Maxtor Black Armour Linux driver

Wasn’t sure that this topic should be hardware or security, but here goes.

I have a number of drives (external) all of which work with Windoze and Linux…except one!

I have a Maxtor 2.5" usb drive (320gb) it has Black Armour software installed. I cannot get it to work under Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10 using Wine. Under Windoze it boots into the software for Black Armour asking for a security password and when entered it lets me into the drive. The thing is I want to keep this disk secure. It has copies of scanned passports, birth certificates and important photographs from my many years of ‘snapping’. Any suggestions?

The only 2 workarounds seem to be…

  1. Plug it into a POWERED USB hub, connect the hub to a Windows PC, unlock the drive, then you can remove the hub from the Windows PC and plug it into a Linux PC… as long as the drive doesn’t loose power, it can be swapped between PC’s without the need to unlock, even if you reboot the Linux PC… not very helpful as a portable solution though.


  1. Install Virtualbox and Windows, fire up Windows in Vbox and unlock the drive… shut down Vbox and mount the drive in Linux.

That’s it I’m afraid.

Thanks. I suspected it would not be easy. I will probably format the drive and make it a ‘Truecrypt’ volume when I have the time. Will Truecrpyt support a 320gb hard drive do you think?

You probably think I’m a bit paranoid with all this security based questions etc but I have had several usb drives stolen (all encrypted, thankfully) and I have signed a security agreement at work that requires all drives used on work PC’s are encrypted, even if they are my own!

AFAIK, yes, but I’ve read a lot about people having major problems formatting the Black Armour drives… Most don’t seem to have a problem, as long as you format them to a Linux filesystem such as ext3 or ext4… but that would leave them unreadable by a Windows PC.

That’s OK as Windows is only used by me in an emergency now. I have 4 laptops two with ubuntu 10.10 only and two dual boot but…I hardly ever boot into Windows now. :slight_smile:

It sounds to me like formatting them with a Linux filesystem “defeats” some kind of hardware/software protection.

Google Black armour Linux

and you’ll see what I mean.

Yep, a new backup drive beckons. :frowning:

So, I’ve bought my new back up drive, an Iomega 2.5". Tried to install Truecrpyt but it stops after 15mins saying “it cannot access drive as it is in use”. I remember this from a while back with another drive. Any ideas?

Samsung NC10
Ubuntu 10.04

Stab in the dark… is the drive mounted when you try to encrypt it? … or are you doing it like this:

Yep it was mounted. Unmounted it works but only formats the encrypted volume with a Linux file system. For future reference if anyone wants to have an encrypted disk that they wish to read on different operating systems (whole disk not partition) then it is best to create the encrypted disk using Truecrypt in Windows using fat 32 as this can be read across both platforms as by default (without option) it will only format with a Linux file system when used within Linux.

OK, an update. Do not format as fat32 as it cannot read files larger than 4gb. Use the NTFS option instead and this will work fine. Don’t forget to create the Truecrypt file in Windows if you want to use it accrossWindows and Linux platforms.

Yup, the 4GB file size is a limit of the FAT32 file system and has nothing to do with Linux… was that what stopped it after 15mins maybe ? … was Truecrypt attempting to write a locker as a file that was larger than the 4GB (FAT) limit ?

Yes that’s correct Mark, it was reaching a 4gb limit. It now works perfectly across both platforms as NTFS.

One problem I am having is dismounting the volume. Each time I click to dismount it says it cannot as it is busy, it is as well I can feel it turning. Iam simply pulling the usb lead out but, this can’t be good.

Word of advise…it took 3hours to make a 175gb partition! So if big partitions are required make sure you have plenty of time!

So you reckon if you had formatted it as NTFS in Linux, you wouldn’t have had that issue with it stopping after 15mins ?

I didn’t get the option to format in NTFS in Linux. It was not available.

BTW. The problem of not being able to dismount was with my Equium laptop using 10.10, no problem with Samsung NC10 netbook and 10.04.

What I should have said was…the option was not available within the Truecrypt program volume creation. The Linux Truecrypt only offered Fat32 and ext2,3 and 4 Linux formatting. The Windows Truecrypt allowed NTFS as well. I hope it makes things a little clearer. :slight_smile:

Anybody have an idea why I have problems with it in 10.10 and not 10.04?

Try this… in Truecrypt, go to Setting>Preferences>System Integration (tab) and put a tick in

Kernel Services:
“Do not use kernel cryptographic services”

Thanks Mark. I’ll try that in the morning,

Let me know if it works. :slight_smile:

Yes, will do. Thanks for your help once again. :slight_smile: