In our time, the protection of confidential information and personal data stored on removable hard drives of computers or external devices is becoming increasingly important. And many users are seriously thinking about how to put a password on a hard disk partition or even on the entire disk. It should be noted here that not all programs and tools that are so widely advertised on the Internet can be trusted, since experienced attackers crack even the set passwords for accessing encrypted data very quickly. So what do you think is the best tool to use to provide high quality and reliable protection for your hard drive or similar external device? Let's take a look at some of them.
How to put a password on the hard drive in BIOS?
Apparently, almost every user knows that directly when turning on a computer deviceyou can immediately go to the settings of the primary input / output system, which has a number of interesting options. Indeed, why not put the password there?
To do this, you just need to find the Security section, in which there will be an item with a name like Set HDD Password, HDD Password Status, Hardware Password Manager or something like that. You need to select this option, enter and confirm the password, and then remember to save the changes on exit (F10 + Y).
Everything seems to be simple, but this technique has a single serious flaw. Despite the fact that it is quite difficult to crack the set password combinations in the BIOS, you do not need to be seven spans in the forehead to figure out how to reset the set password. To do this, just remove the CMOS battery from the socket on the motherboard for 10-15 minutes, after which the settings will be automatically restored to the initial (factory) state.
How to put a password on a hard drive in Windows 10 and below using the system?
The Windows operating systems themselves have their own tools for encrypting a disk or a single partition with the installation of a combination of protection. How to put a password on the hard drive in all the latest systems? Of course, to perform such operations, you can use the built-in applet called Bitlocker. It should be noted right away that it works equally well with stationary drives and external HDDs. essenceusing this utility is that it encrypts all data, and to access them (view them in decrypted form, for example, when connecting a stationary hard drive to another computer), you just need to enter a special key.
In "Explorer", select the desired partition or connected external device from the list of available disks, use the RMB to turn on the Bitlocker option, check the box for using a password to unlock, enter and confirm the password, and then select one of the three options for saving it (USB device, file or print).
It is best to save the combination on external media, and not in a file that will be present on the hard drive. After that, it remains to press the start encryption button and wait for the process to complete, which, depending on the capacity of the disk or partition, may take quite a long time.
Mobile Windows 8.1 RT Features
Now let's see how to put a password on the hard drive in Windows 8 or version 8.1 of the RT modification in relation to some mobile PCs (tablets based on ARM processors). These devices, such as Surface tablets, have encryption enabled by default. However, this only applies to devices that come with a pre-installed 8.1 modification or on which a special update in the form of a BIOS firmware was automatically installed. That is why even when connecting them throughUSB interfaces to other computers, their internal and removable drives are not detected at all.
Removing protection in full is also impossible, and even when generating a 48-digit code that must be entered in a special field, for example, if you use advanced boot options to access safe mode. In addition, the Secure Boot option is activated in the BIOS, which cannot be disabled either, and resetting the settings without soldering the BIOS chip from the motherboard will not work.
But it is in the pure "eight" that you can enable Bitlocker encryption in the same way as described above. If something does not work out, as an additional tool, you can use the activation of protection through the command line by typing the command manage-bde –protectors C: -enable (an example is given for the system partition “C”).
Setting passwords in Disk Password Protection
Now a few words about how to put a password on your hard drive using third-party utilities. One of the simplest and most interesting programs, many experts call the DPP application. In the running program, through the RMB menu on the selected partition, you must activate the boot protection setting item, and then enter and confirm the invented combination.
The convenience of the application is that you can additionally set a hint in case you forget your password.
In addition, you can use a special hidden protection mode, in which even the loading of the operating system will be blocked without entering the correct password.
Encryption of partitions in the TrueCrypt application
Speaking about how to put a password on your hard drive, you can not ignore another powerful utility called TrueCrypt. It looks a little more complicated than the previous one, but the level of protection in it is much higher.
In the application, first you need to use the option to create a new partition (Create new volume), then select the desired partition (for a system drive, this is the item Entire system drive), then specify the standard encryption method, set the option to encrypt the entire partition (Encrypt the whole drive), specify how many operating systems are installed on the partition (usually Single is used for one), set the AES encryption type and RIPEMD-160 hashing, enter and confirm the password, and then start encryption with cryptographic key generation. Along the way, you can specify the place to save it, but this procedure is not mandatory.
Additional data protection
Finally, let's see how to put a password on a removable hard drive or partition that contains only user files, not operating system components or installed programs.
As the simplest tool, you can offer the most common archiverWinRAR, in which you need to add selected folders and files to the archive, set the compression type to "No compression", set and confirm a password, and after creating the archive, simply delete the original data.
Note: in a similar 7-Zip archiver, you can additionally use 256-bit AES encryption offered in the default settings, or choose another type yourself.