How to Use TrueCrypt (Beginner)

This is a piece of step by step on how to use TrueCrypt. Before moving into the step, below are the specification used by me.

Before we move in further into this piece of document, below are the System and TrueCrypt version used by the author.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate Edition (32-bit)
  • TrueCrypt 6.1a (Version 7.0a is the latest now)

Creating a TrueCrypt Volume
This section is to create a simple TrueCrypt encrypted volume. It is very suitable for beginner that just started to use this software. If the user would like to know more about creating a Hidden Volume within a TrueCrypt drive, you can skip this post and proceed to the next post.

1. Let’s kick off this document by running your TrueCrypt from the Start Menu.

2. You should see something similar to Figure 1 and click on the Create Volume to create an encrypted drive.

Figure 1: Create a TrueCrypt Volume

3. Select ‘create an encrypted file container’ on the next screen as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Create an Encrypted File Container

4. As this is a beginner’s section, let’s select ‘standard TrueCrypt volume’ as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Standard TrueCrypt Volume

5. For the author, he will select the location as shown in Figure 4. Take note that you do not have to create the file first. You just need to specify and TrueCrypt will do the file creation later.
Figure 4: Volume Location

6. You have eight encryption algorithms to choose and three hash algorithm to choose. The author will stick to the default one and proceed.
Figure 5: Encryption Options

7. In this example, the author will use only 50MB for the volume size.
Figure 6: Volume Size

8. At this screen, specify your password before clicking next. As you can see as well, there is a checkbox item called ‘Use keyfiles’. This is the additional security feature where you can specify a key file that can be used to unmount the volume together with the defined password. This section will not cover the keyfiles usage and hence, only the password is used.
Figure 7: Volume Password

9. Lastly, click on the ‘Format’ button to create the encrypted drive.

Mounting a TrueCrypt Volume
After you have created the TrueCrypt volume, you need to know how to mount the drive to be able to use it.

1. Back to the main screen, you need to select a destination drive where your encrypted volume should go to.

2. Once you had your destination drive figured out, select the file that you just created. You can refer to Figure 8 as reference.
Figure 8: Mounting a TrueCrypt Drive

3. Click on the ‘Mount’ button and then specify your password. Click on the ‘OK’ button to mount your encrypted drive.
Figure 9: Specify Password

4. The drive should appear as in Figure 10 by now.
Figure 10: Encrypted Volume Mounted

5. You can open the volume by double clicking on the highlighted are or access through your ‘My Computer’.
6. Store all your important data inside and once you are done, dismount the drive from the TrueCrypt main menu

Congratulations! You just got yourself an encrypted drive to protect your personal data. To learn more on further enhancing your knowledge in TrueCrypt, you can continue to the next post.

You can also obtain the PDF version of this guide at here.
P/S: Sorry for using sendspace to upload this PDF. I will find a better solution to this issue.

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  3. TrueCrypt: Protecting Data The Free Way
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