Stuck with 6 FreeNAS-11.3-U5 encrypted disks after overcurrent on USB BUS, question where the key's are located on the boot disk


In 2020 I made an encrypted ZFS pool of 25TB with FreeNAS-11.3-U5. This with redundant bootdisk on 2 USB drives. After a few months, for an unknown reason the USB bus got an over voltage, short and the 2 USB drives died.

Since then I’m trying to recover the 25TB of data.

  1. I thought that I had recovery key backed up, but if I want to import the pool (using command line to test), I get:

[email protected][~]# geli attach -C -k ./new.key -n 0 /dev/ada0p2
Enter passphrase:
geli: Wrong key for ada0p2.

Same for “-n 1”

Am I doing this wrong? The passphrase is correct for sure, because that is a copy past of a text file. For now I’m assuming I have backed up the wrong key.

  1. I sent the USB key to a recovery center and after 2 about 1.5 years (:)) they spliced the chip (very cool stuff :)) and read the data before the controller direct from the memory part (it was an one chip USB drive). Before I get the data I have to pay (which is normal), yet I got the data structure to check the recovered files and sizes.

The data structure seems correct, but I assumed that the key used to boot and decrypt the drives only with the passphrase was located in “/data/geli”, but that folder is empty.

  • Question 1: Where is the key stored, so I can check if the recovery structure is complete.
  • Question 2: If I get the recovered files back, they will not have the correct user and permissions, and not a bootable disk. Assuming then that the key used to unlock with the passphrase is not in the /data/geli folder and is between the recovered data, will it be possible to copy the necessary files with the key over to a working FreeNAS USB drive so I can open the pool with the passprase?
  • Question 3: What is the most-to written (of would be the most recent) file on the disk, to check the date and time from that file so I can check when the latest changes where made to the FreeNAS configuration on that USB drive.

Kind regards,