I have multiple systems on which I want to implement whole-disk encryption using TrueCrypt. However, I'd rather not have to store a Rescue Disk for each. Is it possible to create one TrueCrypt Rescue Disk (or, to manually consolidate multiple Rescue Disks) that will work for all of these?

  • More information is required. Since each system will likely have a unique encryption key, a single "rescue" disk will be difficult. Furthermore this would likely break license agreements if you are talking about Windows installation. I have to downvote for the lack of information. – Ramhound Jul 17 '12 at 14:22
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    @Ramhound What other information do you need? As you said, every system will have a unique key - this is the nature of how TrueCrypt generates keys during volume creation. Even with the same passcode for each, the keys will be unique. I don't expect any single key to unlock all the systems. I'm looking to have one disk that has all the keys. How would this break license agreements with Windows any more (or less) than a single, standalone Rescue Disk would? – Iszi Jul 17 '12 at 14:41

This is anecdotal, so take it with a grain.

We tried for something similar, and after a lot of testing determined that it didn't work. TrueCrypt seems to be built pretty strongly towards individual users. In the end, maintaining a library of a hundred rescue disk images was just too much of a hassle, and we couldn't figure out a way to just use one. You could always just use the same keyfile to unlock everyone's hard drives, though that would be vulnerable to end-users de/re-encrypting on their own with new key data, and would open the security hole of one-keyfile-that-everyone-has-can-unlock-everyone-else's-computer.

I eventually convinced my company to just upgrade everyone to Windows 7 Ultimate so we could use BitLocker.

There are also a lot of other commercial centralized-disk-encryption solutions which we tried. BitLocker integrates the most seamlessly with windows, but if you don't want to pay for Ultimate/don't use Windows, try out the offerings by Symantec and Sophos.


It appears TrueCrypt will not natively permit consolidation of Rescue Disks. Also, because TrueCrypt requires (and verifies) that you create a Rescue Disk during the system encryption setup process, there is no way to avoid having at least one Rescue Disk per system.

However, since TrueCrypt does conveniently put the Rescue Disk in an ISO format for you (and they're less than 2 MB apiece) a similar, though not quite so efficient, setup could be achieved by burning all the ISOs (as files) to one disk along with a copy of your favorite portable DVD burning software. This way, you have one disk which has all the data needed to create a Rescue Disk for any of your TrueCrypt-protected system drives.

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