The Catholic University of America

Backing up computer data using an encrypted drive

Use Cardinal Mail Google Drive

Before we tell you about backing up the computer hard drive, please know that Technology Services recommends that all University data be stored on the network, not on the computer's hard drive.

Academic and administrative offices should use Google Team Drives to store their departmental files. Chances are, you already have the Drive File Stream G: drive mapped on your office Windows computer and are accessing your Team Drive files there or in the browser. You can use the Google My Drive folder to store files that only you access.

Please view the Cardinal Mail Google G Suite page for more information about using Google Drive.

Backing Up Computer Data

If you do need to back up data stored on your computer, you can purchase an external hard drive on the storefront.

The back up drives on the storefront have encryption capability to protect it from unauthorized access.

What type of drive should my department buy?

Our storefront lists a Western Digital one terabyte drive that can be encrypted. We recommend this drive for the automatic backup with encryption.

My department bought the drive. How do we set it up?

The following instructions document the process for setting up the drive for use on a computer running Microsoft Windows 10, and on a computer running Apple macOS.

Windows 10

Installing the Western Digital software

Encrypting the Western Digital Hard Drive

Setting up the PC backup

Apple macOS

Installing the Western Digital software for Apple computers

Encrypting the Western Digital Hard Drive for Apple computers

Setting up Time Machine

Can I take the drive with me when I leave the University? 

No, since it and its data are University property, it must be left with your University department. Please see the University Employee Electronic Communications and Resources Policy.

Can the drive be connected to a different computer?

You can use the drive on any University computer as long as you unlock the drive.

How do I verify it is backing up the data every day?

You can open the WD SmartWare application at any time to verify that the computer's files are stored on the drive.

How can I get information off the drive if I need ?

As long as the drive is unlocked you can move and copy files freely.

How do I get technical support?

If you run into any issues or have any questions, you can contact Technology Services by emailing us at or calling 202-319-4357.