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I have an external USB hard drive plugged in to my laptop some of the time. The external drive is whole drive encrypted using TrueCrypt.

I always check "Mount volume as removable medium" in the hope that it will offer better data corruption protection from accidental disconnection of the external drive. However, according to the TrueCrypt manual:

Mount volume as removable medium

Check this option, for example, if you need to prevent Windows from automatically creating the 'Recycled' and/or 'System Volume Information' folders on the volume (these folders are used by the Recycle Bin and System Restore facilities).

I don't mind these folders being created, so are there any other advantages in selecting "Mount volume as removable medium"?

My reason behind this questions is that I would like to mount it as a non-removable drive so I can add some its contents to my Windows 7 libraries (which don't support removable drives).

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As an aisde if anyone has any data corruption stories with TrueCrypt I'd be interested to hear them. –  Jon Hopkins Jul 24 '09 at 12:54
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@Tyrannosaurs: Then maybe you should ask a separate question? :] I'm sure you are not the only one interested. –  Slink84 Jul 24 '09 at 13:27
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

That corruption may happen if you disconnect your drive before all of the data was written. TrueCrypt acts as a middleman, encrypting/decrypting data on the fly as it is read/written. It does not affect the way your OS or programs write to the disk.

So, if some program write()s a lot of data without flush()ing, and you disconnect that external hard drive, some data may be not fully written at that moment. But it has nothing to do with TrueCrypt.

If windows, or the program you are using doesn't treat removable media in some special way, then there is no difference how you mount that drive (beyond those pesky folders).

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According to TrueCrypt FAQ if you use your USB drive safely as you would for any other data storage, things will work fine.

Can I unplug or turn off a hot-plug device (for example, a USB flash drive or USB hard drive) when there is a mounted TrueCrypt volume on it?

Before you unplug or turn off the device, you should always dismount the TrueCrypt volume in TrueCrypt first, and then perform the 'Eject' operation if available (right-click the device in the 'Computer' or 'My Computer' list), or use the 'Safely Remove Hardware' function (built in Windows, accessible via the taskbar notification area). Otherwise, data loss may occur.


Based on your question,
I wonder if the BootIt tool might be usable for you.
Here is a reference discussing it with TrueCrypt.

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This is useful information but not an answer to my specific question –  tjrobinson Jul 25 '09 at 13:40
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