How to Password Protect Your USB Drive Without Administrator Privilege

Password protecting my USB drive is often the most important thing that I do when I went on travel. With all the confidential information in the USB drive, the last thing that I want to see is to lost it and have others to access all my precious data.

Although I have previously covered two useful software for encrypting USB drive: Windows 7 BitLocker and TrueCrypt, one thing that prevented me from using them on the move is that these two software require administrator privilege (or the ultimate version of Windows 7) to use, which in most Internet cafes, you don’t have access to.

There are also several others encryption software out there, but the one that worked well for me, and apparently free and does not require any administrator privileges is Rohos Mini Drive.

What Rohos Mini Drive does is to create hidden and encrypted partition on the USB flash drive memory. When you plug in your USB drive, you won’t get to see the hidden partition. Only when you run the Rohos application (within the USB drive) and enter your password, then will the hidden partition appear. Since the Rohos application does not require access (or modification) to the computer’s system, it doesn’t require any administrator privileges to run it. This is great for those who need to access their encrypted data on a public computer that they don’t have administrator access to.

Installing Rohos Mini Drive

The initial step to create an encrypted USB drive requires you to install and run the application in your own computer. This will require administrator privileges.

Download Rohos Mini Drive (Windows only).

Double click the application to install it in your computer.

Once the installation is done, insert in your USB drive. You don’t have to reformat the drive, but you have to make sure that there is enough space to create the new partition.

Open the Rohos Mini Drive application from the Start menu.

In the main window, click Setup USB Key

rohos-setup

Rohos Mini Drive will proceed to detect your USB drive. Click Change to edit the partition configuration.

rohos-detect-usb

In the configuration window, you can configure the Disk letter that the hidden partition to be mounted to, the encrypted partition size (maximum 2GB), the file system type and the encryption algorithm. The last thing is to point the installation location to your USB drive. The encrypted file will come with a .rdi extension.

Click OK to proceed.

rohos-configuration

Back to the USB Key Creation window, enter your password and make sure that it is a safe one. Click Create Disk.

rohos-encryption

Encryption completed.

rohos-encryption-done

Now open your Windows Explorer and navigate to your USB drive. You should see only the Rohos Mini application (which was not there originally).

rohos-explorer

Double click the Rohos mini application. Enter the encryption password when prompted.

rohos-password

You should now see your hidden partition prompted in the drive letter that you have chosen earlier.

rohos-mount-drive

You can install all your portable apps or store your confidential data on the hidden partition now.

What other software do you use to encrypt your USB drive?