Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I understand very well that what I have done was a huge mistake on my part. That said, I already feel the extreme pain of my mistake, and understand better than ever how important it is to keep backups of encryption keys.
Here is the situation:
- My hard drive and home folder were encrypted via the options to do so when installing Ubuntu.
- I have been automatically backing up my home folder via the default Ubuntu "Backups" GUI program to a flash drive.
- I set up backups to be encrypted.
- I saved my encryption password in a plain-text file in my home folder (you may see where this is going).
- I decided to do a clean install of Ubuntu on my computer.
- I went through the process of installing Ubuntu from a live startup disk, manually creating a new partition table, with primarily one large, encrypted partition. I did not do any kind of intense data-erasure.
- I went to recover a backup from my flash drive, only to be prompted to enter an encryption password. I made over a year ago. That is 32 characters long. Contains letters, numbers, and symbols. And was randomly generated by a password-generation tool.
My only hope is that the portion of the disk where the plain-text file containing my encryption password was not overwritten. I realized my mistake very quickly, so I have been careful and am only running Ubuntu from my live startup disk. I know the password to the encryption that was on my hard drive.
What can I do to try to recover this file?