Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm working in an office with many people and sometimes I leave my external hard drive with my personal data inside. I would to know if there is some way to see if my hard disk was used during my absence.

I'm not the computer administrator, so I can't use exclusive file permissions and I would really like to know hard disk is opened from another computer. I am using a Mac.

Does exist some other way to protect personal data on usb device like an hard-drive? If yes can you write some link to possible guides?

I hope there is some ploy!!

share|improve this question
Perhaps you should encrypt the contents and password it? – Jasarien Feb 11 '10 at 15:04
maybe, I don't know what I can do, can this be a way to solve my problems? what kind of procedure I should do to encrypt my external hard drive data? – vitto Feb 12 '10 at 18:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

No, there is no way to do this with a standard external hard drive. You can read the drive in read-only mode, then nothing on it will be changed, so there'll be no trace of any access. The drive's hardware could of course log access, but I don't know any drive/enclosure which does that. There are probably "enterprise" solutions for this, but they'll be very expensiv

I would recommend to just encrypt the drive. Truecrypt is probably your best bet (free, secure & cross-platform). Just use whole-disk encryption. See the Truecrypt homepage: for more info, or look here on

share|improve this answer
I like it! thanks for the utility – vitto Mar 21 '10 at 10:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.