My SD card on Nokia 5 suddenly stooped being recognized one day and all my apps and data was lost. I switched off the phone and reinserted the card, but no use. Then I took the card for recovery with a data recovery company - Stellar Data Recovery in Gurgaon. They inspected and told me that all they can see on my SD card is garbage and it could be encrypted or its logical drive could have completely been wiped. I had encrypted my phone but I haven't encrypted my card. Any pointers on what should I do next? The data is very precious to me and I need to recover it.

This is a SanDisk SD card 64 Gb, class 10 used with a Nokia 5 with Android 9 version

Update: Thanks for all the answers people. The data recovery company I gave my disk to were unable to proceed with these steps because I suppose they were not as technical to try these steps. So, they returned my card stating that my card is encrypted and also has physical damage so they can't do anything. That left me heartbroken because this data is important to me.

I am planning to do all these steps myself.

  1. Meanwhile, can I insert another card in my still-unrooted phone, which still has the old corrupted card as an adoptable storage in its settings?

2.Can this new card be made adoptable? Will doing so make the old card's vold keys disappear from the phone?

  1. Can I make this new card partly adoptable and partly removable through disk partition on Android 9? Will this also affect my old card's vold key?

I just need to know that I will not permanently lose all my old cards vold keys if I insert a new card and make it adoptable as well.


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    you say apps and data was lost - implicates apps are stored on sd card, which is in fact only possible when sd card is formatted as adoptable-storage (which is encrypted) – alecxs Dec 27 '19 at 15:24
  • You should ask it in another community. – M. Rostami Dec 27 '19 at 15:28
  • @alecxs He's said the logical drive could have completely been wiped. – M. Rostami Dec 27 '19 at 16:17
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    Please edit your question to clarify if you formatted your external SD card as Adoptable or Portable Storage. Is your device rooted and/or bootloader unlocked? Did you perform a factory reset after SD card corruption? – Irfan Latif Dec 27 '19 at 17:40
  • Hi, Thanks for all the comments. The recovery company is saying that the disk is encrypted and hence data is not being recovered. Since I was storing apps on it, I think it was being used as adoptable storage. My phone is not rooted and I did not format the card or factory reset my device after corruption. Is there anyway to recover the data now? Also, what should I do in future to prevent such mishaps? How does one select between Adoptable and Portable Storage on Android 9? Any answers will be appreciated. Thanks! – user312252 Dec 31 '19 at 11:27

the proper way is give your sdcard + device + screenlock pin to the expert

the Nokia 5 is listed as exploitable. someone with skills can do:

on the device itself

  • make a full ROM dump of all partitions including encrypted userdata partition and encryption key using the read command in EDL mode
  • downgrade the bootloader to make bootchain vulnerable
  • flash avb/ dm-verity disabled vbmeta from EDL mode
  • flash (unsigned) magisk patched boot/recovery or twrp custom recovery from EDL mode
  • get root access to (decrypted) userdata partition
  • extract the encryption key of adoptable-storage from /data/misc/vold

on linux machine

  • dump the corrupt sdcard with ddrescue
  • decrypt the sdcard dump with extracted key
  • recover files with testdisk photorec extundelete binwalk etc

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