Tag Archives: usbcrypt

Make it easier to return your lost encrypted drive

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
User rating: 4.7/5
Purchase or download a free trial. Read more…

If you’ve lost a removable drive encrypted with USBCrypt, you know your files are safe – no one will be able to get to them without knowing your encryption password, and the only loss you suffer in such a case is the cost of the physical drive itself. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to get the drive back?

Sure, you can increase the chance of getting your drive back by putting a message on it to be seen by the person who finds the drive. USBCrypt makes it easy to create such a message: just enter the appropriate text as the host disk name when encrypting the drive:

The message to the founder as the host disk name

(If you’ve already encrypted the drive, you can change the host disk name with the Rename host disk command). The host disk name is the first thing the person sees after plugging the drive in the computer:

The message appears when someone plugs the drive in the computer

Even if the computer happens to have the autoplay function disabled, the person would see the message when s/he opens the Computer folder:

The message is shown as the label of the drive

Yet another place to catch attention of the person who found the drive is the screen that appears when s/he runs the file USBCrypt.exe off the encrypted drive:

The built-in message when unlocking the encrypted drive

You don’t have to do anything to make such a message to appear, it appears automatically, and the name that is included in the message is the registered name that your copy of the software was licensed to (that is, presumably, your name). If the person clicks on the Not you? link, s/he will be presented with the following message:

The built-in message when unlocking the encrypted drive

This message gives the person an opportunity to contact us with the details of the drive found, and we in turn would attempt to locate your email address in our records and let you know that someone has found your lost drive. Note that what happens after that is entirely up to you, whether you want to reward the person who found the drive or not, etc. would be entirely your decision, we would just offer you our help with getting in touch with that person.

Of course, the best solution to any such problem would be not to lose the drive in the first place. However, it’s a good idea to be prepared for such a misfortune before it might happen.

Happy encrypting!

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USBCrypt updated to v.10.9

We’ve just released yet another update to our encryption product USBCrypt. This is a maintenance release that includes several fixes and improvements, such as:

  • In some usage scenarios, the Optimize for performance option could cause 100% of the available RAM to be consumed. We have corrected that.
  • When encrypting a drive, the size of the Virtual Encrypted Disk can now be selected using units other than MB.
  • The size of the Virtual Encrypted Disk is now displayed when choosing the Properties command from the taskbar icon right-click menu.

If you are already using a previous version of USBCrypt, you don’t need to remove it: just download and run the new version, and it should update the previous version while keeping your settings and customizations intact.

Happy encrypting!

Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
User rating: 4.7/5
Purchase or download a free trial. Read more…

If you use USBCrypt to protect just one or two drives, it’s easy to keep track of them. However, when the number of the encrypted drives grows, it becomes more difficult to keep them organized. The fact that each physical drive can be represented by two drive letters (one for the host drive and another one for the Virtual Encrypted Disk it contains) does not make it any easier. To help you manage the encrypted drives, USBCrypt offers you the options of assigning names to them. There are several names used by USBCrypt and Windows in different places of their user interfaces. Let us discuss them in detail.

When you encrypt a drive for the first time, USBCrypt asks you to choose two names: the Virtual Encrypted Disk name and the Host Disk name:

Choosing the encrypted drive name

The first name (for the Virtual Encrypted Disk) is used when displaying the windows and menus of USBCrypt. For example, it is shown on the USBCrypt window when starting the encrypted disk:

Starting a Virtual Encrypted Disk

This name is also displayed on the USBCrypt “balloon” notifications:

An Encrypted Disk has been attached

Or, when you right-click on a USBCrypt taskbar icon, you can see the name of Virtual Encrypted Disk on the menu:

The Virtual Encrypted Disk menu

As you can see, by using different names with different Virtual Encrypted Disk, you can make it easier to recognize them in Windows.

What about the second name you are asked to enter when encrypting a drive, the Host Disk name? This name is displayed by Windows as a label next to the host disk:

The Host Disk label

You can change the default name “USBCrypt Host Disk” to something more descriptive. Keep in mind, however, than both the Host Disk and Virtual Encrypted Disk names are NOT encrypted: they can be seen even before you enter the password to start the encrypted drive.

What if later on you’ve decided that other names would describe your encrypted drive better? You can change both the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names by clicking on the Tools button on the Start Virtual Encrypted Disk window:

Changing the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names

If you change the Virtual Encrypted Disk name, it takes effect immediately. However, if you change the Host Disk name, you may need to restart the computer before Windows would recognize the new name.

Besides the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names, there is a third name that Windows uses to refer to the Virtual Encrypted Disks you create: it’s the labels it shows next to the Virtual Encrypted Disks in the Explorer windows:

Virtual Encrypted Disk label

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
User rating: 4.7/5
Purchase or download a free trial. Read more…

The default text for the label is “Virtual Encrypted Disk” if you have chosen the NTFS file system for it, or just “ENCRYPTED” if you have formatted it with the FAT file system (because FAT limits the number and kind of characters that can be used in a drive label). USBCrypt itself does not provide a command to change such a label, because Windows itself offers it: you can change the label of an encrypted drive in the same way as of any other drive: by right-clicking on the drive and choosing Properties from the menu:

Changing the Virtual Encrypted Disk label

Enter the desired name there, and the label will change. Unlike the Virtual Encrypted Disk and the Host Disk names we’ve discussed above, the Virtual Encrypted Disk label is encrypted, along with all other data the encrypted disk contains: this label is only displayed by Windows after you’ve entered the correct password to start the encrypted disk.

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USBCrypt 10.8 is out!

We are excited to announce that a new version 10.8 of our encryption software USBCrypt has been just released and is available now!

This version includes many improvements and fixes, such as:

  • An option to select the preferred optimization of the Virtual Encrypted Disks: you can now choose whether to optimize for performance or for quick removal of the encrypted disks.
  • An option to launch the "autorun" process "As Admininstrator" when starting or stopping the encrypted disks.
  • You can now create custom names for the host disks (other than the default USBCrypt Host disk), to make it easier to recognize different disks in the Explorer windows.
  • While the encryption process of a drive is in progress, you can now minimize the USBCrypt window to the taskbar. You may find it handly when encrypting large drives.
  • Also, you can now pause and resume the encryption process, if you need to temporarily allow other programs to use the full CPU power fo your computer.
  • The built-in backup software that comes with Windows 7 or Windows Vista can now recognize the Virtual Encrypted Disks as valid backup destinations for the documents and settings.
  • USBCrypt now warns you if you log off or shut down the computer while a disk is being encrypted.
  • And more! Please give the new USBCrypt a try.

How to password-protect a USB flash drive

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.
User rating: 4.7/5
Purchase or download a free trial. Read more…

Password-protecting a flash drive is easy with the USBCrypt wizard software. When you run it, it guides you through the steps of encrypting a removable USB flash drive. It asks you to choose a name for the encrypted drive (this is optional, but can be handy if you have several similar drives that you use to store different kinds of files):

Choose a name for the encrypted USB drive

After a few more steps, which you may want to leave the settings as they are (the defaults should be suitable for most common situations), or you can adjust the options offered by the USBCrypt wizard. For example, you can choose to encrypt the whole drive or only a part of it. You can also select the encrypted file system (FAT or NTFS) to use for the encrypted data. Another option is to choose the encryption strength (such as the 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption in the XTS mode). Yet another option lets you choose whether to create a “spare key” file on your computer, that you could use should you forget you main encryption password:

Choose a strong password for the encrypted USB drive

After the flash drive has been encrypted, you can start it (by entering its password) and it will become accessible via its own drive letter, just as any other drive. To encrypt a file, just move it to the encrypted drive (by, for example, dragging and dropping it using Windows Explorer or with our file manager AB Commander), and the file will be encrypted on-the -fly. To open the encrypted file, you don’t have to do anything special: you can double-click the file on the encrypted drive, as usual, and it will be decrypted transparently for you. When you save the changes, they will be encrypted automatically for you, too. In short, there is no difference between using the encrypted drive and a regular drive!

When you are done using the encrypted files, you need to lock it back. TO do that, you can use the USBCrypt icon in Windows taskbar to stop the encrypted drive:

Lock the encrypted USB drive with password

After the encrypted drive has been stopped, all files and folders it contains become locked with your password again. At this point, you can detach the flash drive from the computer. You can sleep well at night, knowing that your files are safe and sound too.

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