usage. SSD's are more limited on how many read/writes they can do.
I disagree. A quick glance at a basic product (https://www.micron.com/products/soli...uct-lines/1100) says that it is guaranteed to write 400 terabytes.

Assuming 2 gigabytes of writes per day, that works out to 400,000 / 2 = 200,000 days, which is 547 years.

Assuming 20 gigabytes of writes per day, that is only about 55 years.

And that's writes only; reads (except for some extraordinarily rare circumstances that don't happen in practice but that SSD engineers still manage for in firmware - google "read disturb" if you're interested) are effectively infinite and don't wear out the drive at all.

20 gigabytes of writes a day is a lot. For perspective, I have about 112 gigabytes of data on my drive, so I'd have to rewrite about a fifth of my entire drive's contents daily.

The above also ignores that some people (like me) who have about 11% of my drive full can factor that in...I'll get 100%/11% = 9 times the above life because the drive wear levels the data across the entire drive.

For those who are worried about drive life, there is usually a SMART attribute that tells the total number of bytes (or maybe it's in blocks; refer to the datasheet) written over the life of the drive. You can compare that amount to the drives' endurance on the datasheet to see how much of the drive's NAND life you've used up.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:52 PM   #59
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I could not log in this morning to my PC. Picture beads of sweat. After multiple attempts and a few reboots got on it. But then it said I had a drive error. After a reboot it was fixed.

This never has happened before. So I took advantage of a newish feature of Windows 10 and (1) updated my PW, (2) added face ID, (3) added a PIN. So 3 ways to login now. I also backed up again just in case.

Then I went to revise my password file on a flash drive with the new password for my PC. It failed to read the file!!! Lost the damn file. Again, this has never happened to me. Luckily found I had a spare on another flash drive. Now I have redundancy with the same file on 3 flash drives. Plus will update it on my offsite flash drive.

Don't trust just one source of hardware.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:08 PM   #60
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The rumor mill scuttlebutt was that the product was compromised. The original developer walked away from it and some people think it's because the government got involved and he received a National Security letter which would have forced him to do something he was unwilling to do (basically leave open a vulnerability or something similar) if he had remained involved with the project. Note that you are not allowed to discuss NSLs you receive.

It's hard to say for sure, but that's what a lot of people think.
Plenty of alternatives, including two successors to Truecrypt:

https://www.comparitech.com/blog/inf...-alternatives/
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