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While shopping for an external HDD I've noticed some models have this feature (hardware encryption). Being a type of fella who only uses HDDs in general for storing data, with some hopes he will still be able to access them 10 years later, can anyone tell me what that does?

Does that mean the data on the drive is automatically encrypted or ?

If, for example, something would happen to a drive, and one would need to take it to a specialized store that deals with data recovery, would they be able to make sense of it?

I'd appreciate your input on this, and also on issus I've maybe forgotten to mention.

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What are you confused about exactly about the hardware encryption? If something happen to do the drive you would have to provide them the information to decrypt the information, otherwise the data would be random noise, just like it would be random noise if you used TrueCrypt or Bitocker on it. –  Ramhound Mar 20 at 15:34
    
@Ramhound - If after buying a harddrive, I delete all the software from it (as I usually do), and keep using it that way ... and something happens to it ... after taking it to a "recovery shop" would they be able to get my data off of it? Unscrambled (if I haven't setup anything in that regard)? In other words, can I use it as a regular drive, so it doesn't modify my data in any way? –  ldigas Mar 20 at 15:44
    
If you don't encrypt the drive, which requires specific steps to do, then the data is not encrypted. –  Ramhound Mar 20 at 15:48
    
@Ramhound - And the "hardware encryption" (whatever that is) just gets bypassed? –  ldigas Mar 20 at 15:59
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You have to actually enable the encryption, provide it a password, then perform the encryption. The drive is not encrypted until this step happens. This is done with the supplied software with the drive. –  Ramhound Mar 20 at 16:06

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Taken from comments of OP by Ramhound

You have to actually enable the encryption, provide it a password, then perform the encryption. The drive is not encrypted until this step happens. This is done with the supplied software with the drive.

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