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Encrypted Container

Tutorial Key Facts
Supported Operating SystemWindows XP, Server 2000, Server 2003 , Server 2008 , Vista & 7 All versions
TrueCrypt Version7.1a
Last Update2014/06/28
AuthorNihad Hassan

Create encrypted container for storing secret files using TrueCrypt Encryption program

In this Tutorial Iam going to show you how to create an encrypted container to store your important data inside it , let us first begin by downloading TrueCrypt Program from the following link http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads


Install TrueCrypt program using simple steps

Open main program interface

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Click on ‘Volumes’ menu at the top, select the option ‘Create New Volume…’ or you can click on ‘Create Volume’ button in main program window to do the same thing

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The new volume creation wizard begins, it offers three choices for creating different TrueCrypt containers, in this tutorial we will use the first choice which create an encrypted container (create an encrypted file container)

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Click ‘Next’, the next window in the wizard asks you whether you want to create a standard or a hidden volume, for this tutorial we will create a standard volume.

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Select the option ‘Standard TrueCrypt Volume’ and click ‘Next’ to continue

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Now we need to create the file, click on ‘Select File’ button to name and create a new file on your computer as follow

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Please note this file will be your encrypted container which you are going to use to store your private data after finishing the creation wizard.

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Click ‘Next’ to continue

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Now we need to choose the ‘encryption algorithm’ and ‘hash algorithm’ for our container, you can choose an encryption algorithm from a number of algorithms that TrueCrypt offers, all of these algorithms is considered secure enough to protect your data, when you change between these algorithms, TrueCrypt offers a small description about each one, you can also click on the ‘Benchmark’ button to conduct a live benchmark of each one.

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TrueCrypt also offers three kinds of Hash algorithms; you can click on ‘Information on hash algorithms’ link for further info.

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The description of algorithm is a wide topic and beyond the scope of this tutorial, so it is enough to accept the default settings and click ‘Next’ to Continue

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Now we need to specify the Volume Size, for me I will create the volume with 125 MB, click ‘Next’ to continue

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Here we need to select a password for our container; the password should be long enough and contains numbers, symbols, both small and capital letters (DarknessGate has made a great tutorial on creating strong passwords click here to view it)

We can also choose to use KeyFiles, this feature enable us to further secure our authentication schema, this is an optional step, I will show how to make it but I will not use it in this tutorial

[Option]

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Tick the option ‘Use KeyFiles’ to use this feature, click on ‘KeyFiles’ button to select the keyfile from your PC.

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Click on ‘Add Files’ button to select the file/files you want to add

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In my example here, I select a text file called ‘DarknessGate-KeyFile.txt’  as a keyfile , click ‘Open’ to add this file.

[important]Important note about using KeyFiles: You should keep the keyfile you have selected for TrueCrypt container in a safe place without any modification , this is essential , if you add or delete just one character from the file it will become invalid and you will not be able to open your encrypted container[/important]

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[End of Optional Steps]

As I stated before, using KeyFiles is optional, now after entering your password for the container click on ‘Next’

If your password was less than 20 characters, the following warning message will pop up

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Although my password contains both numbers and small & capital letters in addition to symbols , TrueCrypt give this warning to assure using more than 20 characters password, click ‘Yes’ to continue

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The next wizard window allow us to select which file system we want our container to have, we have three types of file system available

  • NTFS
  • FAT
  • None

It is better to use the FAT file system as it works on both Windows & Linux Machines

We can also select the cluster size, the default setting is enough

TrueCrypt asks us to move our cursor as much as we can inside the window, this will increase the cryptographic strength of the encryption key; it better to move your cursor for at least 5 minutes.

Click ‘Format’ to format your encrypted volume

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After format finish, the following success message appears

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Click ‘OK’ and the final wizard window appears

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Click ‘Exit’ and you are done …

Opening Your TrueCrypt encrypted container:

Open TrueCrypt program, select a drive letter and click the ‘Select File’ button to select your encrypted container as follow

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After selecting your file click the ‘Mount’ Button as follow

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The password window appears asking you to enter the container password to open it, you can also tick the option ‘Use Keyfile’ if you have created a keyfile during the creation wizard (this is an optional step as we have mentioned before).

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Enter your password and click ‘OK’

If the password is valid, your encrypted container will appears in main program interface in addition to appears as a new hard disk in windows explorer as follow

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You can also access your volume through windows explorer as follow

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You can add /delete files and folder to your volume as you would do with any ordinary hard disk , after finishing from using this volume you need to dismount it (like unplug) from TrueCrypt program as follow

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[warning]

Attention: if you have moved your encrypted container to a flash memory, you need to make sure to dismount it legally as appears in in the above screen, unplugging your flash memory without first dismounting it may lead to serious data lose.

[/warning]

Now we have finished our main tutorial on using TrueCrypt for creating a standard encrypted container, creating such container is enough for most users and can hold large amount of data safely in addition to moving this container with us from one PC to another.

In next part of TrueCrypt tutorial we are going to further describe other features of this fantastic program.

Download TrueCrypt Program from here (3.3 MB)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.darknessgate.com/security-tutorials/using-encryption-tools/truecrypt/encrypted-container/