Encrypt a flash drive with TrueCrypt

One of the more common use cases for an encryption system is encrypting portable drives.  Flash drives are a perfect target for data theft.  Their ubiquity makes them almost invisible to the general public, hence they do not arouse attention as they once did when they were new.  Now someone can pick up a flash drive and no one will want to know about it.  After the break, how to encrypt the entire flash drive.

In this example we will be using TrueCrypt to encrypt an entire flash drive.  To begin insert your flash drive and start up TrueCrypt.  Click on the “Create Volume” Button.  There will be a series of screenshots with the accompanying text below each picture.


This is the first screen of the wizard.  The Encrypt a non-system partition/drive is the choice to make for a flash drive.


You can choose to make a special kind of encrypted drive with a false partition called a hidden partition.  This will set up a second encrypted partition with a separate password.  This is for cases where you are forced to give up your life or your password.  We are making a standard TrueCrypt volume.


Here you select the flash drive, by using select drive button and selecting your drive from the list’


Select the drive with the drive letter representing your flash drive.  In this example drive e is my flash drive.


In the Windows version you have the capability to encrypt in place.  Any files will be retained,  In this case we want a completely empty drive to start with so we will choose the encrypt and format selection.


We now get to choose from some very powerful schemes.  The default is a very good choice.


Now you get the choice as to the size of the partition.  Might as well make the whole drive encrypted.  The default is the entire drive.


Now you get the chance to make your password.  The Makers of TrueCrypt recommend 20 characters minimum, as do I.  Large passwords make it harder to discover the password.  In this example I did not follow that stricture.


Now you get the choice of formatting.  Every True Cryopt can make a FAT partition, but they can also make a Native partition for the OS.  As an example Windows based TrueCrypt can make a NTFS partition.  Choosing No will make a FAT partition which is about as generic a file system.  Choosing yes will make the Native Partition.


In the last page you need to move your mouse around on the window.  This helps generate a random pool.  The more you move your mouse pointer around the more random it becomes.  When you are ready hit the format button and your drive will soon be formatted.

When you want to use your drive plug it into the usb.  Make sure not to let the OS format it.  Start True Crypt and mount the drive.  Simply add files to the drive via the explorer.  Dismount the drive when finished.  Your files will be safe in the encrypted drive.  Just don’t forget your password.

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