If you read down to near the end of my Security and Forensics Roundup: Heavy Version #2 you will find that yesterday I got daughter-unit Alvis her very own USB disk to use for school.
I had bought a 2 GB USB stick with a write-block switch and it is an Imation brand.
This morning I was setting it up for her.
It did not come with any U3 stuff, so that was good. Imation also kindly tossed in a partition-encryption program called “Imation Lock”.
Figured I would play with it a bit to see if it would work better than with adding a TrueCrypt container.
Well, I wasn’t impressed.
Basically you create a public and an private partition. The private partition is the encrypted one. You set a password and then by using the software, can unlock and load the encrypted partition.
Sounds nice but it sucks. Bad.
First I read the whole manual. Yes. All 16 large-font pages of it.
The same one that shows the “Effective” date of 25-Sep-2006.
Oh bother. Not a good sign.
On our XP system (under a full admin account) the configuration steps went fine. No real problems.
It was when I started actually using it that the problems showed up.
First, on my humble system, I never could get both the secure and public drives to show up at the same time. One or the other baby, despite the photos in the manual.
Mounting and dismounting was pain and required removal and replugging of the USB drive when I switched between those volumes.
So I decided to reformat the USB drive and stick with my original plan with a TrueCrypt volume.
I used the Imation Lock program to remove the secure volume, then right-clicked the drive in My Computer and selected “format”, only it was formatted as a FAT volume and my only other choice was to format as FAT32.
I wanted NTFS.
More searching and here’s a modified version on how to do it:
To enable NTFS as an available File system option in the pull-down menu, the policies for your USB device must be set to "Optimize for performance".
- Insert USB drive into the computer’s USB port.
- In My Computer or Windows Explorer, highlight the USB's drive letter.
- Right click on the drive and select Properties. The Removable Disk Properties dialogue box will open up.
- Select the Hardware tab and then select the correct USB device for the drive.
- Click the Properties button near the bottom of the dialogue box. The Device Properties box will open up.
- Select the Policies tab in the dialogue box and then select the "Optimize for performance" radio button.
- Click the OK button in the Device Properties dialogue box to exit. Click the OK button again in the Removable Disk Properties dialogue box to exit.
- The NTFS option will now be an available option to select for the File system format. Follow normal procedures for formatting a drive volume in Windows.
Worked like a charm and the thing NTFS formatted in less than a minute (it’s only 2 GB).
I rounded it out with one of the PortableApps Suites along with some extra games and useful applications from the site as well.
Did you know you can add a 48x48 pixel image to the Portable Apps menu? Kind of like in XP/Vista’s Start menu? I stuck Polka-Dot’s (our family’s hamster) picture there. Thought Alvis would be impressed.
I added a TrueCrypt container. Much, much easier to use and manage.
Even for Alvis.
I copied her icanhascheezburger image collection to it. What can I say….
Then I showed her how to manually launch the Portable Apps suite (since the autorun.inf file is now a folder) along with mounting/opening her TrueCrypt container.
She was impressed.