Accessing data in EFS volume


I have a laptop whose motherboard just died. It's a fairly old laptop and I would rather get something more up to date than to spend more money on the old one. The problem is that a lot of my personal data on the laptop drive is encrypted using Win XP Pro EFS. Sadly, while I made backups of the entire volume, I always (foolishly) thought that if anything happened like this, I would just get replacement parts and make the system usable again, so I never inquired as to whether it was possible to back up the encryption key separately.

I put the laptop drive into an external enclosure and am now using it with my desktop PC as non boot device. I can access all of my files except those encrypted, of course-- and I would like to be able to get those.

My question is: is there any way to decrypt the EFS files on the drive without buying another motherboard and logging into the volume as normal?

I could restore the backup I have of the volume in question, but since my desktop is so different than the laptop from which the drive came, I expect that it would not even come close to being able to boot and be usable.

I do know the username and password associated with the Windows account containing the encrypted files. Is there any way I can point Windows to that other drive (currently drive E:) and use the profile stored there rather than in c:?

If this has been covered already, please excuse me; I searched but did not find it.
1 answer Last reply
More about accessing data volume
  1. Never mind-- got it working. Apparently, there is no way to delete the message, so please disregard. Thanks!
Ask a new question

Read More

Laptops Motherboards Windows XP