(Encrypted) Hard Disks

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Re-writable media can be used as virtual hard drives. They can also be encrypted, for example, to use them as data safes for storing sensitive data. To use a virtual blank as a hard disk, it must be set up so that data can be written and read at any time. There are two ways to do this:

Formatting with the live file system.
Direct formatting in the Windows Explorer.


The basic difference between the two methods is that the live file system automatically uses UDF, while the Windows Explorer lets you choose the format.



The live file system is not available on Windows XP; the only method is direct formatting with the Explorer. Furthermore, the Windows burning function can use only the DVD-RAM as a re-writable medium.


To format the re-writable blank, begin by inserting it in a virtual burner. Then select it in the Explorer, right-click on it and select Format from the popup menu.




A system dialog opens for configuring the desired settings. Generally, no changes are required.





You can select the file system to be set up during formatting. The choices offered depend on the operating system you are using.


At the end of this process, the re-writable media is available for use as a hard drive. For secure data storage on a virtual CD, you can create an encrypted blank. The encryption option can be activated during the creation process when making a virtual CD, or when you create a safe for sensitive data.

Virtual CD provides a special icon for encrypted hard drives so that they can be recognized at a glance. This icon is used only for re-writable blanks that are encrypted.



- Encrypted DVD-RAM


- Unencrypted DVD-RAM