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Backup partition layout/table

Topics: Feature Requests, Technical Issues, Users Discussion
Mar 20, 2016 at 12:54 PM
Regarding this post: https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/discussions/652687 I suggest that future versions focus more on data-loss prevention.

Would it be possible to implement partition header backup so if an encrypted partition is deleted (not formated) it could be restored?

I mean, the data is all there, encrypted but it is physically there (even though the partition headers are gone - now RAW). There is a difference between formating and deleting a partition.

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My suggestion is, add a feature to dump the partition header right after it is unmounted so the volume can be recovered if the partition gets deleted (NOT FORMATED)

Can anyone tell me if this kind of backup would work if a partition is accidentally deleted?
Mar 21, 2016 at 5:04 PM
It is amazing how nobody gives a damn about such a vulnerability. Not one answer.
Mar 24, 2016 at 6:24 PM
The problem is WHERE vc should store the layout. When veracrypt don't know, where its header was, how could it know, where does it have its the backup? :) More useful would be to implement "find vc lost backup header" on the whole device. It could take from hours to days, but at least we could have something.

But it is not a bad idea, maybe veracrypt could show partition layout, user could write it down and later this information could be used to recreate partitions using this information. This is exactly what I do now, I dump partition layout from linux live cd and write it down to a sticker sticked to the harddrive, which is the backup I cannot lose ;-)

Btw. all the tools you mentioned should work perfectly too. There have been a small live linux distro called PING, which was able to back up partition layout or even the whole partitions and disks, also compress it and send over a network... it was a less user friendly alternative of norton ghost, but it is dead for years.
Mar 24, 2016 at 9:39 PM
Edited Mar 24, 2016 at 9:46 PM
I did some tests and it really works!
  1. Create two partitions in an HDD.
  2. Format each one with VC.
  3. Store some data for testing purpose.
  4. Backup the partition table.
  5. Delete those partitions (but don't format)
  6. Reboot and see that you can't mount your VC volumes since they have been deleted.
  7. Restore the backup partition table.
  8. Done! the partitions are back and can be mounted!
But if you fast format the partition then all is lost.
VC Dev team should give it a go. Create a feature to backup partition table.
It is a relatively simple procedure.