Question on Time Machine with External Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jpmccormack, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. jpmccormack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #1
    Hey all,

    Greetings from Dublin, Ireland. This is my first post so please be nice :)
    I have a MBP, 4GB, 10.5.5. I have been backing up to an external hard drive for a long time now using Time Capsule and up until now all has been good. Yesterday though I discovered that anyone could steal my external drive, plug it into their computer and have full access to my backups! This would actually be easier than stealing my MBP as the external drive is quite small and easy to put in your pocket.

    So, i need to start protecting my backups asap and I think the best way to go is with encryption. I could use File Vault on the Mac to encrypt everything but then that would mean that I would be essentially backing up 120GBS as one file every hour. This is not ideal.

    I had a look at Truecrypt. I downloaded, installed and setup my external drive as an encrypted volume. When I try to access this volume I am asked for Password. When I enter the password the encrypted volume shows up in finder and I can use it. When I went into Time Capsule I thought it would be a case that i would just have to change my target backup volume to this new encrypted container and I would be in business... WRONG... Time capsule does not see this drive and is now not showing any available backup drives.

    So I removed truecrypt and reformatted my drive. I am not back to square one. (Backups with no security!)

    So, my question to this learned audience is;-

    Is their a way for me to encrypt my external hard drive and continue to use it with Time capsule? My desired end result is that no other computer or user can access the device without my user name and password.

    Does this make sense? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers and regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    Hi Stephen-

    Welcome to Mac Rumors forums posting!

    Sadly, I have yet to see a solution that takes your situation in hand really. I am actually surprised that Time Machine does not offer an option to write files in an encrypted fashion (see this article to confirm that it can't) since prior to Leopard's release it was stated that it would.

    If you search Google using the phrase "Time Machine encrypted" you can see some clumsy workarounds, but none that I have seen would be satisfactory to me personally. Guess we will have to take extra protective measures of our backup drives for now and hope that TM encryption makes it into the 10.6 release of the OS. :(
     
  3. jpmccormack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #3
    Hey MacDoc,

    Thanks for your welcome and also for your feedback. It is a shame that their is no real solution for this. I will shelve TM until 10.6.

    Cheers, Stephen
     
  4. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #4
    You're more worried about your data getting stolen than your HD failing? You must have some sensitive stuff backed up! If you want, you could always tell TM to exclude certain things from being backed up. That way you can still use TM to back up most of your stuff while not making easy-to-get-to copies of your sensitive data.
     
  5. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #5
    I've got to agree there- while I don't exclude anything from the backup, I also don't carry it with me and only do backups at home. If my home gets broken into and they think to pickup my little backup drive that I have stashed, I have bigger problems that having some data gone!
     

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