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One of my clients has an Iomega Ego Encrypt 320GB portable hard drive.

When used with Windows, the drive has software that grants/disables access to the (encrypted) contents of the drive.

The User's Manual for the device does not seem to even mention using it from Mac OS X, as I am doing.

I swear that the Quick Start Guide [PDF] said that on the Mac, you could reformat the drive using Disk Utility. When I look at it now, it does not mention the Mac. [Ah. Now I see. When you click to see the "Product Tour" it has a link to the quick start guide for the Iomega eGo, not the eGo Encrypt. Sigh.]

[Perhaps I was looking at the docs for a similar model, but not this exact one. Looking at the system requirements, it does show that it requires Windows 2000 or newer.]

When I do try to repartition it with Disk Utility, everything is greyed out. I was able to access it using Windows XP under Parallels Desktop for Mac, and after I did that, I appeared to be able to reformat the hard drive, but now it seems that the change didn't stick.

It looks like I'm out of luck, but is it possible to reformat this drive to be HFS+?

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perhaps an Id is needed to counteract all the Ego? – quack quixote Nov 3 '09 at 22:50
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Perhaps you're reformatting the "encrypted" portion of the drive? Like clearing out a TrueCrypt volume.

According to

AES 128-bit hardware-encrypted portable hard drive

I would guess that it can't be done. If the drive is encrypting data OTF as it writes it to the disk you're out of luck.

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That is rather what I was thinking. I wish that user guide link hadn't led me to believe otherwise. – Clinton Blackmore Nov 4 '09 at 2:47

You will need to install the software on a Windows installation, and as an administrator you can reduce the encrypted portion down to next to nothing. You are then left with a regular unencrypted drive which you can format however you want and can be read under Windows/GNU+Linux/Mac/Whatever. I then went ahead and encrypted this non-hardware encrypted portion with TrueCrypt.

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