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Computer: Boot
Border BIOS   (+8)  [vote for, against]
Boot select via BIOS password

A la Panic Pin, this is a technical means to foil silly customs agents. The BIOS (or EFI, whatever) of the system would have multiple passwords set, and depending on the password entered, would boot to a set partition. This way, when the TSA grunks ask you to show them your laptop, you can put in 'password' and get your vanilla 98SE environment, replete with embarrasing wallpaper and random documents, and when you get to your secure underground bunker boot to your encrypted partition with your proprietary OS and get them all fired.
-- absterge, Jun 25 2008

A good idea, but they're still allowed to take an image of your entire hard drive and look at it at their leisure.
-- hippo, Jun 25 2008

Boot off a thumbdrive, hide it accordingly.
-- Noexit, Jun 25 2008

Hmm, well, if the useful data was properly encrypted, an image would serve little useful purpose without inordinate effort. Failing this, I considered padding and packing the battery and hdd, and socially engineer your way around the fact that your laptop is useless (until you're reunited with your checked luggage).
-- absterge, Jun 26 2008

If you were capable of perfectly encrypting your hard drive, you could have an "infinite" (read all possibilities for the cardinality of the set of bits) choice of data. Keeping the data that makes the system operable, and only encrypting file data could give you lots of noise and/or a spectrum between Katy Lee Winchinsington-Smithe (aged 8) and Garry Glitter. Hiding something (plaintext) within something else (psuedo-plaintext) is called steganography. And is Baked, widely known to exist. And, funnily enough, crackable.

Although there is merit in this idea provided there is enough take-up (up-take?). Much like the continual transmission of noise would mask a OTP transmission.
-- 4whom, Jun 26 2008

//they're still allowed to take an image of your entire hard drive and look at it at their leisure.// They would only be prompted to do this if they were suspicious of you.
-- Jscotty, Jun 27 2008

random, halfbakery