Backing up a Veracrypt System Disk/Partition

Discussion in 'encryption problems' started by ExtremeGamerBR, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. ExtremeGamerBR

    ExtremeGamerBR Registered Member

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    Folks, reading Veracrypt tutorials, youtube videos, research on Startpage.com (of course), seems to be easy to create a whole encrypted partition (or disk) of my system (Windows 10 x64).

    The complicated part is to create a image of this encrypted system. I followed this guide:

    https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=How to Back Up Securely

    But I easily noted that Macrium Reflect can't see ANY encrypted partition mounted (I used a non-system partition to test it).

    As far I can see, I ended with the same problem of this guy:

    https://superuser.com/questions/987802/cloning-imaging-a-mounted-truecrypt-veracrypt-volume]

    I don't know if this is relevant, but I have 2 SDDs Sandisk in RAID0.

    So, what method do you guys use to do that?

    Thanks and sorry for my bad english!
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    By way of confirmation: it sounds like you do NOT want to clone the entire partition/device but only the OS used space? Macrium Reflect Pro makes either option quite simple but we need to know what you want the finished backup product to be. I keep both a full sector based clone for complete restores, and a "hot image" backup where I can restore files/folders or the entire system disk back to an unencrypted OS with a few clicks. All routine and simple with Macrium.

    I assure you either final outcome is somewhat simple to produce. The questions you are asking might receive more help down in the imaging forum here. Lots of seasoned members here employ the Macrium model for their backups. I do and its a sure fire recovery!!

    While I am on the subject of backups and recovery make sure you have actual volume header backups & MBR backups for all your encrypted partitions. These are essentials for VeraCrypt and TrueCrypt software reliability.
     
  3. ExtremeGamerBR

    ExtremeGamerBR Registered Member

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    I would prefer to clone only the OS used space. But I will only be capable of that if I restore the backup to a unencrypted OS?

    I don't care if I will need to make a clone of the full partition (my RAID has 256gb, in this case I will encrypt only partitions used by Windows), in this case maybe I was seeing this question wrongly. My two partitions (reserved and C:/) responsible for running Windows have, together, 40GB or so. If I do exactly as it says in the Veracypt guide, I select my encrypted partitions (ie Reserved and C:/) rather than trying to select the mounted (I do not encrypted my Windows partitions yet, but I think, in that sense, they are like non-system partitions), right? But to make this backup I need to mount my volume before, is it?

    But my Macrium will not show the mounted backup partition... So I don't know if I get this right.

    Well, I'm a little lost hahaha

    Thank you very much!!! :)
     
  4. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I think you are starting to get it. Using Windows and VC or TC (either) you literally have two easy options.

    1. If you only want to backup the used space then you make a "hot image" while the OS is mounted and with Macrium installed on Windows. You configure Macrium to backup the entire system disk and your boot/reserve if you have allowed it to be outside of the C drive. Just so you know Macrium has AES encryption where you can fully encrypt the output file on the external drive where you are sending the backup. A 40 Gig backup of this type would take well under 30 minutes ( I have usb 3 hardware) even when forcing a full verification of the file into the backup instructions of Macrium. Super easy stuff. However: it is imperative that you have a fully tested and working usb/dvr boot file to use for the restore process should you need to do that. Restoring is even easier. Just aim the file at the system disk using Macrium and walk away for a half hour and its back in UNENCRYPTED form. Perfectly the same as when you made the backup and now you'll need to re-encrypt the system disk if you want encryption again. That's it.

    2. Use Macrium boot media and sector clone the system disk and the reserve so you have an exact copy of everything on those two spaces. Now when you restore you simply aim the Macrium backup file at the original locations and when you come back in short order the computer will be restored and even the encryption will already be done. One step for everything.

    PLEASE note that I asked you to go downstairs to imaging to determine what steps may change since you are employing SSD's. They have unique characteristics and not all of them work the same with handling sector movements. Step 1 above will work but you likely will slightly modify step 2 depending upon how your hardware behaves.

    We want to help you but future posts regarding backup methods and your SSD's need to go to imaging.
     
  5. ExtremeGamerBR

    ExtremeGamerBR Registered Member

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    I apologize for the delay in responding. Yesterday I was in tracking and just today I was able to test if I could back up my system. And I also understand that this is the wrong forum (did not notice it at the time I created) but as you've solved my doubts, for me it is finalized. I do not know if I should move it to another section.

    I used the method 2. Very simple. I encrypted my system, reboot, went to the Macrium Reflect Recovery CD and created an image that is a clone of the two Windows partitions. When I wanted to restore I started again in Macrium CD and simply drag & drop my two partitions backup to my two system partitions. The entirely system backup and restore took less than 30 min. Fantastic!

    I did not have to change anything just because I use SSDs and RAID. Normal process. Best impossible.


    Thank you for helping, I was seeing different and searched the entire internet for a solution and I did not understand. You helped me perfectly. Thank you again! :D
     
  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Another happy ending!!
     
  7. vangner

    vangner Registered Member

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    Dear Palancar and ExtremeGamerBR,

    Is there any possibility you send any photo, video, etc. for me?

    I can do with the R-Drive Image, but it is also very time consuming and it only protects the file with password without encryption. All other such backup program failed to perform backup and restore sector by sector.

    Now with Macrium I never tried because of long-lost and take to a new encryption on the operating system had lost hope. :(
     
  8. vangner

    vangner Registered Member

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    Folks,

    I managed to performing the method of sector by sector image backup and restore pointing the partitions in their original locations.

    My operating system is Windows 10 32 Bit in portable mode on a Hitachi HD.

    A short tutorial that was of great help!
     
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