When it comes to protecting the data on your computer, you can’t do better than strong encryption. Properly encrypted, your files are safe even if a ne’er-do-well gains access to your computer, either physically or through a network. In the past, we’ve discussed how to use various encryption tools to encrypt individual files or create virtual, encrypted drives. Now, we’ll look at how to get maximum security by encrypting your boot disk using the BitLocker full-drive encryption system that’s built into Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise.
When you finally make the decision to start fresh with a new OS on a new hard drive, it can be nerve-wracking. If you’ve been following proper hard disk etiquette, most of your programs and data should be stored on different drives or partitions than your operating system, but somehow important data has a way of making its way onto your C: drive. And although you can do your best to make sure you back up all the data you want to keep (your My Documents folder, for instance), it’s hard not to feel like you’re forgetting something.
You don’t have to worry. Thanks to new tools from Microsoft in Windows 7, you can preserve your entire hard disk on another drive as a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD). So don’t worry that you’ll forget important data on your old drive—just freeze it solid, like Han Solo in a block of carbonite, and rest easy knowing that if you suddenly recall that you left something important on your drive, you can simply run it as a virtual PC, or mount it to your new system.
Solid state drive technology still has a few hurdles to overcome before it supplants traditional hard drives as the mainstream storage medium of choice -- and according to a recent study, HDDs still have at least a decade left -- but as prices come down, more users are finding that it makes sense to boot off of an SSD for a little extra pep. Targeting those consumers, Kingston today released its SSDNow V Series 40GB Boot Drive.
The 'V' as you might have guessed stands for 'Value' and the 'Boot Drive' nomenclature is pretty self-explanatory. The low capacity is a dead giveaway on that latter part, too.
"The SSDNow V Series 40GB Boot Drive offers instant performance enhancement coupled with reliability and lower power consumption at a fraction of the cost of a new system," said Areil Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. "The 40GB Boot Drive is the latest offering in our V Series SSD line. It provides a low-cost upgrade solution that complements the installed hard disk drive to extend the life cycle of existing desktop computers and workstations in homes and offices."
From a performance standpoint, the 40GB Boot Drive comes rated at up 170MB/s sequential read, but only 40MB/s sequential write. Even still, Kingston claims its new drive muscled a 13,883 score in PCMark Vantage Advanced HDD Suite, compared to just 3,708 for an un-named 7200RPM hard drive during internal testing.
Kingston's 40GB Boot Drive will carry an MSRP of $115 and will begin shipping on November 9, 2009. The company adds you'll be able to find one for as low as $85 after mail-in-rebate when it launches.