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When you look at Truecrypt's Plausible Deniability page it says that one of the reasons for partition with solely random data is that you securely erased your drive. But what about the partition table with full disk encryption?

How can you explain why the partition table says there's a partition of unknown type (With my limited knowledge of partition tables I think that they store all the partition filesystem types) and with solely random data? It seems that if your going to securely erase the drive you would destroy everything, including the partition table. And even if you just wiped the partition, the partition table would still say that the partition was originally NTFS, which it isn't anymore.

Does the "I securely erased my drive" excuse still work here?

(Note: I know that there's hidden truecrypt volumes, but I'm avoiding them due to the high risk of data loss)

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How can you explain why the partition table says there's a partition of unknown type

Yes, that is a problem with TrueCrypt (or any encryption solution). The TrueCrypt page proposes that you claim that it is a regular data partition which you wiped (many wipe tools write random data). Whether that is enough to convince an attacker remains to be seen.

If you want to avoid this, you can only use a hidden volume. This is a fundamental problem:

Either you somehow mark the hidden area - then it's no longer completely hidden.

Or you don't mark it at all - then there's no way to avoid overwriting it.

There isn't really anything you can do about that (apart from being careful).

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Erm... there's no risk of data loss except when using plausible deniability with hidden partitions. When mounting it, you specify the password of the hidden partition.

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There is a risk. 1) Forgetting to use "Protect Hidden Partition" mode, 2) When forced to give your password, the hidden partition can be destroyed beyond repair, 3) Harder to recover, 4) More complexity in an already complex system. People should never use hidden partitions unless they are absolutely sure they know what they are doing –  TheLQ Jun 26 '11 at 20:35
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