I just bought a new laptop. It has an SSD. I'm very paranoid about SSDs, and I keep backing up everything. First of all: I am using TrueCrypt to crypt my system partition, which is the entire SSD. My laptop is running windows7. I would like to do what follows: create a USB hard drive with two encrypted partitions: Partition1 hosts a live linux distro, Partition2 is just a NTFS partition where I can save the backup of my laptop. When the live linux boots, it should ask me for the password to boot the live linux system (which is encrypted). When the live linux system is ready, it should mount the crypted partition of my laptop, unlock it using a password stored as plain text on the live linux system, mount the Partition2 using a password stored as plain text on the live linux system, create an image of the system partition of my laptop on Partition2 of the USB hard drive. The passwords are stored as plain text since the live system partition is encrypted too.

What I would like to know is:

  1. Would a headless minimal live Debian system be fine to achieve this?
  2. Is TrueCrypt the right software to install on the live linux machine?
  3. How can I create an IMAGE of the entire SSD of my laptop so that if it stops working I can simply buy a new SSD, copy the whole data of the old ssd to the new ssd?
  4. To give you a better idea of what I would like to achieve: this would be like virtual machines "snapshots". If the VM messes up, or the VM's files become corrupt, you can simply replace the VM's files with the latest working snapshot you have. If my SSD breaks, I would like to simply buy a new one, restore all the data on it, and have my system working back again.

Any advice, suggestion or opinion is very welcome.

  • @terdon: The password is saved as plain text on the usb drive, which partitions are both encrypted.
    – giovi321
    Jan 10, 2014 at 12:47
  • Ah, that makes more sense :)
    – terdon
    Jan 10, 2014 at 12:48
  • I edited the question, now it should be more clear.
    – giovi321
    Jan 10, 2014 at 13:01
  • Why do you want to do this via live system? Jan 10, 2014 at 13:26
  • Thats a lot of question and some has already been answer like the backup part
    – Kiwy
    Jan 10, 2014 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


How about boot into any usb live boot distro.

dd if=/dev/<windows drive> of=/mnt/usb/backup.img

This way you have a copy of the windows drive. which is still encrypted with the original truecrypt encryption.

When you restore form the image

dd if=/mnt/usb/backup.img of=/dev/<windows drive>

it will replace the original drive image and the original truecrypt encryption will work.

you don't need to any encryption on the usb os because the images will be encrypted.

  • You are telling me that if I make an image of my encrypted system partition and than I restore it on another SSD or HDD, it will still be encrypted and usable like before?
    – giovi321
    Jan 10, 2014 at 14:11
  • 2
    Yes exactly if you enter a book shop and try to read a book in a foreign langage you don't understand, if you try to take a picture of all the pages, your picture will notshow text in English and will not make it more understandable. In this case the command dd make a perfect binary duplicate of your windows disk with the booloader and everything, if you already apply encryption on it, a picture of it will not be more readable.
    – Kiwy
    Jan 10, 2014 at 21:01

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