Welcome to the third part of a three-part series on encrypting a full hard drive with TrueCrypt. Up to this point, you have successfully created a standard or hidden encrypted volume on your hard drive. All you need to do now is mount these volumes so you can begin encrypting your data. Since the steps to mount a standard or hidden volume are the same, you can use this guide to learn how to mount both types of volumes.
Mounting and Dismounting the Standard and Hidden Volumes
TrueCrypt features the ability to mount hard drives without having to manually select them from a list of available devices (just like you did when you had to select the hard drive to encrypt earlier). If you do have the urge to select the hard drive manually, you can always click the “Select Device...” button on the TrueCrypt main window.
TrueCrypt identifies encrypted hard drives using the same method as it does when it identifies encrypted partitions. After you enter the volume's password (hidden or standard), TrueCrypt scans the headers of all the available hard drives and partitions (including non-encrypted hard drives) as it tries to mount every available volume. This process can take a considerable amount of time on a slow computer with many encrypted volumes, so you may need to mount your volumes manually depending on your system.
With the TrueCrypt main window open, select a drive letter to mount the volume under, then click the “Auto-Mount Device” button.
When the password dialog box opens, enter the hidden or standard volume's password. As you may recall from my previous articles, the hidden volume does not require any additional settings in order to mount it—only the outer (not to be confused with standard) volume requires special settings. This is to protect your hidden volume from any accidental or unnecessary damage. Once you have entered the volume's password, click the “OK” button.
Once you have entered the correct password, your volume will be listed in the TrueCrypt main window. If you are mounting a hidden volume, you can confirm this by verifying the value in the “Type” column. You can now access your volume by either double-clicking on it in the TrueCrypt main window, or you can access it through Computer.
Once you are finished working with your volume, you can dismount it through the TrueCrypt main window by selecting the mounted volume in the list, then clicking the “Dismount” button.
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