Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


SSD hardware encryption, but no UEFI, TPM or HDD password?

  1. #1

    SSD hardware encryption, but no UEFI, TPM or HDD password?


    Hi - I've just got a Samsung 850 Pro and will be installing Win 8.1 Pro on it.

    I'd like to use the hardware encryption on the SSD drive but now I've looked into it I'm not sure if/how I can.
    Motherboard is a few years old now (ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO), and I can't see a HDD in BIOS (just supervisor and user), and don't think it is UEFI compatible either, or TPM compatible!
    Samsung suggested bitlocker but I assume the lack of UEFI means bitlocker is no good for me - or would it mean the encryption would be software (which I'm not keen on as it will affect performance)?
    Basically, is there anyway I could get hardware encryption working with a fresh install of Win 8.1
    Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    you can protect the SSD by setting a password in bios.. What a PITA to use, Bitlocker is software driven in Pro editions.. Another PITA..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by plainfaceboy View Post
    Hi - I've just got a Samsung 850 Pro and will be installing Win 8.1 Pro on it.

    I'd like to use the hardware encryption on the SSD drive but now I've looked into it I'm not sure if/how I can.
    Motherboard is a few years old now (ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO), and I can't see a HDD in BIOS (just supervisor and user), and don't think it is UEFI compatible either, or TPM compatible!
    Samsung suggested bitlocker but I assume the lack of UEFI means bitlocker is no good for me - or would it mean the encryption would be software (which I'm not keen on as it will affect performance)?
    Basically, is there anyway I could get hardware encryption working with a fresh install of Win 8.1
    Thanks.
    BitLocker works fine without TPM and UEFI; see this message where I compared it to TrueCrypt and the one just above it for imaging considerations in that scenario:

    TeraByte Unlimited

    I've never found the performance impact of software encryption on disk I/O to be particularly noticeable in real world use, and multiple CPU cores help keep the system from bogging down during lengthy transfers. If your CPU supports AES acceleration (AES-NI), there's basically no CPU usage penalty.

    Now, to take advantage of the SSD's hardware encryption with BitLocker, you will need UEFI.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    Bitlocker is software driven in Pro editions.. Another PITA..
    How exactly is that a "PITA"? You do pre-boot authentication by entering password or using USB key. From then on, as long as you've turned on auto-unlock on secondary drives, it's all seamless.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by crawfish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    Bitlocker is software driven in Pro editions.. Another PITA..
    How exactly is that a "PITA"? You do pre-boot authentication by entering password or using USB key. From then on, as long as you've turned on auto-unlock on secondary drives, it's all seamless.
    Thanks - so, it seems defintite that hardware encryption isn't an option (unless I get a new motherboard).

    Bitlocker is probably as good as any software encryption - so I've just got to decide if I want to take the performance hit - which may or may not be practically noticeable. I've also not found anything on whether s/w encryption affects drive lifespan.
    As drive will be in desktop and not going anywhere, I'm currently in two minds.....
    You say I could use bitlocker with a preboot password or USB key - is that the usual BIOS (supervisor?) password, or another one? That doesn't sound too painful.
    Are there any practical pros/cons betwen the two that aren't obvious?
    "auto-unlock on secondary drives" - is that part of bitlocker set up etc??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    bitlocker uses a 48 digit key - you forget that key - you have a brick of data..
    Just like bios password protecting a hard drive - forget the password - and you have a brick of date..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    bitlocker uses a 48 digit key - you forget that key - you have a brick of data..
    Just like bios password protecting a hard drive - forget the password - and you have a brick of date..
    This comment is while not wrong, is rather alarmist.

    If you forget your password (which can be as long as you like) and you forget your 48 long bitlocker key and you didn't save it to your MS account or a USB drive or a post-it note then yes, your drive is lost. That is however the point.

    Certainly you don't need EUFI - this is irrelevant. I have a BIOS based system. Bitlocker is more convenient with TPM (I do have a TPM chip) but you don't have to use it. See BitLocker - Turn On or Off for OS Drive in Windows 8

    According to MS bitlocker encryption adds between 3-5% overhead on disk IO. Can't say I've noticed. I use it in case I lose my laptop.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    bitlocker uses a 48 digit key - you forget that key - you have a brick of data..
    Just like bios password protecting a hard drive - forget the password - and you have a brick of date..
    So if I had a MoBo with a HDD/ATA pasword, that would be the key for hardware encryption.
    If I use bitlocker it would be software encryption and either the normal BIOS password ...OR...a USB key on a dongle - is the key to the software encryption?
    I'm now wondering whether a better option is not use whole HD encryption, but just encrypt a few folders with my more sensitive data...as long as that isn't a PITA with bitlocker as well!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    keep your more sensitive files on a secondary HD and encrypt that drive - or external drive and folders

    Since this is a desktop, I believe we are talking about..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    keep your more sensitive files on a secondary HD and encrypt that drive - or external drive and folders

    Since this is a desktop, I believe we are talking about..
    Please explain what you think you are talking about. I'm fascinated. PlainBoyFace asked an interesting question. You didn't read it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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