Decrypting encrypted files from old windows

By -nhone- ·
Install new windows from the same partition drive but the other partition is lock or encrypted with the old user, for somehow i back-up the user profile but how can i install the certificate from the new os?

if i were to copy the old \Documents and Settings\User Folder to the new installed windows xp how can i be able to obtain the certificate and install it to the new user or make it as recovery agent to remove the encryption.

Please help me to troubleshoot or make a way just to recover very important file..


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You may very well be out of luck here.

by seanferd In reply to Decrypting encrypted file ...

You have to decrypt that stuff before blowing away the old OS.

How was this encrypted? With what product?

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Windows XP Built-in Encryption

by -nhone- In reply to You may very well be out ...

That was my problem.. i deleted the C: Partition where Windows is installed while in the other partition which is all my Documents and stuff..

I run a search in the folder "D:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\My" there is the Certificate with the exact value of the one that encrypted the files, but how can i add it to new administrator account?

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If Windows EFS was used and the Encryption Certificate backed up

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Decrypting encrypted file ...

All you need do is follow the directions here to remount the Recovery Agent. Of course if the Certificate was not backed up you are well and truly stuffed.



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Thanks for help

by -nhone- In reply to If Windows EFS was used a ...

I did this but with no luck because i don't have the .cer file in my back-up all was there is a file system in the %user profile% system certificates folder..

I did install new windows into other hard drive with the same SID and Computer name then copy %user profile% to C:\Documents and Settings then log into windows, my desktop is back and those other display but still no access to the file then try the administrator - run cipher and stuff - import to cert.mgr - secpol.msc - update group policy - switch user ... still access denied and the Recovery agent is not working

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by seanferd In reply to Thanks for help

Nothing you can do as your cert is encrypted in the old user account.

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You need to backup the Recovery Key separately

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thanks for help

By following the directions here.


All of this is covered when you first enable EFS in XP for those who read the Warnings. Those very same warnings also tell you if you do not follow these directions you will loose your data.

Well strictly speaking that's not quite correct but as most people do not have access to International Law Enforcement that is what you should do. If you want to submit the Data to International Law Authorities they can decrypt it but the reality is they don't do that for the fun of things they need to be very sure of a person/company that they are investigating before they attempt something like this.

Of course if you know someone who works that type of thing you can always ask them to do it for you but it will take a lot of Bribery in the form of Payment/Gifts to get them to agree.

Of course they could always give you a copy of Coffee and you could do it yourself but that's not likely either. That piece of software while being free from M$ is more closely guarded than the Windows Source Code.


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by -nhone- In reply to You need to backup the Re ...

after going through many researches, trial and errors. i found out and accepted that this can't be decrypt unless submitting all the files to coders that can break the encryption which is im not sure if it can be done.

Delete all the files and start working and retyping again.. still watching about this issue if someday M$ will do something about encryption..

thanks Smeg and Sean

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And what would Microsoft do differently?

by cmiller5400 In reply to Finally

They told you what would happen when you set it up in the first place...

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And if you could break the encryption easily

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Finally

What would be the point in using it?

But as things stand M$ do have a tool to do this as well as many other places and if you belong to a Authorized organization M$ and other Companies will give you their tools to Break Encryption.

But if these where freely available what would be the point in having Encryption to begin with?


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Ah. That's too bad.

by seanferd In reply to Finally

Sorry to hear you don't have a cert backup outside the encrypted space.

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