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Manually decrypt corrupted partition that cant mount

Topics: Technical Issues
Sep 6, 2016 at 2:28 AM
Edited Sep 6, 2016 at 2:28 AM
I am in a pickle here. I have had my computer crash twice, and as a result veracrypt can not even mount the partition on the external drive. If I try to even load the partition by pressing SELECT DEVICE, VeraCrypt will freeze so I never even get a chance to select the drive. This is ONLY when the drive is running.

What happened initially was my computer froze for some reason, which resulted in me not being able to safely dismount. Had to reboot computer. I was certain no files were being written to the VC partition. Upon mounting it again, it said I had errors on partition and needed to perform a check. I decided to back up the data, and mounted the drive again as READ ONLY. Somewhere along the copying process, my computer froze again and the next attempt resulted in the error issue described first - Veracrypt freezes whenever I have SELECT DEVICE, while the drive in question is running.

So, is there a way to manually fix this? I should technically be able to get the backup header file somehow from the drive, then copy all contents decrypted to another drive. The partition is NTFS.

Any help would be great as I dont seem to see anyone discussion issues about manual data recovery here.
Sep 9, 2016 at 11:21 AM
If your computer and VeraCrypt are freezing when attempting to access the external drive then it sounds like there's a problem with the external hard drive, e.g. unreadable sectors.

I've had success using dd_rescue running from a Knoppix Live CD to copy a partition from a hard drive with bad sectors as dd_rescue will skip over sectors that it can't read.

If you can get the partition copied onto a different hard drive then you may be able to mount it in VeraCrypt and assess whether the unencrypted NTFS data structures are damaged.
Sep 15, 2016 at 3:56 PM
There are no bad sectors, I have done a sector scan using software. It was fine. The partition is corrupted in some way.
Sep 18, 2016 at 6:04 PM
You've said that VeraCrypt freezes only when the external drive is running. Therefore it seems a good idea to clone the entire partition to another device (using something like dd_rescue) to determine whether VeraCrypt can mount the partition from another physical device.