jrspies 06/02/2013 08:36 AM PDT I travel with my laptop regularly and recently learned that using password protection when booting your laptop does little to protect your data if your machine is stolen. I did some research and found that Mountain Lion offers full disk encryption. I first encrypted my USB harddrive using time machine. It took 36 hours to encrypt a 1TB Western Digital My Passport drive. While this is a long time, it had a status indicator to show progress with an estimated time to completion that was very accurate. After encrypting my external drive, I figured it would be beneficial to encrypt my laptop primary hard drive (macbook pro with 500 GB drive) using instructions found at macworld.com. I was VERY disappointed to learn there was no progress meter. The only evidence that the hard drive was encrypting was right clicking the drive icon on the desktop or in the finder and seeing the "encrypting" option greyed out. I started the encryption process at 7PM and before I went to bed checked and saw the label read "encrypting" so I left the machine on overnight. The next morning it was still "encrypting". I left it on again for another day and still it read "encrypting". After 2 1/2 days it still was saying "encrypting". Worried that it was stuck, I did research to find out how long it took to encrypt a hard drive. I found very little info on the internet to help me understand time to encrypt, so I decided to check the "Utilities" > "Activity Monitor". It appears there was minimal processor activity, so I assumed the drive encryption was stalled. I held my breath and rebooted. I expected one of 3 outcomes. 1) Drive would be scrambled and lost forever 2) Encryption process was stalled and might restart 3) Encryption was complete, but there was no indication of completion To my amazement and delight, the third option was the winner! The encryption was complete and all it well. MAJOR DEMERITS to the Apple software team for not providing a time estimate and status indicator. MAJOR FAIL!!! For those that are stuck in my predicament, I would occasionally recommend checking the "Utilities" > "Activity Monitor" during the process. If you see heavy processor activity, it is safe to assume the encryption process is still underway. If however, you see little processor activity, it would be safe to assume the encryption is complete. Sadly there appears to be no better way to check the status of encryption. I would also say the process would take 4-8+ hours, but since there is no way to know for sure, this is purely an educated guess. Happy encrypting!