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Recovering encrypted NTFS files

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 13, 2006 2:25:36 PM

I have just finished completing the installation of a new computer system. Along with a complete overhaul (see signature for specs) I have installed a new SATA hard disk with Windows XP MCE 2005 to boot , and the existing hard disk (which has a non bootable version of windows on it) is plugged in as "spare storage". However I have some valuable pictures on the old hard disk which have been ecrypted for security and under the new installation I cannot access these files at all. I cannot even copy the files to the SATA drive as it claims Access is denied. Going into the properties of the files does nothing as again...access is denied. I would have gone into the existing windows installation had it not screwed up and decrypted the files before copying them over but unfortunatey I didn't know my motherboard and Windows installation was going to fail!!!

So how can I recover these encrypted files so I can copy them onto the SATA drive and view them as before? preferably without damaging them

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Anonymous
November 17, 2006 11:10:34 AM

Are they encrypted or did you make your folders private? You need to take ownership of the files. Boot into safe mode. From Windows Explorer, right click on your profile folder and choose Properties. Click on the Security and change the ownership to yourself.

Grumpy
November 17, 2006 7:52:16 PM

no it's never going to work
i had the same problem, the only possible way of dycrpting an encyrpted file on a different box is before your windows had failed, if you created a Data Recovery Agent, which you can move to other systems along with the encrypted files so it could unlock them, it would the key to those files

changing ownership and permissions will not work
recovery console will not work
bootable windows won't work
linux distros also can't access these encrypted files

it sucks i know...i've tried all those things...desperate times
Related resources
November 19, 2006 5:59:35 PM

Sorry for you loss.Just remember bud Always back-up.I lost good pics of 2
year old son and wife :cry:  while the little voice in my head kept sayin back it up! Now i back up to dvd. Acronis is awsome.
acronis
May find it cheaper on a repected e-commerce site such as lime wire :twisted: .
MAYBE
Anonymous
November 20, 2006 11:51:45 AM

Quote:
no it's never going to work
i had the same problem, the only possible way of dycrpting an encyrpted file on a different box is before your windows had failed, if you created a Data Recovery Agent, which you can move to other systems along with the encrypted files so it could unlock them, it would the key to those files

changing ownership and permissions will not work
recovery console will not work
bootable windows won't work
linux distros also can't access these encrypted files

it sucks i know...i've tried all those things...desperate times


How do you know for a fact that the files were encrypted? Was the OP running Windows XP Pro? I'll bet he put a password on his Windows account and made his folders private. In 4 years of having my own computer business, I have never run across anyone that encrypted their files.

Grumpy
November 21, 2006 2:08:36 AM

no i explicitly encrypted it, right clicked on the excel file > properties, on the general tab clicked on advanced and checked the encrypt box at which point a secure certificate got assigned to it...problem is that certificate will not carry itself over with the files as you change operating systems or whatever...so you have no public key to unlock it, unless you have the DRA

i know usually the password protection you talk about can be easily cracked, but that's a different thing than the EFS (encrypted file system) that windows has...but hey if that's the case man, it' may not be too late for him

i know there's a lot of third party apps. out there that can crack that type of thing
Anonymous
November 21, 2006 10:47:38 AM

I didn't mean your files, I meant the OP's files.

Grumpy
January 23, 2007 9:04:00 PM

Ah wow an old thread is revived! My account was not password protected and Windows XP PRO was set up with fast user switching enabled. I could access them within other user accounts on that operating system. I thought encrypting them would secure them - bad move especially once I had to change motherboards and I couldn't boot into that OS!
!