How to? Secure USB HDD attached to TimeCapsule

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Grumpyman, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. Grumpyman macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #1
    I can't find a solution that seems to be what I want so I'll try here :)

    In our house we have a couple of MacBooks and a TimeCapsule.

    I have a load of photos and some iPhoto libraries on a USB HDD that I want to attach to the TimeCapsule USB port so that all the Macs can access the photos & libraries. Thats the simple bit.

    What I am trying to also do is make the USB secure or encrypted so that if it is stolen all the photos of my kids aren't wherever they shouldn't be etc etc..

    It is formatted in the Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    So how would I encrypt or make secure the USB HDD that also means I can access the files on both laptops (as long as we know the passwords or whatever) and if it gets pinched it is as good as a paperweight?

    many thanks for any help.
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    You can easily encrypt external disks in OS X, but that disk won't be readable by the TC. What you can do though is format the drive to Mac OS Extended normally then make a encrypted sparse bundle image and put the data inside that bundle then move it to the USB disk.

    The bundle will look like and work like a DMG file you are used to seeing as an app installer. When you double click it it will open and ask you for the password you selected. You can then look at the data or add more data, then eject the bundle (image). Once ejected the bundle is locked again and can't be opened without the password.

    This way if someone steals the disk they can see data on the drive, but all they can see is the encrypted bundle that they cannot open.
     
  3. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #3
    Thanks Weaselboy.

    i'll try that. I did just discover that if you right click the drive in finder there is an encrypt option. If this is what it says it is then I guess this is good enough?

    cheers
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Yes, that's the process I was referring to when I mentioned it was easy to encrypt the whole drive, but that converts the drive to a core storage format that will be unreadable by the TC. You will need to leave it in plain Mac OS Extended and use and encrypted bundle like I described for this to work with the TC.
     
  5. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #5
    Ahhh. Thanks for that... its always the little things that trip you up.
     

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