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Boot failure after DiskCryptor encryption

Posted on 2014-11-01
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Last Modified: 2016-09-22
I have recently encrypted two Acer W7 laptops for a client using DiskCryptor. The encrytion process ran OK, but then neither machine would boot up. They just came up with an error messages leading to "Windows Repair". The recovery bootloader disks won't work either, saying the passwords are incorrect.

I have successfully managed to decrypt both machines using a Boot CD which contains DiskCryptor, under. so I am back to square one.

Before encrypting the two client machines, I ran the exact same process on a test machine, also W7 and that worked fine.

Can anyone shed any light on this and suggest a way forward.

Thanks

Edited out the name of a CD that isn't allowed to be mentioned on this site.

rindi,
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Question by:socross
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by:McKnife
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I used disk cryptor on maybe a dozen machines (vista/server 2008 R2/win7/8) so far without any problem. I did full disk encryption as well.

Maybe there is a common factor, something special about your installations? Any software like a boot manager for example or you formerly used other full disk encryptors? Let us know.

Also tell us what is happening instead of a correct start - any error message?
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by:socross
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These are two brand new machines, an Acer TravelMate P253 and an Acer TravelMate P273-MG, so there is no question of any previous encryption.

As for the error message, sorry I don't remember the exact details (as I've now decrypted both machines), but it basically says that something to the effect that Windows cannot start, possibly due to a recent hardware change; It says to insert the OS disk and then restart and select Repair Windows.

I am not aware of anything special about the boot manager; as I said these are brand new machines.
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by:McKnife
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Ok. As you already know how to undo encryption, I suggest to do just another test: install all windows updates and retry the encryption, this time, don't wait for it to complete, but restart right away after encryption starts.
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by:socross
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Update:  The test machine is an older MBR partition style machine, whereas the new client's machines are GPT partition style. From what I have gathered so far it appears that DiskCryptor does not work with GPT. So I am left with two choices:

1) Convert the GPT disks back to MBR (not ideal as it's essentially a backward step and would involve a lot of data backup/restore, system/OS re-installation and client software set up).

2) Find another (preferably free) disk encryption solution which does handle GPT.

Any thoughts or suggestions anyone?
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by:McKnife
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That could indeed be it very well. The times I used GPT with disk cryptor was always on data drives only, never on whole disks. https://diskcryptor.net/forum/index.php?topic=4680.0 has someone saying he found out, how it works, though.

I'll do some tests with GPT...be right back.
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 71 total points
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Why are you not using Bitlocker?
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by:McKnife
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Same for me with win8.1 x64 with update 1 and GPT and disk cryptor. So out of the box only MBR works for whole disk encryption. Had a look a veracrypt, it is free too but, just like TrueCrypt, does not support GPT.
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by:socross
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McKnife, thanks for confirming it only works for MBR ("out of the box", whole disk encryption). I checked out your link, which I recognised as having seen before and I had decided it looked far too complicated and far too time consuming to implement.

David Johnson, at present the client machines are Windows 7 Pro (purchased as "downgraded from win 8.1 Pro" at client request). So the solution I propose to adopt is to use Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate (for which the client will have to pay) and use Bitlocker, as you suggest. Or might it be possible to revert to Win 8.1 Pro, at no cost, since that has Bitlocker included?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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That you will have to discuss with the client
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by:socross
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Indeed! I'll post an update tomorrow......
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by:McKnife
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Sure, you could move to 8.1 for free as you own it but only used the downgrade option until now. You could even keep your settings and programs if you are willing to do a double inplace-upgrade 7->8->8.1.
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by:socross
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No further progress yet, as Client has postponed job for a couple of weeks. But I have one BIG question. Does Bitlocker work with GPT?
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by:McKnife
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It does. BL can do nearly everything an encryptor should be able to do. It even supports repartitioning while being encrypted and, with 8.1 it offers to use hardware encryption (given you have a suitable drive for it). The only 2 things it does not offer are SSO and support for encrypting dynamic disks.
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by:Burger Guy
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I've encrypted the SSD on my laptop and does not boot after encryption. Says {BootDevice Not Found / Please install an operating system on your hard disk. / Hard Disk - (3F0)}. What can I do to make it work or to decrypt.
Thank you !
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by:McKnife
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Why not ask your own question? This one is old.
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