Xperia Z5 encrypted...
Clear all

Xperia Z5 encrypted external SD Card data recovery after factory reset

3 Posts
2 Users
Posts: 2
New Member
Topic starter

Hi everybody, I think the title is quite self-explaining but here is the whole story... I had to do a factory reset of my Xperia Z5 with Android 7 due to some slowdowns, and I left the encrypted SD card inside while resetting because I had done this way before and never had any problem. This time though, after reset, many of the files on the SD card have become unreadable, mostly photos and audio files. Searching for a possible solution, I found that maybe i should have unencrypted the SD card BEFORE the factory reset but now I can't undo that so I have to figure out a way to recover the files.
The files are not completely unreadable, since the file manager can see them, and using some apps I have been able to recover some photo, but only the ones that were sent to me, not the ones I took with the camera. The few photos that survived can't be moved nor copied anywhere.
I tried with Linux forensic apps (like scalpel, foremost etc.) but they have an I/O problem and aren't able to recover the files.
The best solution for me would be to decrypt the SD card somehow... can anyone please tell me if there is a way?
Thanks in advance

Posted : 07/10/2021 5:30 pm
Posts: 170
Estimable Member

It seems to me that you have a failing Micro SD card and it was most probably that which was causing your slowdown.  If the SD card was encrypted you wouldn't even be able to see the filesystem to read the files.  I think you'd have had these same problems had you not factory reset your phone. That failing SD card is what is corrupting the files and causing the IO problems with the linux forensic tools.  I'm not aware of a home solution to this type of problem.

Posted : 08/10/2021 9:05 am
Posts: 2
New Member
Topic starter

@amne5ia thank you very much for your answer... in fact, this is the first reset I do with this specific SD card mounted, because the other times I had a smaller one I replaced with this. The other one never gave me any problem so your suggestion made me think... especially considering that the missing folders are on a completely random basis.

Do you think that if I create an image of the SD, store it somewhere else and work on it there can be some chance to recover anything? I did this once in a very different situation with a CD

Or, speaking of the "non-home solutions" do you have any idea of how much can it cost?

Thanks again


Posted : 09/10/2021 6:58 am