1. Steve Swift's Avatar
    I'm contemplating encrypting the SD card in my S7 Edge. But I'm paranoid about loss of data on a device malfunction.
    The solution to this is backups. At the moment, with an un-encrypted SD card, I can connect the S7 to my Windows PC, where the device drive and SD card will appear as separate drives. Then I backup the SD card to an encrypted file on the PC.

    Will this still work once the SD card is encrypted?
    Perhaps an easier question is: Will my PC still be able to read the content of the SD card via the S7 USB port once the SD card is encrypted?

    Presumably, I could encrypt the card, and see what happens, then decrypt the card if I find I cannot back it up. But I'm leery of mixing encryption and experimentation... a right royal road to data loss in my experience!
    01-27-2017 03:09 PM
  2. SpookDroid's Avatar
    This is a good read that might help a bit... but it should still be accessible to your PC because while the phone is powered on and unlocked, the device has access to the SD card, and the PC through the device. If you pull out the SD card, however, to a PC or even to the same model but different phone, THEN (as explained in the article) it won't work even if you have the right password.
    Why you might want to encrypt the SD card on your Galaxy S7 | Android Central
    01-27-2017 03:18 PM
  3. Steve Swift's Avatar
    Thanks for the prompt answer, and your giving me the courage to proceed.

    I'd already read that article, and others in the same vein, but none of them made clear that the data coming out of the USB port would remain unencrypted.

    It's too late in my day to start tinkering with sensitive parts of my IT structure, but I'll get to it tomorrow. My first step will be to backup the SD card to my PC before encrypting it. I always have to have a recovery plan.
    01-27-2017 03:40 PM
  4. SpookDroid's Avatar
    Yup, that's a sensible course of action Back up first, tinker later. Haha
    01-30-2017 11:42 AM
  5. Btravelen's Avatar
    My first step will be to backup the SD card to my PC before encrypting it. I always have to have a recovery plan.
    The information regarding encryption of the card states that if your phone is broken or disabled, the data is lost forever. Backing it up beforehand is great, but anything else added to it after encryption is not able to be backed up and susceptible to data loss, as I understand it.
    02-03-2017 11:39 AM
  6. SpookDroid's Avatar
    The information regarding encryption of the card states that if your phone is broken or disabled, the data is lost forever. Backing it up beforehand is great, but anything else added to it after encryption is not able to be backed up and susceptible to data loss, as I understand it.
    Not necessarily. Everything added before and after encryption is now, well, encrypted. You can still back it up, but now you need a key to unlock the data first before you back it up. You can still copy the data or modify it or write to the card, but if you don't provide the key, then you simply don't have access to the data, at all. If you do have the key, the card is then 'unlocked' to be used, by the device with the proper credentials, to do as needed (copy, move, delete, create, edit. etc.).
    02-03-2017 01:39 PM
  7. Steve Swift's Avatar
    Does this key apply only to the SD card, and after you've encrypted it?
    I'm getting increasingly leery about access credentials, as I get older. I'm steadily losing access to the data in my own brain. I would squirrel away the key, but eventually I'd forget where I put it, and then I'd be up a gum tree.
    02-04-2017 03:38 AM
  8. dryja123's Avatar
    Does this key apply only to the SD card, and after you've encrypted it?
    I'm getting increasingly leery about access credentials, as I get older. I'm steadily losing access to the data in my own brain. I would squirrel away the key, but eventually I'd forget where I put it, and then I'd be up a gum tree.
    It appears so. The detail that is most troublesome to me is if you decide to factory reset your phone, you can no longer access your encrypted SD card.
    02-04-2017 06:09 AM
  9. sparksd's Avatar
    Does this key apply only to the SD card, and after you've encrypted it?
    I'm getting increasingly leery about access credentials, as I get older. I'm steadily losing access to the data in my own brain. I would squirrel away the key, but eventually I'd forget where I put it, and then I'd be up a gum tree.
    Understand that concern - I'm retired now and the memory is not what it used to be. Something to consider - use some sort of password locker that keeps track of your passwords and either give the key to a trusted third-party or store it somewhere like in a safe deposit box, something/somewhere that allows you to retrieve it if you forget it. And a side note: consider next-of-kin - if something suddenly happened to you do they have some way to access data you have that you want them to have when you're gone? Maybe it's only 1% of what you have but if it's encrypted or password-protected they won't be able to get to it if you take the key to the grave.
    02-04-2017 09:45 AM
  10. Btravelen's Avatar
    Not necessarily. Everything added before and after encryption is now, well, encrypted. You can still back it up, but now you need a key to unlock the data first before you back it up. You can still copy the data or modify it or write to the card, but if you don't provide the key, then you simply don't have access to the data, at all. If you do have the key, the card is then 'unlocked' to be used, by the device with the proper credentials, to do as needed (copy, move, delete, create, edit. etc.).
    This is what I read. Didn't see any mention of the 'key' that could be used anywhere else

    Why you might want to encrypt the SD card on your Galaxy S7 | Android Central

    "But encrypting an SD card also has a drawback — you can't ever read the contents in another device. That means if you break your phone while the SD card was encrypted, everything on it is gone."...."Outside of the phone you originally used to encrypt your card, your only option to ever use the card again is to erase it and start fresh."
    02-04-2017 10:42 AM
  11. SpookDroid's Avatar
    This is what I read. Didn't see any mention of the 'key' that could be used anywhere else

    Why you might want to encrypt the SD card on your Galaxy S7 | Android Central

    "But encrypting an SD card also has a drawback — you can't ever read the contents in another device. That means if you break your phone while the SD card was encrypted, everything on it is gone."...."Outside of the phone you originally used to encrypt your card, your only option to ever use the card again is to erase it and start fresh."
    Didn't say that you could use the key anywhere else. Quite the opposite, in fact, the way Android encrypts the device/card. You see, the way encryption is carried out here, the 'key' is not only your password of choice but ALSO the device's unique hardware ID. Miss one of the two, and the contents cannot be un-encrypted or unlocked. BUT if you have both (AKA using your phone with the right password), then the contents are accessible as they are 'unlocked'. Since you would connect a computer through the device's USB port and the device IS unlocked, you can still access the contents through the device. Try to do so without the device, and you're missing half of the key.

    In contrast, some Windows computers, for instance, use BitLocker, which encrypts a drive but doesn't include the hardware ID as part of the key, so you can use the drive in other computers as long as BitLocker and the correct password is present.
    02-06-2017 10:53 AM
  12. Btravelen's Avatar
    Not disputing what you're saying. Did you read the article? What I read, and understand, is that if you encrypt the card and your phone breaks, your data is lost. Thats all..
    02-10-2017 01:03 PM
  13. SpookDroid's Avatar
    Not disputing what you're saying. Did you read the article? What I read, and understand, is that if you encrypt the card and your phone breaks, your data is lost. Thats all..
    Yes, that is correct. The phone itself is part of the encryption key in Android. If your specific device is no longer accessible, even moving the SD card to another phone of the same make and model with the right password won't work; you're missing the hardware ID part of the encryption key.
    02-10-2017 01:25 PM
  14. GuitarStosh's Avatar
    In other words, if you value any data written to an SD Card for later use, copy off or backup very frequently to another device or don't encrypt. (This is always good advice anyway but how many of us really take the time to do it often enough.) This is a broken model in IMHO and not ready for prime time. Encryption should not be device dependent only I believe. The average user will not be capturing the machine code and password. Has anyone proven that will work BTW? I would like to know if that is really an option. Until I do, encryption will always remain off now. And on my device, I can't find a way to turn it off!
    I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing Android, love my tablet and its simplicity of use for most needs. I just find when it comes to simple typical admin activities you will need to do eventually like this, it is painfully lacking in some very basics. I keep large amounts of data on my tablet and SD Card. Backing up to Google or Samsung's (my device) Cloud is not a viable option I don't feel and Kies - absolutely no way I will use that junk again after it trashed the last system I installed it on.

    I'm in the middle to troubleshooting migration of data from a smaller SD to a larger one where the original had encryption turned on. Not entirely sure if encryption is causing it yet but I have never had so much trouble copying data before. And it is PAINFULLY SLOWER when copying (even more than normal) from USB connected device with card installed which is the only way you can manually copy the data now. I really like the idea of encrypting my information but I won't be doing it again on the new drive. I let the copy process run overnight to the new card and nearly all directories ended up 'empty'. I have never had these issues previously before encryption.

    I will add another question that I hope isn't too out of line in my rant...(can you tell I'm getting a bit frustrated with this):
    Is anyone else seeing 40,000 plus very small stub or hidden files within the SD Card file system structure that causes data copy issues on their systems? I can't even tell where the files are. But when starting the copy (outside of device with card removed) it reports close to 40,000+ files it needs to copy and hangs on file corruption issues repeatedly and forces a hard system reboot on my connected laptop finally. I have about 1/20th that many real files on the SD Card?

    I wanted to just migrate the SD Card data (which all seemed to be working fine but getting full) and save any installed app related so new card would function as expected as the old one did. On day two of getting it to work cleanly.

    Or could this be potential malware or something? It seems to hang on endless numbers of same filenames ending in *.atv?

    Anyone else seeing this by chance? This should be just a one to two hour data copy and done process?
    12-25-2017 11:32 AM

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