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Thread: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

  1. #1
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    Default how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    Hi fellows,

    don´t know if this is a support question, but I don´t think so, that´s why I post it in the community section. I hope you can help me...

    My brother in law bought an external USB 3.0 hard drive (IOmega). On this hard drive there is an encryption software which prevents access to the harddrive completely. My brother in law already knows that he has bought a piece of junk, but maybe it can be saved (and used) anyway? So... here it goes:

    1. connecting the drive to a Windows computer (he just has Windows) results in that the system asks what to do... so you open the folder to see the files. You just can see one folder, where this encryption software is stored. This folder is 81.5 Mb. Thats it. You can not copy files to the drive, you can not do anything, besides looking at the icon of this stupid encryption utility.

    Or you can run it... but then, nothing happens either. There is just one folder accessible: 81.5 Mb

    2. I connected it to my Linux box and wanted to reformat it with Gparted. First to the openSUSE box. Suzy does not realise that there is an external harddrive connected. Nothing happens. Gparted does not see it.

    3. I connected it to my old Xubuntu Laptop. Here we go: it mounts the drive. There are now two drives mounted. One drive is mounted as a CD and the other one as a harddrive. In the CD-part, there is this encryption software-thing and a file "autorun.inf". I can not delete these files. They are protected. I also can not remove this write protection, because there must be something to the filesystem in this CD-part of the harddrive.
    Gparted can see the harddrive part of it, but not the CD-part. So I took my chances and reformatted the harddrive and also re-wrote the partition table.
    But after that, it is still the same: there is one CD and one hard drive part...

    So I thought to myself, that if it is mounted like a CD, then I could delete it with K3B, Brasero or whatever, as I would delete a CD-RW... Nope, Brasero or XFburn don´t see this drive.

    The big question is now: how can I access the CD part? How can I delete this part of the harddrive? Or at least how can I delete this encryption-junk and make it accessible for a Windows computer?

    some ideas on this would be great. Or maybe someone of you went through this mess before and could tell me what to do?

    thank you very much!

    Steffen
    Desk: HP Pavilion, Nvidia GeForce GTX460, Atheros Wlan, openSUSE 12.1 KDE 4.7.2, Win7
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On 01/20/2012 05:46 PM, steffen13 wrote:
    > some ideas on this would be great.


    tell your brother-in-law to take the drive back and get his money back.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    Don't know
    I would google it

    I'm wondering if dd will do
    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sd?
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 16:46:03 +0000, steffen13 wrote:

    > 2. I connected it to my Linux box and wanted to reformat it with
    > Gparted. First to the openSUSE box. Suzy does not realise that there is
    > an external harddrive connected. Nothing happens. Gparted does not see
    > it.


    Sounds like it's locked to Windows, then - the "partition" you see is a
    virtual CD-ROM device that has the access software on it. Since it's a
    read-only virtual device, you can't modify it without special tools.

    I'd return the drive and buy something that doesn't have encryption on it
    by default since that's typically locked to the platform.

    Jim

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  5. #5

    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    There are tools which can remove the partition, try this thread.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:36:03 +0000, finders wrote:

    > There are tools which can remove the partition, try 'this thread.'
    > (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=11288726)


    Yes, you can use various tools to remove the virtual CD image, but if the
    device itself doesn't show up, doing so would likely void the warranty
    and then he'd be stuck with a drive he can't use at all.

    Jim
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On 2012-01-20 18:16, caf4926 wrote:
    >
    > Don't know
    > I would google it
    >
    > I'm wondering if dd will do
    > dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sd?


    Please, not urandom. Use plain zero.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 20:53:09 +0000, Carlos E. R. wrote:

    > On 2012-01-20 18:16, caf4926 wrote:
    >>
    >> Don't know I would google it
    >>
    >> I'm wondering if dd will do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sd?

    >
    > Please, not urandom. Use plain zero.


    Either/or, depends on what your goals are.

    Jim



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  9. #9
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    thanks for your answers. The 1st tip would be the best: returning it.

    But I guess I give the dd option a shot. But I didn´t get it... so, should I use

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdb

    ??

    Or the other one, robin_listas posted? This would be then dd if=/dev/0 of=/dev/sdb, right? -- the drive would be mounted as sdb

    What is the problem/bad consequences with dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdb ?

    Either/or, depends on what your goals are.
    my goal is, to have a normal drive which can be used by every computer, without encryption which means that I want to delete the read-only part on the disk and put it together into one single ntfs partition .
    Desk: HP Pavilion, Nvidia GeForce GTX460, Atheros Wlan, openSUSE 12.1 KDE 4.7.2, Win7
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: how can I get rid of encryption on an external harddrive?

    On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:06:02 +0000, steffen13 wrote:

    > thanks for your answers. The 1st tip would be the best: returning it.
    >
    > But I guess I give the dd option a shot. But I didn´t get it... so,
    > should I use
    >
    > dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdb


    You need to be *absolutely sure* that /dev/sdb is what device the drive
    is registered as. If it isn't, you'll wipe the wrong device.

    You can use either /dev/zero (not /dev/0) or /dev/urandom. The idea is
    to overwrite the boot blocks and partition table.

    You said that openSUSE didn't recognise there was a drive connected. If
    that's the case (lsscsi or fdisk -l should tell you what devices are on
    the system), then you won't be able to overwrite it. It has to be
    recognised at the hardware level in order to overwrite it.

    Jim
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