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Quicker Way to Password Protect External Hard Drive? Any Ideas Please?

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Posted 24th Sep
Hey All, so earlier this year I decided to encrypt & password protect my external 2TB hard drive with Bitlocker, it took around 2 hours, it's simple to access with a password, but I've decided to un-encrypt it now, but everytime you remove Bitlocker Encryption is takes forever to decrypt, earlier today I decided to remove Bitlocker (As I type this message it's only 95.5% complete decrypted), I started at 2pm this afternoon, its now 11pm and I really NEVER wish to experience this again, all I want to do is simply create a password for my external hard drive, so everytime I plug it in, I type the password and access my files, I don't want to encrypt the entire drive and then wait countless hours when I decide to decrypt it.

Does anyone know of a simple to use program that will do this, I've tried folder protect programs in the past, they to are quick to encrypt folders but then take hours to decrypt folders, all I want is a simple way to password protect my external hard drive as soon as it's inserted into USB.

Any Ideas would be appreciated thanks.

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11 Comments
VeraCrypt will do it, but decryption always takes time, if you want security then that’s the deal really. You had what you wanted why did you remove Bitlocker?
Edited by: "Dannyrobbo" 25th Sep
By "decrypting", do you mean removing the password protection or just being able to access the files?
You shouldn't need to remove the protection, just to access the files. But also if shouldn't take that long to access the files either.
It might be you've used the wrong settings when encrypting the drive.
There should be various guides online showing you how to set it up.

Alternatives, Veracrypt or Axcrypt.
Veracrypt can encrypt the entire drive and also just folders.
I think Axcrypt just does (or did) folders and seemed to easiest to use.

Make sure, if possible, to backup and test it out, before putting important data in the encrypted folder/drive.
Dannyrobbo25/09/2019 05:38

VeraCrypt will do it, but decryption always takes time, if you want …VeraCrypt will do it, but decryption always takes time, if you want security then that’s the deal really. You had what you wanted why did you remove Bitlocker?


I removed it as I'm planning to re-format my PC and was concerned I may have issues after installing a new version of Windows 10 as I presumed it's for that specific OS build.
lettherebedeals25/09/2019 08:22

I removed it as I'm planning to re-format my PC and was concerned I may …I removed it as I'm planning to re-format my PC and was concerned I may have issues after installing a new version of Windows 10 as I presumed it's for that specific OS build.



that’s the beauty of Bitlocker As long as you are installing windows 10 with Bitlocker support (pro or enterprise) you will be alright. Failing that the software I listed above done the same thing and is less windows dependant
The whole issue is encryption. Without it, you have no protection. It is the ONLY way. The so-called password protection softwares are ok for general protection - i.e. to keep prying eyes in the office from accessing a drive. If you want protection from losing a drive to an "interested party" then; if they are so inclined; they can easily get around that level of protection using particular software. Encryption is the only way of protecting your data if it ever gets out into the wild as without the decryption key it is VERY hard (if not nigh on impossible) to gain access.

My personal experience is that I NEVER use local encryption now. I lost a whole drive of info as; just like you; I had an issue where Windows needed repair and (of course) the decryption key went with it! I do however still use "Truecrypt" (the older, better version) as I have; to date; never had an issue with it.
Phsycronix25/09/2019 12:19

The whole issue is encryption. Without it, you have no protection. It is …The whole issue is encryption. Without it, you have no protection. It is the ONLY way. The so-called password protection softwares are ok for general protection - i.e. to keep prying eyes in the office from accessing a drive. If you want protection from losing a drive to an "interested party" then; if they are so inclined; they can easily get around that level of protection using particular software. Encryption is the only way of protecting your data if it ever gets out into the wild as without the decryption key it is VERY hard (if not nigh on impossible) to gain access.My personal experience is that I NEVER use local encryption now. I lost a whole drive of info as; just like you; I had an issue where Windows needed repair and (of course) the decryption key went with it! I do however still use "Truecrypt" (the older, better version) as I have; to date; never had an issue with it.



Thanks, I may try using alternative software as suggested which is not windows dependent, I does seem to easiest way to secure a external hard drive should it ever be lost or stolen, Encryption does work it just takes hours to de-crypt which is so frustrating, yesterday I removed Bitlocker at 2pm and it did not complete the entire de-cryption process until 1am, that's a total of 11 hours which is why I was simply looking for something quicker & simpler.
Edited by: "lettherebedeals" 25th Sep
Would I be correct in thinking this is a drive containing "movies" and/or music?

2TB is a pretty big drive to run encryption on so it will take a loooooong time. As I said, if you aren't too concerned about the drive getting out of your hands then consider just password-protecting the drive WITHOUT encryption instead. This would keep most general 'peepers' out! Hehe.
Phsycronix25/09/2019 12:45

Would I be correct in thinking this is a drive containing "movies" and/or …Would I be correct in thinking this is a drive containing "movies" and/or music? 2TB is a pretty big drive to run encryption on so it will take a loooooong time. As I said, if you aren't too concerned about the drive getting out of your hands then consider just password-protecting the drive WITHOUT encryption instead. This would keep most general 'peepers' out! Hehe.


Ideally that is just what I wish to do, password protect it, without having to use encryption software which seems the only way to do so, it contains a great deal of personal info, but I am not that bothered about totally encrypting the drive just want to use a strong password on insertion.
Phsycronix25/09/2019 12:19

The whole issue is encryption. Without it, you have no protection. It is …The whole issue is encryption. Without it, you have no protection. It is the ONLY way. The so-called password protection softwares are ok for general protection - i.e. to keep prying eyes in the office from accessing a drive. If you want protection from losing a drive to an "interested party" then; if they are so inclined; they can easily get around that level of protection using particular software. Encryption is the only way of protecting your data if it ever gets out into the wild as without the decryption key it is VERY hard (if not nigh on impossible) to gain access.My personal experience is that I NEVER use local encryption now. I lost a whole drive of info as; just like you; I had an issue where Windows needed repair and (of course) the decryption key went with it! I do however still use "Truecrypt" (the older, better version) as I have; to date; never had an issue with it.



truecrypt hasn’t been secure since 2015 btw. No backdoors but it can be used to elevate system permissions, log keys and easily reveal the password.
Dannyrobbo25/09/2019 15:57

truecrypt hasn’t been secure since 2015 btw. No backdoors but it can be u …truecrypt hasn’t been secure since 2015 btw. No backdoors but it can be used to elevate system permissions, log keys and easily reveal the password.



Hi Dannyrobbo. I hear what you're saying my friend and I'm not looking to start an argument but there are differing schools of thought on that. For my own security reasons, I won't go into detail but it does depend on which version you have, how you use it and whether you have 'tinkered' with the code or not.

Quote:
"On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternative solutions. Though development of TrueCrypt has ceased, an independent audit of TrueCrypt has since concluded that no significant flaws were present as of March 13, 2015."


It would have also been remiss of the company to continue to push their discontinued product as "safe" considering no updates would follow IF any flaw were found. They had no alternative but to suggest users find a new avenue to protect their data.

I always find beauty in simplicity and the fact that Truecrypt creates an encrypted volume within a container (file) means it can sit and hide as something innocuous such as a text document. You can run Truecrypt from an external source and decrypt on-the-fly so if you don't have the program installed on the computer, how does someone (less than professional) know it resides as a "Truecrypt" volume? I mean, above all other available encryption programs? I'm not talking about Government-level "Mission Impossible" super hacker types here, just general Joe fishing around on a system.

Anyway, we all have our own ways of dealing with security. As with anything in this world - nothing is 100% guaranteed unless you believe Hollywood and throw all your stuff in the microwave. Personally, I have a cordless drill on standby to slaughter my HDD's and laptop in an emergency!

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Only kidding!
Phsycronix26/09/2019 11:07

Hi Dannyrobbo. I hear what you're saying my friend and I'm not looking to …Hi Dannyrobbo. I hear what you're saying my friend and I'm not looking to start an argument but there are differing schools of thought on that. For my own security reasons, I won't go into detail but it does depend on which version you have, how you use it and whether you have 'tinkered' with the code or not. Quote:"On 28 May 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternative solutions. Though development of TrueCrypt has ceased, an independent audit of TrueCrypt has since concluded that no significant flaws were present as of March 13, 2015."It would have also been remiss of the company to continue to push their discontinued product as "safe" considering no updates would follow IF any flaw were found. They had no alternative but to suggest users find a new avenue to protect their data.I always find beauty in simplicity and the fact that Truecrypt creates an encrypted volume within a container (file) means it can sit and hide as something innocuous such as a text document. You can run Truecrypt from an external source and decrypt on-the-fly so if you don't have the program installed on the computer, how does someone (less than professional) know it resides as a "Truecrypt" volume? I mean, above all other available encryption programs? I'm not talking about Government-level "Mission Impossible" super hacker types here, just general Joe fishing around on a system.Anyway, we all have our own ways of dealing with security. As with anything in this world - nothing is 100% guaranteed unless you believe Hollywood and throw all your stuff in the microwave. Personally, I have a cordless drill on standby to slaughter my HDD's and laptop in an emergency![Image] Only kidding!



im not trying to argue and I agree with you Truecrypt is apparently safe. However since that audit two critical vulnerabilities were found that could be used to compromise the host machine this was found post audit which in my opinion calls into question the audit in general.

again it’s horses for courses and personal choice, truecrypt is pretty awesome either way. I moved to veracrypt and find it pretty good too. In the grand scheme of things I only store work related stuff it just needs to be encrypted and bit locker doesn’t cut it.
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