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  1. #1
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    How to password-protect USB drive, not folders

    Anyone know of software that can password protect ACCESS to a USB drive. I don't mean programs like Trucrypt or Safehouse, which encrypt the files on a USB. If I understand their operation correctly, if you lose the USB drive, someone who finds it can still open the drive in an explorer window and delete the encryption executable and the encrypted folder. So you lose the software and the drive.

    I'm thinking of SW that used to come with Cruzer Sandisk, the U3 interface. Simple, elegant system. Anytime you inserted the USB drive, U3 prompted you for a password. You couldn't access the drive from Windows Explorer unless you entered the password first.

    Unfortunately, Sandisk has gone bonkers (in my opinion) and dropped the U3 software in favor of a complicated encryption type program. All new Cruzers come without U3 and the famniliar desktop icon.

    I'm not interested in a high priced hardware encryption package.

    Any thoughts?
    Mark

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    A Google Search shows many alternatives. I can not personally vouch for any of these.
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  3. #3
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

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    You could use TrueCrypt to encrypt the entire drive - it's free.

    cheers, Paul

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    Ted - Thanks. I did the same search and was slogging my way through the entries when I had the idea to check out my favorite PC board - WOPR! I was hoping someone had experience with a specific program that worked.

    Roderunner - Thanks. The program looks like you it is tied to a specific PC. If you want to be able to access your USB on multiple PC's, you need to 1) purchase a Business license and 2) have the helper app installed on each PC. Unfortunately, not a good solution when I can use any number of different PC's at work.

    Paul - Thanks, but I'm trying to find a solutions where access to the drive itself is disabled until after the password is entered. Otherwise, if I lose the USB can't someone just delete the partition and reuse the drive. Have you tried truecrypt?

    The U3 interface with cruzer showed the drive as invalid in Windows explorer until a password was entered. Very elegant and workable program. Why they abandoned it I can't immediately imagine.

    Mark

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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGuy12 View Post
    Roderunner - Thanks. The program looks like you it is tied to a specific PC. If you want to be able to access your USB on multiple PC's, you need to 1) purchase a Business license and 2) have the helper app installed on each PC. Unfortunately, not a good solution when I can use any number of different PC's at work.

    Mark
    I suggest you have another read at the instructions, as I have no trouble accessing the files with the free version on any pc. It really is a good app.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  8. #7
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    Mark, the only solution is a hardware encryption USB key. Personally I'd save the money and use TrueCrypt. Then when you lose the key you haven't spent 4 times as much as a non-hardware encrypted version.

    cheers, Paul

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    Star Lounger Look's Avatar
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    I have just downloaded the program from post #3 and its as easy to use as putting milk in coffee.
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  10. #9
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    USB Safeguard is quite okay for this purpose. It costs 14 €. No admin rights or installation necessary because it's a portable app. But Windows only (you won't be able to open your files on Mac or Linux).

    It basically shrinks the drive to 200 KB. And as a nice feature: You can leave your email address for someone to contact you if it's found.
    http://usbsafeguard.altervista.org/

  11. #10
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    I agree with ttp. I've used USB Safeguard for a few months and like it. It works similar to the U3 on my Cruiser USB drives and I think better. It is free for use on drives up to 2 GB.

  12. #11
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    Most USB drive access security is via software encryption, i.e., it is handled by the PC that is accessing the drive meaning that the process is transferred to the PC for encryption/decryption. It is secure enough for most casual users, however, it is vulnerable to a cold boot and other exploits and once the drive is accessed the data is not protected and is available. Typically, encryption of the data on the drive with something like TrueCrypt is much more secure, but that requires the decryption software on the PC where the drive is accessed or on the USB drive itself. Paul T above is correct in that the only secure drive access is hardware encryption in the drive itself. Most governments require hardware encrypted drives that conform to FIPS 140-2 Level 3 as a minimum for mobile data. Iron Key drives are an example; they are expensive.

  13. #12
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    Thanks, Everyone!

    Thanks to all who responded.

    I thought USB Safeguard would be the answer, but it failed to format my 128 MB FAT usb. I'm going to try truecrypt even though that seems like overkill.

    WOPR, opps, Windows Secrets, rocks!

    Mark

  14. #13
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkGuy12 View Post
    Anyone know of software that can password protect ACCESS to a USB drive. I don't mean programs like Trucrypt or Safehouse, which encrypt the files on a USB. If I understand their operation correctly, if you lose the USB drive, someone who finds it can still open the drive in an explorer window and delete the encryption executable and the encrypted folder. So you lose the software and the drive.

    I'm thinking of SW that used to come with Cruzer Sandisk, the U3 interface. Simple, elegant system. Anytime you inserted the USB drive, U3 prompted you for a password. You couldn't access the drive from Windows Explorer unless you entered the password first.

    Unfortunately, Sandisk has gone bonkers (in my opinion) and dropped the U3 software in favor of a complicated encryption type program. All new Cruzers come without U3 and the famniliar desktop icon.

    I'm not interested in a high priced hardware encryption package.

    Any thoughts?
    Mark
    Mark,
    Sorry I didnt see this earlier. I have been using Password Protect USB for a few years. I can protect any folder regardless if it is on my HD, USB Stick, or External Hard Drive.
    Check it out
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

  15. #14
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    Mark,

    It took a while but I have found a set of U3 executables that I backup before deleting from a flash drive. So are they worth anything?

    Bob A.

  16. #15
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    Thumbs up Password protect USB, not folders, free

    Hi!
    If you are using Windows 7, then nothing to worry about the password protection of USB or other removal drives. Because Windows 7 has a built-in feature named BitLocker. This BitLocker tool will allow you to encrypt your whole USB drives, not the folders, perfectly and effectively. You can see the see step by step procedure @ How to password protect USB drive

    Best of luck!

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