If you have no TPM you must use a USB key, the method of using the USB key
only does not appear on the bitlocker control panel but it can be done. I
haven't tried using bitlocker with a machine with no TPM yet so someone else
may be better suited to answer with the procedure.
There is a link to details about bitlocker, bitlocker uses AES128 or AES256
if you do the registry hack, AES has been around long enough that it is
trusted as a good encryption method. Microsoft added an "elephant diffuser"
with the idea that it would help combat a brute force attack. Bitlocker is
well documented and Microsoft has no trouble explaining how it works and
what pitfalls there may be so I for one trust it.
If you don't want to use the USB key and don't have a TPM, you could go to
and try their encryption program, it is also well
documented and has been around awhile.
With either bitlocker or truecrypt, I'd say "lotsa luck" to anybody who got
ahold of your encrypted data, except maybe the NSA...
<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
>I am about to purchase a Dell M1330, which doesnt offer a TPM module.
> I also don't want to deal with plugging in a USB Flash drive every
> time I boot up (which could get stolen with a laptop).
> I have the following questions regarding Bitlocker
> #1 Can I still use the Bitlocker feature of Windows Vista with a TPM
> module or USB flash drive?
> #2 Are there any articles that document how secure Bitlocker is in
> keeping your data safe if your laptop is stolen?
> #3 If for some reason that operating system gets corrupt, is there a
> way to extract my data off of the hard drive if I have the encryption