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I installed Windows 8 and when I started it, it said that it was repairing a disk. The disk was an encrypted Truecrypt disk. I couldn't mount the disk in Truecrypt after that.

I tried to repair the header and it worked, now I can mount the disk but neither Windows 7 or 8 can read the content. Windows asks if it should format the disk.

I have all the important files on backup, but there are some media files that I would like to get back.

Any ideas?

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If TrueCrypt wasn't mounted when Windows tried to fix the drive, you are out of luck. –  user3463 Aug 20 '12 at 21:02
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Thanks Windows! Probably the new proactive self healing W8 NTFS file system saw the files as corrupt and deleted them. –  Moab Aug 20 '12 at 21:05
    
Windows 8 was repairing the disk during start up, so I was not logged into Win 8 –  phil Aug 20 '12 at 21:10
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The same happened here. DO NOT install Windows 8 if you use disc encryption, or if you do, make sure to backup everything and thread carefully. The fact that Windows 8 will destroy the contents of a disk or partition which uses a file system it simply doesn't recognize, instead of prompting the user with the option of leaving it alone, was more than sufficient for me to give up on using Windows 8 altogether. –  user172051 Nov 8 '12 at 12:12

3 Answers 3

When I installed Windows 7 I neglected to disconnect my TC data drive; the installer assumed I wanted to install to that drive instead of my (smaller) system drive, and did what you described.

I was able to repair the header but could not mount the drive; however, I was able to restore the content to another drive using Recuva.

The lesson: disconnect TC drives before installing Windows.

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Could you please expand your answer with all the steps taken to restore the disk using Recuva. For example did you use TrueCrypt to repair the header? –  phil Dec 4 '12 at 11:17

The answer here may be to always use an encrypted file as a container in a native file system rather than the whole disk or medium that way Windows and any other software or OS merely sees an unknown kind of file with unknown (random) data and does nothing destructive. ;-)

That's my takeaway as I am considering using such a file probably of fixed rather than dynamic size of say half to 3/4 of a USB drive to backup to using the new free and built-in windows tools rather than Acronis True Image: it's .TIB files support 256bit AES encryption but .VHDs unfortunately do not!

The above would solve both our problems though but only works if all copying and recovery runs within the OS with mounted encrypted file (as a drive) which may not always be the case however when restoring a whole OS/Drive. :-( Bummer!

Only other option here for me is to instead use partition-level backups from another partition running either another copy of the same or a different OS running with truecrypt that will do the partition level backups I desire but without reboot... hhhmmm...

Another option: do the normal Windows unencrypted VHD backups to normal partition and then move them into an encrypted container (of whatever type). A little tedious and ditto for bare-metal recovery as one would have to boot a Linux recovery cd (with Truecrypt) copy the VHD out of the encrypted container and then do the normal windows recovery. (Something like I am doing now: converting TIB to VHD and very slow...) May be best to stick with Acronis until Microsoft add encryption to there VHDs!

Hmm what about bitlocker - might this work for MS recovery from a VHD in a bitlockered external drive except for no hope of ever accessing that from Linux...

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The TrueCrypt Rescue Disk might get you access to data, since it can allow complete decryption before loading the OS.

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