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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Portable password protection

    I have a portable USB hard drive and I want to set up two areas (partitions? folders?) with separate passwords to prevent unauthorized access whether the drive is connected to my network (Win XP Home SP3) or removed and connected to another computer. Is there a simple, reliable utility that can do this?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    I'd look at TrueCrypt, perhaps its ' traveller mode' (for which you need to be an Administrator on whichever computer you use)... There's a significant learning curve through the documentation, but it seems to work pretty well.
    BATcher

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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Portable password protection

    Thanks for this suggestion. However, this seems to entail more complexity and provide more security than I need. I'm wondering if there is a simple but reputable utility that will just "lock" a folder or partition (prevent files in it from being opened, copied, deleted, renamed, etc.) with a password.

  4. #4
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    Could you put the files you want to protect in a password-protected WinZip archive?

    Ian

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Portable password protection

    I thought of that too. But wouldn't WinZip have to be installed on all the computers the hard drive was used in to allow the encrypted files to be opened ??
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    If you like, you could plough your way through the posts and suggestions in this very lengthy thread...
    BATcher

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  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    Yes, I suppose it would.

    Ian

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    Version 9 of WinZip could make a self-extracting archive: it would wrap the zip archive inside an EXE. I never used later versions, so I don't know whether that feature is still included.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Portable password protection

    I think mine is pretty much up to date and it's still possible. I have 11.2 build 8094.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Portable password protection

    XP can unzip natively can it not?
    Keith Rodgers
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  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Portable password protection

    Yes it can. But I don't think it can handle a file that was encripted by a third party zip program. I've always used WinZip and never tried to open an encrypted file without it.

    Later..... I just checked and it seems that you can't open an encripted archive with XP's native zip utility if you use AES encryption: AES is the Advanced Encryption Standard, which is the result of a three-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Government's National Institute of Standards (NIST). This encryption method, also known as Rijndael, has been adopted by NIST as a Federal Information Processing Standard.
    WinZip supports AES encryption in two different strengths: 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES. These numbers refer to the size of the encryption keys that are used to encrypt the data. 256-bit AES is stronger than 128-bit AES, but both of them can provide significantly greater security than the standard Zip 2.0 method described below. An advantage of 128-bit AES is that it is slightly faster than 256-bit AES, that is, it takes less time to encrypt or decrypt a file.

    Note that the Zip file format extension used by WinZip to store AES-encrypted files is not supported by earlier versions of WinZip and is not yet supported by most other Zip file utilities. Because the technical specification for WinZip's AES format extension is available on the WinZip web site, we anticipate that other Zip file utilities will add support for this format extension.
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    In version 10, WinZip and PKZip used incompatible AES algorithms. We purchased PowerArchiver, which could read the WinZip algorithm and read/write the PKZip algorithm. Hopefully this has all been sorted by now. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  13. #13
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Re: Portable password protection

    I use Password Protect USB. It allows you to protect files on your PC/Laptop as well as on any USB drive. I have in on my Pocket Drive, laptop, and Maxtor USB Drive. Neve have had a problem with it either. There are two versions Free which limits the number and size of files and the paid version which is unlimited. Drawback, the larger the file the longer it takes to unlock and lock the folder and/or file. Password Protect USB
    You can even take your pocket drive and use it on any computer and open your files. Its really pretty slick
    Thanks John
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