geli recovery

Alaksiej C ac at
Thu Jan 21 15:12:24 UTC 2010

Generally, yes, "geli restore" would save you. Of course, BIOS
firmware could take enough space to harm not only metadata, but some
data also, but not much.

As Ivan Voras mentioned, geli in FreeBSD8 does metadata backup
automatically by default, so check your /var/backups/

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 4:31 PM, BSD Life <bsd4life at> wrote:
> Sry, didn't sent to the list (googles webmail sucks ...)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: BSD Life <bsd4life at>
> Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 15:29:56 +0100
> Subject: Re: geli recovery
> To: Alaksiej C <ac at>
> 2010/1/21, Alaksiej C <ac at>:
>> Your data is lost.
>> Explanation: some BIOSes do backup themselves on "unused" drives, at
>> the end of the HDD space (Google for "Host Protected Area"). The
>> criteria for detecting "unused" drive is first sector's contents
>> (AFAIK): is it MBR or not.
>> When you inserted your drive to that Windows box, BIOS decided it is
>> not used (no MB and backed itself up to it. As GELI's control block is
>> residing at the end of encrypted container, it is gone forever.
>> So, it's neither GELI's nor Windows bug, it is just dangerous BIOSes'
>> feature.
>> --
>> Best regards,
>> Alaksiej
> Ok, that sounds resonable, so I should always backup the metadata of a
> disc for such cases. If I had a backup, I could just use the "geli
> restore" functionality and it would be fine again, right?
> Anyway, thanks for your answer.
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