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There are a few posts about this. Some newer Intel boards will support ATA security, but have a buggy BIOS, for example on the DZ77BH-55K board I have the password options only shown when the drive is set to legacy IDE mode, and then they only show up in the classic mode BIOS. There has been at least one report of someone going ahead and setting the password and then couldn't get their drive unlocked again.
Still waiting for Intel to sort this out, and seldom getting any direct help from them here. Some boards have a BIOS update that show fixes for this, although not mine.
It's very ironic considering Intel market their own SSDs with full encryption, yet their own motherboards don't support it. Mind you they hadn't even validated their own claims as their SSD's (520/330 models) were advertised as 256Bit AES but are only 128Bit, I'd settle for 128Bit if I could make use of it.
Thank you for your answer, its really poor show that Intel is giving, when all the information about support for full disk encryption is just a guess game, and this is all happening at the same time they claim FDE in their own SSDs. This is just unbelivable. I almost bought Intel SSD and mainboard, looking at the specs (support for Anti-Theft) it was obvious to me this combo will provide true FDE. Apperently its not, Intel is playing funny games with the customers, i wonder how many people realized their SSD with "Full Disk Encryption" together with Anti-Theft technology is only on paper and it doesn't provide any protection against theft. I was always fan of Intel mainboards, especially in enterprise environment and this issue is the only one that stops me from upgrading to Ivy Bridge. I really hope Intel will come up with decent solution. I will keep an eye on DQ77MK BIOS changelog and wait with purchase until it will be officialy supported and confirmed by community (as their current specs are misleading).
The following Intel® Desktop Boards support hard disk drive (HDD) passwords, but afaik, they only support weak passwords (8 chars), so you should not rely on this feature to protect your data.
Intel® 7 Series Chipset Family Boards
From Intel's motherboard documentation:
"Password can be 2-8 alphanumeric characters in length."