Keeping your data safe is important. More so if you have kept it on a USB drive. That's why had written a post about how to use TrueCrypt to keep our data safe from pesky friends and evil data thieves.
Today, I recieved an email requesting review of a free USB encryption utility tool for Windows, Rohos Mini Drive. If my computer can read my emails, it knew it will have to face another brutality of installing and running an application for a few minutes and then endure the pain of uninstallation.
After downloading the 2.2MB application, I clicked on the exe file. It started the installation of the programon my computer. Rohos Mini Drive is supposed to be useful for use even on computers where one doesn't have the administrator rights. So it wasn't quite expected of it. The application should have ideally been an executable one that starts working on the fly, without the need for any installation.
Rohos Mini Drive started the process once the application was activated. It gave me a screen that allowed me to choose between creating an encrypted USB drive or changing the password of any USB drive already encrypted with the help of the application. Of course, I choose to set up a new encryption on my USB drive.
The next screen appeared like a puzzle to me. The screen had two Change buttons, one for changing the USB drive, which will come handy if more than one USB key is attached to the computer, and the other for partition image file. The screen said the application will create a 500MB partition for me. But I wanted a larger portion of my drive to be encrypted. How do I change? It was possible to set up the size and other properties of the encrypted partition by clicking on the "Change" buttons, the first for choosing the USB drive where an encrypted partition is to be created, the other for changing the size and other properties of the partition.
Once set, it will connect the encrypted drive to your computer. The encrypted partition on the USB drive can now be accessed like any normal drive.
How does one access the drive on some other PC? When you connect a USB key with an Rohos encrypted partition, you will find a shortcut link for Rohos Mini Drive in the USB key. Clicking it will present an screen requesting your password for the encrypted partition, after which your encrypted partition will be connected to the computer.
Rohos Mini drive, which allows encrypted partitions of only up to 2GB, is not recommended if you can use TrueCrypt., which is a more advanced, open source encryption tool. So why use Rohos Mini Drive? Because you can't use TrueCrypt on computers where you don't have administrator rights. Rohos Mini Drive is a free alternative if you want to use your encrypted USB on computers in libraries, cyber cafes, computer labs, etc.
Beware: When I tried to eject my pen drive after having ejected the Rohos drive by right-clicking on the Rohos icon in the icon tray, I faced an error message after which my computer restarted. I don't know if it was due to any error in the application or was it due to some snag in my operating system.