Encrypting USB for both Mac and Windows

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MBP*, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. MBP* macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #1
    I sync my USB with my mac so all my documents are on it. It occurred to me a few days ago in how much trouble I'd be in if I lost the USB. It has personal letters, work etc, practically everything since school.

    As I use my MBP and Windows machines at work, I need a solution that can safegaurd the USB content via some kind of encryption that'll work on both platforms.

    Does such a thing exist?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    Yes. I use TrueCrypt to do exactly what you're looking to do. It's no longer in development, and you should read through this page to learn and understand it's status. That page also has the latest versions of the app for download too.
     
  3. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for this.

    So it looks like while the original developers have abandoned it, it has been picked up by these guys who are releasing are checking out the code, and already have/potentially releasing a new version.

    So how does it work. I install the dmg on my mac, and then when I plug the USB into either a mac or Win machine, I should be prompted with some kind if password?

    Are there any other solutions for my problem, just out of curiosity?

    Thanks
     
  4. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #4
    Cannot install the dmg; says it needs 10.4 or above, I have Yosemite installed. Isn't it compatible?
     
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #5
    Yeah, it's compatible. There are specific steps to install it on Yosemite. I'm away from home and on the iPad right now. I'll find them and post it later on.
     
  6. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #6
    I have successfully installed it via a guide.

    So I have my USB with data already on it, does this mean I need to format the drive, create one of these protected folders and then put everything in that folder?

    So how do I gain access to the files in that folder on a Windows machine - does that machine need to have TC installed too, or is it simply a case of entering a password prompt?
     
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #7
    Move all of your files off the USB drive to a safe location so you don't lose anything. Then, use TrueCrypt to either encrypt the whole device, which I did - you don't have to, or create a volume on the device to store your files in.

    Once you do that, you can put your files back on the device or in the encrypted volume and dismount it when you're done.

    Install TrueCrypt on your Windows machine, insert the device, load TrueCrypt and select it from the device list, mount it, enter your passphrase and then look in Windows Explorer for a newly mounted drive with the drive letter you chose to mount it with.

    ----
    For the benefit of others, here are the Yosemite installation steps:

    Installation notes:
    Simply running the .mpkg will give you a Javascript error.
    1) Open the .dmg
    2) You’ll find the .mpkg. Right-click and “Show Package Contents”
    3) Open Contents Dir
    4) Open Packages Dir
    5) Install each of the 4 packages in this order: OSXFUSECore.pkg, OSXFUSEMacFUSE.pkg, MacFUSE.pkg, TrueCrypt.pkg (It is possible MacFUSE.pkg will install the two before it, but we ran each to play it safe.). That’s it; it’s Truecrypt has been working fine for us using this method.

    ----------

    No, Steve Gibson, who runs www.grc.com (Gibson Research Corp), wrote that page up to help keep TrueCrypt available to users since the original dev's stopped work on it suddenly. To my knowledge, there is no more work being done on it.

    There are other encryption solutions available for both OS X and Windows, but TrueCrypt is probably king of the hill for either or both. I don't know of any other app that you can use cross-platform like this.

    There is www.gpgtools.org for OS X which I use and like a lot, and also provides email signing and encryption for Apple Mail.

    There is also http://gpg4win.org for Windows. I've used it a little, but haven't really gotten to put it through any paces myself.
     
  8. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #8
    Thanks for your help, but I'm not sure if this solution works for me.

    It seems that I can only access my files on computer with TC installed. If I go to a computer lab on campus for example, I wouldn't be able to get access to my files as they don't allow users to install software.

    Unless I create a folder outside the encrypted one where I store files that I'll need on a public machine, but I can't always foresee what files I might require.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    Right, that is a downside. You will need to be able to install TrueCrypt on any machine you need access to your files.
     

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