How long does it take to encrypt a 4TB drive?

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by blackxacto, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. blackxacto macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #1
    17,1 iMac, 10.14.2, 24GB RAM, - TO - a Time Machine formatted WD Passport USB3 4TB external Hard Drive. It's been over 24 hours and Mojave is only 3/4 finished encrypting my 4TB drive.

    Is this normal for 4TB drive using USB3?
     
  2. David G. macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Sounds about right to me with my experience encrypting a 4TB WD Elements hard drive.
     
  3. niji Contributor

    niji

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    #3
    at least 36 hours. maybe even 72 hours.

    it does depend on what your connection is: wired or wireless. and if its wired, is it USB3.? what standard, etc etc.

    wireless can take days, and at the end of it finish with an error message.
     
  4. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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  5. niji Contributor

    niji

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    #5
    3.0 vs 3.1 is about a day or so difference in time.
     
  6. blackxacto, Jan 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019

    blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #6
    Are you kidding? I appreciate you responding, I've only owned a 2TB Fusion + 128ssd. Forgot about 2, 1TB external drives. Just don't remember it taking this long. There isn't anything on my drive. What is it encrypting?
     
  7. niji Contributor

    niji

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    #7
    that's the point.
    that's what i also discovered in the past:
    i have started to use a drive for Time Machine but decided later to encrypt it.
    takes forever and ever and ever and ever.
    even if there is NOTHING on the disk.
    therefore, what i have learned is its just better and MUCH quicker (were talking minutes vs days) to just quit the entire process. and format it from the beginning with encryption from the very first. very quick if done that way, vs. later applying encryption to an even "empty" drive.
     
  8. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #8
    Again, I appreciate your time to respond. Had no idea that the faster the technology the slower somethings get. Thanks again.
     
  9. Easttime macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Day 4 of encrypting a new 1TB Seagate external hard drive in the Time Machine setup process on a 2016 MacBook Pro. I’ve been letting it run 7x24. Only 66% done. I didn’t know one could encrypt it first before setting it up for Time Machine.
     
  10. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #10
    We live and learn, one way or another. Sheeeeesh!
     
  11. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #11
    3+ days and still running. Wouldn't mind knowing just what is so complex about turning on encryption in Mojave.
     
  12. LogicalApex macrumors regular

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    #12
    Converting a previously unencrypted drive to an encrypted drive requires a sector by sector encryption and secure wiping process. HDDs don't "delete" data when you delete it instead the pointer to the data is removed from your file system. Without the previously mentioned process a raw HDD read could expose previously unencrypted data on an encrypted drive.
     
  13. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #13
    Why would an encrypted disk, need wiping. As an encrypted disk hides everything to anyone who doesn’t know the key. The only way to use the disk, without using the key, is wiping and reformatting. So why waste time wiping what is already my data.
     
  14. LV426 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Forensic tools exist that can extract and analyse disk contents sector by sector, whether the content is encrypted or not. So making sure that every sector is encrypted is the way to go.

     
  15. Lorenzo F macrumors member

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    #15
    Can anyone explain what the difference is between these two processes? Is a disk better encrypted (i.e. more secure) if you encrypt it later after saving contents to it versus formatting it and encrypting initially before saving files to it?
     
  16. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #16
    4 days later, the encryption is finished. The 4TB must backup for the first time.
     
  17. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #17
    SOLUTION: BAD CABLE
    Lately, I again trashed the data on the 4TB WD Passport external HD, reformatted and encrypted. Today I discovered the cause of my slow encryption/backup issue with this new drive from WD. The new from the box usb/microB cable was bad. Switched it out today and the disk came alive. The activity light began flashing fast. Encryption ended immediately on the empty drive and Time Machine began backing up.
     
  18. Howard2k macrumors 68000

    Howard2k

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    #18
    You can interrupt the encryption process by gratefully dismounting the drive. You don’t need to encrypt the entire thing in one shot.
     
  19. blackxacto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    blackxacto

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    #19
    Well, tonite, the encryption didn't take long, but the backup is turtle slow, I'm estimating .01GB/sec. Have decided to purchase a USB3.0 4TB disk to match my iMac USB 3.0 5GB bus speed. OWC chat says it will be speedier. The first issue was the cable which was bad right out of the WD box. Next, even with a working USB cable, I've got a USB2.0 drive. Will report back when the new drive is running.
     

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