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I want to back up my HDD so I can wipe it and start fresh. However I want to create an image of it as it is right now that I can mount at any time as another drive.

I want this image to be encrypted.

I am using windows 7/8 thanks.

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You can convert your drive to a VHD, reinstall your fresh windows and then mount the VHD. (See http://superuser.com/questions/317937/copying-windows-7-host-to-vhd)

Or you can do the same with Vmware convertor to convert it to a VMDK and you can mount that after the re-installation.

I do not know if you can add encryption during this process. (Though you could encrypt the VMDK or VHD file, or you could store it in a truecrypt container or similar.

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There is a software called Norton Ghost which helps you do a complete backup of your HDD, I'm not sure about the encryption part though!

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I use software called R-Drive Image. You can create an image which can then be mounted as a drive using the software. There is an option for it to be password protected but I've never used that option. It does cost money but there is a 15 day full version trial which works great for just one timers. I use it all the time when fixing friends computers as a quick backup, then I format and reinstall, then mount and copy data back.

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