Upgraded to Windows 11 Pro - shrink C drive & BitLocker


meridius

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I upgraded to Windows 11 Pro from Windows 11 Home today. It seems as though the C drive is now managed by BitLocker which is on although it says in Control Panel > BitLocker Drive Encryption: "For your security, some settings are managed by your system administrator" (see first screenshot below).

BLDE_06-03-2022_1.png

Now I would like to reduce the C drive partition (shrink volume) in Disk Management and create free space to make a new partition for data only, which would then be encrypted with BitLocker. Is this possible with BitLocker and completely safe? (see second screenshot below). Also I there is a Restore partition which I do not wish to disturb which is likely related to the original Asus Windows 11 Home installation.

Partitions_06-03-2022_1.png

Many thanks for any advice...
 
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Archigos

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Suspend the BitLocker on C... reduce the volume, create your new Data volume, turn back on BitLocker on C, then if needed Turn on BitLocker on D (or whatever the new drive is)
 

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meridius

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I was thinking of reducing the C drive to around 120GB. Looking at Disk Management will the new free space or empty partition be placed in front of the C drive or elsewhere? It would be good to know in case I wish to extend the C drive in the future... I guess the new partition will be free space that will need to be formatted and encrypted again...
 

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Archigos

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When you shrink a drive, it moves from the right to the left, making the free space to the right of the current partition. In your case, it'd be between the C: and 750MB partition.
 

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Archigos

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If you shrink C to 120GB and create the unused space as a new partition it makes it harder to resize C in the future as you'll have to empty the D, delete D, resize C, recreate D with what's left.
 

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meridius

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Thanks for all your advice. It's extremely useful.

My new Asus laptop is only three days old. The main problem is that if I or anyone else unscrews the back of it and adds a new SSD I'm pretty sure it would invalidate the warranty. I actually don't trust anyone to do it and not even an official service center. When I get the courage I may try to do this myself but not just yet and it will be after some time!

In terms of my video editing project, I will need quite a bit of storage space. I have an external 2TB HDD that should do the trick for the initial stages of project. This is far from ideal but life isn't always perfect. I was thinking of buying an external 2TB SSD but they are quite expensive although SSD would be a far better solution than HDD. I also need to test my new choice of video editing software, the free version of DaVinci Resolve, further to make sure that data is stored where it says it will be stored, in other words in a newly created database, which could be externally. Adobe Premiere Pro, which is supposedly the number 1 video editing software, is a subscription service and not really an option for me at the moment.

I was looking at some stats for storage space needed for video storage requirements online and with all the testing and mistakes etc. I am likely to make, I will probably need further storage so may initially try using an external drive first because I don't think that even with a new partition of say 750 GB on this laptop, which may initially appear large, may still not give me enough space to be completely at ease with this project.

I upgraded my two other older laptops to 2TB HDD's last year to finally have extra space to store all my videos etc. so extra storage space is the final goal.
 

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Archigos

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If you're in the US, then due to the "Right to Repair" laws, you can change the hard drive and memory (swap them out, add larger, etc.) without voiding the warranty as a "Consumer Protection" policy. So I wouldn't fear upgrading those. If you're not comfortable doing it, maybe take it to a repair shop and put the liability on them for doing the upgrades (they have to fix it if they break it).
 

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meridius

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Thanks for this. I will contact the manufacturer tomorrow to see what they say. No unfortunately I'm not covered by these US laws.

I have actually downloaded a video showing the almost precise instructions for me to try to do this myself at home:
but a 2TB internal SSD is very expensive.

If I have an opportunity to move away from partitioning and change my strategy to using separate external drives I will take it now. I am thinking of having a separate external 2TB HDD for my personal data and another external 2TB HDD for the video project. I already have a spare 2TB HDD so that is one less expense. Once again this isn't ideal but still an option.

I looked into a WD product called WD My Book: https://www.westerndigital.com/products/external-drives/wd-my-book-usb-3-0-hdd#WDBBGB0060HBK-NESN but I think this requires a power supply.

Actually the video editing product I am testing has a facility to reduce the rendering speed therefore decreasing CPU and RAM use. So these are options, as well as spending more money for a 2GB external SSD just for the project data but there is a massive price difference between HDD and SSD.

On another point Western Digital have their own erase function on their drives although I'm not sure how secure they are. I used to use DBAN from boot and but I'm not sure what is the best secure delete software within Windows and which does not damage external HDDs. I think DoD Short is the standard option although I am not sure as well what is used for SSDs.

The best option would have been to have a desktop system with multiple drives but we can get power cuts here in the summer so it was not a perfect option for me in terms of potential data loss.
 

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Archigos

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Yes, the WD My Book requires their own power plug as they are not bus-powered.

I'm unsure about the secure delete setup of those drives so I can't help you there.
 

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cereberus

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I was thinking of reducing the C drive to around 120GB. Looking at Disk Management will the new free space or empty partition be placed in front of the C drive or elsewhere? It would be good to know in case I wish to extend the C drive in the future... I guess the new partition will be free space that will need to be formatted and encrypted again...
That is really a bit small for C drive, for a 1 TB drive, I would recommend 250 MB.
 

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meridius

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I've abandoned the idea of partitioning the C drive at all...
 

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meridius

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Do you have any idea of superior quality external HDDs with a good track record?
 

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meridius

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Actually some time ago I had a WD 500 GB external HDD fail on me so I am allowed to be paranoid about data loss!
 

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Archigos

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@meridius First, what country are you in? (I only ask so I can check your local Amazon and see if there are any good deals).

As far as 'superior' drive types, as long as it's a name brand, you should be good, then the typing only matters on what type of use you have for the drive. Ex. are you going to leave it plugged into a computer at all times, like a desktop, or is it going to be plugged in and unplugged frequently on an 'as-needed' basis on a laptop.
 

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meridius

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I can get anything from Amazon UK.

I can now free 2 x 2TB WD My Passport HDD drives which I already have. This will do the trick in terms of data storage but I don't know how well these drives fare with being constantly plugged in and out of USB ports on a daily basis unless there exists a more advanced hub for this type of setup.

I thought of the WD My Book but it needs a power supply. I am wondering if something exists like a tower with two separate HDDs but which don't require a power supply and are compatible with a laptop.

The concept is to have an online laptop but which goes offline for the project. One HDD is used to store and use my data for daily use. The other HDD can be used for my video project but should be kept offline. Conceptually I suppose this means, before using the offline external HDD (a) Disconnecting the internet connection (b) Removing what would be my normal external HDD (c) Fully scanning my laptop - luckily this is a new laptop which takes next to no time to do a full scan (d) Attaching the external HDD for the project.

I could take the plunge and buy and install a new SDD into the laptop but if the hardware is defective or there is an installation glitch then that is another issue. I will call Asus today to see what they say about this.
 

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meridius

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I came up with two potential solutions for my disk space problem which would also mean not having to spend a wad of cash to buy a 2 TB external SSD, nor taking the risk of installing an internal SSD in my new laptop.

First potential solution

1. Buy a 5 TB external hard drive like this one: https://www.westerndigital.com/prod...wd-my-passport-usb-3-0-hdd#WDBPKJ0050BBK-WESN

2. Partition the external drive in Disk Management into two partitions of 2.5 TB each, one partition for my personal data (which can be online) and one for my video project (which must be offline).

3. Encrypt each partition with BitLocker.

4. Use the personal data partition as required.

5. When using the video project partition make sure the C drive is fully scanned first so that malware does not pass from the C drive to the video project (offline) partition.

I still need to test whether the external HDD could cope with lots of time video processing.

Second potential solution


The alternative is to buy two external HDD's of 2 TB each both encrypted with BitLocker or WD Encryption and just use one for personal data and the other for the project as and when necessary but just scan the C drive first to make sure there is no malware on Windows. I suppose the advantage of this is that it would be easier in terms of managing potential malware and divide up the risk of a drive failure between two different HDDs.

Any ideas of what would be a better course of action?
 

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Archigos

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That's a really good price on the 5TB drive... I don't know about this project you mentioned, so I'm unsure exactly you need the 'offline' and scans every time you're going to work on it, but I assume it's for good reasons.

If it were me, I think I would get the 5TB and split it as opposed to buying 2TB and having to go back and forth between them.
 

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meridius

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Ideally the video project's partition should not be connected to the internet when in use as sometimes data can be hacked into. This is what I mean about having a partition or HDD 'offline' i.e. not in use when the operating system is connected to the internet.

When they make big Hollywood films and edit scenes I guess there are a few people dedicated to data security so this does not happen.

I've disabled OneDrive and need to make sure that the video editing apps don't back up or save any data or temporary files etc. to the C drive.

On this particular video editing app you can set up a database on an external drive or any partition which is great. The only thing is you have to learn it!

The advantages of having 2 external drives is there less risk of mechanical failure in both (in theory...).

If I could afford it I'd only buy SSDs but they are very expensive compared to HDDs but like many things you get what you pay for but as you can see the price of HDDs is quite competitive now.

What I mean about scanning for malware is that any partition that has been connected to the internet i.e. online can get malware so operating systems and partitions should be scanned regularly but I would hate for malware to hit the video project.

If a partition is encrypted and locked it technically should avoid malware if it is spotted and at least quarantined in the operating system drive first.
 

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