Recover encrypted files

By kevin.rw1 ·
Hi, does anyone know how to decrypt/recover encrypted data files in Vista Ultimate where the key has either been deleted or is corrupt?

Any help would be much appreciated.



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by cmiller5400 In reply to Recover encrypted files

Hope you had a backup.

Are you using bitlocker?

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Re Recover encrypted files

by kevin.rw1 In reply to Oops.

Thanks cmiller,

Unfortunetly, no proper backup on client's machine since 20/12/07, they're not using bitlocker & it seems Vista SP1 wiped all restore points prior to when these data files were encrypted?

I'm going to investigate Rick's reply, but it doesn't look promising?

Any other ideas?

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by cmiller5400 In reply to Re Recover encrypted file ...

If the private key has been corrupted or lost, there is not much that can be done unless you had a backup of it. You could try the administrator account to see if it has been set up as a recovery agent, in XP I know that you needed to add it manually in the local security policy; not sure with Vista though...

Other than that, the data is not recoverable.

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I agree with cmiller

by nepenthe0 In reply to Recover encrypted files

No key, no access. Without the private key (password), the encrypted file is simply gibberish, unintelligible to anyone.

There are software programs available that can guess many keys, because folks are reluctant to create strong passwords. If the password is a simple 8-character (or less) alphanumeric sequence, such software can usually crack the key within 24 hours.

Moral: if you really want to secure your file, create a robust password, 10 characters in length, using a mix of upper and lower case letters, numerals, and symbols (such as %#^).

In compliance with the ethical principles of this Forum, I am not going to disclose how to obtain and run such software. Key cracking can often be successfully accomplished because folks are lazy and make it easy. There is negligible chance of cracking a strong password.

Microsoft has some minimally informative bulletins:

Rick/Portland, OR

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