Problems on new installation after encrypting drives

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kingsthane
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Problems on new installation after encrypting drives

Post by kingsthane » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:40 pm

A few questions about encrypting partitions if I might please. I recently replaced my mint17 with a fresh install of mint18 64bit using "something else" and a newly formatted and encrypted /home on another drive. Various drives with partitions and their backups (spread around in case a drive bites the biscuit). Copied my /home data back from the backup and all seemed to work well. Next I used DISKS to encrypt an external usb drive for an extra /home backup - all good. Taking it to the next step I encrypted one of my backup partitions using DISKS as a trial run before encrypting the others (LUKS). But first I rebooted to check if everything worked ok. Wasn't sure if I should disable the backup partition mount in fstab or not, so I left it as it was. Wrong move I think. System wouldn't reboot from hard drive and locked up repeatedly. Neither would it boot from the dvd drive. Changed the order in bios and got the mint18 dvd to boot. Reformatted the backup partition to original unencrypted state, fixed the uuid (not sure when it had changed) and system would finally boot with access to the partition.

Problem number 1: If I set bios boot order now to the dvd first, the system hangs if there isn't a disk in the dvd drive and also I cannot then access the system on the hard drive. If the bios boot order is set to boot from hard drive, it won't boot from dvd if for instance I have the Mint18 disk in. Problem #2: I could leave my backup partitions unmounted in fstab for security, but I would still like to encrypt the 4 backup partitions (separate primary partitions on one 3TB drive).

1. As I’m not sure, when the system became strictly exclusive to either/or a sda or dvd booting system, is this something that was cast in stone when I encrypted my /home? Or is there a way to have the dvd as the 1st boot option, then progressing to the hard drive if no dvd is present?
2. Is having an encrypted /home the reason my boot order was changed to mint system first? Maybe I'm wrong, but I was sure it was set to boot from the dvd first and if not present, then progress on to the hard drive.
3. Also is it possible to have a /home on one drive and 4 backup partitions on another drive all encrypted? If so do I need to do a complete reinstall to get it all done at time of installation? I don’t mind doing this if that is what is needed or if it would be easier.
4. If I do need to do a complete reinstallation, will mint automatically recognize and utilize an already encrypted /home partition using the same password?
Thanks

kingsthane
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Level 1
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:38 pm

Re: Problems on new installation after encrypting drives

Post by kingsthane » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:26 pm

Progress to date: I think I have solved the boot order problem which I found after encrypting my /home. I forgot that I had flashed the mobo to the latest bios, prior to installing Mint 18. I think that is probably where I lost my prior boot order settings. However I am still puzzled by a couple of things as to the encryption. My encrypted /home is running fine as is. But if I were to do a reinstallation with the "Something Else" option and keep my present /home without reformatting the partition, will Mint recognize and include the encrypted /home and automatically use it seamlessly? And finally I still don't know if I can encrypt my separate backup partitions for use on a system, which already has an encrypted /home. Am I limited to only one encrypted partition per Mint installation? Thanks.

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