Resurrecting a GELI volume

Pawel Jakub Dawidek pjd at
Sun Dec 3 11:50:20 PST 2006

On Sun, Dec 03, 2006 at 07:32:29PM +0000, Alex Bramley wrote:
> Hi,
> First, please CC me in any replies to the list, as I am (temporarily)
> off list due to moving jobs.
> I accidentally overwrote the metadata of a GELI volume by using geli
> init on the wrong device node (never try to do sysadmin tasks when
> hungover). I have the correct key and passphrase, and I would like to
> know whether it is possible to regain access to my lost data. I have
> already tried running init again on the volume with the correct key
> and passphrase, but (somewhat unsurprisingly) to no avail. Any
> assistance would be much appreciated.

Passphrase is only used to encrypt the master key, which is stored in
metadata. That means you overwrote the master key and I'm afraid your
data is lost if you haven't backed the master key up before (with 'geli

Pawel Jakub Dawidek             
pjd at                 
FreeBSD committer                         Am I Evil? Yes, I Am!
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