Data Is Encrypted

Date: Wednesday the 10th April, 2024.

After fourteen years’ of using a PC workstation without any issue, challenge or weirdness, it’s finally caught me out. Something weird happened.

Intel Matrix Storage Manager (v8.9.1.1002), during boot-up and inspecting my workstation RAID settings in the BIOS, is now reporting “* = Data is Encrypted”. And it only just happened.

Image of PC boot-up showing Intel Matrix Storage Manager and flagging unknown feature stating Data is Encrypted.

Is this an undocumented feature or a threat trying to worm its way into this ancient workstation?

Its an old machine running Gigabyte i7 motherboard running Win7 Pro, and at no time have I willingly activated or approved of any disk or data encryption on the PC, especially a feature that seems so deeply rooted into the BIOS to effect the Matrix Storage Manager and what it’s telling me during boot-up.

I have anti-virus scanning and it’s not reporting any errors, but something happened when the machine booted up and a quick message flashed by as it changed something inside, and I wasn’t paying attention enough to notice and take note. Was it a virus lurking in the background or did I lean on the keyboard at the very wrong moment and trigger a key to cause this “* = Data is Encrypted” message to begin appearing and a change to be flagged?

I’ve searched the net and found only one brief reference to something of this kind appearing in 2010, nothing else, which is what made me think it more likely to be an undocumented feature buried away in the Intel Matrix Storage Manager. A virus would have thrown up thousands of responses and discussions online by now.

As I’ve said, very old machine, running Intel Matrix Storage Manager v8.9.1.1002 and I cannot easily find an answer online, so I’m asking anyone with the deep knowledge or a dusty old manual lying around in some forgotten desk drawer, whether this is a problem, an opportunity, or something that can be safely managed, used or reversed to restore the original state of the PC.

And meanwhile let this appeal stand as possibly the only discussion of this subject “* = Data is Encrypted”.


It’s an old Gigabyte motherboard i7 processor, RAID 1 (mirror) set-up and I have inspected both the main BIOS settings and the embedded Intel Matrix Storage Manager RAID menu. Nowhere is there any option to activate this “Data is Encrypted” setting and yet the RAID menu shows this new flag “* = Data is Encrypted” on the Disk/Volume Information and during boot-up.

Image of Intel Matrix Storage Manager RAID configuration and disk/volume information and unknown feature stating Data is Encrypted.

Meanwhile, after the PC has booted up, the Intel Rapid Storage Technology is showing no change and no new flag for the RAID array inside the workstation.

As I said, weird.

Here’s the only other article I found from 2010: