Password Protect TImeMachine Drive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by futurevibe, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. futurevibe macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2010
    I have a Western Digital 6TB external hard drive that i use for TimMachine. I was wondering if it's possible to password protect this drive, so that if it fell into the wrong hands, a password would be required to access the files in the backup?
    Also, is it possible to password protect the internal drives in my MacPro, so that if it was stolen, the drives could not be removed from my password protected MacPro and put into another computer to access the files there?
    Sorry if this is a dumb question but i cant seem to find any info on this on the web. Thanks.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    There's no way to protect an entire drive.

    You can create things like firmware passwords, but unless you encrypt the entire drive someone can simply pull the drive out and put it in an enclosure.

    You can create password protected DMGs, but that would be an issue for a whole drive.
  3. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Could i create a password protected sparse disk image the size of my external HD (2TB), mount it, then select the mounted disk image as my TimeMachine back-up disk? I don't want to have to go through the process of manually coping over new files every time i want to back up. I like the way TimeMachine does this for me.
  4. revenent macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2008
    I am not sure if we are referring to the same thing. You can use Filevault to encrypt your Home folder. In Lion that extends to whole disc encryption.

    In Lion however you can now also encrypt your external Hard Disk. The caveat here is you need to reformat it to "Mac OS Encrypted" which means you have to backup everything on your external drive before doing so else data is definitely lost. In addition to that, if you intend to use it together with a Windows System, it may not work as well.
  5. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2010
    I did not know this about Lion. So if i used Lion to encrypt my external HD with my TimeMachine back-up, and someone stole it, they would not be able to plug it into another computer and access the files? How about if my computer was stolen but i still had my encrypted TimeMachine back-up on the external HD. How would i access it on my next computer? Thanks for your help.
  6. revenent macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2008
  7. futurevibe thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks for that revenent, that sounds like what i'm after. I've not upgraded to Lion yet but i'm hoping to be very soon. Thanks again.

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