QUESTION : Can the apparently "random"-ish data written to a full drive (not just a partition) during a random "wipe" or encryption be somehow interpreted by the computer as having a "valid" MBR Partition table? (Since the random data is written to the first 512 bytes of the drive when you choose a full drive --- I think).
Note: I'm using Truecrypt, however I think the same issue can logically occur whether random wiping or encrypting. I've thought more about my previous wall-o-text post (here: Why is TrueCrypt creating random "phantom partitions" when encryption a full drive? ) and I realized I could probably ask this in a much simpler and refined way above regardless of the operating system or program used.
BACKGROUND : Each time I re-encrypt the same drive (full drive), I keep getting these partitions of various sizes showing up (expanded description in the posted wall-o-text link above if you would like to see more).
MY GUESS: I think maybe the proper location of bytes of the MBR are getting filled with seemingly valid data to make it appear as though it's defining a partition table (even though the partitions are totally wacky, and are impossible sizes). It only happens with one particular hard drive, I can't seem to make it happen with another drive (flash drive this time instead of an external backup drive).
The flash drive doesn't seem to have the fake partitions be generated on it despite numerous attempts, but the external backup drive does consistently.
Or does it likely seem to be a hardware related issue with my external hard drive do you think?
OTHER MISC INFO: Note: I can mount the "device" perfectly fine (if I choose the physical "drive", and not one of the weird partitions), I just can't figure out why there are these fake and wildly random partitions showing up when I connect the external drive. I just would have thought there's some sort of standard signature check of the MBR partition table to prevent weird partitions from being registered when you connect the external hard drive.
A partition manager software (GParted) doesn't register and display the random fake partitions, but the Operating system (Linux in this case) does register them, and so does Truecrypt itself (probably due to querying the operating system).
Do you think this is normal to have happen? I don't remember it happening initially when I first encrypted the drive; but it seems to happen consistently upon every attempt to re-encrypt the drive to see if it finally stops doing it.