NEED SOME ANSWERS ON TRUECRYPT

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by mxp2011, Oct 29, 2011.

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  1. mxp2011

    mxp2011 Registered Member

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    Hello all, I have been researching the web for days and can't get a starting point on whats the problem with this external harddrive that is encrypted with truecrypt. The drive has been mounting ok for a yr or so and I am not getting any errors or error message When I try to mount the 3tb drive truecrypt just crashes thats it, "no password incorrect error ect" just crashes. I dont know what initializing is but the drive is healthy and is seen in windows 7 my computer "manage" tab. so im not sure if the header is damaged or what? Ive ran testdisk and it dont help. the data seems to still be there but how do i mount this external hd? i have another 1tb hd that i backed up the header and the passwords are the same for both drives, is it possible to use a header from another drive with the same password? Can anyone help Please
     
  2. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    No, definitely don't do that, you will be installing the wrong key and it will make your encrypted data inaccessible. If you do that and you don't have a backup of the current header that you can restore afterwards then you will be totally screwed.

    Are you able to back up the current header to a file? (Volume Tools; Backup Volume Header). If so then we can do a little experiment. It's possible to 'restore' a backup header to any file you like, even a totally inappropriate one. You can create a throwaway file or just make a copy of an existing file as long as it's greater than the minimum size, and then you can test the header by trying to 'mount" this file. (I suggest you do this on your internal hard drive, not the questionable external drive). The purpose is to see whether or not your password is accepted and the volume mounts to a drive letter, which would indicate that the header is ok and that there are no software incompatibilities occurring. There will be no filesystem, so nothing to browse, but it should still mount the so-called volume.

    This works because TC doesn't care what the contents of a file are, it just mounts whatever you give it and then uses whatever master key you've provided (stored within the header) to encrypt/decrypt the contents on-the-fly. In this case it'll be pure gibberish and thus Windows will suggest formatting the mounted volume, but we don't care about that for this test.

    I forget what the minimum size is nowadays, but I think a 1MB file should be large enough. If TC tells you the file is too small then try a larger one. Be aware that whatever file you restore the header to will be destroyed (it will be partially overwritten by the addition of the header), so don't do this to a file that you want to keep. Copy or create something. Anything. It can be a large text file, or a music file, whatever. Call it "Junkfile" or something obvious so you won't mistake it for a good file.
     
  3. mxp2011

    mxp2011 Registered Member

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    ok I have tried your test and heres the results, i created as 2mb file it loaded ok with its original header, i then used the "problem" drives header as u suggested and it will mount to a letter but u cant acess the drive windows asks you to format it. in other words if you click on the drive you cant acess it and windows wonts you to format the drive which i said no. so what does this mean? the throwaway file loaded ok with its header and u can acess the drive, but when i restored the problem drives header i see a drive letter/drive but i cant open the drive?
     
  4. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    It means that the header that you backed up from the problem drive is working fine, as shown by the fact that your password was accepted and a drive letter was assigned to the mounted test volume. I never expected you to be able to browse the mounted volume's contents by clicking on the resultant drive letter, and in fact I would have been shocked if you had been able to do so, since it was mounted using a different master key. As far as Windows can tell, the volume has no file system and is filled with random data. Of course it wants to format it.

    Also, you don't appear to have a software conflict, or at least not on the drive that you used for testing. Most likely your external drive is failing. You ought to image or clone its entire contents onto another drive and then see if your volume can be mounted.

    When you image or clone the drive, keep in mind that it needs to be a raw, sector-by-sector image or clone. Most imaging software can do this.

    PS: Apparently you decided to use a small TrueCrypt container file as your throwaway file? OK. In that case the file would work normally until you replaced its original header with the problem header, after which you would still be able to mount the volume but you would not be able to browse its contents. And yes, Windows would ask to format it.
     
  5. mxp2011

    mxp2011 Registered Member

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    thanks for the response and the great info. i need some clarifacation on cloning. if i clone the drive to another external hd wouldnt i be cloning the same issues over to the new hd? and if i have a sucessfull clone what is the chances it TC will reconize the clone image? thanks
     
  6. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

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    Since (as I understand it) your other external encrypted drive is working fine, and TC seems to operate normally on your internal drive, we're assuming (but not certain) that your problem drive or its interface is failing. If this is the case then cloning the drive onto another drive before it fails completely is a good way to back up your data, and it will probably also result in the desired outcome. TC has no problem recognizing a properly-cloned drive.

    However, if your drive really is failing then you also might have trouble cloning it. Just thought I'd mention that.

    Something else that you might want to try first is to connect your problem drive to a different computer with TC installed, just to see if it works normally under those conditions.

    By the way, in your first post, when you say that TC "crashes" when you try to mount the volume, what do you mean exactly? Does your entire system crash? Does TC freeze? What happens?
     
  7. mxp2011

    mxp2011 Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    Yes ive tried this drive on another laptpp and i get the same TC crashes or freezes not the system/windows although i do a restart cause it really slows the system. To be clear i have 2 external hd 1tb an 3tb.when i plugin the 1tb tc and system is fine. When i plugin the 3tb Tc freeze and sometimes it kicks the drive off the system and it reconects it self. I have acronis? To clone the drive.
     
  8. tuatara

    tuatara Registered Member

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    Check if the drive was connected to a system that has run the ' clean disk' software that is included with windows.
    This because of the fact that you can enable 'Compress old files' there.
    If you have an TrueCrypt container file on that drive, and this setting was enabled you will get problems. when it compresses the TrueCrypt container file.
    But these can be solved by uncompressing the files on the drive.
    Make an image of the drive, and try to see if the file can be uncompressed.
     
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