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General Formatted SD card recovery

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by booglybob, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. booglybob

    booglybob Lurker
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    So long story short I formatted my sd card to use as internal storage. Later I started to notice problems with my phone, top menu screen wouldn't pull down, couldn't receive calls etc. So I decided to factory reset my phone, but like an idiot i didn't back up my sd card and instead removed it thinking it would work when I put it back in after the reset. it didn't. is there any way i can get my data back? there are some photos on there i would rather not lose.
     

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  2. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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    Welcome to the site! :)

    If the data on your SD card isn't encrypted you should be able to plug it into a computer and copy your pictures.
     
  3. acejavelin

    acejavelin Android Expert
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    Your SD card was internal (adopted) storage? If yes, then the encryption key was lost in the factory reset, unfortunately your data is lost.
     
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  4. booglybob

    booglybob Lurker
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    So there's no possible way at all to retrieve my data?
     
  5. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
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  6. acejavelin

    acejavelin Android Expert
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    As Kate was saying... No, your data is lost. When an SD card is adopted, it is also encrypted. If you can access that encryption key, it can in theory be decrypted and recovered using standard Linux tools and mounting techniques. This key is held in your system settings on your phone, and if you did a factory reset, that key is gone forever. The key is unique to the device, but it is created semi-randomly, so the device will never create the same key twice.

    The most you can possibly recovery here is the use of the card, format it and adopt it again, but all the data is lost at this time. There is a possibility that the encryption will be hacked in the future, you could hang on to the card, someday it might be recoverable, although it isn't likely to be before the data on the card degrades too much to be recoverable.
     

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