TrueCrypt hard disc will mount, but doesn't show files

Discussion in 'encryption problems' started by rollodebeer, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. rollodebeer

    rollodebeer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Posts:
    3
    I have an external 500 GB hard disc that I encrypted in its entirety with TrueCrypt. I basically use it as a physical mirror backup for my computer data files, but it also carries some bigger files I don't keep on my computer's hard drive that I'd like to retrieve. For some reason it doesn't work properly anymore and I can't figure out what the problem is.

    I've tried mounting the device on several different computers and they all give the same problem, so there must be something wrong with the device itself.

    When I connect it to my computer through USB it is recognized as a device and gets assigned a drive letter with the standard message along the lines of: this drive is not formatted, would you like to format now. Then when I select the device in TrueCrypt, it's all fine. I can type in the password and it starts mounting the device and it seems to succeed. In explorer it will even show the drive letter that I've selected it to become, and that's where it ends. It doesn't show any files. When I click the drive letter it starts searching for files. The address bar fills green as it always does when it's searching, but it doesn't find any files, no matter how long I wait. And then there's some kind of error message.

    I've tried 'mount volume with options' and then use the backup header, but that gives the same result.

    It looks like last time I used it the drive wasn't removed properly and for some reason the file structure within the TrueCrypt volume got corrupted. The disc isn't physically damaged, so the files must still accessible. Unfortunately, I never bothered created a rescue disc, since I was only planning on using it as a backup.

    So I have two questions:
    1. Can you help me restore access to my files?
    2. If that doesn't work, can I simply format and re-encrypt for future use?
    I'd rather find a way to retrieve the files, but if that doesn't work, I'll have to format.
     
  2. Minotaurus007

    Minotaurus007 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    Posts:
    1
    You can probably save the truecrypt data. Maybe the restoring-process of the backup header destroyed the partition information on your HDD. But don't panic. First clone your HDD and don't write anything to it.

    Then do a search for the excellent posts of Dantz here. He shows in depth in some threads how to restore an HDD or an USB-flash device. It boils down to finding the headers of the TC data, their excact position on the drive, and the exact size of the mounted (without headers) and unmounted TC data (with headers). When you have that information, you will simply copy all those sectors to a File.tc. This file can then be mounted with TC giving back access to all your data. You will probably need WinHex.

    These high quality threads maybe a start for you:

    HDD: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/truecrypt-missing-partition-table.336671/
    USB-flash-device: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/crc-error-truecrypt-cant-mount-volume.357357/

    WinHex: http://www.x-ways.net/winhex/index-m.html (start with the eval-version)

    Report back!
    -Mino
     
  3. rollodebeer

    rollodebeer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Posts:
    3
    Thanks for the response. I will need to find something that's big enough to clone my 500 GB HDD to. I don't have a spare HDD lying around. That'll take me a while. Since it's going to be temporary, I'm not really interested in buying a new HDD just for cloning, so I'll need to find someone I can borrow a spare HDD from.
     
  4. rollodebeer

    rollodebeer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Posts:
    3
    I bought a new extra HDD, so I can start cloning, but I immediately ran into some issues.

    I downloaded Macrium Reflect and followed instructions here: http://www.maximumpc.com/how_clone_hard_drive_or_ssd_2014#null

    I got error code 13 - Broken pipe even before it got to 1%.

    This thread: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/macrium-error-13-broken-pipe.358485/ told me run chkdsk on the HDD, but I got the following message:

    The type of the file system is RAW.
    CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives.


    Any advice on how to proceed?

    Incidentally, as a result of the failed cloning procedure in Macrium Reflect my new HDD got messed up and I needed to repair it with CHKDSK. Does this perhaps give some information as to what is wrong with my other HDD? Here is what CHKDSK said about the target HDD in the cloning process:

    C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk H: /r /f
    The type of the file system is NTFS.
    The first NTFS boot sector is unreadable or corrupt.
    Reading second NTFS boot sector instead.
    Volume label is Transcend.

    CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
    256 file records processed.
    File verification completed.
    0 large file records processed.
    0 bad file records processed.
    0 EA records processed.
    0 reparse records processed.
    CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
    298 index entries processed.
    Index verification completed.
    0 unindexed files scanned.
    0 unindexed files recovered.
    CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
    Repairing the security file record segment.
    Deleting an index entry with Id 256 from index $SII of file 9.
    Deleting an index entry with Id 257 from index $SII of file 9.
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    Deleting an index entry with Id 260 from index $SDH of file 9.
    Deleting an index entry with Id 257 from index $SDH of file 9.
    Deleting an index entry with Id 261 from index $SDH of file 9.
    Deleting an index entry with Id 256 from index $SDH of file 9.
    Replacing invalid security id with default security id for file 0.
    Replacing invalid security id with default security id for file 1.
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    Replacing invalid security id with default security id for file 6.
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    256 file SDs/SIDs processed.
    Security descriptor verification completed.
    21 data files processed.
    CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
    240 files processed.
    File data verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
    16 percent complete. (32786724 of 488331277 free clusters processed)
     
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