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By | Chris Mellor 10th November 2008 07:02

Of Dell's self-encrypting laptop

Never lose notebook data ever again UPDATED

Never lose notebook data again. Not if you have a Dell notebook: the company is producing self-encrypting laptops with Seagate encrypting drives and McAfee security software.

Seagate is now shipping 5400 and 7200 rpm Momentus notebook drives with 320 and 500GB capacity and full disk encryption options. This is AES 128-bit US government-grade encryption according to Seagate.

Dell is building Seagate FDE drives into the Latitude and Precision notebook lines, self-encrypting laptops, and the OptiPlex 960 desktop. The idea is that such drives will prevent any data loss when the notebooks, or OptiPlex, is disposed of, lost, stolen or loaned to a third-party. The encryption key never leaves the drive and so is not susceptible to the cold boot attack. Encryption is carried out by a chip on the drive and takes place at drive I/O speeds.

Coming McAfee ePO software will can be used to manage Dell self-encrypting systems. It will detect Seagate FDE drives, automatically configures encryption and user policy and then manages it. It will manage such systems, ones equipped with Seagate FDE drives, spread around a business' network. If there are no Seagate FDE drives then it will arrange for software encryption.

Seagate aims to have across-the-board encryption and has Maxtor BlackArmor encrypting external drives, Momentus FDE notebook drives, Savvio FDE enterprise 2.5-inch FDE drives, and Cheetah FDE SAS and Fibre Channel data centre drives.

There is a hint that IBM and LSI will ship products using the Seagate FDE drives.

The Momentus FDE drives can be used in two modes. One is enterprise-managed with firmware that works with software such as ePO to configure and manage the drives. The other is a BIOS-managed mode in which a BIOS password is used to authenticate the system. This latter mode, Seagate says, can be used to retrofit an FDE Momentus into an existing notebook and so secure its data against loss.

No pricing information was supplied. ®

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