I am using a non-SSD drive: Western Digital Black 1TB. Windows XP (please don't judge why I'm still using XP. I've actually recentlly started to use Win 7).

For ex: if I have 2 partitions. 500GB encrypted system partition. and 500GB non encrypted partition.

Can i use Truecrypt/Veracrypt to "Wipe" the 500GB non encrypted partition by creating an encryption partition using a very secure random password? (Wiping in this context means the data in the non encrypted partition should be unrecoverable)

For example- I'll use Truecrypt/Veracrypt to "Create a New Volume" > Encrypt a Non-System Partition Drive > Choose "Create encrypted volume and format it" and then use a very secure random password and format it

And the same goes true with using "Encrypt the system Partition" and Encrypt the system partition in place? For example, if I have an unencrypted System Partition 500GB C: Drive. If I use Truecrypt/Veracrypt to "Encrypt the system Parition" and "Encrypt the system partition in place." all the data in the non encrypted system partition C: drive is now inaccessible without the password?

BTW I am using Truecrypt. (Also please don't judge why I haven't upgraded to VeraCrypt)


1 Answer 1


Yes, you can securely overwrite an entire partition by using TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt. Select the partition for encryption, and enable a single secure overwrite. You do not even need to select a secure password, as the master key that is used to overwrite the partition is already generated randomly. Note that you would want to create a new encrypted partition, not encrypt an existing partition in-place.

The only difference between encrypting an existing partition and creating a new partition is that the former will be less efficient due to reading from the entire disk as well as writing to it, and will also require you use a secure password. The latter technique is faster, just as secure, and does not require you use a secure password to effectively destroy all the data on the partition.

  • Thanks Forest. You always give the best answers! I think I got my answer. So essentially if I use TC/VC to "Wipe" a non encrypted partition by encrypting it- all the data that was in the non encrypted partition should be unrecoverable). Okay just to follow up..... you wrote in another comment about how I was asking about wiping the partition and not free space. So if I use TC/VC to "Wipe" a non encrypted partition. All the data - including the free space or deleted files or data in that partition should still be unrecovereable after I've encrypted it, is this about correct?
    – Starzzzzz
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 4:09
  • Correct, all data will be destroyed, regardless of whether the files still exist or were deleted. Of course, in extreme circumstances, there may be damaged sectors in an old hard drive that cannot be written to. There is no effective way to destroy them short of physically destroying the drive.
    – forest
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 4:12

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