Mav 10.9.5 This is actually a followup up to the thread "unencrypt ext drive permanently," but is slightly different. I have a external LaCie Quandra 4tb that formerly had a sparse image on it. I moved all files from the sparse image to the parent hard drive, then deleted the sparse image. Just a quick question to be sure here. I am able to encrypt the drive now without the risk of losing the files, correct? Will this take a long time? There are just under 2 Tb on the external. TIA John PS...I found that the sparse image is only dynamic on the way up, ie it can expand to accommodate new files added, but will not shrink as items are moved/deleted so that what had grown to 2.3 Tb's stayed that way even though nearly all of the files were moved away and no longer showed up in the finder under the sparse image.