Moving Truecrypt Ecrypted System Partitions to another disk for backup [Bootloader Problem]

Discussion in 'encryption problems' started by mon66, Feb 21, 2014.

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  1. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    Hello there,
    I have an encrypted system partition with Truecrypt,
    i want to make an identical backup on another hard disk in case of emergency.

    So, i used acronis true image to copy the partition, the MBR and the Track 0.

    When i restored the image to the other hard disk i got the expected message from the truecrypt booloader while booting, something like: "Enter your Truecrypt Password", so far so good, BUT this copied truecrypt bootloader does not accept any password.

    That's were i have got stucked, i don't know what to do, i have repeated the whole process at least 5 times, i have copied the source disk sector-by-sector,
    and in the end i get a bootloader which is not working.

    Any suggestions??
    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    Please bump, i guess there are other users out there who share the same question with me.
     
  3. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    If you used Acronis True Image to make a "hot" image (performed while the system was running) then you created an unencrypted copy of your system. However, the TC bootloader would still be copied. What happens if you press Escape instead of entering your TC password. Does Windows boot?

    On the other hand, if you booted to the Acronis CD and performed a sector-by-sector clone of the entire source disk then your target disk should contain an encrypted clone and it ought to be working as expected. The TC bootloader is active at boot, and it prompts you for your password, right? Perhaps the volume header (the "key data") didn't make it somehow. (You could always try restoring it from the TC rescue disk, just to see what happens.)

    So - which of the above methods did you use?
     
  4. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    I used the second method and the target disk contains an encrypted clone.
    But it's not working as expected, it prompts me for my password but when i enter the correct password nothing happens.

    I tried the TC rescue disk, and didn't work either.
     
  5. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I have done this too many times to count. Lets discuss or clarify the procedure. When you used Acronis to make the sector by sector image did you do it with Windows UP, or did you boot Acronis from media with windows down? Acronis will allow you to make a sector by sector image directly from the operating system. This is fine for non-system partitions, but it won't "lock" or work for the system disk when TC WDE encryption is in play. I definitely had some issues with Acronis when using sectoring. On the other hand, a backup from a "hot OS" was always perfect as can be, just not sector by sector. I have switched over to Macrium Pro for my 7 Pro/Ultimate sectoring needs. Never an issue and I have used it (and fully verified by plenty of restores) a bunch.

    I wanted to add that when I create an image of my encrypted system disk using Macrium it is a different size because the software has its own password, spanning of images (I employ spanning), etc.... However when I restore to the original system disk its perfect every time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  6. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    I booted Acronis from media with windows down.
    Then i restored the backup to another internal hard disk and booted from it.

    As i said, the only outcome i got was the expected prompt for my password.
    But something isn't right and when i enter the password nothing happens.

    Have you done the same procedure as me and worked?
     
  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    As I mentioned above I did have a few issues when using Acronis with full sectoring. I don't want this thread to turn into a software debate. I "upgraded" to Macrium Pro because the Pro version allows migration to new hardware if I ever need that feature. I maintain quite a few machines.

    My experience: I now use Macrium Pro and have done numerous sector by sector system disk restores. I have NEVER had any issues with them not being perfect. The same is true for my non-system disk encrypted partitions as well. I ALWAYS require a full image verification from Macrium when I create my backups. The verification adds a bunch of time to the creation, but its time well spent from my perspective.

    I have not "acid tested" my backups on new hardware because the need has never been there. I am somewhat confident they would be fine and especially because Pro is specifically written to accommodate that function. I do keep various "hot image" backups and I am positive those would work without fail. I would merely have to endure the encryption time over again if I restored from them.

    Turning this around: have you tried restoring your Acronis sector based backups to their ORIGINAL system disk? That is where I had issues, and is why I switched to Macrium. Just delete/wipe/format/etc.... the system disk and attempt a restore. If you don't have a successful outcome then you have your answer.
     
  8. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    I will not try to restore my Acronis sector based backups to their original system disk because it's too risky. If anything goes wrong I'll be screwed.
    I will try to use Macrium pro, i hope it can create a bootable CD.
     
  9. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    You would not be "screwed" if you have Acronis "hot image" backups. I will tell you that I have restored my system disks over 50 times using Acronis in that mode. I have never had a problem. The issue with hot image backups is that the restores are plain text and then you have to simply re-encrypt. I understand the reluctance.

    I can also affirm that I have performed numerous sector based Macrium Pro restores as well.

    I am looking forward to hearing how your trial of Macrium goes.

    Macrium Pro will also create a bootable USB, which works fast and reliably.
     
  10. mon66

    mon66 Registered Member

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    Ok my friends!! I got it working!!!
    I was going to use Macrium, but suddenly a brilliant idea came to my mind,
    i used the powerful DD tool from Linux. It is said that it makes exact duplicates.

    So i used it, and the output was exact as expected :D

    The thread can be marked now as solved.
     
  11. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Nice. dd does do an excellent job. I have a few of those floating around too. I already have a full Macrium Pro boot flash from my windows systems so I use it because its already made and ready.

    Glad you have what you need.
     
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