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I know that TrueCrypt doesn't support windows 8 because some systems have UEFI enabled. It seems that if UEFI is disabled or Windows 8 is installed on an non UEFI system TrueCrypt just works fine in Full Disk Encryption mode.

Is it possible to deactivate UEFI under Windows 8.1 and use TrueCrypt Full Disk Encryption mode?

Thanks in advance.

  • Are you asking for a solution for TrueCrypt or a way to disable UEFI? – Jon Nov 3 '13 at 16:35
  • Both. Any answer is welcome. But it would be also nice to know if TrueCrypt would really work under windows 8.1 with UEFI disabled. – pixelport Nov 3 '13 at 16:52
7

The last time they even put out an update was almost 2 years ago. I really don't think there is even any development on it anymore. According to their site Windows 8 is not supported at all. Here is the supported OSs page.

http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/supported-operating-systems

I am currently using Bitlocker for one encrypted drive. Bitlocker is native to Windows 8 now. You would be better off either getting a different encryption suite or use Bitlocker.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. It seems that there are plans to support windows 8 and UEFI based systems. The problem with bitlocker is, that there might be very sensitive data. And I don't really trust Bitlocker after they added key backup to your microsoft account. Am I a little paranoid after the NSA leaks? Would you say it is save to use Bitlocker, to encrypt data secure even from agency's? – pixelport Nov 3 '13 at 18:34
  • really no encryption is safe from that level of government. If they want in they will get in. You can just not backup the key to your account. you can save it locally on a usb or external hard drive. I hope they do udate TrueCrypt I used it all the way through Win 7. Was the best out there. Another option is East-Tec Eraser. Best shredder I have ever used. – jmc302005 Nov 3 '13 at 18:48
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    No problem. Just rep my answer please. I am new here and trying to get it up. LOL just realized how bad that sounded. – jmc302005 Nov 3 '13 at 18:51
  • I wish I could. I haven't enough reputation :-( – pixelport Nov 3 '13 at 18:52
  • 1
    @pixelport - When you stop supporting a piece of security software, it's incumbent on you to warn users that it may be insecure. While TrueCrypt would be better if it was still supported, until someone discovers a weakness, I think it's still safer for the most serious security. – drifter Dec 2 '14 at 13:43
6
+50

Although TrueCrypt have announced their intentions to support Windows 8 and UEFI, their last version still dates from 2012.

As far as I can see, your options today are :

  1. Partition your disk into two parts, Windows and TrueCrypt.
    If you are worried about unauthorized boot of your computer, put a password on the BIOS.
  2. Use BitLocker instead of TrueCrypt, if you have the right Windows version.
  3. Convert your Windows disk from GPT to MBR, so it doesn't use UEFI, and turn off Secure Boot in the BIOS. This will delete all partitions and recreate an empty MBR disk to which you can reimage the Windows partition. Take care that the Windows partition will have the same partition number as before (even if you need to add dummy partitions in front of it).

I suggest that you first take an image backup of your entire hard disk and ensure that you have a bootable CD or USB that can restore it in case of catastrophe. Do not use Windows Backup. My favorite tool is the free AOMEI Backupper.

There are several methods that you can use to convert GPT disk to MBR.

  1. Use EaseUS Partition Master
  2. Use the diskpart command
  3. Use Windows Disk Management

The second method (for which I take no responsibility) requires booting the Windows DVD without UEFI, going to the repair options / command prompt, and then entering :

diskpart
list disk
select disk 0
clean
convert mbr
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=ntfs quick

For the third method, if you can extract the hard disk from your computer and put it on another computer, even inside an external enclosure, then you could use Windows Disk Management to do the conversion.

For more information see the article How to Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk.

  • Do you have any source or experience that MBR Disk + Windows 8.1 + TrueCrypt will actually work? I would like to have some more confidence before spending (potentially) a lot of time on this. – ValarDohaeris Feb 18 '14 at 4:12
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    No personal experience, but many articles exist. For example the Microsoft article Windows Setup: Installing using the MBR or GPT partition style says about the installation of Windows 8 on MBR "Reboot the PC in legacy BIOS-compatibility mode. This option lets you keep the existing partition style", so I suggest reading carefully and check if your BIOS supports legacy boot. See also Will my computer be able to run Windows 8 without UEFI?. – harrymc Feb 18 '14 at 6:58
  • There is no guarantee that in spite of all precautions you won't find yourself reinstalling Windows because of some small technical error, so make sure you have the required media for both GPT and MBR installation before starting. – harrymc Feb 18 '14 at 7:04
5

You can do it, but it depends a bit on your hardware and your expectations of a properly functioning Windows 8.1 + TrueCrypt installation. TC still works for encrypted containers in W81, but since it relies on having an MBR partitioned disk and integrated bootloaders, for full disk encryption, it will not work in a sensible way, since W81 need GPT formatted disks etc. So you have to get more sensible, by just using containers, or better, just install W7+TC in a VM on top of W81. There's some various good TC advice on Reddit and DSLReports.

(It is highly unlikely we'll see any more TC updates after the Snowden incident. It's simply cheaper for the gov't to buy out the TC people and shut down the business, than chasing leakers all over the planet.)

PS. To use BitLocker, you'll need Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise editions. But I wouldn't use it after reading this and this.

4

I just successfully finished system disk encryption using the current stable version of TrueCrypt (7.1a) on Windows 8.1. I did it without any problems.

  1. The bottom line is that Windows MUST BE installed in the "Legacy" mode, in other words, Windows must be installed on the hard disk with the "classical" (MSDOS type) MBR instead of the newer GPT.

    You can get it when you start your Windows 8.1 Installer in the "Legacy" mode instead of the "UEFI" mode. This is done in the BIOS options when starting the computer and pressing DEL, F2 or similar (depends on the motherboard manufacturer) and choosing "Boot options" or similar. If your hard drive has a boot record of GPT type, you must delete it and replace with the classical MBR. This can be done, for example, with free software called "Gparted".

  2. Another key issue is that Windows MUST BE installed only on ONE partition instead of TWO partitions.

    This can be achieved by creating at the VERY BEGINNING OF THE DRIVE a single NTFS partition of the appropriate size by using external software (for example, "Gparted") and forming a second partition which occupies the entire remaining disk space formatted as ext3/ext4, or any other type that Windows does not recognize - after the installation is completed you should remove this partition. Then you must start the computer from the Windows installation disc in the "Legacy" mode and instruct the installer to install the system on the first partition.

1

Check for VeraCrypt, seems that they will continue development of TrueCrypt.

Note1: What i see is that they took the source code of TrueCrypt and continue from there.

Note2: I do not know if VeraCrypt supports UEFI (GPT discs)

1

While it is true that Truecrypt has been abandoned by its authors, it is also true that it is the only encryption software that has been fully audited (phase 2 of the audit has recently finished).

If Windows 8 or 10 is installed with MBR like in lkklklkkkl's answer, then TrueCrypt seems to be working flawlessly. I am currently running TC full-disk encryption on a Win10 install with no issues whatsoever.

0

If you have an installation with GPT partitions and UEFI there is a way to swith your up to date Win 8.1 (or greater) operating system from GPT to MBR and from UEFI to CMS: Use the imaging-backup tool c'twimage which was created by a german computer magazine. It creates a image of your whole system disk. While restoring it uses the Win8.1 Installation process so you can install it to completely different hardware - also to a MBR initialized disk. After restore you don't need to activate Win if you don't have changed the hardware. If you use this hint from above you have created a single partition scheme. Atfer this you can use truecrypt to encrypt your whole disk with pre boot authehtication. :o) Here is the german article and link to the imaging script. (article must be bought but script is for free!): c'twimage

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