Is Photos library encrypted on an external HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MrMister111, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. MrMister111 macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I've now had to add my Photos library to an external HDD as too big for internal drive.

    This same external HDD, on a different partition, has time machine backup on, which is encrypted.

    Is the photos library encrypted on an external HDD, or can it be? Just for wxayif the external HDD got stolen or lost then all my photos are on there, whereas if it was on my internal I'd at least have to password for the computer and could remote wipe it.

    Thanks
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    You need to make sure second partition being used to store the photos is formatted to encrypted, then yes the images will be protected by the encryption.

    Just turning on TM encryption is only going to encrypt that one partition and not the second.

    I should add this is risky, since all your images and your backups are on one physical drive, so if that drive dies you lose everything. I would buy a second drive for the images and make sure it gets backed up to the TM drive.
     
  3. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    How's do I turn on the encryption for photos partition Omar?

    I know it's a risk as such but I just don't want loads of external drives and messing.

    This way it's one drive for photos and TM, and then there is iCloud photo library, and my other off-site backup service
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 1.51.51 PM.png

    Just select the second (non TM) partition in Disk Util then click the erase button and select macOS Extended Journaled Encrypted and follow the steps. This will of course wipe any data on that partition.
     
  5. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    How long does it take to encrypt the TM drive? Its completed first backup to my new external drive, around 1Tb, and been encrypting the backup, according to TM, for about 12 hours and progress bar never moved!

    I unplugged it, left a while, plugged in, did another small backup, and encrypting again, but its back to same stage of progress bar and taking an absolute age?
     
  6. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

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    #6
    Can be a long time. Best to turn on encryption before putting data on it, as the encryption process ignores unused blocks.

    That said, depends on what USB standard, disk speed, controller in the drive, vintage of Mac, etc. I've seen 3-4 days for USB 2 256GB volumes on older Macs.

    "fdesetup status" command, if I recall correctly, will tell you progress. "diskutil cs list" command will as well. Can take a reading, come back a few minutes later, take another reading: figure out how much was encrypted, then calculate how long it will take for rest.
     
  7. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Well been on overnight encrypting, the progress bar has never moved since I last posted. The external disk light is flcking though...?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Yeah... it takes FOREVER to encrypt a TM disk with data on it. Like @NoBoMac said, you are better off just erasing the drive to encrypted format then do a new TM backup.
     
  9. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Wish I'd known beforehand....I thought TM should have asked prior to intial backup, would have been better.

    I'll see what state tonight, then start again. Do I just make the partition "Extended Journaled Encrypted" before doing TM backup? (Same for my Photos partition)?

    If so I must have made the partition just Extended Journaled then?

    Thanks again
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    Yes... exactly. Just select the partition then click erase and select that option. Do it once for each partition.

    Sounds like you had just ext. journaled before.
     
  11. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Doh
     
  12. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    well another 12 hours and went from 16% to 23% so I've abandoned it! it was a tick box saying "encrypt backups" is this different to the disk being macOS Extended Journaled Encrypted?

    I decided to reformat disk partition again, this time to macOS Extended Journaled Encrypted, and set TM away again...
     
  13. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

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    #13
    You should be OK now, as the TM backup will encrypt while it's doing its thing. Will be slowish, but not as slow as encrypting post backup.
     
  14. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Well set away and did overnight and already done!! Thanks

    Now to just copy over my nearly 1Tb photo library.... Already set partition at journaled encrypted!

    On a side note I know TM did constant backups, is there a way to not do as many. Also is it ok for external USB drives to just be left plugged in all the time? Not give them a "rest" sometimes. Not always on my Mac so know when backups needed.

    Thanks for help again all
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    I leave mine attached 24/7 and it does not hurt a thing.

    There is some third party software that can change the TM backup frequency, but macOS does not have any way to do it.
     
  16. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

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    #16
    Have not done this myself, but in theory, can change how often Time Machine does backups. Need to be comfortable with command line.

    Boot into Recovery, then from Terminal:

    Code:
    csrutil disable
    Reboot.

    Then you will need to edit the following file: /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-helper.plist

    Look for the following, and adjust up/down the value (# of seconds):

    Code:
    <key>Interval</key>
    <integer>3600</integer>
    Reboot back to Recovery, and from Terminal: csrutil enable.

    Boot back as normal.

    Guessing changes could get wiped out with any OS update, as that is MacOS's playground.
     

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15 September 11, 2019