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praise for TrueCrypt... recovery/repair of a borked encrypted drive

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  • praise for TrueCrypt... recovery/repair of a borked encrypted drive

    Just a quick note, in case anyone ever encounters this. We all noticed Thorn's note recently about an associate who had a data loss and recovery situation they were facing. I had a small affair of my own to tackle in that vein today.

    I keep my whole home directory on a TrueCrypt volume. i don't back it up nightly because of its size and how much that would hammer the disk array (and result in some downtime when i cannot access the data) so when i tried to mount the drive today and saw corrupt file system error i wasn't pleased. Having to skip back to a Sunday image of that drive wouldn't have killed me, but it surely did remind me that when we use crypto, we take on an extra layer of complexity and risk with regard to data integrity.

    I could mount the volume, but couldn't browse the drive. It was like a semi-borked hard disk. The thing is, the O/S environment couldn't access the volume properly to perform any check disk functions, etc.

    Just when i thought that i would have to do a roll back, i started poking around the TrueCrypt interface. The authors have happily included a variety of check and repair tools that will run on such volumes. All my file system errors were restored in moments, with loss of only a handful of small files (most of which still appeared as fragments that i could have toyed with if i wanted to)

    So hopefully you'll never have to face this situation yourself, but if you do... in a moment of panic... don't resort to deleting your borked TrueCrypt volume and restoring if you don't have to. It pays to muck about with the built-in maintenance functions, as they are well made and do work.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor