Speed up the migration of encrypted drives to another software

DiskCryptor has been my go-to program on Windows when it comes to encrypting entire hard drives and the system partition since 2012.

Development stopped, however, several years ago. While the program works fine even on the latest versions of Windows 10, I decided some time ago to switch to another encryption software.

The main reason was that I disliked using a program that was not in active development. The consequence was that bugs or security issues would not be fixed and that it would not support any new features either (e.g. new encryption algorithms, encryption algorithm updates, performance improvements).

I decided to migrate to VeraCrypt, a cross-platform encryption software based on TrueCrypt code. VeraCrypt is in active development and it was audited for security-issues.

The main issue that I faced after I made the decision was that I could not simply migrate encrypted disks from DiskCryptor to VeraCrypt.

The prospect of having to decrypt all DiskCrypto encrypted hard drives one by one to encrypt them again using VeraCrypt was not a pleasant one. Initial tests revealed that it would take a day to decrypt the 4 Terabyte drives and even longer to decrypt the 8 Terabyte drive. But decrypting was only part of the operation, as I had to encrypt the drives as well using VeraCrypt afterward which meant that I would have to spend a week at least getting this done.

Speed up the process

veracrypt 1.22

Here is what I did to speed up the process significantly: instead of decrypting drives to encrypt them again, I decided to move all files to another drive, format the-then-empty drive using quick format, and encrypt it using VeraCrypt in the end.

Moving required that I had enough free space on another drive (which I had). All I did was mount two of the drives and move all files from one drive to the other so that the source drive would have zero files on it.

I right-clicked on the drive and select the format option to run a quick format on it.

Doing so was no security or privacy issue as I would encrypt the entire drive again using VeraCrypt after the formatting ended. Even better, VeraCrypt could encrypt the entire drive quickly because no data was on the drive.

The whole operation took about two hours (with moving files off the drive and on again after the VeraCrypt encryption process completed) instead of the two or so days that it would have taken if I would have run decrypt and encrypt operations on the drive.

I repeated the process for the other drives and moved the files of the other drives to the VeraCrypt encrypted drives.

It took less than a day to process all hard drives and migrate from the old encryption software to the new software.

Closing Words

The main caveat is that you need a drive with enough free disk space to park the files that are on the drive that you want to migrate to another encryption software.

Now You: Do you encrypt your drives and system?

Summary

Speed up the decrypting and encrypting of encrypted drives


Article Name

Speed up the decrypting and encrypting of encrypted drives

Description

Find out how I migrated encrypted drives to another encryption software without decrypting the data first to do so.

Author

Martin Brinkmann

Publisher

Ghacks Technology News

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