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I have 16 GB USB flash drive and using it for multiple purposes:

  • As bootable Windows & Linux installation packages carriage (with
  • As PortableApps carriage

What I need is, to password protect whole USB drive.

Just like Western Digital Passport ext. hard drives:

When you insert flash drive, it opens app (from special, mini partitions designed only for this app) for entering password. If pass is correct, then it reveals real storage's partition.

One of problems is, as I said, this flash drive is bootable and I need it to be pass protected only in OS environment. Not in boot process. I mean, I don't want to touch bootability of my USB drive.

Is there any good, free software for this purpose?

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See this Lifehacker article and this How-To Geek article. That should help. Het back to me if you need more info on this. – Karttikeya Bihani Apr 29 '12 at 17:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

How about using TrueCrypt? You can use this to create a virtual disk as big as your sensitive data, that sits along side the data needed to boot the OS.

You could put a copy of TrueCrypt portable edition on the USB stick itself, with a simple script to mount the encrypted file once the password is entered:

mkdir -p /mnt/encrypted_usb_partition
truecrypt -t -k "" --protect-hidden-volume=no ./encrypted_usb_partition /mnt/encrypted_usb_partition

So all you'd have to do to get access to your stuff, is to run the script, and enter your password. A similar batch script work work under windows.

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FYI - "WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues" and suggests migration to BitLocker in Windows. – hB0 Sep 12 '14 at 6:23

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