Question Encryption with Bitlocker to protect personal data when sending PC for repair?

tilophase

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Mar 22, 2020
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I plan on sending my laptop back for repair, and I'm looking for ways of dealing with the data I have on the PC. I was wondering whether Bitlocker Drive encryption is a viable option for this scenario.

The manufacturer has requested that I create a user account they can use to login to conduct diagnostics when repairing. So, while they will not be able to access my user account, as I understand it, they are able to access the files associated with my user account (I'm assuming files in my documents, images, appdata, etc. folders).

As I understand, Bitlocker will encrypt the drive based on the user's password? Does this only encrypt an individual's data, or the entire drive?

Will Bitlocker be able to protect access to these files, without preventing the manufacturer from performing the required diagnostics through the temporary user account I set up for them?
 

tilophase

Prominent
Mar 22, 2020
12
0
520
1
I plan on sending my laptop back for repair, and I'm looking for ways of dealing with the data I have on the PC. I was wondering whether Bitlocker Drive encryption is a viable option for this scenario.

The manufacturer has requested that I create a user account they can use to login to conduct diagnostics when repairing. So, while they will not be able to access my user account, as I understand it, they are able to access the files associated with my user account (I'm assuming files in my documents, images, appdata, etc. folders).

As I understand, Bitlocker will encrypt the drive based on the user's password? Does this only encrypt an individual's data, or the entire drive?

Will Bitlocker be able to protect access to these files, without preventing the manufacturer from performing the required diagnostics through the temporary user account I set up for them?
 
That account used for diagnostic most probably should have Admin rights, and as such, nothing is out of reach. Bitlocker-ing your drive wont help, unless your data is on a separate volume from Windows system drive.

BitLocker works on volume level. What you can do, however (test it before with another user account) is to ZIP your C:\Users\Myself folder with a password, and then deleting it. Again - keep local backups, don't rely on what you will leave on the drive. Once your PC leaves your home, be ready never to see it (or data which was on it) back.

If I was you - I'd backup all data from that computer (image is best), then reset it to defaults before sending in for repair. And by doing that, your PC might auto-repair itself as well ;)
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Back up all that data to elsewhere.
Delete whatever personal stuff is on the drive.

BitLocker may prevent them from reading your data.
It will not prevent them from just replacing your drive with a blank one, in the course of fixing it.

Don't let the one and only copy of your data go off to points unknown. Bitlocker or no.
 
The manufacturer has requested that I create a user account they can use to login to conduct diagnostics when repairing. So, while they will not be able to access my user account, as I understand it, they are able to access the files associated with my user account (I'm assuming files in my documents, images, appdata, etc. folders).
As I understand, Bitlocker will encrypt the drive based on the user's password? Does this only encrypt an individual's data, or the entire drive?
Will Bitlocker be able to protect access to these files, without preventing the manufacturer from performing the required diagnostics through the temporary user account I set up for them?
If service requires to access OS for diagnostic purposes and you have locked out all access with bitlocker, then
service will just restore your pc drive from service clone.
All your personal data will be gone.

Backup your personal data.
Reset your pc and remove all personal data before sending your pc to service.
 

tilophase

Prominent
Mar 22, 2020
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

I'm not worried about losing the data on the drive, I will be completely backing up all the important stuff before sending it off, it's more that I don't want the inconvenience of having to re-download hundreds of Gb of files, games, etc once I get the device back.

If I was you - I'd backup all data from that computer (image is best), then reset it to defaults before sending in for repair. And by doing that, your PC might auto-repair itself as well ;)
Sending it back for a hardware issue, unfortunately.

Looks like deleting everything unnecessary and doing a complete disk image may be the way to go. Does anyone have any suggestions for any software that I could use for this purpose?
 

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