LR Access to external hd with true crypt

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by IL2AZ, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. IL2AZ

    IL2AZ Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jan 19, 2013
    I'm hoping someone can help with this organization project that I want to try. I'd like to buy a new external HD and step into the world of Lightroom. I plan to put my catalog of photos on the external HD, which Lightroom makes seemingly easy. The caveat is that I would like to encrypt the external HD with TrueCrypt. My question is, can I encrypt the whole external HD, and still have fluid functionality with LR on my computer, accessing the catalog on the external HD? Will I have to mount the drive first every time I use lightroom? Or is there a way to do this more easily. I am using a mac. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    290
    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Ben
    You'll have to mount the drive every time you connect it to your computer, but then you can leave it mounted until you power down or disconnect the drive. Once it's mounted, it appears just as any other drive, so you can do whatever you'd normally do with Lightroom.

    I'd suggest using an external drive over FireWire, Thunderbolt or USB3--if you use a USB2 drive, you'll find Lightroom painfully slow.

    Better yet, make it an SSD. :) I have a couple of external 120GB SSDs from the previous generation in USB3 enclosures; they only cost $80 each and I get huge speed over USB3 on my Windows machine.
     
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  3. IL2AZ

    IL2AZ Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jan 19, 2013
    Thanks ptolemyx, sounds like you have experience with this. So, I'm right in assuming I can encrypt the whole external drive, and then just tell LR the location of the catalog, right? Seems pretty easy, but I guess I just needed to get confirmation. You mentioned SSDs, any recommendations in particular, and do you use TrueCrypt too? Thanks for the help!
     
  4. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    290
    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Ben
    I've used TrueCrypt on Windows, yeah.

    You could encrypt the whole drive, or you could just create an "encrypted file container", which is simpler because you can then move the container (which holds the encrypted volume) to another drive, e.g. a bigger one when you run out of space.

    The container just appears as a (large!) file on the drive. When you mount it, you see the contents of the encrypted volume as just another disk.

    To set up LR, create and mount an encrypted volume via TrueCrypt, and then create a new LR catalog on the mounted volume. Also choose the volume as your default import location, and you should be set.

    Just make sure to close down LR before you dismount the volume, and always dismount the volume via TrueCrypt before you disconnect the drive. I'd also recommend using the OS dismount feature after you dismount TrueCrypt and before you disconnect the cable, just to be safe; I'm not sure how it's done on a Mac--probably as simple as clicking on the drive icon and selecting "Eject" or similar.

    Any SSD made in the last few years will be massively faster than a mechanical drive. I'd recommend the Intel 520 for its combination of speed & high reliability.
     
  5. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    be careful using truecrypt or any software drive encryption on an ssd, it will burn out the drive pretty quick. the problem is that the encrypted partition appears as one big file to the ssd which renders the write distribution like wear leveling and trim useless.

    theres a lot of details about this problem on the internet, personally i only go with hw encryption for ssd's, and for ssd's the only known secure ones right now are the intel ssd's. the rest all keep the encrpytion key in plain text in the drive firwmare which is insecure.

    software encryption for hdd's works fine though, last time i did it there was a less than 10% speed hit. (on intel ssd hw encryption there is no speed penalty)
     
  6. IL2AZ

    IL2AZ Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jan 19, 2013
    Thank you guys for the help!