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I recently bought a new PC case and transferred all of my PC hardware into it. The only hardware modification was the addition of two identical ram modules.

The entire process went smoothly, and everything worked and booted as before. The only side-effect I found when accessing one my of file-based hidden truecrypt volumes shortly there after. Some of the files in the volume - NOT all - seemed to be entirely corrupted. The directory and file names are garbled characters, but a few of the directories in the same volume appear and function normally. Also, all files in the non-hidden tc volume were still intact.

Is this not weird? The only other real change I could think of would be that the hard drives were connected to different SATA ports on the mobo. I really don't know how the truecrypt encryption works well enough to know what could cause this...and the fact that not all the files were corrupted makes it more bizarre still.

So, first off (and I'm not too hopeful on this point), would it be possible to restore these files? I had a backup of most, but not all of the files involved.

Other than that I'm just curious how this happened and how I can prevent it next time.

Thanks!

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This should be basically impossible. It's kind of a long shot, but did you thoroughly test the RAM (ideally, with memtest86+) before booting the OS? –  David Schwartz Nov 14 '11 at 19:26
    
I didn't run any testing before the first boot; although I have tried copying the volume to a another PC with the same results. I'll try running memtest86+ as suggested to see if it turns up anything. –  Dygerati Nov 16 '11 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

So far as I know, a file-based Truecrypt volume is not dependent on any hardware details, you can copy the file to another computer using normal methods and should be able to use it there.

Consider http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=sharing-over-network - this suggests that the hardware is irrelevant.

I don't know why you see the results you describe.

I know damage to a filesystem can occur if it is taken offline without flushing writes (e.g. by turning off the computer without unmounting the volume first) - I assume this also applies to TrueCrypt volumes. I don't know if this sort of thing could have occurred in your case?

I had a backup of most, but not all of the files involved. Other than that I'm just curious … how I can prevent it next time.

I think you answered your own question there.

http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=how-to-back-up-securely

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Thank you for the links. I've actually copied the entire volume and used it on separate PC's before, hence the aforementioned backup. I'm fairly certain that the volume was not mounted the last time that I shutdown the PC. If that were the issue I suppose it would just be a coincidence that I made any hardware modifications at all? Again, thanks for the info. –  Dygerati Nov 16 '11 at 16:29

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