Okay, just when I thought my laptop woes were over. I finally decided to tackle the problem of Bitlocker Drive Encryption not being able to run on my laptop. The first HP agent I had was really competent and for the first time, I had the support technician look into my laptop remotely. All she did was basically enable me to bypass the TPM requirement for Bitlocker Drive Encryption to run. Now, I didn’t bargain on having to purchase an extra USB key so I could use an item that was supposedly supported by the manufacturer or else they would have stated explicitly that you will need an extra USB key in order to use the full capabilities of your laptop. For the record, I own the HP dv9700t customized notebook. I just spent a little over 2 hrs on the phone (total) with HP agents and the final “answer” I’ve received is that I need to pay close to $50 for their SmartFriends program because the issue is not a software or hardware problem. Right. Whatever. Because of their pigheadedness, I’m going to go ahead with their recommendation. I am going to reformat my laptop. Yes, you heard me. lol. This might turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth, but I believe in fighting for what is rightfully mine and in this case, what is rightfully mine is the right to have a computer that supports the full capabilities of the Bitlocker Drive Encryption utility which was the main reason I got up-sold to get Microsoft Vista Ultimate on this laptop! I’m really getting irked by this. For now, I’m just glad that the support technician did her magic and that I can actually use Bitlocker. The catch for me now is: am I willing to remember to insert a USB key into my laptop every time I need to boot up for the sake of privacy and security? I don’t have any government secrets on my laptop, but I’ve become increasingly aware (maybe a bit paranoid) of how insecure our communications are. As a test, I fired up Wireshark on my laptop and started up an instant messaging conversation using Gizmo. Guess what? I was able to piece the conversation back together from the packets which were broadcast in clear-text over the wireless network? Phew, remind me not to talk about too sensitive matters over chat networks that aren’t Skype (which I believe is encrypted). For the record, my Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 tool supports IM encryption of Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger so maybe I do need to quick being so picky about things (Bitlocker, etc) and just adapt to fit what my laptop does support. *sigh* I just hate settling for second best, sometimes.