I need to encrypt my hard drive. This is a new harddrive, I do not have the recovery on a different partition, etc.

I need assistance in the best way to encrypt my hard drive without encrypting the boot sector.
simonesbauerAsked:
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
The Ultimate and Business editions of Windows 7 and Vista come with BitLocker, a tool that lets you encrypt your entire hard drive. If you don't have the Ultimate or Business version, another alternative is to use TrueCrypt, a free, open-source tool that can encrypt your entire disk, a portion of a disk, or an external drive. For its part, Mac OS X includes FileVault, a tool for encrypting your Mac's home folder; Lion, the next major Mac OS X release on the horizon, will be able to encrypt a whole hard drive.

http://truecrypt.sourceforge.net/  for TrueCrypt.

And if this is a Mac

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837 for FileVault.
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simonesbauerAuthor Commented:
I have bitlocker and have used truecrypt before.  I am afraid to encrypt my boot sector as well.  Some education on this would be appreciated.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Ok.  Let's start with me asking why don't you want to encrypt the boot sector?  I've had a few computers with their entire hard drive encrypted with no issues.

What type of education are you looking for?

If you encrypt the entire drive including the boot sector, keep current backups of your data in a safe location and for some reason cannot access your computer, you will still have a backup of your data (which is a good thing, hard drive encrypted or not).
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
I saw your other question which is almost a duplicate of this one.  The answer there is you can't.  You can partition your drive so that the OS and Boot Sector are on one drive then have your programs and apps on another partition.

But there is no way that I know of to have just the boot sector in its own partition.
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simonesbauerAuthor Commented:
sorry, I thought to other question did not post.  I will delete.

I had this already and my Acronis backups would not let me restore from them and I could not boot the machine up.
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McKnifeCommented:
No encryptor is able to encrypt the boot sector. The disk wouldn't boot, that's why it's made impossible.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
That is true.  I had assumed the OP wanted to have the boot sector on a different drive than the OS.

When I was at Microsoft, we had to BitLock all of our machines as a company policy.  Nobody ever had an issue unless they forgot their BitLocker password.

This isn't new stuff.  We are well beyond the buggy stage.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Take a look at this.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee424308%28v=ws.10%29?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

To test data recovery on a operating system drive


1.Click Start, type cmd in the Search programs and files box, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.


2.Type bcdedit /debug on to enable kernel debugging for the operating system drive.


3.Close all open windows.


4.If the USB flash drive that contains your recovery key is inserted into the computer, use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area to remove it from the computer.


5.Click Start, and then click Shut Down to turn off your computer.

When you restart the computer, you will be prompted for the recovery password, because the startup configuration has changed since you encrypted the drive.


6.Turn on your computer.


7.The BitLocker Drive Encryption Recovery Console will appear.


8.You will be prompted to insert the USB flash drive that contains the recovery key.
◦ If you have the USB flash drive with the recovery key, insert it, and then press ESC. Your computer will restart automatically. You do not need to enter the recovery password manually.


◦ If you do not have the USB flash drive with the recovery key, press ENTER. You will be prompted to enter the recovery password. Type the 48-digit recovery password, and then press ENTER.




9.After the drive has been unlocked, the operating system will start. To restore your computer to its normal operating profile, click Start, type cmd in the Search programs and files box, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes. Type bcdedit /debug off to disable kernel debugging for the operating system drive.

 
To test data recovery on a password-protected fixed data drive


1.Click Start, and then click Computer to display the drives on the computer.


2.Double-click a BitLocker-protected data drive. The BitLocker Drive Encryption dialog box is displayed, prompting you to type your password to unlock the drive.


3.Click I forgot my password. You are prompted to Unlock this drive using your recovery key. Select either Type the recovery key or Get the key from the USB flash drive, depending on which recovery method was configured for the drive.


4.After providing the recovery key, the drive is unlocked. You can then click Manage BitLocker, and reconfigure the unlock method as necessary.

You will be able to use the new unlock method to unlock the drive the next time the drive is locked.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Thank you.  Glad I could help.
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McKnifeCommented:
Small note: truecrypt should no longer be recommended, since it has a security flaw with its driver that will not get fixed. There's a fork of it, however, veracrypt, that has this flaw fixed.
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