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DiskCryptor Logo
Main Window
DiskCryptor main window
Developer(s)Anonymous ntldr <ntldr(at)diskcryptor.net> David Xanatos[1]
Stable release
1.2.2/848.118.202 Stable / 27 April 2020 (2020-04-27)
Written inC, Assembly
Operating system
Available inEnglish
TypeDisk encryption software
LicenseGNU GPLv3

DiskCryptor is a free and open-source full disk encryption system for Microsoft Windows.[2][3] It allows for the encryption of a PC's entire hard drive or individual partitions – including the ability to encrypt the partition and disk on which the OS is installed.[4]

DiskCryptor was originally designed to replace commercial disk encryption systems such as DriveCrypt Plus Pack and PGP Whole Disk Encryption, and uses either AES-256, Twofish, Serpent or a combination of cascaded algorithms in XTS mode to carry out encryption.

The project was originally started by a former TrueCrypt user and forum member who goes by the name of 'ntldr' (anonymous). According to the developer, it was originally fully compatible with TrueCrypt's container format as it used a corresponding partition format and encrypted data with AES-256 algorithm in LRW mode. However, according to the software's website, has since improved on the format in order to allow data-in-place encryption on Windows XP, to allow the system partition to have exactly the same format as non-system partitions and to support future project plans.

After the original TrueCrypt was discontinued, DiskCryptor as an alternative had not been updated for a long time, but since 2020 development has restarted.[5] Notable changes are the ability to boot in an UEFI environment from GPT disks.[6][7] Other alternatives have appeared, most notably the source-available project VeraCrypt (based on the original TrueCrypt source code), but DiskCryptor is significant more efficient and faster, most noticeable on very fast NVMe storage devices.[8][9][10]

Program features[edit]

  • Support for encryption algorithm AES, Twofish, Serpent, including their combinations.
    • Transparent encryption of disk partitions.
    • Full support for dynamic disks.
    • Support for disk devices with large sector size (important for hardware RAID operation).
  • Performance claimed to be comparable to efficiency of a non-encrypted system.
  • Broad choice in configuration of booting an encrypted OS. Support for various multi-boot options.
    • Full compatibility with third party boot loaders (LILO, GRUB, etc.).
    • Full compatibility with UEFI/GPT boot
    • Encryption of system and bootable partitions with pre-boot authentication.
    • Option to place boot loader on external medium and to authenticate using the key medium.
    • Support for key files.
  • Full support for external storage devices.
    • Option to create encrypted CDs and DVDs.
    • Full support for encryption of external USB storage devices.
    • Automatic mounting of disk partitions and external storage devices.
  • Support for hotkeys and optional command-line interface (CLI).
  • Open license GNU GPLv3.

For limitations in the current version, as well as other technical information, see official website.

Encryption algorithms[edit]

All algorithms are implemented in XTS mode.

Hash function[edit]


With modern computer system that have hardware accelerated AES calculations, Diskcryptor has nearly native write/read performance in the multi GB/s range even on very fast modern storage devices like NVMe.[11] On an Intel Core 2 Quad (Q6600) CPU data encryption speed amounts to 104 MB/s per core.[12] Crypto-algorithms for the x86 version are implemented in assembly language, the implementation having a maximum number of optimizations for the Intel Core line of processors, however it performs sufficiently fast on any other processor as well.[13] Almost all possible enhancements to improve the performance have been applied such as the AES algorithm code is being dynamically generated with optimization made for the usage of a particular key.[12]

Supported OS[edit]

Operating systems Service pack Instruction set architecture
Windows XP SP0–SP3 x86, x64
Server 2003 SP0–SP2 x86, x64
Vista SP0–SP2 x86, x64
Server 2008 SP0–SP2 x86, x64
7 SP0–SP1 x86, x64
Server 2008 R2 x64
8, 8.1 x86, x64
Server 2012 x64
10 x86, x64

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://github.com/DavidXanatos
  2. ^ OTFEDB entry for DiskCryptor v0.2 Archived 11 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Whitepaper: Full-Disk-Encryption Crash-Course – Everything to hide by Jürgen Pabel
  4. ^ DiskCryptor version history Archived 6 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ https://github.com/DavidXanatos/DiskCryptor/releases
  6. ^ https://github.com/DavidXanatos/DiskCryptor
  7. ^ https://diskcryptor.org/
  8. ^ https://github.com/veracrypt/VeraCrypt/issues/136
  9. ^ https://sourceforge.net/p/veracrypt/discussion/technical/thread/bacd5d29/
  10. ^ https://sourceforge.net/p/veracrypt/discussion/general/thread/9cb021ad/
  11. ^ https://github.com/veracrypt/VeraCrypt/issues/136
  12. ^ a b "DiskCryptor official website: DiskCryptor Wiki, Main Page". Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  13. ^ https://sourceforge.net/p/veracrypt/discussion/technical/thread/bacd5d29/#9f39

External links[edit]