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TrueCrypt & Defragmenting

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by duncan, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    TrueCrypt's documentation states that you should not defrag drives with TC on board.

    I understand there could be a small risk that some identifying traces could be separated from the encrypted folder making TC visible.

    But other than that, is there any real risk of compromising the encryption?

    Defragging is part of my system maintenance regime in keeping operations efficient.:embarassed:
  2. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Perhaps you can exclude the encrypted directory from the defrag process?

    Looks like that won't work... You would probably be okay if it was a seperate volume... then it would be simple to exclude.

    Back it up before you experiment... :supergrin:

    And let us know how it works out.

    Thanks for being the Guinea Pig... :cool:

  3. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    If you're using a FAT12, FAT16 or FAT32 filesystem, you need to defrag occasionally.

    If you're using NTFS, EXT2, 3, 4, UFS, HFS or HFS+ filesystem, you do NOT need to defrag. No, it's not part of your system maintenance, you're doing unnecessary file reading and writing.

    Remember, also, an encrypted filesystem does NOT have a standard layout. The OS does not dictate where on the disk a file piece is, trucrypt does. They say leave it alone. Ever think there's a reason they say that?
  4. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I don't know what documentation you're looking at but TrueCrypt's FAQ says you can defrag, run chkdsk, etc. I defrag my TrueCrypt volumes periodically.
  5. filthy infidel

    filthy infidel 100% Infidel

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Carolina

    You most definitely will need to perform a defragmentation, just not as regularly as on any FAT system. NTFS does fragment, just not as quickly.....
  6. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I found what you're talking about. That would apply for a file based TrueCrypt volume, but not for a drive/partition based volume.

    You could either copy the TrueCrypt file to another drive before defragmenting, or erase empty space afterward to make sure nothing is left behind.
  7. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    Sorry but that’s a common misconception, It is true that NTFS is less prone to fragmentation than FAT, but it still occurs. While NTFS is a much more efficient file system and not subject to the same fragmentation as FAT, there is some indication that over time the NTFS Master File Table is affected by fragmentation.

    You still need to perform maintenance on an NTFS drive. Regular scandisks and defragging will increase your system reliability and speed.

  8. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    I knew there was a reason I don't do Windows.