TPM 2 on USB stick possible for W11???

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

coffeeprogrammer

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
144
12
I am in absolutely no hurry to upgrade to Windows 11, I still use a Windows XP VM and a Windows 7 VM. Really the only thing I use Windows 10 is for Zoom and newer versions of Vs. I did run 11 in a VM early on but I deleted because I did really need it or use it. I also use Linux. I believe my current workstation can have a TPM 2 module added to the motherboard, but my guess it this machine will never run Windows 11 as the primary OS. My question is this, I know some machines can take TPM 2 add in module that go directly on the motherboard, but could a company invent a TPM 2 on a USB stick for laptops and ease of installation on desktops? I think the CPU model plays a role. Just wondering, I don't need anything like this soon, but it would be nice if that were an option. I checked online is there does not seem to be any agreement. I thought Steve might have a clear answer if it is even possible.
 
Surely someone could put the TPM hardware on a USB stick, and certainly an OS could have the driver to look for it there. The crucial bit of the issue is the "T"... the TRUST. One aspect of the trust is that the OS needs to trust the device will always be available. It would probably kill the OS if it was relying on a trusted device to be present at all times and you could easily pull it away by pulling it out of the USB port at any time.
 
TPM almost always runs on a special bus, only either brought out on dedicated CPU pins, or as part of the CPU package itself. Separate trusted bus, either SPI or LPC, which is basically a bus that is direct from the South Bridge that has things like BIOS, all the original ISA peripherals that are in the PC, like counters, timers, interrupt controllers and legacy keyboard and mouse connections. Basically the parts that are basic to the very operation and support of the computer, along with most of the on board sensors. Hard to bring out to USB, as by definition these devices are core peripherals, and can only be changed during power off, and are using code running in ring 0 of the processor.

To split it off to USB means having to write ring 0 code that can both enumerate USB, coexist with user level USB control code (very difficult to split this, you will introduce massive instability with every code change on user side that varies any entry points used) and also allow hot plugging to work, and not crash hard when a USB peripheral changes state or address. Basically near impossible, and very likely to only run on a very tiny subset of machines, without a near total rewrite for each different south bridge chipset, and each BIOS revision. Even a microcode update may break it, or even any update that touches the kernel and moves any of the code entry points for USB, IO or disk interaction.