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Backup Alternative

Topics: Users Discussion
Jun 14, 2015 at 4:52 PM
I know that the preferred method of backup of a non-boot partition is to basically recreated the structure in another location, mount both and copy the contents.
Are there any downsides to using a backup program's "sector by sector" option to backup the entire partition? The advantages would be that it is a one step process and there would be no need for additional passwords.

Also, my backup program (easus todo) allows for encrypting the backup. Is it possible to encrypt something that is already encrypted?
Jun 15, 2015 at 4:08 PM
Also, my backup program (easus todo) allows for encrypting the backup. Is it possible to encrypt something that is already encrypted?
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Yes.

The downside of sector-by-sector backup is you are wasting space on the backup target device due to you are making clone of the source HDD.

Another option would be to mount the HDD volume in VeraCrypt and perform a backup of the contents using the backup program ability to encrypt the backup file using a strong password. This would only backup the data.

For example, if you have 2 TB HDD encrypted, your target backup disk would need to be larger than 2 TB to hold the sector-by-sector backup even if you only have 500 GB of data on the 2 TB encrypted drive. And that is only one backup.
Jun 15, 2015 at 6:26 PM
I see that point, however, in my case I have 40 GB encrypted and a 1 TB backup device, so space for me is not a real issue. Also, my 40 GB is 90% full.

Additionally, I have a hidden volume so if I just use an encrypted backup of a mounted volume with a secure password I would lose "plausible deniability". Where as the sector by sector backup would copy both the container volume and the hidden volume and would therefor maintain "plausible deniability"

My question about encrypting something already encrypted was regarding doing the sector by sector AND using the backup software to encrypt the result and that was what I was unsure of.
Jun 15, 2015 at 7:42 PM
Is this a 40 GB file container or a 40 GB partition on the drive?
Jun 16, 2015 at 11:13 PM
I created a 39.8 GB partition and encrypted the entire thing. Then I created a hidden container within it of ~ 30 GB. The hidden one is almost full and the other 9 is nearly full of "dummy" files. So I have about 90% of the entire encrypted partition full.

If I wanted to, I guess I could just save what is in the hidden area but that would not be as secure.
Jun 17, 2015 at 2:33 AM
My question about encrypting something already encrypted was regarding doing the sector by sector AND using the backup software to encrypt the result and that was what I was unsure of.
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The backup program should be taking what appears to be random characters as input to the AES-256 and encrypt again. Since you are going to perform a sector-by-sector backup, why do want the resulting backup encrypted since backing-up without encryption will result in a clone that is already encrypted by VeraCrypt since it is a clone?

I guess it depends on your threat model and if you think you need to encrypt the resulting sector-by-sector backup using another password which can only be 15 characters maximum using EaseUS Todo.

http://www.todo-backup.com/support/help/archive-protection.htm
Jun 17, 2015 at 5:11 AM
Actually, I don't want to encrypt again. I just wondered if it would work.