How do I encrypt win7 (multiple OS)

August 30, 2011 at 00:47:06
Specs: win98/win7, AMD 64 2.4 ghz / 2 gigs
In short I need to know the best way to encrypt a single system partition on a computer that has 3 operating systems. I currently have Bitlocker and Truecrypt and would be willing to try another program if it's absolutly necessary to get the setup I want.

My current setup has 3 operating systems on one 160 gig drive on different partitions...

The first partition (at the start of the drive) is for windows 98. (fat 32 primary, 13 gigs)

The second partition (in the middle of the drive) is for Windows 7 (NTFS primary, 100 gigs)

The third partition (at the end of the drive) is for Windows 7 (NTFS primary, 32 gigs)

The last one is the one i want to encrypt but I have major concerns. Above all I understand that Truecrypt will become the primary boot loader if I use that program to encrypt any of my operating systems. This may be a problem for me considering that I had to use easyBCD to make my computer recognize windows 98 at startup.

Win98 disappeared from the boot screen after I installed windows 7, which is why I had to use easyBCD to "add a new entry".

All of my operating systems are bootable as of now but I don't know if this will be the case if I encrypt a system partition with Truecrypt. When I tried to do this Truecrypt said the following...

"TrueCrypt currently does not support multi-boot configurations where a non windows boot loader is installed in the master boot record"

It does give the option for me to say that I don't have a non-windows boot loader, but I'm assuming that method could make my windows 98 unbootable since I did use EasyBCD for it.

What I need to know is if I can do this, then relocate my operating systems, if necessary, by using EasyBCD again?

If not is there another encryption program that is better for multibooting?

Another secondary concern I have is that I don't want my entire computer locked, only one operating system. I dont even want anything on the computer to appear to be encrypted, unless I select the OS that is encrypted in which case it should prompt me for a password.

Ive read about some programs needing you to insert a usb key to load the devices and I don't want to have to do that.

Also it seems that the truecrypt boot manager from what Ive read will be my primary bootmanager for all operating systems if I use it to encrypt only one OS.

This is a potential security problem if you ask me. In the worst case scenario all an intruder would have to do to know you have an encrypted OS on your computer is simply turn it on and see the Truecrypt boot manager screen.

Not that big of a deal but I still don't like it. Anyway if there is any workarounds for this Id love to hear any ideas. Perhaps an idea on how to make the Truecrypt boot manager look like a normal boot manager.

First priority is just getting this program or any other encryption program to work on my multi boot system.

Sorry for the long post by the way, hope this is in the right section. :)


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August 30, 2011 at 13:46:39
What is wrong with truecrypt? Can't is encrypt a partition?

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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August 30, 2011 at 18:35:15
"What is wrong with truecrypt? Can't is encrypt a partition?"

It can indeed encrypt a partition, it can even encrypt a system partition which is nice. The latter is what I'm wanting to do, however based on what Ive read I'm concerned about using this feature with multiple operating systems present.

Especially considering the fact that I already used EasyBCD to change the default bootloader.

Remember, Truecrypt said that non windows boot loaders are not supported.

Actually I'm a bit confused on this front because I don't know for sure whether or not EasyBCD modified the existing default windows bootloader, or if it created a new 3rd party boot loader that looks the same as the default.

All I did with EasyBCD was add an entry for the windows 98 partition, and change the names of 2 of the operating systems, but Id like to still be able to boot windows 98 if I use the truecrypt bootloader which is required for OS encryption.

So I'm primarily worried about what conflict the Trucrypt bootmanager will have with EasyBCD. The rest of what I posted I can probably work out somehow, and I'm open to ideas anyone may have on this.

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August 30, 2011 at 19:32:58
I run virtual machines within trucrypt files so all you are doing is making it too complex. Just run virtual machines and make your life easier.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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Related Solutions

August 30, 2011 at 20:53:49
I've never used a virtual machine before. Which one would you recomend for running windows 7? This VM will also have to be able to connect to the internet, and use a wide range of programs without a major hit in performance.

Do you know which VM might work best?

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August 31, 2011 at 14:07:34
There is quite a range of free versions. The big choices may be this list but don't exclude ones I didn't list.

Good starter choices.

Virtualbox, VMplayer, VirtualPC.

Good technical choices.

QEMU/KVM, esxi, proxmox.

Play types.

Bochs, qemu.

but a lot more exist.

I tend to like VMplayer, I think it loads faster a bit.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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August 31, 2011 at 15:16:27

I'm currently already encrypting one of my win7 installations with truecrypt, and taking a chance with it since I'm already in too deep on this setup. If it doesn't work, at least I have a backup plan now.

Virtual machines, what a far out concept that is. Run isolated operating systems without installing them in a traditional sense. Sounds secure, but I wonder how fast they would be on my aging system.

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August 31, 2011 at 20:08:43
The system does make a big difference. On a supported processor and motherboard they run near native speeds. In some odd cases a bit faster.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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