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Password protect a USB key ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is there a way to define a password on any USB key, so the computer asks for a password each time the key is mounted on the desktop ? Will it also work on any PC (not just Macs) ?

I suspect it isn't currently possible.

If it isn't possible, how do you protect the files on a USB key ? I don't want to compress the files and encrypt them...

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

I suspect it isn't currently possible.

You can use a full drive encryption program like TrueCrypt. This doesn't encrypt the files one by one but the whole partition so you put in one password and get access to the whole lot.

As for Mac and Windows support, this is mainly a partition type limitation but you can go with FAT32 and it will work on both.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

Is there a way to define a password on any USB key, so the computer asks for a password each time the key is mounted on the desktop ? Will it also work on any PC (not just Macs) ?

I suspect it isn't currently possible.

Next best thing: use FreeDMG to make an encrypted disk image on the USB key.

Quote:
If it isn't possible, how do you protect the files on a USB key ? I don't want to compress the files and encrypt them...

Why don't you "want to compress the files and encrypt them"?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

Why don't you "want to compress the files and encrypt them"?

Because it would be slow. And I'll have to decrypt each file individually, which is counter-productive (slow and a pain in the butt).

What I want is this : I insert the USB key into the keyboard. OS X (or any other OS) asks for a password to mount the drive on desktop. Once the password is given, the drive mounts itself and I have access to all the files on it. That's all.

Is this possible ? How ?

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #5 of 7
Like I said: use FreeDMG to make an encrypted disk image on the USB key. If you make that disk image the size of the USB key's capacity, filling it to the max, then you've defacto got a password protected USB key, but once you're in, the individual files on it are not (necessarily) individually password protected or compressed. Unmount the USB key and everything is behind that password again.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

Like I said: use FreeDMG to make an encrypted disk image on the USB key. If you make that disk image the size of the USB key's capacity, filling it to the max, then you've defacto got a password protected USB key, but once you're in, the individual files on it are not (necessarily) individually password protected or compressed. Unmount the USB key and everything is behind that password again.

...You don't need that program. Fire up Disk Utility and click New Image. All of the options for changing the size and encryption of the image are right there.

EDIT: Though I don't know of a way to open up encrypted .dmg files on a Windows PC.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by smax View Post

...You don't need that program. Fire up Disk Utility and click New Image. All of the options for changing the size and encryption of the image are right there.

EDIT: Though I don't know of a way to open up encrypted .dmg files on a Windows PC.

So format 'm any way you like:

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