From VeraCrypt's documentation (here, section "System Partitions"), it sounds like one should be able to:

1) Boot a PE (or secondary OS),

2-3) Create & mount a new, empty encrypted volume (destination for cloning),

4) Mount an encrypted system volume (source for cloning),

5) Clone the mounted, encrypted system volume to the mounted, encrypted destination volume.

However, none of the clone/imaging software I've thus far tried has been able to see the mounted volume (Macrium Reflect, Norton Ghost, and Acronis True Image). I can mount the volumes and they're seen by the PE (i.e. I can navigate around the source filesystem) - but the cloning software does not see them as an available partition/source for cloning.

My question: Am I somehow misunderstanding the documentation? How can I clone an encrypted system volume in this way, as the VeraCrypt documentation seems to indicate?

Note that I'm not attempting to do the following:

  • Clone the raw host partition (which would require cloning the entire partition, including all empty space, as the data is encrypted & the cloning software cannot see the filesystem)
  • Clone while the encrypted OS is running (i.e. shadow copy). I need to be able to do this from a separate, external bootable media (aka doesn't require installing the cloning software on the OS to be cloned)
  • Decrypt, clone the unencrypted data, then re-encrypt the source volume (for obvious reasons).

You may be over-thinking this. You have the source volume, mounted. You have the destination volume, mounted. Both volumes are encrypted VeraCrypt volumes. (And you do not want to duplicate the entire partition.)

So do a straight file system copy from the source to the destination.

This may not be what you intend to do but this is what the VeraCrypt Wiki page you linked is referring to. In contrast, the tools you mentioned are expecting block devices and I'm suspecting you are using Windows?

Windows will not even see VeraCrypt volumes as block devices, full stop. Linux is a bit different.

But if this is not a suitable answer please elaborate a little on what you intend to accomplish and if a file system level copy can do it or not.

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  • >>(And you do not want to duplicate the entire partition.): I do indeed want to duplicate the entire partition - that's exactly the premise of the question :P As specified, it's an encrypted system partition - you can't simply duplicate a system partition by drag-and-drop its files (i.e. boot sector, etc). As for the OS, it's Windows (the other clone software mentioned - Reflect/Ghost - are Windows-only). – Metal450 Apr 8 '17 at 23:59
  • I was referring to this: "Clone the raw host partition (which would require cloning the entire partition, including all empty space, as the data is encrypted & the cloning software cannot see the filesystem)" but I understand. I still think the solution is based on identifying what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, it looks like Parted Magic added veracrypt a year ago, reads NTFS, etc. If you can spring for its $9 cost. it is Linux based, not Windows based. You get dd and clonezilla. It's really a pretty fantastic tool. – Kit Apr 9 '17 at 0:45
  • I definitely don't mind paying for a tool, as long as it actually works :) Where did you see Parted Magic works with Veracrypt? Re: Identifying what I'm trying to accomplish: "Clone [a] mounted, encrypted system volume to [a] mounted, encrypted destination volume." Simply the ability to clone an encrypted volume to another encrypted volume, similarly to how it's possible to clone an unencrypted one. – Metal450 Apr 10 '17 at 1:01
  • Listed here in their news page partedmagic.com/news "Updated programs: btrfs-progs-v4.4.1, libfm-1.2.4, pcmanfm-1.2.4, xf86-video-amdgpu-1.0.1, google-chrome-48.0.2564.109, linux-4.4.2, mozilla-firefox-44.0.2, wimlib-1.9.0, veracrypt-1.17, clonezilla-3.19.17, drbl-2.18.12, ddrescue-gui_1.5, coreutils-8.25, gparted-0.25.0, xf86-video-intel-git_20160108" Unfortunately that is a newer version than I have on hand so I can not test it for you but I can speak to the quality of Parted Magic in general. Maybe someone else can lend us a hand? – Kit Apr 10 '17 at 16:26
  • That's a bit ambiguous to me - doesn't say anything about being able to clone from veracrypt-encrypted volumes. It seems to say that "this version of parted magic includes an updated version of veracrypt," which is odd... – Metal450 Apr 12 '17 at 1:03

I am also having this exact issue. My issue began when, for some reason, my hard drive encrypted with VeraCrypt would boot-loop after typing in the password at the bootloader. I can successfully mount the disk when attached externally in windows, so I figured I can clone the mounted disk over to another disk and have a decrypted version to try and boot from.

I'm going to try a different approach and use the Vera Crypt rescue DVD instead, it has an option to repair the Vera Crypt Bootloader, as well as decrypt the disk fully.

Hope this helps, I'll let you know if I'm able to decrypt the disk with the rescue CD.

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