The Alienware X51 R2 is a great size to take to LAN parties, but I need to protect the data while away. I want to use a whole disk encryption product like TrueCrypt, but these new systems coming with Windows 8 use GPT (GUID Partition Table) and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Unfortunately, most whole disk encryption solutions for consumers do not yet support GPT/UEFI. The next logical step was to explore the use of Bitlocker, but unfortunately I found that the Alienware X51 R2 does not come with a TPM chip and I would need to use a removable flash drive to boot the system each time I want to use it in lieu of a TPM chip. Not a very practical solution. I'm wondering if there are any other X51 R2 owners out there that have found a better whole disk encryption solution that does not involve using a flash drive with Bitlocker or reverting back to legacy MBR/BIOS boot approach.
Why is having a USB flash drive inserted (when you want the computer to work) not practical?
Call it personal preference or inconvenience. When BitLocker has been enabled this way, I would need to insert the USB drive each time
I want to boot the computer, so I would have to keep it on me at all times. Good security practices recommend that I shouldn't keep it with my computer or plugged into the computer case at all times. And when using it in a public event like QuakeCon, there is the risk the USB could get lost or stolen.
It's a little disappointing that there is no TPM chip on the motherboard of this particular model when more modern desktop motherboards are coming with them.
As with any new technology, I guess I'll have to wait for UEFI support to be added to my favorite encryption products. Until then, I may just have to get by with a low-profile USB key (the ones that look like a wireless mouse receiver).