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How do I disable "you need to format this disk" message in Windows Vista/7?

I have a USB drive. The entire device is encrypted with TrueCrypt. When I plug in the drive, Windows 7, understandably, doesn't realize the drive has a file system. So Windows always offers "You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" I dismiss this dialog, and mount the drive with TrueCrypt and everything is fine.

The problem is, a. that dialog is annoying and b. I'm concerned that one of these days I'm going to accidentally hit the Format button and blow away my encrypted drive.

Is there a way to tell Windows 7 to NEVER offer to format a drive it does not recognize?

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marked as duplicate by Diago Aug 30 '11 at 14:56

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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Look at www.truecrypt.org/faq search for the question 'When I plug in my encrypted USB flash drive, Windows asks me if I want to format it. Is there a way to prevent that?'

Edit 1

Ok. Quoting truecrypt faq:

When I plug in my encrypted USB flash drive, Windows asks me if I want to format it. Is there a way to prevent that?

Yes, but you will need to remove the drive letter assigned to the device. For information on how to do so, see the question 'I encrypted a non-system partition, but its original drive letter is still visible in the 'My Computer' list.'

to free the drive letter follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the 'Computer' (or 'My Computer') icon on your desktop or in the Start Menu and select Manage. The 'Computer Management' window should appear.

  2. From the list on the left, select 'Disk Management' (within the Storage sub-tree).

  3. Right-click the encrypted partition/device and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.

  4. Click Remove.

  5. If Windows prompts you to confirm the action, click Yes.

Edit 2

I am on linux laptop now, so I cannot try it myself, but maybe switching off Autoplay could help.

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I was hoping to get rid of that message completely, but I guess this solution is good enough. –  mhenry1384 Oct 12 '10 at 1:05
2  
To improve the usability, once you have mounted the device in true crypt, right click it and select "Add to Favorites". On the dialog box that appears, click "Mount selected volume when its host device gets connected", and OK. Now ever time you insert the USB drive, it automatically will ask you for your TrueCrypt password, it makes the whole process of mounting almost seamless, –  Woffy Feb 9 '11 at 4:55
    
You can leave a portion of the disk for use as unencrypted. Leaving usable disk space, regardless of the size will result in the system finding usable space and understanding that the disk does not need to be formatted. Simply create a partition that you will use with Truecrypt and encrypt that partition. –  Michael Eakins Aug 13 '12 at 13:04
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