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formatted a disk

Posted on 2012-08-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-03
I have an external HDD I was using for backups but when I decided to encrypt it, is was looking like the process wold have taken another 20 hours to complete.

I want to blow away the disk and start fresh, and assign a password from the start.

HOw do I do this in Mountain Lion?

Question by:newbieweb
  • 2
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Xaelian earned 2000 total points
ID: 38320569
Ok so you formatted it, that's good. If you got any data on it, backup it and format your drive otherwise you can't encrypt the external HD.

If you've done it, follow following steps:

Step 1: Disk Utility

To encrypt an external drive, connect it to your Mac, wait until it mounts on your desktop after you turn it on, and launch Disk Utility. You’ll see a left column that lists the storage devices on your Mac. The first device is your internal drive. Your external drives should follow. Select the drive you want to encrypt. Then click on the Erase tab in the section to the right.

In the Format pop-up menu, you’ll see two new disk formats available to you, in addition to the standard Mac OS Extended (Journaled), Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled), MS-DOS (FAT), and ExFAT. The two new formats are Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), and Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted).

In most cases, you should pick Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted). The other encrypted Mac format lets you give files the same names but with different letter case treatment. (For example, both files named 2011taxes.numbers and 2011Taxes.numbers can exist in the same folder.) You also need to provide a name. Click Erase.

Step 2: Set a password
A window will appear, confirming that you want to create an encrypted volume. If so, you need to enter a password. You need to enter this password any time you mount the drive, so be sure to memorize it.

Once you enter and confirm the password, click Erase. This will start the formatting process, which will take several minutes. If you don’t want to encrypt the drive, click Cancel.

Step 3: Enter password
Once the drive is formatted, you’ll need to enter a password to access it. Your files will be automatically encrypted and decrypted. If you dismount the drive, you’ll need to enter the password when you try to mount it again on your desktop. If you enter the wrong password or don’t enter one, you can’t access the data.

At the password-entry window, you have the option to save your password in your keychain. This will allow your drive to mount without needing your password for that particular Mac that’s storing your keychain. If you try to attach the encrypted drive to, say, your friend’s Mac, which doesn’t have your keychain information, you’ll need to enter a password to access the drive.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 38334031
Ni newbieweb,

Were you able to encrypt your HDD with the steps I've provided? Or haven't you tried them?

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38362182
Thanks, I wil finally give this a try and post new questions with any new problems.


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