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It seems like I destroyed my truecrypt encrypted OS partition when I accidentally restarted my laptop after having another OS in stand by. Here is exactly what I did:

I was running windows 7 on an unencrypted hard disk in my laptop. Instead of shutting it down I went into stand-by mode. Then I changed my hard disk. The new hard disk also contains a windows 7 OS but is fully truecrypt encrypted. When I started my laptop again from stand-by, the login screen of my old session (from the unencrypted OS) appeared but it crashed quickly when I tried to log in.

I performed a shutdown and wanted to boot my encrypted OS from scratch. I got the truecrypt prompt and could enter my password, but the system hangs right after I enter the correct password.

What could be the issue here and how can I restore my OS? Is it possible that my laptop tried to write to my encrypted hard disk after waking up from the wrong state, killing my truecrypt partition in this process? Looking for a solution that does not require me to reinstall my OS.

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Um.. yea.. I'm sure you've realised but, for future reference, the general rule is not to change any hardware that requires opening your case unless the computer is fully off and unpowered (for laptops, that means unplugging the computer and removing the battery). Do you have a backup of the TrueCrypt volume header? That may be necessary. – Bob Apr 23 '12 at 8:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I was able to save my operating system in the meantime. I cannot tell what exactly got destroyed, but the MBR and the bootloader definitely where affected.

I used the truecrypt rescue disk to restore the volume headers but that did not change anything. The following steps where necessary to fix the system:

  1. Decrypt the whole partition with the rescue disk
  2. Boot the Windows 7 Rescue Tools and fix a ton of errors using CHKDSK via the command line. The GUI tools were not able to fix anything.
  3. Restore MBR and Bootload using the Windows 7 Rescue Tools.

Booting was finally possible again afterwards. I am currently encrypting the partition again and everything seems to work like before. Will be a lesson to power down in the future before changing hard disks like Bob suggested in his comment.

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