In this second part of a three-part series on encrypting hard drives with TrueCrypt, you will learn how to create an encrypted hard drive with a hidden volume. This can be useful if you're dealing with very sensitive information.
Creating an Encrypted Hard Drive with a Hidden Volume
As I mentioned in the introduction to the previous article, TrueCrypt can create two types of volumes: a standard volume and a hidden volume. With a standard volume, the volume is protected by a single password. With a hidden volume, two volumes are created: an outer volume and a hidden volume. Each volume is protected by a different password.
If you are in a situation in which you may be required to divulge the encryption password to your hard drive, you should create an encrypted hard drive protected with a hidden volume. This way, if you are ever required to provide the password, you can simply provide the password to the outer (or decoy) volume and maintain plausible deniability against the existence of a secondary (or hidden) volume.
Before you begin, just a word of caution. This process will encrypt the entire hard drive, and it will destroy ALL the data on the hard drive in the process. If this hard drive contains any data you will need in the future, you should back up your data before proceeding.
Once you are ready to encrypt your hard drive, open TrueCrypt and click the “Create Volume” button on the main window. This will start the wizard which will help you create your first encrypted hard drive.
You will now select the volume type. Since you are encrypting an entire hard drive, select the “Encrypt a non-system partition/drive” option, then click the “Next” button.
Next, you will select the volume type. Since you are creating a hidden volume, select the “Hidden TrueCrypt volume” option, then click the “Next” button.
Since you are creating a new volume, select the “Normal Mode” option. You would select the “Direct Mode” option if you wanted to create a hidden volume inside an existing standard volume. Once you have made the appropriate selection, click the “Next” button.
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