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Password protect a secondary internal hard drive

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Is there a way to password protect one of my storage drives without encrypting it? I just want to be able to lock people out of my personal stuff when they use my computer. I dont need it encrypted I just need to prevent the layman from accessing it. Google search yielded nothing but threads about encrypting drives.I also dont want to create another Windows account for people to use since I don't want to make another partition on my OS drive.


Edited by NotReadyYet - 1/28/16 at 7:39pm
    
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post #2 of 7
heck ya, i have a small 40gb ssd which would be great for this.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotReadyYet View Post

Is there a way to password protect one of my storage drives without encrypting it? I just want to be able to lock people out of my personal stuff when they use my computer. I dont need it encrypted I just need to prevent the layman from accessing it. Google search yielded nothing but threads about encrypting drives.I also dont want to create another Windows account for people to use since I don't want to make another partition on my OS drive.

Just go to Device Manger and disable the drive.

Or disable the drive in the BIOS.

Or unplug it.
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post


Just go to Device Manger and disable the drive.

Or disable the drive in the BIOS.

Or unplug it.

I dont want to have to do this every time company comes over, which is quite often. I'll just end up forgetting to do it. Why isnt there a simple program that prompt for a password whenever the drive is clicked?

    
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post #5 of 7
try creating a guest account and restrict access to the drive from there. logged in as an administrator gives you full access.
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post #6 of 7
I know you don't feel you need to encrypt it since it might feel like overkill, but aside from that is there any reason why you don't want to use it? If not you should really give it a try. It would be a solid solution to your issue based on everything you've said especially the laziness part with not wanting to do much each time guests come over. The reason why most search results lead to encryption is because it's the best solution there is for this kind of thing.

With an encrypted drive you're just 2 clicks and a password away from your data, and 2 clicks away from making it inaccessible to any guest using the PC.

When a drive is mounted it shows up as a normal drive in the "Computer" window.
After some basic setup, all it takes to mount a drive is two clicks (or a keybind) and entering the password. This gives you access until you either reboot the PC, log off of your Windows User Account, or dismount the drive.

When a drive is dismounted it does not appear in "Computer" at all.
Dismounting a drive takes two clicks (or a keybind) and happens almost instantly.
You can also configure a drive to auto-dismount itself after x-minutes of inactivity or after going into standby/hibernation, etc.


Since nothing is all sunshine and rainbows, here are the important things you need to think about before using encryption.

Encryption uses the CPU.
When using a high performance drive like an SSD or RAID, you may see high CPU usage while accessing the encrypted drive.
Luckily for you, the 2600K in your rig supports the AES/AES-NI instructions which allows for hardware acceleration for AES Encryption meaning any performance hit for a single drive will likely be unnoticeable.

Encrypted drives need software to access the data.
If you encrypt a drive using TrueCrypt, then move that drive to another PC which doesn't have TrueCrypt installed, it won't be able to access the data on the drive.
Since you're looking to protect an internal drive, I doubt you'll be moving it between PCs, but if you do you can always just install TC on each computer or alternatively put a portable version of it on a flash drive to keep it simple.

Data Safety / Security
If you forget your password while using Encryption, nobody will be able to help you.
To prevent this from happening, you can simply write the password down somewhere and keep it hidden. You can also email yourself the password(s).

Encryption does not protect the drive from user error. Then again, nothing really can when the user is an admin. It certainly won't stop an admin on your computer from formatting the drive in Disk Management and wiping all of your data but it will prevent them from reading any of the data and in any case, an admin could format your unencrypted drive just as easily so you've got nothing to lose.

File recovery from an encrypted drive can be more difficult than an unencrypted drive.
It's worth backing up all of your data, but at the very least you should backup the volume headers for your encrypted drives. This is easy to do.



With all that said if you're still against using encryption or a guest account, perhaps removing the drive letter might work for you.
Drives are for the most part inaccessible without a drive letter or path assigned. Since most people don't lurk around in disk management the chances of them adding a drive letter and gaining access to the drive is pretty low, but honestly after setting it up encryption will be both quicker to manage and be a lot safer especially if your PC happens to get stolen or lost somehow.

Depending on the amount and type of data you have, you might also be able to just put it all on a flash drive and simply put that in a drawer when guests come over.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 


^^^

 

I ended up just going with Windows BitLocker. It took 3 days to encrypt my 2TB, but I guess it was worth it. A password is now required to access the drives, which is what I wanted, and the encryption is a bonus. Thanks for the input everyone!

    
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