TrueCrypt is a freeware software application used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file or encrypt a partition or (under Microsoft Windows except Windows 2000) the entire storage device (pre-boot authentication).

Read more about TrueCrypt:  Operating Systems, Cryptographic Algorithms, Performance, Security Concerns, Operation Satyagraha, Licensing, Trademarks, Planned Features, TrueCrypt and The Trusted Platform Module, Incompatibility With FlexNet Publisher, Version History

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Comparison Of Disk Encryption Software - Background Information
2000-12-01 BSD Yes Symantec Endpoint Encryption Symantec Corporation 2008 Proprietary Yes TrueCrypt TrueCrypt Foundation 2004-02-02 Free and open source (unique license however) TrueCrypt ...
Safe Cast - Dangers
... SafeCast with old versions of TrueCrypt can leave a machine in an unbootable state ... This is a problem of SafeCast Protection and not TrueCrypt ... The makers of TrueCrypt, however, have further insulated the drives from external writes in the later versions, and it can now handle this protection scheme with no damage to data ...
TrueCrypt - Version History
... TrueCrypt is based on Encryption for the Masses (E4M), an open source on-the-fly encryption program first released in 1997 ... Release made under the GNU General Public License, and signed as the TrueCrypt Foundation – previous versions were signed by TrueCrypt Team ... Version released on, which became the official TrueCrypt domain ...