Using, or not, Windows File and Folder Encryption

Recently, I found out the easy way, thankfully, that there is a critical reason for not using Windows file and folder encryption. The files and folders will be unavailable if the drive on which they reside is moved to another computer!

I had to revive my previous laptop in order to run an old version of software incompatible with Windows 7. I felt inordinately smug that 1) I hadn’t yet cleaned and dumped the laptop, and 2) I use a removable hard drive for many of the tools my two laptops would need to share.

Luckily I was only stuck slightly when, on-site at a new client’s, I couldn’t get to information I wanted to use from the removable drive. The files had been encrypted on the drive while connected to the other laptop.

I say luckily, because, while searching for a work around (or reality check) I read posts from people who found out only when a computer had died and they installed the old drive in a new system. Yikes.

I expect this may seem obvious to some of you. It wasn’t to me. And it effectively kills any reason whatsoever to use it. Indeed, I’d go so far as to call it a danger.

I haven’t settled on an alternative, so if you have a personal favorite, I’d like to hear about it. And if I’ve just missed the work around, I’d be pleased to hear about that, too.