Storage forum


Password protect external hard drive, cross-platform

by hahvahdsquah / June 26, 2012 3:10 AM PDT


I need to find a way to password-protect an external hard drive in a way that is cross-platform compatible, AND find a way to add meta data or tags to the files on that hard drive that are also cross-platform searchable. I have been digging around the internet looking for a solution for a day now, here's what I've tried and the issues I've run into:

1) TrueCrypt comes up as a suggestion a lot. Nice because it's cross-platform compatible (downside being that it must be installed on any machine you want to access files from). The downside is that there is some bug between Windows Search and TrueCrypt such that files on the encrypted drive don't show up in search results (I did find a thread somewhere with a very complicated workaround for this, but I'd rather avoid it).

2) Folder Lock - nice because it allows you to just password protect without encryption (I've seen a bunch of threads that say "But you really need encryption for security!" - I'm not concerned about anyone attempting to hack or steal the data, the need for a password is a formality I have to meet, don't need to go into the details), and it runs from a .exe stored on the external drive, so you do NOT need Folder Lock installed on a machine to access the file. The problem here is that Mac's don't run .exes so there goes my cross-platform compatibility.

While I'm at it, I need some way to add these tags to video files - would be great if they would then show up in the native Mac and Windows OS search applications without some third party software. In Windows I can right click a media file, go to Properties -> Details and add tags that are recognized in Windows search (unless they're on an encrypted TrueCrypt drive), but I don't believe they show up in Mac.

Any suggested solutions (preferably something simple, like another program besides TrueCrypt or Folder Lock that will do all this and not a complicated workaround) would be greatly appreciated.

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All Answers

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Actually I finally found why folk are looking for this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 26, 2012 3:17 AM PDT

1. That new guideline about hard disk encryption for workers with medical information.

2. Folk that forgot about security and computers. The old physical security rule.

But any system you create and see out there mandates changes to the OS to give you what you are asking for.

So is the pain worth the trouble as well as what happens when the drive gets a little corrupted or you lose the password? Most folk forget about these issues and lose thousands to have the data recovered.

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