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I have a corrupt TrueCrypt volume. When I try to mount it, the password is fine but I get an error: hdiutil attach failed no mountable file systems.

I just need to open it without TrueCrypt trying to mount it too, so I can use that partition in a data recovery program. Also it's just an image file volume. I have read the documentation here: http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=command-line-usage

But I can't figure out which switch I need to use to only open an image and not mount it.

I am using the Mac version, and I have set up an alias for the TrueCrypt shell command, so I can just type:

truecrypt -t -v - ?? [][]..
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try mounting with --filesystem=none:

--filesystem=TYPE
 Filesystem type to mount. The TYPE argument is passed to mount(8) command
 with option -t. Default type is 'auto'. When creating a new volume, this
 option specifies the filesystem to be created on the new volume (only 'FAT'
 and 'none' TYPE is allowed). Filesystem type 'none' disables mounting or
 creating a filesystem.`

Note that this is from the documentation of TrueCrypt 7.1a on Ubuntu but I guess that it works also on a Mac.

On Windows, the corresponsing parameter is /m recovery.

In general, if you encounter problems while mounting, you can try the option -m headerbak (Linux/Mac) or /m headerbak (Windows) first to have TrueCrypt using a backup of the volume header instead of the original (possibly damaged) volume header. Backup volume headers are available since TrueCrypt version 6.0.

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Thank you very much that worked great. – Totomobile Jun 30 '12 at 18:57

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