How do I mount the unmountable?
August 19, 2010 11:10 AM   Subscribe

It's so, soooo secret even I cannot read it....Truecrypt idiocy story inside. Help!

So, I've done what this poster did, only I went even further. I have encrypted part of a memory stick and now it would not mount the volume.

I used to have a 4GB file with all my stuff. One night (oh yes, don't do things when you're alert and sober...ahem) before a WE in which I knew there was a chance I would use the stick to exchange files with a bunch of people I had never met before, I must have done something really clever....and really stupid.
I know that the data is there - there are 19 GB used, and only 12ish are of files/folders. WinDirStat shows an "unknown" block of 6.6 GB...that should be it, right?

Except - I can't mount it. There is no file anymore - if I just point Truecrypt at the device it just doesn't work. I know that the password is right so what gives? Is there any chance I created some sort of hidden d:\secretstuff\ folder that I cannot see under Windows (of course with the "show hidden folders" on in Windows) and where the encrypted part resides?

And yes, I feel pretty stupid. I do have backups which are not too old, but this thing (i.e. my idiocy) is really annoying me.
Anything else the hive mind can think of? Is there anything I can try before I give up?
posted by MessageInABottle to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Have you tried looking at it in a terminal?

If you have access to a unix-like one the command ls -la should show you any hidden files.
posted by dolface at 11:14 AM on August 19, 2010

Thanks dolface, Win-only user here unfortunately - and using dos command prompts still I cannot see anything that I can't see in Windows.
posted by MessageInABottle at 11:21 AM on August 19, 2010

I think you are probably boned (can I say boned? Too much Futurama I guess)

"dir X:\ /a /s /p" would be the equivalent of dolface's command from a windows command prompt (replace X: with your drive).

Can you remember what you did in truecrypt? Did you tell it to encrypt the volume, or try to create a hidden volume or did you just tell it to encrypt the whole disk? What do you see when you look at it in the windows drive management?

Don't write anything to the stick whatever you do. Depending on what you did with truecrypt, if you are able make a complete copy of the drive into a file on your hard drive (e.g. using dd) then you might be able to recover your encrypted file or partition using something like TestDisk. Depends how much it's worth to get it back.
posted by samj at 11:48 AM on August 19, 2010

Thanks sami - no luck. a) nothing to see in the command prompt and b) already ran testdisk on the memory stick itself and it has discovered lots of things (scarily enough) but nothing of value (well, I am still looking, it found 16 friggin' thousand files...).
I'd say I am boned all right - damn.
posted by MessageInABottle at 12:08 PM on August 19, 2010

Surely there are tools available to fix file systems. Maybe try one of those.
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 4:47 PM on August 19, 2010

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