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If you remove encryption, is it dangerous during? power failure etc.

Topics: Users Discussion
Sep 15, 2016 at 10:57 PM
If you do a permanently decrypt on a partition that is currently encrypted, say you want to encrypt it fresh to get a new algorithm or take advantage of some new benefit of a new version of VeraCrypt that your old encrypted partition is not capable of. During the in-place decryption, are there dangers if the power goes out? If the power to the computer gets pulled and then you boot back up when the power comes back on a couple hours later, what happens? Are you screwed? Do you perform a normal decryption of the partition and it would know where it got to and offer to continue to do the in-place decryption? I am trying to determine the safety of using this instead of buying another hard drive to move files to during a re-encryption process.

Also, similarly, if you do an in-place encryption of a partition containing raw unencrypted files, are there dangers with this in the same regard as above relating to power going dead of computer crashing etc?
Sep 17, 2016 at 4:37 PM
Does anyone know?
Coordinator
Sep 18, 2016 at 9:15 PM
When VeraCrypt performs in-place encryption or decryption, the state of encryption/decryption is updated regularly on disk in order to allow pausing and resuming the operation.

If there is a sudden power failure in the middle of an encryption/decryption operation, the state of encryption/decryption that is saved on the disk will be the state written before the power failure and there a big chance that it will not contain the latest few sectors encrypted/decrypted.

No software in the world can be protected against sudden power failures, simply because in such case, the execution of the program and the whole operating system stops without any notice. VeraCrypt tries to mitigate part of the problem by regularly saving the state of the operation but it is not 100% solution.

My advice: for critical systems and operations, always use a UPS and configure it correctly in Windows.
Sep 18, 2016 at 9:26 PM
Very nice. You purposefully take steps to help in that unlikely situation. If/when the time arrives that I wish to do this. I think I will remove unneeded files and copy crucial files to another existing drive so that in case of issues and there is corruption, I can get crucial things back.

I made my partitions maybe a year ago. Is there any benefit in me creating new encrypted partitions? I remember in the past there were feature reasons why I had to make whole new partitions to get those benefits. Are there any at this point yet?