I bought myself an Intel SSD 320 about 3 weeks ago and I am still enjoying the fantastic speed of my system. It's such a joy and pleasure!
I initially did not set a disk password in the BIOS (I simply forgot...). Now I was reading about disk encryption the other day and if I understood things correctly, then the SSD 320 encrypts all disk content by default (using AES 128 or 256?).
I would find that very handy, but I have a question: can I also set the password in the BIOS now after I already copied all my data onto the SSD or would that render all data already stored immediately unaccessible?
In other words: if I want to enable the disk password now (while of course wanting to keep all my data) - can I
a) just set the disk password and everythings stays the same (except that I will now have to enter the pwd after each power on) OR
b) do I first have to backup all my data, then set a disk password (which will essentially wipe all my data) and then copy the backup back onto the disk?
You can enable the password at any time, all data will be left intact. I've both set and unset the password several times without any problems.
However, setting the password doesn't encrypt your data, it has been encrypted since day one. Setting the password simply encrypts the keys used to decrypt your data.
In my experience you also have to enter the password if you start the computer from hibernation, but not from sleep.