Macrium Support Forum

How can I encrypt an existing non-encrypted .mrimg image?

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic41643.aspx

By JDB - 28 November 2020 6:41 AM

Hello,
I am new to Macrium Reflect;  I apologize if this is an old question.   I searched the forum a bit and couldn't find the answer.
During my trial period, I created a couple of images, but failed to encrypt them.  
Is there a method to encrypt these files without having to restore and re-image them?   I don't have enough disk space to recreate them without blowing away another backup.
I am hoping that there is a function to encrypt them "in place" without needing a lot of additional free space to work in.
Thanks in advance for any pointers.
-John
By jphughan - 28 November 2020 3:57 PM

Unfortunately there is no way to adjust encryption or compression settings after the fact. You can’t add or remove encryption, or change the key length, or change the password.
By dbminter - 28 November 2020 4:35 PM

I suppose it may be possible to do a File And Folder backup of a Reflect image set and password protect that.  But, there are drawbacks.  First, you'd be adding extra steps to the restore process because you'd have to first restore down the FAF and then restore the image.  This would also mean you'd have to have double the space, the size of the image in the FAF backup set to restore down to.  Your Reflect image is, probably, one large file, i.e. not split up into parts.  Thus, you couldn't mount the FAF backup as a virtual drive and copy the image because of the FAT32 limitation currently on Reflect virtual drives.  I suppose it's possible to just read in the image from a virtual drive for a restore process with this FAT32 limitation, but if you were going to do this, I'd recommend testing this first by mounting the FAF backup, loading the Reflect image set from the virtual drive, and doing a manual Verify on the contents.  However, that's still no guarantee it will work for restoring, though.


All in all, though this method is plausible, I wouldn't recommend it.


Plus, the OP said they didn't want to use extra space to go through recreating the whole backup again.  Effectively, this FAF idea does that, so it's probably not desirable.
By JDB - 29 November 2020 2:53 AM

Thanks for your information and suggestions, jphughan and dbminter,

Also thanks for your replies, given that I posted my question in the wrong category (probably should have been under Disk Imaging).

I thought that this would be the answer (ie, no way to encrypt after the fact).  It's true that the files are large and exceed 1 TB, so re-backing them up would indeed be cumbersome, time consuming, and I might not have enough free space to perform a FAF copy of the images.  If enough space is available to encapsulate the images into an encrypted FAF, then I might as well perform a full restore and re-Backup into new images.

I thought about using VeraCrypt, because it can encrypt an NTFS volume in place, but that requires an additional layer of administration (vis.a.vis mount/unmount/volume management) and has some impact on performance depending on CPU instruction set and memory.

I also thought about mounting the images in question (on drive letters), and extracting just an important subset, then delete the originals and re-backup the important part.   Knowing me, I'd probably leave something out and regret it later.

The above solutions are possible, but I finally decided to "bite the bullet" and clear enough space somewhere to perform a full Restore and re-Backup as encrypted images.   I probably have enough legacy Retrospect backups and obsolete VMs that are due for deletion anyway.  After doing this, I may need to seek counseling for "Data Hoarder Deleter's Remorse" which is a serious mental illness.  :-) 

The only serious drawback might be the resetting of Directory Timestamps when performing the Restore.  I'm going to guess that Macrium Reflect7 is very smart and treats directory timestamps correctly!    (if not, there is a utility by NIRSOFT called "Folder Time Update" that can set the timestamp on every Directory to the creation date of the oldest file in the tree heirarchy).

Thanks again,
-John
By dbminter - 29 November 2020 3:34 PM

Many moons ago (About 15 years.), there was an imaging application called Drive Image.  It had an external tool where you could load a pre-existing image and change its compression type, password, and comments.  The drawback was an entire new image was saved with the new changes so you needed the space for a 2nd copy to create the new one before you could delete/overwrite the old one.
By JDB - 29 November 2020 11:37 PM

dbminter - 29 November 2020 3:34 PM
Many moons ago (About 15 years.), there was an imaging application called Drive Image.  It had an external tool where you could load a pre-existing image and change its compression type, password, and comments.  The drawback was an entire new image was saved with the new changes so you needed the space for a 2nd copy to create the new one before you could delete/overwrite the old one.

I remember that too.   I actually used PowerQuest DriveImage a lot, along with Partition Magic and Boot Magic.   These tools enabled creation of multiple boot environments, during the Middle Ages of desktop computing before virtualization became viable.   Later, Drive Image was acquired and transformed by Symantec and renamed Norton Ghost, and they dropped the "Magic" products.  I don't recall whether or not these products ever supported the NTFS filesystem.    If they didn't, then that's what obsolesced them.


By dbminter - 30 November 2020 1:02 AM

As far as I know, the only functionality retained from Drive Image when Symantec bought PowerQuest was that Norton Ghost could read and restore Drive Image image file sets.  Everything else was abandoned.


Drive Image was the first disk imaging application I ever used.  I heard about this program where you could make sector copy backups of partitions.  So, I got the idea of installing Windows, all applications, and configuring them and then imaging the Windows partition.  It was at around this time that the standard Microsoft answer to all tech support questions was "Reinstall Windows."  So, rather than reinstall everything for the slightest error in Windows, I would image my Windows partition every day.  Then, I could roll back to previous installations where it worked.  Saved me a lot of time.


I used Partition Magic a lot, too.  PowerQuest had a lot of tools in my software tool bag, like Lost And Found.  Even though I'll never use them again, I have .IMG files of all the PowerQuest bootable recovery floppies.  I have a USB 3.5" floppy drive and a decent collection of floppy disks I can write to, but, as I said, I'll probably never use them again.
By JDB - 30 November 2020 3:35 AM

dbminter - 30 November 2020 1:02 AM
As far as I know, the only functionality retained from Drive Image when Symantec bought PowerQuest was that Norton Ghost could read and restore Drive Image image file sets.  Everything else was abandoned.


Drive Image was the first disk imaging application I ever used.  I heard about this program where you could make sector copy backups of partitions.  So, I got the idea of installing Windows, all applications, and configuring them and then imaging the Windows partition.  It was at around this time that the standard Microsoft answer to all tech support questions was "Reinstall Windows."  So, rather than reinstall everything for the slightest error in Windows, I would image my Windows partition every day.  Then, I could roll back to previous installations where it worked.  Saved me a lot of time.


I used Partition Magic a lot, too.  PowerQuest had a lot of tools in my software tool bag, like Lost And Found.  Even though I'll never use them again, I have .IMG files of all the PowerQuest bootable recovery floppies.  I have a USB 3.5" floppy drive and a decent collection of floppy disks I can write to, but, as I said, I'll probably never use them again.


Sounds like something to contribute to the Computer Museum in San Jose.

By JDB - 30 November 2020 3:44 AM

John - 30 November 2020 3:35 AM
dbminter - 30 November 2020 1:02 AM
As far as I know, the only functionality retained from Drive Image when Symantec bought PowerQuest was that Norton Ghost could read and restore Drive Image image file sets.  Everything else was abandoned.


Drive Image was the first disk imaging application I ever used.  I heard about this program where you could make sector copy backups of partitions.  So, I got the idea of installing Windows, all applications, and configuring them and then imaging the Windows partition.  It was at around this time that the standard Microsoft answer to all tech support questions was "Reinstall Windows."  So, rather than reinstall everything for the slightest error in Windows, I would image my Windows partition every day.  Then, I could roll back to previous installations where it worked.  Saved me a lot of time.


I used Partition Magic a lot, too.  PowerQuest had a lot of tools in my software tool bag, like Lost And Found.  Even though I'll never use them again, I have .IMG files of all the PowerQuest bootable recovery floppies.  I have a USB 3.5" floppy drive and a decent collection of floppy disks I can write to, but, as I said, I'll probably never use them again.


Sounds like something to contribute to the Computer Museum in San Jose.


I still have them too, but in .IMA format... the "PQ Emergency Disk", PQMagic, Ghost, DriveCopy, and so on.   Egads, I just discovered a bunch of floppy images for the US Robotics 56K dialup modem.   I know we are off-topic now so I'll stop.... :-)


By dbminter - 30 November 2020 3:48 AM

I've got lots of old hardware I kept around simply as a collector.  I've got an 8 inch floppy diskette somewhere lying around.  Came across some LS-120 diskettes the other day.  They were a proprietary hardware format type of floppy drive that could read and write 120 MB diskettes.  It never caught on, though, particularly when the Zip drive came along, even though the Zip disks were initially smaller.  I don't have anymore Zip disks, but I do still have some old Jaz 2 2 GB diskettes, also made by IOMega.  Found an old x86 EEPROM for sale at a thrift store for $1 that I bought simply for my collection.


EDIT: Yeah, best to quit before this thread veers way off topic.