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2 Posts

08-01-2008

California

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Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-01, 23:16 PM

Hello,

 

I'm interested in securing my T60 with Truecrypt Full-Disk Encryption (currently at verison 6.0a). Has anyone successfully done this with their thinkpads yet? I'm wondering if the partition structure (with the hidden Rescue and Recovery partition) will cause any problems. 

 

Thanks!

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1 Posts

08-18-2008

France

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  • Message 2 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-18, 16:01 PM

I have encrypted everything except the R&R partition (just in case!) and after having backed up everything on an external hard disk.

 

So far, so good! But be careful to upgrade first to the latest R&R (4.2+SP1) as it could overwrite your MBR. I am not sure but I think you would then have to use the rescue disk created by TrueCrypt ;-(((

 

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6 Posts

08-18-2008

San Diego

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Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-18, 19:07 PM
I am about to do this on a T61.  truecrypt gives the option of encrypting just the system partition or the entire disk with all partitions.. like you I don't know if the latter will encrypt the recovery partition as well, so I think I'll stick with the system partition only.  (I'm using TrueCrypt 6.0a, the latest release. I don't know if earlier versions gave this option)
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3 Posts

08-19-2008

Stockholm

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  • Message 4 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-19, 19:26 PM

Me too, on a T60p. Encrypted only the system partition. I cannot acces the R&R partition by pressing the blue button on startup anymore. . Have tried both before TC present the prompt for password and after. From Windows, I have tried to restore an individual file from the RR store, and it worked. I have not tried to make a new backup yet. Before I encrypted the partition, I made a backup and copied it to my external HD. If I make a new backup now, I am not sure what will happen. I guess it will work since it is a read and write to the system partition via Truecrypt. I also guess that I will be able to copy the backup to my external HD, where data will be stored unencrypted since it will be decrypted with the read from the internal disc and copied in the clear to the external disk.

 

But, what happens if I do a full restore from the external hard disk? AFAIK the internal HD will be reformatted and then all data will be restored in the clear. Anyone that has experience or could comment? Will the original boot sector be restored or what?

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6 Posts

08-18-2008

San Diego

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  • Message 5 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-20, 17:50 PM

janflodin: I have had a similar experience on the T61 yesterday.  In truecrypt I selected that I have multiple boot partitions, all on the same disk, in hopes that access to R&R would be preserved.  After encryption, the R&R partition is still present, but the blue Access IBM button does not load to it when pressed at startup.  So it must be that the IBM bootloader is needed to access the partition at startup, and Truecrypt overwrites that bootloader with its own.  TC states that for multiboot systems it is only compatible with windows bootloaders - not GRUB, etc - and apparently not the native IBM one either.

So: partition is still there, and I am hoping I can just use a R&R boot disk (which you can make through the ThinkVantage program, size ~600MB) to access that partition if I ever need to do a restore to factoy defaults.  Alternatively, ThinkVantage let's you make a complete factory install disk set, so although that is less convenient another option is to do this and then format the R&R for more space.  I figure that since if I have a major crash I will need to access my external USB backup drive for backed up files, I might as well just place .ISO images of the R&R disks on my backup drive and then utilize the extra laptop disk space, seeing as I can't access it by the IBM button... if you managed to get this to work please let me know, but again my thinking is that the TC bootloader just doesn't support the ability to boot to the R&R partition (but didn't destroy it either)

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83 Posts

06-01-2008

Dallas

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Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-20, 18:26 PM

Another option Lenovo ThinkPad and ThinkCentre users can try free of charge is SafeGuard PrivateDisk by Utimaco:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?sitestyle=lenovo&lndocid=MIGR-68523

 

I have not personally tried PrivateDisk so I can't say how it works or "sees" the partitions.   Just offering this as a suggestion if anyone wants to try it.  

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3 Posts

08-19-2008

Stockholm

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  • Message 7 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-28, 17:46 PM

I went ahead and made a backup, still with the backups I had before I encrypted the system partition as the baseline. It worked fine and I could access and restore files from this backup increment, all stored in the hidden folder in the system partition, hence encrypted.

 

Next step would be to copy my backups out to a USB hard disk, but I have to get ahold of a new portable disk to do that since I will not risk loosing the backup I have on my existing portable hard disk, the one I made directly before I encrypted the system partition.

 

Another problem, defragment seems not to work.....

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5 Posts

08-27-2008

Pakistan

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  • Message 8 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-29, 18:26 PM

While I was setting up the FDE on my X-60 tablet, TC asked if I want to encrypt any hidden recovery partition that might be available TOWARDS THE END of my disk and explicitly told me to select NO if I wanted to keep it bootable prior to the boot image that TC itself makes. (By the way i did a full disk encryption not just windows drive)

 

Whole setup is complete without any trouble at all. I just wanted to check if the blue thinkvoltage still works and takes me to the recovery console but I guess the hidden recover partition was present at the beginning of partition rather than at its end.

 

Nothing happens when I press ThinkVantage. The usual screen that asks for FDE password appears and takes me to XP.

 

I am pretty sure that the data in hidden recovery disk is still there (encrypted most probably  )

 

Is there a way I can regain my accessibility to my recovery area?

 

@t42usr, From your post I understand that the recovery partition is probably not even encrypted. Its just not accessible from TC boot loader.

 

I made the R&R recovery start-up CD and tried to access the hidden area. It booted and asked me the usual recovery options.

 

IF i try to recover everything to factory status after reaching recovery window, will it work? I did not try it as I dont want to do it now, just want to make sure that I have access to R&R image.

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3 Posts

08-19-2008

Stockholm

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  • Message 9 of 9

Re: Anyone using Truecrypt Full-Disk encryption?

2008-08-30, 21:16 PM

Ok, I have now copied the backup on to an external hard disk. The  R&R program made it bootable and loaded the R&R software on it before copying the backup out to it, as it should. I tried to boot from this USB HD and all went fine, the R&R software started, so I can indeed acces it and run it from this external disk. I tried to restore a single filel and it worked.

 

The remaining issue it what would happen if I made a full system restore from this external hard disk , what boot loader would be restored? Pro bably the original, not the truecrypt, and the restore would be in the celar, not encrypted.

 

A side "problem" (or feature) is that the backup on the external hard disk is in the clear, so I should really not mention that I have it....

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