Encrypt full external HDD or container or partition woith VeraCrypt


Sep 28, 2011
I have purchased a WD Ultra 2Tb external HDD for backups. This has a single NTFS partitition. WD also gives it's own encryption software which I do not plan to use.

I was already doing backups on another 500Gb HDD which was having a 200Gb encrypted TrueCrypt partition (apart from another 300Gb unencrypted partition) but the space was over in both, so I got a new large one.

I am using VeraCrypt instead of TrueCrypt which I used earlier

My question is :
1) Should I partition the 2Tb HDD and encrypt a say 500Gb partition to store sensitive files? What format to use for the partition, before and after encryption?
2) Should I make a 500Gb container instead of a partition? Is this better than above option? What format to use for container?
3) Should I just go ahead and encrypt the entire 2Tb HDD with VeraCrypt and also store non-sensitive data like backup of my pictures on this encrypted HDD? Is this better than above 2 options? What formats to use?

The HDD will not be used by anyone else. I was also thinking maybe I can make a small partition to store VeraCrypt portable in case I want to see the data on some other computer. Does this make sense?

What is best, entire HDD encryption or partition encryption or container?

Or should I just use the WD encryption instead, not inclined towards it.


Jul 30, 2014
Hey there, hemang!

Whatever you decide to use as an encryption software, I guess it will do the job.
I personally would encrypt just one partition.
With the whole HDD encryption software you would need to administrate the drive every time. If it's not opened properly or something goes wrong, the file system structure of the whole volume will be damaged.
While the partition encryption will encrypt only the portion of the drive and the data you wish to keep safe. You would have access to all the other files, except this partition unless you enter the password. I think it is more convenient and safe to manage an encrypted partition, rather than work with the whole physical HDD encrypted.
The WD My Passport as you might know already incorporates a hardware encryption as well, so the extra security should give you peace of mind! However, I still recommend keeping a backup of your data on more than one backup location, this is the best way to avoid the data loss headaches. :)

Hope I was helpful!


Sep 28, 2011

Well, I finally decided to go for containers rather than partition or full disk encryption.
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