Is there any windows software with media player that can protect media data on container level encryption? In other words, users who plugged this HD to a computer with any OS will not be able to copy or view the content unless using this software on Windows OS.


BitLocker encryption is Microsoft's whole-disk encryption tool. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/bitlocker

  • Bitlocker is only valid for Windows 7 and above and on computers with a TPM module. Jan 20 '13 at 15:25
  • Correction, Vista and above Jan 20 '13 at 15:37
  • It will work without TPM with some tweaks but also requires Vista Enterprise or Ultimate See windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows-vista/…
    – Dave M
    Jan 20 '13 at 20:29
  • need to work with any Windows OS, XP and above.
    – Sean Lee
    Jan 23 '13 at 12:19
  • Just for reference, we are now using Bitlocker in an enterprise setting and honestly, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole! Get something from a vendor that really knows what they are doing. Jan 24 '13 at 7:07

There are a number of tools that will encrypt disks and that supply unencryption tools on the disk so that you can access the data when you need to.

The one I'm most familiar with is from Symantec. Not specifically aware of any that are free though.

You can do this with something like TrueCrypt but you need the software installed on every PC (which requires admin access).

I think you could also do it with FreeOTFE. This also requires installing everywhere but does not require admin rights to do so. Here is another, similar tool. And here is a review of some of these tools.

If all your computers are using Windows 7 and contain a TPM module, you could use Bitlocker.

UPDATE: It seems that, whilst I thought that your question could only be answered properly with commercial software such as that from Symantec. You can do this with FreeOTFE. Here is an article explaining the details. The trick seems to be to copy the free FreeOTFE Explorer executable to a non-encrypted USB stick, run it and let it create an encrypted container. You can then run the explorer on any Windows or Mac computer. Looks like performance may be poor though.

UPDATE 2: OK, having looked even further, it seems that there are a few free tools. Here is an article with a couple. I expect you will find others once you see some keywords to look for.

  • TrueCrypt is a nice encryption tool, but most tools when access with password, any files can be moved and copied. I need a tool that can simply list to play, nothing else.
    – Sean Lee
    Jan 23 '13 at 12:20
  • I had thought that this required commercial software such as the Symantec software I mentioned but it turns out you could use FreeOTFE though it might not be quite as seemless. See my update Jan 23 '13 at 21:10
  • I checked into your article on more detailed FreeOTFE. Everything looks good except after entering password. Since I'm currently travelling, no way to test the software. I don't know if there is a way to allow any folks to open it using the explorer without password, and able to list and play the content, but not copy or delete? The goal is to be able to hand over the disk to another person and say, go check out the content, but sorry, no copying and deleting.
    – Sean Lee
    Jan 25 '13 at 7:58
  • Hmm, you've introduced a slightly different requirement there. I don't think FreeOTFE will work there. I would say that a CD or DVD would be better ;) Jan 25 '13 at 9:49
  • actually this requirement has always been on the original post, 2nd sentence. CD or DVD rom will not do, because that means they can move and copy.
    – Sean Lee
    Jan 25 '13 at 10:27

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