My computer stopped working so I'm plugging the hard drive with a USB adapter to another computer to recover my files. After plugging it the passphrase prompt appears to unlock the volume, I type the passphrase and get this: "Unable to mount Encrypted Drive: The unlocked device does not have a recognizable file system on it."

The passphrase is correct. The drive was encrypted using the Debian installation. The GRUB partition mounts ok.


It's possible the encrypted filesystem is toast. Hopefully not.

Depending on what sorts of encryption options you chose, you may need slightly different commands. But you can try this to start. If it doesn't just work, looking at where it fails may help you debug your problem better.

# cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdb5 foo
# mount /dev/mapper/foo /mnt

You should be prompted to enter your password during the cryptsetup step. You'll obviously have to figure out what is /dev/sdb5 on your own. I think you can use any name for foo to get it mounted, just use the same name in both steps. With any luck, mount will give you useful errors (check dmesg or /var/log/syslog, too). You may even be able to run fsck against /dev/mapper/foo if the encfs is corrupted, but I really don't know.

  • At $ sudo cryptsetup luksOpen I get: "Cannot use device /dev/sdb5 which is in use (already mapped or mounted)." – Ventolinmono Jan 8 '16 at 17:49
  • @Ventolinmono is sdb5 right for you? Is it already mapped (probably from a GUI attempt)? If it's already mapped, look around in /dev/mapper/ and try mounting what's already there. Also, there is a luksClose to remove the mapping. – drewbenn Jan 8 '16 at 18:09
  • Yes, sdb5 is right and probably its already mapped from a GUI attempt as you say. There's a "luks-..." on /dev/mapper, when mounting that it asks me for the passphrase and I get: "unknown filesystem type 'LVM2_member'". The device i want to mount is the Debian filesystem with my home directory and all. I don't know if this makes it more difficult to recognize the filesystem. – Ventolinmono Jan 9 '16 at 14:12
  • Try something like this? pissedoffadmins.com/os/… I remember having to do this once but it's not in my notes so I can't say for sure if it will help :/ – drewbenn Jan 12 '16 at 20:32

A friend helped me with this.

$ umount /media/user/... manually unmount filesystem

$ lvs information about logical volumes

$ vgs information about volume groups

$ vgchange -a y X change attributes of a volume group

$ lvs

$ fsck.ext4 -y /dev/mapper/x-root "filesystem checker" check and optionally repair filesystems

$ mount /dev/mapper/x-home /mnt manually mount filesystem

The moment the filesystem was mounted i copied all information on the external drive.

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