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Windows Vista To Make Dual-Boot A Challenge?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the have-to-raise-a-fuss dept.


mustafap writes "UK tech site The Register is reporting on security guru Bruce Schneier's observation that the disk encryption system to be shipped with Vista, BitLocker, will make dual booting other OSs difficult - you will no longer be able to share data between the two." From the article: "This encryption technology also has the effect of frustrating the exchange of data needed in a dual boot system. 'You could look at BitLocker as anti-Linux because it frustrates dual boot,' Schneier told El Reg. Schneier said Vista will bring forward security improvements, but cautioned that technical advances are less important than improvements in how technology is presented to users."

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fristy pisty ownz your p0tat0es! (0, Troll)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216675)

bake 'em, mash 'em, eat 'em, fuck 'em.. you name it.. i ownz them.. the only thing better than a fuckerd p0tat0 is my supery-d00pery long wenis.

oh yea.. in case you missing it; as the title says.. first post dildos!

Nerds Band Together (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216678)

Help get this guy laid... The webserver is already being hammered. Smoke it. []

Re:Nerds Band Together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216852)

Hot damn.. that page has had over 500,000 new hits since I visited it just a few hours ago.

Re:Nerds Band Together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216949)

I wonder if the hit counter has been tampered with. Last time I looked it was only 600000, now it's 1.5 million hours later, which is almost impossible.

Re:Nerds Band Together (0, Flamebait)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216958)

What are you, his fucking pimp? I tell you, as the slashdit community, we should threaten to hack his site and reset his counter (and delete his access_log file for good measure) unless he promises to post pictures. I mean, what the hell do we get out of getting this guy his 3-way?

And another EU Commision lawsuit in 3... 2... 1... (3, Interesting)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216679)

Does Microsoft even realise they're being charged with illegal monopoly practises at the moment? Do they know that the EUC isn't going to let them get away with any illegal bundling while they're charging them? Sheesh...

Medical marijuana (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216696)

Science & Technology / Medical marijuana []

Reefer madness
Apr 27th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Marijuana is medically useful, whether politicians like it or not

IMAGE (Getty Images) []

IF CANNABIS were unknown, and bioprospectors were suddenly to find it in some remote mountain crevice, its discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough. Scientists would praise its potential for treating everything from pain to cancer, and marvel at its rich pharmacopoeia—many of whose chemicals mimic vital molecules in the human body. In reality, cannabis has been with humanity for thousands of years and is considered by many governments (notably America’s) to be a dangerous drug without utility. Any suggestion that the plant might be medically useful is politically controversial, whatever the science says. It is in this context that, on April 20th, America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement saying that smoked marijuana has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

The statement is curious in a number of ways. For one thing, it overlooks a report made in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the National Academy of Sciences, which came to a different conclusion. John Benson, a professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska who co-chaired the committee that drew up the report, found some sound scientific information that supports the medical use of marijuana for certain patients for short periods—even for smoked marijuana.

This is important, because one of the objections to marijuana is that, when burned, its smoke contains many of the harmful things found in tobacco smoke, such as carcinogenic tar, cyanide and carbon monoxide. Yet the IOM report supports what some patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, AIDS and cancer—and their doctors—have known for a long time. This is that the drug gives them medicinal benefits over and above the medications they are already receiving, and despite the fact that the smoke has risks. That is probably why several studies show that many doctors recommend smoking cannabis to their patients, even though they are unable to prescribe it. Patients then turn to the black market for their supply.

Another reason the FDA statement is odd is that it seems to lack common sense. Cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for millennia. In fact, the American government actually supplied cannabis as a medicine for some time, before the scheme was shut down in the early 1990s. Today, cannabis is used all over the world, despite its illegality, to relieve pain and anxiety, to aid sleep, and to prevent seizures and muscle spasms. For example, two of its long-advocated benefits are that it suppresses vomiting and enhances appetite—qualities that AIDS patients and those on anti-cancer chemotherapy find useful. So useful, in fact, that the FDA has licensed a drug called Marinol, a synthetic version of one of the active ingredients of marijuana—delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unfortunately, many users of Marinol complain that it gets them high (which isn’t what they actually want) and is not nearly as effective, nor cheap, as the real weed itself.

This may be because Marinol is ingested into the stomach, meaning that it is metabolised before being absorbed. Or it may be because the medicinal benefits of cannabis come from the synergistic effect of the multiplicity of chemicals it contains.

Just what have you been smoking?
THC is the best known active ingredient of cannabis, but by no means the only one. At the last count, marijuana was known to contain nearly 70 different cannabinoids, as THC and its cousins are collectively known. These chemicals activate receptor molecules in the human body, particularly the cannabinoid receptors on the surfaces of some nerve cells in the brain, and stimulate changes in biochemical activity. But the details often remain vague—in particular, the details of which molecules are having which clinical effects.

More clinical research would help. In particular, the breeding of different varieties of cannabis, with different mixtures of cannabinoids, would enable researchers to find out whether one variety works better for, say, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity while another works for AIDS-related nerve pain. However, in the United States, this kind of work has been inhibited by marijuana’s illegality and the unwillingness of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to license researchers to grow it for research.

Since 2001, for example, Lyle Craker, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts, has been trying to obtain a licence from the DEA to grow cannabis for use in clinical research. After years of prevarication, and pressure on the DEA to make a decision, Dr Craker’s application was turned down in 2004. Today, the saga continues and a DEA judge (who presides over a quasi-judicial process within the agency) is hearing an appeal, which could come to a close this summer. Dr Craker says that his situation is like that described in Joseph Heller’s novel, “Catch 22”. “We can say that this has no medical benefit because no tests have been done, and then we refuse to let you do any tests. The US has gotten into a bind, it has made cannabis out to be such a villain that people blindly say ‘no’.”

Anjuli Verma, the advocacy director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a group helping Dr Craker fight his appeal, says that even if the DEA judge rules in their favour, the agency’s chief administrator can still decide whether to allow the application. And, as she points out, the DEA is a political organisation charged with enforcing the drug laws. So, she says, the ACLU is in this for the long haul, and is already prepared for another appeal—one that would be heard in a federal court in the normal judicial system.

Ms Verma’s view of the FDA’s statement is that other arms of government are putting pressure on the agency to make a public pronouncement that conforms with drug ideology as promulgated by the White House, the DEA and a number of vocal anti-cannabis congressmen. In particular, the federal government has been rattled in recent years by the fact that eleven states have passed laws allowing the medical use of marijuana. In this context it is notable that the FDA’s statement emphasises that it is smoked marijuana which has not gone through the process necessary to make it a prescription drug. (Nor would it be likely to, with all of the harmful things in the smoke.) The statement’s emphasis on smoked marijuana is important because it leaves the door open for the agency to approve other methods of delivery.

High hopes
Donald Abrams, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has been working on one such option. He is allowed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (the only legal supplier of cannabis in the United States) to do research on a German nebuliser that heats cannabis to the point of vaporisation, where it releases its cannabinoids without any of the smoke of a spliff, and with fewer carcinogens.

That is encouraging. But it does not address the wider question of which cannabinoids are doing what. For that, researchers need to be able to do their own plant-breeding programmes.

In America, this is impossible. But it is happening in other countries. In 1997, for example, the British government asked Geoffrey Guy, the executive chairman and founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, to come up with a programme to develop cannabis into a pharmaceutical product.

In the intervening years, GW has assembled a “library” of more than 300 varieties of cannabis, and obtained plant-breeder’s rights on between 30 and 40 of these. It has found the genes that control cannabinoid production and can specify within strict limits the seven or eight cannabinoids it is most interested in. And it knows how to crossbreed its strains to get the mixtures it wants.

Nor is this knowledge merely academic. Last year, GW gained approval in Canada for the use of its first drug, Sativex, which is an extract of cannabis sprayed under the tongue that is designed for the relief of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis. Sativex is also available to a more limited degree in Spain and Britain, and is in clinical trials for other uses, such as relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.

At the start of this year, the company made the first step towards gaining regulatory approval for Sativex in America when the FDA accepted it as a legitimate candidate for clinical trials. But there is still a long way to go.

And that delay raises an important point. Once available, a well-formulated and scientifically tested drug should knock a herbal medicine into a cocked hat. No one would argue for chewing willow bark when aspirin is available. But, in the meantime, there is unmet medical need that, as the IOM report pointed out, could easily and cheaply be met—if the American government cared more about suffering and less about posturing.
::: yfnET

Re:And another EU Commision lawsuit in 3... 2... 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216747)

Do they know that the EUC isn't going to let them get away with any illegal bundling while they're charging them?

I think they realize the EUC is going to let them get away with illegal bundling while they're charging them.

That's exactly what the EUC has done so far.

Stupid (0, Troll)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216920)

"You could look at BitLocker as anti-Linux. . . "

No, just anti-dual-boot. Microsoft makes their product more secure and people want to say it's anti-competitive. It's like saying that the locks on your house are anti-neighbor. Oh that's so horrible! You have anti-neighbor devices installed in your house!!! You must want to destroy all of your neighbors. It's just sick that you care about your family, safety and privacy so much that you would deny everybody access to your house!

Re:And another EU Commision lawsuit in 3... 2... (5, Insightful)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216945)

One slight detail.

Drive encryption is optional. It's something you may configure while setting up the system for systems carrying sensitive or important data. It's not like a standard Vista install automatically encrypts the entire drive. That would be ludicrous.

Bruce Schneier may be a brilliant security guy, but like every other person (and company) on the planet, he has an agenda. Don't automatically trust the guy telling you stuff because it's embarassing to the person he's telling you about.

Re:And another EU Commision lawsuit in 3... 2... (4, Interesting)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216963)

Ah, I almost forgot. This document is the Microsoft whitepaper on setting up and using drive encryption for Vista. [] Skim through it. Notice that it's freaking huge. The setup procedure is involved and low level. This isn't the sort of thing that will automatically be put on by a ignorant user blindly clicking "Next".

Whatever...try fat32 partition (5, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216682)

Any body that is dual booting will also know that making a partition formatted fat32 will allow copying of files between os's.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216703)

Yes... and what extra limitations on FAT32 can we expect in Vista?

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

Cris E (34068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216722)

Hopefully backward compatibility might be one.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216733)

Exactly, hell NTFS presents identical challenges, especially if its encrypted. Does Vista encrypt by default?

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (4, Informative)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216749)

Does it really matter? If you're going to format a drive as FAT32, it's already in your best interest to use Linux's version of fdisk rather than Windows XP's. Window's current fdisk limits FAT32 partitions to 32GB; this is entirely a software limitation, FAT32 allows for volumes up to 2TB. So unless Vista does something that prevents mounting a non-Windows formatted FAT32 drive, we should be fine.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

Chr0nik (928538) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216854)

I seriously doubt you'd be forced to use bitlocker. And if not, it's not an issue. The only people who would probably use it, are people with extremely sensitive data, and in that case, they probably wouldn't be dual booting anyway.

In fact, it won't even be on all of various versions of vista (say that ten times fast), according to this [] article.

And I quote "British government's Home Office was "in talks with Microsoft" over BitLocker Drive Encryption, a technology in some, though not all, of the Vista versions planned for later this year."

And according to this [] article it's only slated for the enterprise version.

mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216708)

Indeed. It'll be a non issue. Just put your files on a FAT partition or some network share (samba) or whatever else. CDs/DVDs/portable "flash" drives (those USB thingies) will work perfectly well too.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216731)

and what happens if FAT32 isn't supported by Vista?

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216827)

What happens is that none of those USB flash drives that have become so popular will work anymore -- not to mention iPods, which (I think) can't play music if they're formatted with something other than FAT32 or HFS+.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216866)

Then I couldn't add/remove any songs from my mp3 player. Most card readers would be useless because the format of the filesystem on the cards wouldn't be readable by Vista. Fat32 is used too many places to 'drop support' for it in Vista (floppies wouldn't work, which may or may not be a bad thing)

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216935)

You can put whatever filesystem you want on a floppy; ext2 works just fine, for example.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216771)

you could also use non-journaled HFS, since there are drivers for that out for XP and will be some out for Vista sooner or later I assume.

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216926)

For that matter, why even go to Vista?

Re:Whatever...try fat32 partition (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216940)

I noticed the Vista beta installer hoses your boot sector with absolutely no regard for anything but other Windows partitions...nothing new but annoying none the less.

Experience with Bitlocker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216691)

An employee suggested to me that we use Bitlocker on a few machines here as an evaluation. I was skeptical at first but he explained the benefits of using it for our employee's day-to-day gambling. So I decided to let him install Bitlocker onto 5 machines to see how the users got on. Besides, our IT manager had been using it on his system and it seemed to work fine, why not try it on the client machines?

Once he'd got the machines up and running with Bitlocker we let the users try it out. It all seemed fine to start with: Bitlocker was a pretty good replacement for FAT32 and the users could still do their work as normal.

Alas it did not stay that way. After a few days, I had lost count of the number of complaints received from users who could find things they were used to or tasks they could not perform that they previously could with FAT32. The final straw came when one employee lost several hours work when Bitlcoker suddenly had an error reading from our intranet file server and corrupted his project.

Needless to say, Microsoft offered no support whatsoever. I made the employee uninstall Bitlocker from the machines and lets just say he's not with us anymore.

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (1)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216746)

I really hope you're making all this up, or at least this part:

Needless to say, Microsoft offered no support whatsoever. I made the employee uninstall Bitlocker from the machines and lets just say he's not with us anymore.

Who in the hell fires an employee for making a suggestion and then implementing it once he has approval? Either you're on a complete power trip, or you really must not want people to suggest things - after making an 'example' like that, who'd want to stick their head out?

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (4, Informative)

TheRealSlimShady (253441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216759)

I think you're confused. Bitlocker isn't a replacement for the file system, it's a hard disk encryption tool. The file system remains intact, so your claim that users couldn't find stuff anymore seems a little odd to say the least.

Also, Bitlocker is only available on Vista, so are you saying you're running your production users on the Vista beta?

The final straw came when one employee lost several hours work when Bitlcoker suddenly had an error reading from our intranet file server and corrupted his project.

Bitlocker doesn't affect files read from network locations, it's merely a hard disk encryption technology. I think you're confused about what Bitlocker is.

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216760)

Needless to say this entire post is a fabrication as Bitlocker only comes with Vista, Vista only installs on NTFS, Vista is still an early beta version, Bitlocker has nothing to do with remote file systems, there's no way an IT department would deploy beta versions of Windows to end-users with beta full-disk encryption features, it's not something you uninstall as it's built in, and there's nothing FAT32 offers that NTFS does not when Windows is the only operating system on the computer (nevermind that Bitlocker isn't a filesystem).

Needless to say it's not necessary to know what you're doing before using moderation points either. I hope the person that moderated the gp loses their moderation privileges as they have wasted everyone's time, most importantly mine.

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216798)

You allowed an employee to install untested software (that is still under development by Microsoft) on FIVE production machines?

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216802)

Even if I hadn't seen variations on this troll post before, the idea of a company consider going from FAT32 to Bitlocker technology is more than enough to show that it's pure trolling (they'd be using NTFS).

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216803)

This is a standard troll [] . HTH. HAND.

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (1)

mhayenga (684912) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216820)

"An employee suggested to me that we use Bitlocker on a few machines here as an evaluation."

"I made the employee uninstall Bitlocker from the machines and lets just say he's not with us anymore."

So, lets see... An employee is aware of a product that might benefit your company, so he suggests it. It sounds to me like your "evaluation" wasnt a very good one at all. In order to evaluate things you are supposes to limit your risks. His suggestion ending up being bad is not his fault, you're puting multiple employees files and work at risk is YOUR fault.

But hey... apparently someone got fired for suggesting MICROSOFT... an internet first.

Mod Parent DOWN (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216828)

Parent post is NOT informative; it's a lie. Is the employee that suggested you use BitLocker the same one that suggested you use Vista while it's pre-release?

I find it so odd the lengths people go sometimes to trash a company/person. Outright lies? It's one thing to hate M$ for things they've actually done, but to drive others to hate them for things you've claimed, but never actually happeneed to you? You are what's wrong with society.

Re:Mod Parent DOWN (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216885)

Perhaps (don't get me wrong here, it probably shouldn't have been done) the company spoken of is one that MS favors and gave an early copy of Vista for them to use, so MS could point to them as an example of why every company needs Vista?

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (1)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216829)

" made the employee uninstall Bitlocker from the machines and lets just say he's not with us anymore"

Who gave this troll informative? The employe suggested a HD encryption tool, he gave him the ok to TEST it on only 5 machines, and he fired him just because the test did not go well...! So you expect employees to know exactly how a technology performs, without ever trying and who ever suggests trying out a technology jeopardizes his job.

You are most likely a college freshman assuming a fake identity ...

Re:Experience with Bitlocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216948)

You gave the guy the OK to test and then got rid of him for determining that the product wasn't a) what you needed, b) wasn't ready for prime-time, or c) just didn't work. That's what tests are for, and if you OK'd the test, you're responsible for insuring that the test does what it's supposed to do. You didn't. You fail, not the guy that "is not with us anymore." Did I mention you're a twit?

Anti-competative! Predatory! Monopoly! (4, Funny)

boxlight (928484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216693)

Anti-competative! Predatory! Monopoly!

Don't worry, once Leopard comes out with Apple's own implementation of the Win32 API, no one will need Windows ever again.


It's not a big deal (2, Insightful)

Parham (892904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216698)

It's not a big deal that they're doing this, afterall I won't be using Vista when it's released. Me and a lot of people I know will be migrating to Linux entirely and not looking back. Nobody I know wants to pay an arm and a leg to use an operating system that isn't going to contribute to bettering their current desktop experience. Those not migrating to Linux won't be upgrading from XP.

Re:It's not a big deal (1)

V_Pundit (794571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216781)

I was thinking the same thing. This is just added inentive to me to quit dual booting entirely. Well, not entirely. I still have multiple flavors of Linux to boot between.

Re:It's not a big deal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216794)

Me and a lot of people I know will be

Learn English. It's pathetic how many people here on Slashdot, proclaimed intellectuals, fail to write their native language properly.

A lot of people I know and I will be...

God, you're so fucking pathetic. I have mod points. I'm going to hunt down every post you've made and fuck you over now, idiot. Cya in hell.

Re:It's not a big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216955)

"Cya"? Good job on the proper English. You should have been modded down Troll and Dumbass for modding the parent down...

Re:It's not a big deal (1)

danath333 (932231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216927)

Boycott Vista!

Eternal Cry of the Slashbot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216965)

I'm going to move to Linux, not today, and not tomorrow, but certainly at some unspecified point in the future!!! Take that Microsoft!

Huh? (4, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216699)

Did I miss something? Is this disk encryption going to be compulsory?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216834)

It may not be compulsory but most likely all the OEM's will have it as the default File system much like NTFS is now for windows XP. Although experienced linux users will have no problem with reformatting and creating new partitions, It will turn off new linux users who dont want to have to deal with all that hassle.

Re:Huh? (1)

jaseuk (217780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216922)

Of course it won't be default.

Dell images hard drives. If they image everyone's hard drive with this encryption enabled, then every dell machine shipped will use the same encryption keys.

The default is surely going to be OFF and recommended only for laptop users.


What you mean it could still be possible (4, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216855)

to mount a non-encrypted disk in Vista in an older format that Linux can read and write too?


Will it be possible to mount non-encrypted disks in Vista? Well, unless MS is finally prepared to kick backwards compatibilty then yes.

Even if unencrypted HD's ain't supported (unlikely) they would still need to support regular filesystems like FAT for all those flash disks from your camera and USB keys and such.

I am as anti-ms as you can get (if I am ever diagnosed with an incurable disease Gates gets a bullet in the head the next day thanks to my Halo training. Eh non-MS FPS training) but this is just to much. Linux disk encryption makes it just as hard for linux to dualboot windows. In fact every linux distro should just use FAT to make sure windows can be dualbooted and read the linux data.


Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216903)

It wasn't a completely peaceful protest... and the demonstraters were faaaaaaar from innocent

Wait... (3, Informative)

Scutter (18425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216713)

Which is it, data sharing between two OSs or dual booting? Because I can dual boot just fine with current products and still not be able to share data. Not until NTFS for linux makes some more progress, anyway.

Re:Wait... (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216806)

The usual solution is to make a FAT32 partition of a couple gigs, or use a remote SMB share or my personal favourite: just don't use windows.


Re:Wait... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216956)


Not until Reiserfs for windows makes some more progress, anyway.

On that subject, are there any third party drivers allowing you to access reiser (and other) file systems from within windows?

No Sign Yet (5, Interesting)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216717)

I've used every build of Vista or Longhorn ever released/leaked, and so far I have seen absolutely no extra "anti-Linux" default-disk-encryption thing. The bootloader also still works fine with chainloader +1. Since Vista has supposedly been "feature-complete" since build 5308 (now is on 5365), I'm not convinced this is anything but FUD.

News Just In: (5, Insightful)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216720)

Encrypting a filesystem prevents arbitrary operating system from accessing it!

I mean — what the fuck?! — isn't that the whole idea?

Re:News Just In: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216753)

No. The idea is to prevent people without the proper key to access the data.

Re:News Just In: (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216800)

Well, I'd think it would be to prevent unauthorized people from accessing; with any reasonable encryption system, that means "people that don't have the right key", not "people that aren't using the right OS".

Re:News Just In: (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216931)

To have the right key, you need the right program. I can't open PGP encrypted files without PGP, is it so supprising you can't open windows encrypted files without windows?

Re:News Just In: (1)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216837)

Its turned off by default. It's an encryption scheme that makes it harder to read data. Did I mention I'm dual-booting Vista right now ?

(Yes, I know this will degenerate in a destroy the infidels flame war. I tried to inject a bit or rationality but we all know this goes out the door when Microsoft is mentionned on Slashdot.)

Re:News Just In: (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216842)

I'm worried if BitLocker will be turned on by default, without the user knowing. "Hey, this Linux thing won't let me read my Windows files!"

Re:News Just In: (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216939)

That's great, the post directly below this one [] says that it won't be turned on by default. In that case, I'll go back to saying that I don't see what the problem is.

Non issue. (5, Informative)

klingens (147173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216725)

If Schneier, TheRegister and all those other attention w... had looked here before opening their mouths: rity/bittech.mspx []
4.1 Installation

As part of Windows Vista, BitLocker is installed automatically during OS install with Enterprise and Ultimate editions5. (Note that it is not automatically turned on.)

Spend $20 on a usb stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216727)

Easy - a $20 512 MB memory stick should be enough for most tasks.

Who knew? (1, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216728)

Wow, who knew that choosing to encrypt a drive could make it hard to access??!

Once again, the headline is hideously misleading.

FileVault Anyone? (3, Interesting)

jtshaw (398319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216734)

I don't know exactly how this encrypted FS works in Vista but I imagine it won't be much more different then cryptfs in Linux or FileVault in OSX. When I boot into Linux on my Mac I can't get into the home directories for any of my users but I can certainly still share files....

Anyway, most dual booters that go between Windows and Linux already have dealt with these issues due to the unfriendly nature of NTFS.

Re:VileFault Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216907)

VileFault as Dr Spooner might well state about Vista

It will only be in Enterprise and Ultimate Vista (5, Insightful)

jfern (115937) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216737)

At least, according to Wiki.

As much as we all love to bash Microsfot, I'm guessing it's an optional feature.

It will only be in minority land. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216783)

Actually considering the overall feeling towards Microsoft around here. Who's running Microsoft OS'es anyway, let alone sharing data between the two?

Not only dual booting (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216751)

Not only will dual booting and sharing files between OSs be harder, but recovery of lost data could also be harder. If they used something standard, or at least disclosed how they were storing the data, we might have a way to recover lost data. However, if we don't know how to decrypt the data, then how are we supposed to recover the data. Will the data be lost if you have to reinstall the OS? I know windows XP deletes sensitive information if your Admin has to reset your password.

Has everyone gone mad? (5, Informative)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216752)

I appreciate that it's popular to bash MS (I'm just as guilty) but isn't this getting to be a step too far? They're introducing file system functionality for added security and being ripped apart for it by the same people that scream at them for their lack of security focus? I've had a bit of a read into it, and at least on the surface it seems like a good idea.

Bitlocker isn't going to be compulsory, and as such it isn't going to affect dual booting in any way shape or form. It's certainly not the sort of thing your average home user would be setting up anyway (IMHO). Seems like Mr Schneier is a good old fashioned troll.

Some more info on Bitlocker here : ary/c61f2a12-8ae6-4957-b031-97b4d762cf31.mspx []

Re:Has everyone gone mad? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216780)

No, wrong. Bruce is a "press whore". There is a difference.

He's the type who always has an opinion on something regardless as to his actual contribution to the discovery. ... irony setting in ...

He differs from me [for those who are going to reply to this] in that I don't seek media attention everytime SOMEONE does the hard work to figure something out (Sony rootkit anyone?).

Besides, why can't the MBR be on ... A DIFFERENT drive and just have two disks? As I get the fear it's that if you put two OSes on one disk.

Well an 80GB disk is all of 64$ CDN at any nearby shop. I think people can swing putting two SATA drives in a computer if they really want to dual-boot.


Re:Has everyone gone mad? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216868)

Besides, why can't the MBR be on ... A DIFFERENT drive and just have two disks?
Because none of the current Intel Macs support multiple hard disks (except externally, but that's a pain esp. for the laptops), and chances are more Mac users than Linux users are going to be concerned about this kind of thing (due to Boot Camp).

Re:Has everyone gone mad? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216942)

Because none of the current Intel Macs support multiple hard disks (except externally, but that's a pain esp. for the laptops),

Sounds like the real problem is that a botique platform has significant hardware limitations that adversely impact convenience and utility across the board.

Re:Has everyone gone mad? (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216809)

I take it you missed the recent story on how Vista's firewall is going to be "crippled" because the default config won't block outgoing connections - just like XP's, just like Mandrake's and RedHat's the last time I set up firewalls on them, just like my hardware firewall in fact.

Slashdot has long had a strong anti-MS bias. Fine, they've never made a secret of it. Recently however, they've started to allow it to warp the facts, which is not fine.

Sure, this may well make dual-booting more difficult, in that you won't be able to get at your data. Ever tried getting at data on an NTFS partition with Fedora? ZOMG! Fedora is trying to lock out Windows!

I've been here a long time, and it's sad to see how the site has declined from a site you could trust, to one that will print almost anything as long as it bashes MS or praises FOSS.

Does someone know more? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216754)

What is being locked that defeats dual booting? The MBR or partition table?

Or just the content of the Windows partition? If it is the latter, it doesn't stop dual booting, it just limits some of the uses by making it harder to share data between the different OS's -- but you can still dual boot just as well, and there are other ways of interchanging data.

Re:Does someone know more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216822)

Disclosure: I hate MS as much as the next guy.

This is absolute FUD.

If you encrypt your Windows filesystems, Linux won't be able to read them.

If you encrypt your Linux filesystems, Windows can't read them either.

Want to dual boot and share data between your OS's? Do what you've always had to do - create a filesystem that is unencrypted, and is common between the OS's.


That's it. I've had enough. (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216765)

The only reason I was considering Vista is because Microsoft have made sure DirectX10 won't run on XP.

Now if I also can't dual-boot then that's the last straw to drive me to a linux-only system.

And before anyone suggests it, no I don't want to be running Linux under a Microsoft VM.

Virtualization? (1)

joib (70841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216772)

Couldn't this be worked around with virtualization? I.e. run both Vista and a free OS on the same box, communicate over TCP/IP. Kludgy, yes, but better than nothing I guess.

Bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216776)

Ummm yeah, I'm just gonna stick with Windows XP if they are gonna be like that. Maybe I'll switch my whole PC over to OSx86 10.5 when it comes to that, I like OSX and it runs well on my PC aside from onboard lan and audio.

Vista's incompatible filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216782)

Using an incompatible filesystem ("BitLocker") for Vista doesn't help Microsoft in any way but will frustrate many users who want to mount it or have applications that need a standard filesystem such as ext3, reiserfs, etc. Things like that just add to an already long list of reasons not to even consider using Vista.

So dual boot for games... (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216791)

...and (put in your favourite emulator, I use Vmware) for everything else on Windows.

What has changed?

Its ok..... (1)

bblboy54 (926265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216793)

Microsoft's Linux Lab [] is currently working on a solution. "WILO" (Windows Loader) 1.0 should be released shortly after Vista hits shelves in 2009.

We're getting good at FUD too! (5, Informative)

dhj (110274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216795)

Ok... I've been a linux fan for 10 years or so now. Haven't run anything but linux in about 7 years. But c'mon guys this is FUD.

First of all, vista won't have this activated by default. Here's how you can turn it on in Vista Beta: ary/c61f2a12-8ae6-4957-b031-97b4d762cf31.mspx []

And yes it will make any data encrypted in this manner unavailable to another operating system. It does this by using TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in the BIOS and can base the key on the kernel and optionally: just the bios, a user supplied key, or a USB drive supplied key.

This allows for the option of encrypting/decrypting data from the very start of the boot process. And guess what? It's being implemented in linux too! []

BitLocker from windows is just a kernel based drive encryption software that takes advantage of TPMs just like the linux system. If you're concerned about cross platform compatibility then use user space encryption rather than kernel space encryptiong. If you're that concerned about secure keys then don't dual boot! If you love dual booting and don't care about encryption at all, noone is going to beat you up and make you use encryptiong.

You may remove the tinfoil hat.


Re:We're getting good at FUD too! (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216886)

Yeah, this is just stupid. OS X has the capability to encrypt the user's home folder, but that doesn't make it any more "anti-linux" than this makes Vista.

Oh jeebus. Save us from ignorance. (2, Interesting)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216814)

And darn those pesky motherboard manufacturers for using a BIOS that includes the ability to put a boot up password. Thereby preventing us innocent and proud computer users from installing an OS onto our machine! This means war! Seriously. Since when is this: A. A new issue (NTFS, translating differences in file structure between OSes, etc) B. A "REAL" issue. It's not like there is a software bomb that will melt your hard drive if you type in an open source url in your web browser. C. Anything but another jolly "Hey let's hate on Microsoft because it's cool!" You are ENCRYPTING THE DISK. What do you expect to happen? I'm reminded of fools that set BIOS passwords, then scream at me beacuse suddenly there is a passworde on their computer and theyt can't access it. *Pixie tosses two red American pennies on the nearest table, and quietly walks out of the room.*

Dual Boot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216816)

is a must to win the three legged race.

Wait... (0)

MrDomino (799876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216826)

Isn't it already a challenge?

Where's the hardware? (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216831)

From TFA: Vista is due to feature hardware-based encryption, called BitLocker Drive Encryption...

The hardware part worries me. Is it just that the hardware is used to speed up the encrypt/decrypt stage? Or is it that disc encryption is actually tied to a specific unique chip on the system?

What happens if my motherboard dies one day and I need to copy files from the dead computer onto a new computer? Will there be a failsafe software-based decoder that will let me copy my files?

And how are backups going to work? It'd be pretty poor security to have an encrypted HD but a decrypted backup.

Does anyone really care anymore? (1)

Run4yourlives (716310) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216838)

Seriously, by the time Vista comes out, I'll be using a mac (hurry up Leopard), even though I use XP right now.

Why anyone would willingly put up with MS's crap, from Vista, to IE 7 (oh, we won't support installing different versions on the same machine...) I've had it. This "tool" called windows does nothing but make my job as a web developer more difficult than it needs to be.

Thanks but no thanks.

Re:Does anyone really care anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216918)

This "tool" called Windows is also the reason you have a job as a Web developer. I'd urge you to check your Web server stats some day and see how many of your visitors are Windows users. Hell, if it bothers you that much, block access by Windows users and see how far that gets you.

Oh, by the way, you *can* use other browsers on Windows. Windows itself has nothing to do with your Web developer gripes.

Shame on you (5, Insightful)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216850)

A company plans to include a very useful encryption tool with it's next OS.

This is good news in terms of security and privacy, and therefore /. readers will welcome it.

Oh wait, no they won't, because the company is Microsoft. Microsoft is baaad, therefore everything they do is sinister and evil. You people always manage to find the dark lining to their every silver cloud.

It's the herd-mentality at work, folks.


Dirty socks (0)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216861)

If I use Bitlocker, does that mean my data will smell like dirty socks?

Dual-booting with Vista IS more difficult... (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216870)

With Windows XP, dual-booting was as simple as editing boot.ini in the root of the XP partition. With Vista (build 5308), the two articles I have from are 4 pages and 8 pages respectively of instructions. Neither worked. All I want to do is dual-boot between Vista Ultimate and XP!

I don't know if Bitlocker is the cause of my dual-booting woes, but it isn't easy to set up, that's for sure.

(Keep in mind, I've been using Vista for a grand total of 4 days, which puts my experience level somewhere around that of a 1337 n00b13.)

Solution: (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216897)

Disable encryption. I'm guessing, and this could be a wild guess, but I'm thinking that Vista will support FAT32 and NTFS. If it's anything like Windows XP (Professional), encryption for NTFS is optional, and the last time I checked, it wasn't enabled by default. My guess is that Microsoft is going to act like they did for the Windows Firewall: They originally included the firewall, but originally hid it and left it disabled. The update will enable it by default. I doubt this will be a problem for anyone dual-booting using Linux, the potential problem would be with people that want to use OSX and Vista, since the average OSX user is not as computer-savvy as someone that dual-boots Windows and Linux.

As far as I'm concerned... (1)

RickBauls (944510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216905)

This only means I won't be trying Vista. I'd rather keep just Linux than mess it all up trying to dual boot with something I don't care for. Sucks for Microsoft since Vista could have been the Windows that made me switch back.

doesn't matter to me (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216914)

The only thing I still dual-boot for is games, and that doesn't require accessing the Windows partitions from Linux.

Not to discount this story... (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216933)

But honestly in the day and age of cheap computing why even bother dual booting? I think I'm probably your average slashdotter, I have a laptop running windows XP, a desktop running windows XP, a linux desktop and a linux server.

Systems are cheap, watch for specials from the big guys and pick up a box for $399 or less.

I haven't had to dual boot a system in over 5 years and I'm certainly not independantly wealthy.

Mobile Rack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15216936)

I always found using a Mobile Rack and simply swapping hard drives much easier than dual booting.

So, I gather... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216947)

...this optional feature will do nothing to prevent dual booting, and, if the user has one of the Vista editions that has it installed, and chooses to use it, will make it impossible to read the data it protects from Linux? Why would someone pretend this is a big deal? It doesn't seem to be a big advance in security, or big blow against dual booting, or a big...well, anything.

Why would anyone want to dual boot? (1, Funny)

jaypaulw (889877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216950)

Who's running Windows anyway? Seriously folks, I've got everything I need on Linux, thank you.

big deal?? (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15216959)

If you want your stuff encrypted away and hidden from your other OS, keep it on the Windows partition. If you want to be able to share your data, make a third partition with a compatible file system and dump your files there. Problem solved.
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