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My hard drive recently died, 80% is still readable though, however I wish to decrypt my disk and doing through the "bios" is so slow (because of all the bad sectors) and I want to continue decrypting in Windows (on a different machine). But because the decryption process already started, I cannot decrypt it on Windows (atleast from what I tried). It keeps telling me that the partition isn't even encrypted (while it definately is).

So is there a way I still can decrypt it in Windows? It just hangs now in the "bios" decryption process.

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Have you tried running SpinRite on the HDD? You need to duplicate the entire HDD as quickly as possible. How a hdd can "die" but be readable sort of confuses me. –  Ramhound May 18 '12 at 12:17
    
@Ramhound Well, about 20% of the blocks seem to be damaged, as when I start Windows - it will show the loading screen but then crashes at a specific block (so parts are still readable). –  Devator May 18 '12 at 12:26
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have a dying disk (i.e. with a big amount of damaged sectors),
you should just backup its data as soon as possible.

Writing new data will eat up all sectors reserved for reallocation soon,
and finally cause data loss and write errors. Therefore:

  1. Backup what is possible (i.e. with dd-rescue).
  2. Now that the data is safe (no more bad sectors), continue decryption on the backup.
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Yes, this is what I thought 10 seconds ago aswell! However, I am known with the dd command, however I am on Windows. What tool can I use for that? –  Devator May 18 '12 at 12:25
    
In my experience Linux is more robust when it comes to unreadable sectors or otherwise not correctly responding HDDs and I also know no ready-to-use alternative to ddrescue on Windows. What about running ddrescue from a Linux live CD like Knoppix? Note that there is a difference between dd and ddrescue, the latter will not break on unreadable sectors. –  Gurken Papst May 18 '12 at 13:51
    
I've tried to use CloneZilla to create an image, however the disk seems really damaged, as in it takes 2 weeks to copy complete the task. So I cannot be bothered, I had the pictures on another disk so anything valueable on it was already backed up (also thanks to Dropbox ;-)). Cheers! On a note: I dind't accept your answer as it isn't an answer to my question. Either way, I really appreciate it. –  Devator May 18 '12 at 17:47
    
@Devator If you answered your question yourself in some other way, please post that as an answer and accept it. It stops the question from being pushed to the front page. –  Bob May 19 '12 at 3:15
    
@Bob I don't have an answer yet, I stopped decrypting it as it seemed to be really damaged. But no, I still don't know how to continue the process on Windows (when started in the "bios"). –  Devator May 21 '12 at 7:15
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