Can you clone a encrypted Hard Drive. - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 11-12-2010, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can you clone a encrypted Hard Drive.

I have a laptop with a older 120gb sata 1.5 that I would like to upgrade to a 500gb sata 3gb. The older H-D is encrypted, but I can get access to it. How would I go about cloning a laptop harddrive that is encrypted? Could i use a desktop with sata to make the clone?


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Old 11-12-2010, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can you clone a encrypted Hard Drive.

Is it encrypted using some kind of software, or using a BIOS/Firmware feature of the harddisk itself? In case of the first option, are only the files encrypted or do you need the 'excrypting software' to access the disk/partitions?
I have no experience with cloning excrypted drives, but if it is only encrypted on a file level, it should be possible using regular cloning software (true image, norton ghost, stuff like that).
If you clone it, better keep the old disk until you are sure you can access them from the new disk.

You can hook-up a sata 2.5'' disk to your desktop.

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can you clone a encrypted Hard Drive.

As said by TheMajor, if your file system is encrypted using some type of software, you *should* be able to clone it, but there is no guarantee that it will work, as the drive may not properly decrypt. It also depends on if the program changes the fileformat in a way, that windows can recognize portions of it, but then needs to use that software to decrypt on the fly.

If it is a hardware level encryption, such as a HDD lock password, there is no way to copy unless you remove that password first, then do the image, and re-enable the password. I tried this on a Dell Laptop that had a locked drive, I couldn't access it until the password was removed.
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