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By announcing its IC7-MAX3 mainboard with the Secure IDE technology, ABIT opened the doors to a brand-new era of data-protection using hardware means. As we told you last week, ABIT integrated a special chip that does not allow reading from HDD unless a special key is installed.

Secure IDE is a device that connects to an IDE HDD and has a special decoder key; without this key, the hard disk cannot be opened by anyone. Even if the drive is removed from your PC, no one will be able to read data from it. ABIT claims that its Secure IDE will keep the Government supercomputers busy for weeks and will keep the RIAA away from your Kazaa/Soulseek files forever.

ABIT’s Secure IDE seems to be pretty easy to use: you should connect your Parallel ATA HDD via special add-in device with the eNOVA X-Wall chip and then perform typical Fdisk, Format procedures in DOS environment. Each time you boot up your computer, you will have to use your “key” to access the HDD.

Even though there are bunch of technologies for protecting computers from unauthorized access, they are either not efficient or too expensive for SOHO users. The technology implemented by ABIT seems to have the right balance between price and proof against cracking, so, it may become popular eventually. Of course, we still have to find out how exactly it works and also reveal all its pros and cons.

Currently ABIT only offers Secure IDE technology in its IC7-MAX3 mainboard for Intel Pentium 4 and Prescott processors, however, later this year the feature will also be available on a MAX3 mainboard for AMD CPUs.

Discussion

Comments currently: 11
Discussion started: 07/28/03 11:38:44 AM
Latest comment: 09/18/06 12:23:55 PM
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1. 
And what happens when the mainboard dies?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 07/28/03 11:38:45 AM]
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Well, when the mainboard dies, you should install the Secure IDE device on another mainboard :)
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 07/29/03 12:38:32 AM]
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What happens when the Secure ide device dies?????
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 07/30/03 06:15:32 AM]
Reply

2. 
This device is nothing but CRAP... Look at the Specs. for the nova chip here:
http://www.enovatech.net/html/ps_pci.htm

It can only encrypt at 40/128/192 bit keys... This is completely worthless.
In order to have any Significant value, the minium key should be 2048.
Anything less and it will be broken is hours..
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 07/29/03 02:41:09 AM]
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