External Hard Drive Encryption For Windows using BitLocker
Warning: When you encrypt a hard drive, if you forget or misplace your password, you will be unable to access your data. HGST is not responsible for data lost in this process and is unable to provide any form of data recovery if needed.
NOTE: Not all versions of Windows are natively capable of encrypting an external hard drive. BitLocker is available in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows 7. It is also available in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 8 and 8.1. If you do not have a version of Windows with Bitlocker included and you would still like to encrypt your drive, you will need to use 3rd party software. Some of the more popular free encryption software include TrueCrypt, Cryptainer, and DiskCryptor. Use these at your own risk.
- Connect your external drive to your computer.
- In Computer, Right-Click on the drive you wish to encrypt and select “Turn on Bitlocker”
- Set your password, and enter a second time to verify it. It is suggested that you write down your password and put it in a safe place just in case.
- Save or print your recovery key, this is very important as if you lose or forget your password, the recovery key is the only way you would be able to regain access to the drive.
- Select how much of the drive to encrypt, choose based on your needs or if you’ve already placed data on the drive.
- Click to start encryption of your drive, encryption speed can vary depending on capacity of the drive and how much data is already present.
- Once completed, you may close the BitLocker operation
- Once encrypted you will be required to enter your password to unlock and use the drive: