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Need help with EFS encrypted files!

By thehebrew ·
So I have efs encyption on for my hard drive, then i reformatted. So ibacked up all my videos, music, and 10 years worth of family photos on my external hard drive. I reformat, get all my programs and everything together and then go to my external hard drive to get the files, AND THEY ARE STILL ENCRYPTED!!!!!! windows forgot to take the flippin' encryption off the files. I talk to microsoft and the guy on the phone freakin' tells me to find a good! I have searched ALL of the internet and have found that if i move the files to a hard drive that is formatted to FAT the files lose all encryption. But i can't move the dam files!!!! I have tried all the EFS recovery programs but they only get the original key and that drive has already been formatted. SOMEONE, FOR GOD SAKES PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME!!!!! I have years and years of family photos and hundreds of dollars worth of music that i can't access. I can even see all the thumbnails to the pictures, MICROSOFT IS TAUNTING ME!!!!!!!

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EFS encryption maintained when using ntbackup.exe

by groffg In reply to Need help with EFS encryp ...

Someone has probably answered this post already (I confess that I didn't read through all the replies!), but I believe EFS encryption is maintained when backing up using the built-in backup program (ntbackup.exe on Win2k and XP). This seems to be the case even when coping the backup file to a non-NTFS file system. The rationale for this decision makes sense (to preserve security of encrypted files), but it's certainly a frustration when one simply does not want to maintain the encryption of those files & worry about EFS certificate management.

Having said that, the original post did not explicitly mention that ntbackup.exe was being used, so this post may or may not be germane.

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Actually this site should be mandatory before you can enable the EFS

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to EFS encryption maintained ...

All Home Users should also have to take an examination to make sure that they have both read this page and understand it as well before they can enable EFS in XP Pro or now Vista.

The number of times that people have asked this exact same question only to be told that they can not recover their files easily is unbelievable.

Of course this needs to be disabled on corporate machines so maybe if the Volume License Version didn't need the end users to log in and read the link then do an exam that would be the easy solution. It would also mean that the various companies also have the correct version of Windows installed on their corporate desktops as an added advantage.


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data recovery

by jgoodman8 In reply to Actually this site should ...

I dont know if you have ever used any data recovery tools, but I have successfully used On-track data recovery several times, even after a hdd has been completely formatted and re-imaged, I have been able to pull old files from the abyss. It may help get your old key back, it may not...just a suggestion.

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This worked for me ! :) AEFSDR

by pcproffsen In reply to Need help with EFS encryp ...

I did not have the exact scenario as you, I had an account that I apparently used to encrypt the "My Documents" folder. I was not aware that it was encrypted. Then I removed that user account and only had Administrator, renamed as Admin left as the only account on my Laptop.
After a while I discovered that a lot of files and folders in the Admin's "My Document" were encrypted... I had no idea why this happened and I could not decrypt them.
When I checked "information" about the files, it stated that the owner was the old account that I removed a while ago.

I tried a few ways that did not work, then I found the tool "Advanced EFS Data Recovery" from Elcomsoft, and it worked fine to restore my files and folders whitout encryption :)
But it might not work if you dont know the name and password of the account used to encrypt the files, AEFSDR scans for encrypted folders and files and keys, then it asks for the username and password, if you dont have that it probably wont work....

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by deathscythehell999 In reply to This worked for me ! :) ...

If you've read the above relies you should know that he already tried that approach and it was useless. AEFSDR only works if the HDD in question has not been reformatted and in this case it has. I'm more or less in the same situation as thehebrew except in my case it's roughly a terabyte external HDD that has been encrypted. So all in all thehebrew's situation isnt nearly as bad.

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by pcproffsen In reply to AEFSDR

Yes I read the other replies.
I only wanted to tell that AEFSDR worked for me (even if i did not reformat).
If the drive is formated a good data recovery software can be used to get the needed files, but that has to be done before any new data is overwriting the info. (That was also mentioned in some other replies)
Some data recovery software claims that even overwritten files can be recovered, but i think the chance is very small.

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