The Windows XP installation on a hard drive, encrypted using Truecrypt 7.0a, has become corrupted. It is encrypted as a "hidden operating system" with pre-boot authentication.

I can enter my TC password and begin booting WinXP but it is stuck in a reboot loop.

If I boot from a WinXP installation CD would I be able to recover the WinXP installation on the HD or will it not be recognised and over-write it?

I no longer have a recovery CD.

Is it possible to access the TC pre-boot menu somehow?


  • When you mention a "recovery cd" what are you talking about exactly? – Ramhound Sep 17 '12 at 10:40
  • Sorry, I should have been clearer. I mean I no longer have the Truecrypt CD you're forced to burn during the encryption process. – Danny Sep 17 '12 at 12:30
  • That would be the "TrueCrypt Rescue Disk". Are you able to get XP to Safe Boot, or is it rebooting before that. – Yedric Sep 17 '12 at 13:49
  • Yes, it is the "TrueCrypt Rescue Disk" that I do not have. XP is rebooting in both a Safe Mode boot and a regular boot. – Danny Sep 17 '12 at 14:54

If you reinstall, it will overwrite. You would have to have XP install media that ran the TrueCrypt decryption on the hard disk before starting the XP installation software in order to access the unencrypted version of the disk.

From TrueCrypt's page on Rescue Disk use:

Note: Alternatively, if Windows is damaged (cannot start) and you need to repair it (or access files on it), you can avoid decrypting the system partition/drive by following these steps: Boot another operating system, run TrueCrypt, click Select Device, select the affected system partition, select System > Mount Without Pre-Boot Authentication, enter your pre-boot-authentication password and click OK. The partition will be mounted as a regular TrueCrypt volume (data will be on-the-fly decrypted/encrypted in RAM on access, as usual).

This seems like a good place to start trying to recover the existing install.

  • This sounds like a possible solution. I will give this a go and come back to post results. Thanks – Danny Sep 17 '12 at 14:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.