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When I try to encrypt my laptop using TrueCrypt, it wants me to create a rescue disk and verify it. However, the laptop does not have a CD drive or a DVD drive, and I don't own something that can be connected to it. So, how do I proceed?

I guess that a meaningful "rescue disk" would be a bootable USB flash memory, so maybe the solution is to burn the iso onto such one - but how?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If it's Windows, grab Microsoft's Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel. Run it as Administrator, install the driver, add a new virtual drive, and load TrueCrypt's rescue disc image on it. The .iso should be somewhere in %ProgramFiles%\TrueCrypt\

Edit: Virtual CloneDrive appears to support Windows 7 on x64.

This should be enough to trick TrueCrypt's disc check. Once it's done, don't forget to uninstall the Virtual CD driver.


To boot the rescue disc from a USB drive, you could try these:

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I am using Windows 7 64-bit on that machine, so the virtual CD-ROM Control Panel app from Microsoft does not work. –  Lars D Jan 9 '10 at 13:34
2  
In that case, slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html appears to support x64. –  grawity Jan 9 '10 at 13:42
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I can also vouch for Virtual Clonedrive on x64. Works, and works nicely. –  Dan Esparza Jul 9 '10 at 17:43

Normally the Truecrypt Format application needs to verify that you've burned the created rescue disk to a CD/DVD drive, and it won't proceed until it does that.

In order to proceed without burning the rescue disk, you need to start the "Truecrypt Format" with the "/noisocheck" or "/n" flag. After the image is created, you can then save it to any folder on your drive, and later on burn it on a USB-drive, as mention in other posts.

More information: http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=command-line-usage

/noisocheck or /n

Do not verify that TrueCrypt Rescue Disks are correctly burned. This can be useful e.g. in corporate environments where it may be more convenient to maintain a central repository of ISO images rather than a repository of CDs or DVDs. WARNING: Never attempt to use this option to facilitate the reuse of a previously created TrueCrypt Rescue Disk. Note that every time you encrypt a system partition/drive, you must create a new TrueCrypt Rescue Disk even if you use the same password. A previously created TrueCrypt Rescue Disk cannot be reused because it was created for a different master key.

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This should be the accepted answer as it doesn't need any third party program. As stated above, just run "C:\Program Files\TrueCrypt\TrueCrypt Format.exe" /n from cmd. –  John P May 21 '13 at 7:48

Windows 7 64 bit, I ran into the same problem - the command line switch (/n or /noisocheck) simply does not work with Truecrypt 6.3a. I tried the 64 bit and the 32 bit cmd.exe, both failed. The solution was to install the "Daemon Tools Lite" and to mount the rescue.iso once it was created. Truecrypt recognized the "rescue-CD" and continued. But even then after the necessary reboot the harddisk was not encrypted initially, because the automatically started TrueCrypt lacked administrator credentials. I had to end Truecrypt, restart as administrator, then to resume encryption (which will be finished in 7 hours..., I am waiting for the next problems...)

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I'm using Windows 7 64-bit Professional. It didn't work at first but putting the filename in quotes in command prompt works. But I am using Truecrypt 7.0, so maybe my problem was unrelated. "TrueCrypt Format.exe" /n I also found disabling security software cut the encryption time in half, at least in my case. P.S. I'm new here and trying to comment on Michael Logies's answer. I apologize if this ends up somewhere else. –  Defiant Noise Oct 1 '10 at 14:37
    
Daemon Tools Lite saved the day for me as well, +1! –  Andrew Heath Feb 27 '13 at 0:49

Simple answer: Open the Run Dialog and type in the following:
"C:\Program Files\TrueCrypt\TrueCrypt Format.exe" /n. This will be the same as what you are doing, except it will skip the CD check.

It becomes your own responsibility to back up the ISO file to a different device, so you can burn it in the future if necessary.

I do not recommend this solution, unless, like me, you have sufficient backups so that losing all the data on your computer is acceptable, and won't take to much of your time to recover. If that is the case, you may even opt to just delete the ISO file.

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The easiest way to to encrypt an entire partition with TrueCrypt without burning a cd is to install a virtual drive like Magic Disc (FREE). When the file is saved on your local computer simply mount the image as a cd and that will allow TrueCrypt to continue with actually burning a physical CD.

Notes: This was tested successfully on Truecrypt 7.1a

"Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."

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