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I am in serious trouble HELP!!

Last response: in Windows XP
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March 27, 2003 5:19:39 AM

i recently reformated my hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP Pro. I backed-up my documents and settings using the back up function that XP has........ after i restored everything the problem comes...... there is this folder i kept some confindental infomation... pictures, documents and when i first save these files i put these all into on folder and made it so only the acc i am using can view and edit them.... by changing the account access thingy for each file only viewable by that user well now i reformat and reinstall and now i can't open any of the files nor change the secuirty settings even when i am on administrator.... is there hope for my documents?????

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March 27, 2003 10:25:56 AM

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;Q308421&ID=KB;EN-US;Q308421&LN=EN-US&rnk=6&SD=tech&FR=0&qry=accessing encrypted files&src=DHCS_MSPSS_tech_SRCH&SPR=WINXP&" target="_new">HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP</A>

<A HREF="http://www.surasoft.com/tut/xpefs.htm" target="_new">Encrypted File System (using NTFS in Windows XP)</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308993" target="_new">HOW TO: Remove File Encryption in Windows XP</A>

<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?u..." target="_new">Data Recovery and Data Recovery Agents</A>

<A HREF="http://www.atlguide2000.com/windowsxp/index.php?act=vie..." target="_new">Encrypting File System (EFS)</A>

As you can see from these articles, the possibility that you can recover your data isn't very good.

However, don't blame yourself ... Microsoft does not feel the need to explain this very well, and you are not the first person to be caught in this trap. Even experienced users have found themselves with inaccessible data after a re-installation of the OS, to their dismay.

This is just one of the reasons why I keep continue preaching that Microsoft's insistence on NTFS being used with WinXP (especially the Home Edition) is not necessarily such a smart idea for all users. I believe that NTFS security is overkill for the home desktop user with a standalone system, and should normally only be used in a corporate environment. The 32GB FAT32 partition size/formatting restriction within Win2K and WinXP is ridiculous, despite the inefficiency of the file system, and the inability for FAT32 to handle individual files over 4GB in size. It should still be a listed user option to decide, one way or another, without being forced to resort to DOS and FDISK to overcome the barrier.

Sorry to use this thread as a rant, but I've just seen the exact same scenario in which you've been caught far too many times for my taste. NTFS can be dangerous without studying the file system before taking advantage of its' so-called performance enhancing and higher security attributes ... not every new user who migrates from Win98 is comfortable with suddenly being confronted with multiple users and groups, or how adminstrative privileges should be handled.

This is also why I think Home Edition is nearly useless, since it doesn't have access to the Group Policy Editor ... a tool which I think should be in all versions of Windows. Leaving it out of Home Edition was a deliberate sabotage of their own product, (although this doesn't apply to you.)

I hope the links I've posted will give you some idea of why a better, general understanding of EFS is an important aspect of working with NTFS, even if Microsoft doesn't make any real effort to educate the user of the inherent risks that are involved.

Toey

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March 27, 2003 4:43:17 PM

man.... M$ is causing alots death here....... but not me!! just realised i have a ghost image back-up but it was done a long time ago what things do i need to take from the old partition to decrypt my files.... it'd be nice if someone provide detail instruction^^ that would be awesome!! plz guy?????
March 27, 2003 9:20:34 PM

Unfortunately I haven't messed with encrypted folders for more than a year and I do not have reference book I used (Windows XP Inside Out) handy.

Hovewer it is my understanding that access to encrypted folders is controled by a security certificate that can only be accessable when loged into the account that originally created the encrypted folder. There is no way to simply find the certificate and copy it. Otherwise anyone with access to the hard drive could simply grap the certificate and read the files.

You will need to restore your original os, log into your old account and save the certificate to a file. After that you should burn the certificate to a CD and keep it in a safe place.

You can then add that certificate to any user account giving them access to the encrypted folder.
March 27, 2003 9:25:42 PM

any idea where is that certificate located and how can i add that certificate to any user account giving them access to the encrypted folder.
help plz!!!!!
March 28, 2003 2:01:51 AM

I think you're fudged. If you really need them badly, you can search on google for data recovery. However, it may not be cheap. You're most likely SOL.

XP 2500+ Barton @ 2235Mhz
A7N8X Dlx
2x512MB Corsair PC3200
MSI GF3Ti 500
16x DVD-ROM
2x80GB 7200RPM Maxtor
Onboard audio
March 28, 2003 2:48:25 AM

i think the situation doesn't require those kind of services........................ anyways i have decided to recover my ghost image onto my old HDD and move all the encrypted files on to the HDD then i'll decrypt it then move it back^^........... it gonna be a long day.......
March 28, 2003 10:11:56 AM

Frequent backups are always a smart bet.

My advice is not to use encrypted folders until you learn how save the certificates as a file and import them into another user account.

Burn that file on CD and remove it from your hard drive.
April 6, 2003 6:48:57 AM

Strife do u know how to save the certificates as a file and import them into another user account.???? or where i can get that info
April 6, 2003 10:01:21 PM

okay another question say i had back-up my document and settings.............. and i didn't export those certificates is it possible to still import them??
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