SD card encrypted, cannot retrieve

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR' started by beyondreprieve, May 5, 2012.

  1. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    As I tell my customers, don't thank me till I've completed my task! :biggrin:
     
  2. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    No, that's not what it means. There is obviously poor execution of the encryption software in these phones as the OP was also getting that message, but has since gotten the message to enter the password as well. Unfortunately the password isn't working at the moment. My suggestion to you...put the card away and buy another one. Some day (perhaps soon) someone will come up with a solution to this and you will be able to retrieve that data. If the card can be read on a PC with an SD Card reader, perhaps it will be a Windows based software package that can decrypt the data.

    For now, we're focusing on getting the phone to actually recognize the card as encrypted, ask for the password, and accept and decrypt the data. If the data is still on the card, it can be retrieved with the right encryption algorithm and proper key.
     
  3. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    As mentioned before, you must be sure that you have first set up the lock screen with the same method and password/pin you used originally. Then restart the phone and try the card. If it asks for the password, make sure you use the same one as you did to encrypt it (which is usually the same one as your lock screen).

    Whatever the case, MicroSD cards are CHEAP and I would just go out and buy another and put that encrypted card in a safe place. DO NOT FORMAT IT. We WILL eventually find an answer to this and you'll have those life's treasures to enjoy again. I haven't given up, I still have lots of research to do and will exhaust every one available to me.
     
  4. beyondreprieve
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    beyondreprieve New Member

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    My computer will read it, but it only shows that they are JPEGs, and will not open any of them. I have hundreds of photos, and about 20 or so videos, none of which will open. I'm gonna cry.

    So, at this point FoxKat, do I give up for the moment and do what you suggested, start fresh with a new one?

    Also, I tried an SD from a previous phone, a Droid 2 and had the same problem. That card I KNOW I didn't encrypt. It's a smaller storage size, so I don't care to use, but especially since I know I have precious moments on there as well. Perhaps though I can try to decrypt, even though I didn't do that. I'll try all the advice you gave me for the Droid 2 for a hopeful success. Will let you know on that one.

    This is infuriating, and a serious flaw on Motorola's part. Because as you stated to "tech support", what happens if the phone fails? Due to that possibility, I will never be using encryption by Motorola again. Naughty programmers!
     
  5. FoxKat
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    Please don't cry. The fact that the PC sees them is great news. What ever you do, don't overwrite or format that card. For now, put it away in a safe place. Necessity is the mother of invention. SOMEBODY out there will find a solution, and it just may be me.

    The other card should read on the PC. If it doesn't, it may still be recoverable, but don't try to decrypt a card that wasn't encrypted. It may destroy what's on there. There are plenty of good recovery packages out there and I've had great success recovering photos, videos and other data for myself and friends using them. My favorite is R-Studio.

    Go buy a new SD card and start fresh. And I guess I don't have to tell you to steer clear of encryption for now. Also, I am not totally sure this isn't an Android issue rather than a Motorola issue. I'll know more tomorrow.


    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk with speech to text translation. Please excuse any minor grammatical/punctuation/spelling errors.
     
  6. SallyC
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    SallyC Senior Member

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    Do we know that the encryption is tied to the card and not the files? In other words, that the people with this problem can't copy the encrypted files to their pc and reformat the card, then at some point in time decrypt them either on their pc or copy them back to the reformatted SD and decrypt them when/if this is figured out?
     
  7. beyondreprieve
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    beyondreprieve New Member

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    OK then. I really appreciate all of your efforts. I'll go ahead and return the old phone and pray they don't charge me $500 for returning it late. That's no fault of yours. I thought I had 10 days.

    What really bugs me about this is that I used the same login pin that I used with the old phone. I know I wouldn't have made things this difficult for myself on my own accord. And when I read the info about encryption on my new phone, it tells me it uses an algorithm from that login pin to encrypt. Strange.

    Anyway, take care of yourself, and let me know if you ever find a miracle cure.

    Ciao, Sam
     
  8. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid Silver Member

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    Sam, when your computer was able to read your card, did you also copy the files to your computer. If not, make sure you copy the files to your pc if it will let you. I am wondering if maybe, at this point, if it might be a problem with the pc or a problem with the software program your computer is using to open the files. I am wondering because you said your pc is doing the same thing with another card that you know was not encrypted. You may actually be more than halfway through solving this problem.

    Call Verizon and let them know that you are having problems getting your encrypted files off the card that was on that phone and you may need that phone to try to retrieve those files. Ask them if you can have another week before you send the phone back. They will understand and be fine with it. I have had to do that before and they just noted it on my account. That will give us some time in case we still need the phone to make this work.

    That being said, try to do the same thing you did when you got the pc to read the files. When you go to open the file, use another program to try to open it...right click the file and select "open with" and from there choose another program to open them. Windows media center, Microsoft picture manager, windows photo viewer, windows live photo gallery,picture viewer may be other programs that could open those files. If that doesn't work, try to open them on another computer if you can. See if it works any differently.

    Just a thought that may work. That your other card which was never encrypted is doing the same thing, I think you are at a point where you can get it to work.

    I'm crossing my fingers for you!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR Maxx using Droid Forums
     
  9. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Sam,

    I would hold off sending the phone back in as long as possible. If you are concerned about being charged, call customer service at 800-922-0204, explain the situation and make sure they understand that sending the phone back in before recovering the data means you will never be able to recover it. Also make sure they know it was the fault of the representative who told you to do a Factory reset without first asking if you have encrpytion enabled and to make sure you backed up that data (pics and videos) to the PC before the reset. It was that failure which has resulted in you being unable to retrieve that data now, and that we are investigating any methods that may allow us to recover it.

    Even if they do "charge you" for it, it simply shows up as a charge on your cellular bill, and once the defective phone has been received back in their inventory the charge is removed. I've done that very same thing and have actually kept the phone beyond a month. They did post a charge to my bill, but once I confirmed with them (via the tracking number) that they had the phone back in inventory, the charge was released from my bill. No harm, no foul.
     
  10. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Adding to the thread...

    I brought to work today a spare MicroSD Card and reader. My plan is to encrypt the card, save some data I can afford to lose (already backed up), then do a factory reset without removing the card, and then try to restore the data on the freshly reset phone. If I am correct, that's the steps that the OP followed...not by her own decision - mind you, but on recommendation of those so skillful Verizon Technical Support representatives (LOL!) My hopes are that I can either reproduce the problem she suffered or find a solution directly since I don't have her phone and card to work with in my hands.

    I will mention one thing...I am on ICS Leak (the first one), so my results may be skewed by that. If I can restore successfully, I may Fastboot back to .173 and try again, then once again with .181.

    Wish me luck! :biggrin:
     
  11. SallyC
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    SallyC Senior Member

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    I was thinking about doing this but didn't really want to do a factory reset on my phone. Partly a reset is appealing to me - start fresh and all that - but it works fine now and, as my mother used to say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

    If you're on ICS and reset, won't you lose that? If so, it would seem easier to just go to .181 (which the OP probably has) and then run the test. But who am I to deprive you of your fun! :biggrin:
     
  12. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Good question, and the answer is...well, no - it should boot back into ICS Leak considering that's the ROM that's in the Flash ROM at the moment. Now, could it bugger up...yeah. That's a risk but at least I can still FB back to .173 or .181 and start over again.

    Update: I have been swamped at work today and haven't yet performed the tests. I plan to try and set aside time VERY LATE tonight to give it a go. Sorry. :frown:
     
  13. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Resident Novelist...LOL! Staff Member Premium Member

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    OK, so here's what I've discovered.

    You do need to set up a screen lock (either pin or password), in order to activate encryption - that much we've known already. Here's where it gets interesting (or should I say slippery?).

    You can encrypt in one of three ways;

    1. Device (where the encryption key is automatically generated by the phone - and I'm assuming uses the MEID/IMEI, especially based upon the warning which follows) This is the default choice. If you encrypt this way, you can only decrypt with the same device, and "storage data cannot be decrypted outside the device". HMMM... So that implies that data CAN be decrypted outside the device with another method or tool. Let's move on.
    2. Password (where the same password or pin you used to set up the screen lock is used to generate the encryption key). This method must be selected manually and...are you ready...is described as "storage data cannot be decrypted without your password", but it says NOTHING about needing to do so in the device. This further implies that there can be a decryption tool/algorithm/application - perhaps running on a PC for instance, that can decrypt that data as long as you have "your password". Makes sense, right? I mean, encryption is only a mathematical formula with a "seed" or "key". If you have the formula, and you have the key, it need not run on any specific device.
    3. Device+Password (a blend of the two above). This also says "can not be decrypted outside the device AND without your password". So option 3 is similar to option one with an added layer of security. A key and a lock box, versus just a key.
    Now, ALL THREE methods also lead you to believe that the data can be "decrypted" if you have the necessary parts. In the cases of 1 and 3, you need the phone (and I take it to mean the EXACT PHONE, IMEI/MEID, everything), and additionally in the case of 3, you also need the password. In the case of number 2, you either need the phone, and for that matter, ANY phone that has that type of encryption, along with the password, OR any OTHER device that has the same encryption algorithm and the password, and you should be able to decrypt.

    To the OP - Sam (BeyondReprieve), do you remember which of the three options you chose, or did you simply accept the default choice? If so, it shouldn't ask for a password if the card is inserted into the same phone, and if it does, DON'T TYPE ONE IN! Just hit OK or the Enter key.

    If you did select option 2 above, then the password is where we're lacking, and if you chose option 3, well I think we both know what that means. Without both the right phone and the right password, we're done.

    Did you ever get the original phone to boot successfully since the last attempts? I SURE hope so! We may be only one button-press away from you unlocking those files. I pray that is the case.

    Please let us know.

    I didn't get to do the trials yet. Life and work had stepped in the way. I am not here to draw sympathy so I won't elaborate. I do however want to get to the bottom of this once and for all. This appears to be a ticking time-bomb for many and they probably don't even know it. Unless we can successfully reproduce full decryption repeatedly AFTER Factory resets, there are lots of people out there who will potentially suffer similar losses to what you may have suffered. If there's any way I can help to prevent that, I will.

    I've decided that doing the tests in ICS Leak is flawed science, since it's a different ROM than you were running, so I'll have to Fastboot back and give it a whirl on the Gingerbread ROMs. This will take some time. If you and others can wait, great. If not, my apologies.

    Good luck! :biggrin:
     
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  14. FoxKat
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    This is also a good hypothesis, but I wouldn't risk it. For the cost of a replacement card, if she simply tucks that one away, eventually SOMEONE will come up with a tool to crack it. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Well, Sam has proven there is a necessity, and I want her to be "the mother of invention" if it's not already out there! :icon_ banana:
     
  15. SallyC
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    Great work, FoxKat!!!!!!!!! Very informative for all of us. It's good to know Motorola makes it clear heading into it that some options require that device to decrypt and that you can select an option that does not.

    I do believe Sam has the original phone working, but said it wouldn't accept her password (post #23) so that's another variable.

    I hope your day goes smoothly - and you can catch a nap! asleep-045.gif
     
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