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Windows 7 - TrueCrypt Encryption

Posted on 2013-11-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have windows 7 pro.  I used TrueCrypt to encrypt the drive. I selected the Preboot Authentication and encrypted the entire drive. Everything has been working for months. During normal booting process, I'm prompted for the Pre-Boot Key.  I enter the Key and Windows 7 will load.  Once at the login, the default password for the user will not work. The default password has not been changed.  I found instructions on how to boot into Mini XP and then run Truecrypt to mount the drive, so I can then reset the user password.  However, I cannot get the automount to detect the boot loader.  These are the  instructions I am following:
- Click Mount Options
- Check the box that reads “Mount partition using system encryption
without pre-boot authentication”
- Enter drive encryption password.
- Your hard drive will now be mounted as a new drive letter (temporarily)

Doesn't work.  

I would appreciate any suggestions.
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Question by:Scott Huffman
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9 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:Scott Huffman
ID: 39646258
Does anyone have any suggestions?
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39646339
Please explain "doesn't work" - what happens exactly?
Another thing: please describe, what "mini xp" should be.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Huffman
ID: 39646543
I have a bootable USB Thumb drive with Window's XP - once booted up on the thumb Drive - I launch True-crypt and try to mount the drive.  The current drive has Windows 7 pro installed and encrypted using True Crypt.  

I follow the instructions previously posted to mount the drive.  The error reported is the password is incorrect or it cannot locate the drive.  If I remove the Thumb Drive and boot the system, I'm prompted to enter the encrypted password, it works and continues with  Windows 7 Professional.  

I'm having issue with Windows not the encryption.  If I can use my USB Thumb drive and true-crypt to mount the drive, then I can run a utility to repair or reset the password.
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LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 1000 total points
ID: 39647218
Charlotte, I fully understood the problem. I was only interested in the methods you used and the errors you got. As mini xp is no common term, I asked for it. :)

So it should work to unlock the encryption that way. You write you get different errors, "pw incorrect" AND "cannot locate the drive" - how come? One after the other?
I have mounted systems encrypted with truecrypt successfully, I don't think I did anything differently.

If I were you, I would use a truecrypt forum, not ee. Seems to be a rare case.
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Howe earned 1000 total points
ID: 39647365
does the mini-xp have the correct sata drivers? I found that was what caused a similar issue with password recovery in the past.
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Author Comment

by:Scott Huffman
ID: 39647564
@McKnife - thanks for your response
@DaveHowe - I think your suggestion to sata drivers may do to the trick.  I'll try to locate those drives and preform an F6 option to add them as I boot up.  Will report back.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 39647896
I did that a few times too - but xp will only accept them from a floppy, so unless you have a usb floppy drive you are hard pressed to do so on modern versions of the pc. Alternatively, you can usually "slipstream" the drivers into the xp (or winpe, more commonly) but there are sata drivers which conflict with other sata drivers (go figure) so I found it more convenient to just go buy a usb floppy drive :)
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Author Comment

by:Scott Huffman
ID: 39648142
@DaveHowe - well I didn't need the SATA drivers, or my USB Floppy - it was a setting in BIOS.  I have a Dell system - access BIOS and changed the hard drive from ACHI to ATA.  Once I did that, I was able to mount my drive, type in the Encrypted Pre-Boot Password and fix the user password.  Your suggestion put me on the right track.  Thanks.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 39648212
yup. that's lucky - many hosts don't have that option, but effectively it does the same thing as the sata driver without the hunt for a disk :)
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