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Thread: Recover XP Encrypted Files.

  1. #1
    Member Met-AL's Avatar
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    Recover XP Encrypted Files.

    Situation is a PC with Windows XP corrupted beyond recovery. User has turned on file encryption. No backup of the encryption key. The drive is still readable, but the Windows install will not work. The files are there for Windows.


    What are the options? Is the key stored somewhere on the hard drive?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member Strawbs's Avatar
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    have you tried a repair install?

  3. #3
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    BartPE to the rescue.

    http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

    I use this at work as my primary tech support tool. I put over 50 utilities/programs on it that is used for any hardware/software repair possible at work.

  4. #4
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    BartPE will get you around permissions, but not encryption. you may be able to see the files, but opening them is a different story. I'm afraid the data is probably gone.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    How To Remove File Encryption in Windows XP
    NOTE: Only the user who encrypts a file can recover data that has been encrypted, ... For additional information about using file encryption in Windows XP, ...
    support.microsoft.com/default. aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308993&sd=tech - Similar pages

    How to back up the recovery agent Encrypting File System (EFS ...
    The File Encryption Key (FEK) is encrypted with the EFS public key and is added to ... To locate the Encrypted Data Recovery policy, open the Default Domain ...
    support.microsoft.com/default. aspx?scid=kb;en-us;241201&sd=tech - Similar pages

    Active@ UNDELETE Recover Deleted Files. Windows XP,2003,2000,98 ...
    Supports recovery of compressed, fragmented and encrypted files on NTFS ... Windows XP / 98 / ME / NT 4.0 / 2000 / 2003 Server Operating System ...
    www.active-undelete.com/ - 46k - Sep 6, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

    Guide: Windows XP Pro: Using File Encryption part 1
    The Encrypting File System is one of the best features of Windows XP Professional. ... You should backup your personal encryption certificate (and recovery ...
    http://www.practicalpc.co.uk/computi...xpencrypt1.htm - 19k - Sep 7, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages

    encrypted file system recovery
    recovery with the orginal profile not in the file system ... now try accessing the encrypted file - it should all matchup. decrypt. ...
    http://www.beginningtoseethelight.or...very/index.php - 24k - Cached - Similar pages

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  6. #6
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    I thought you were pretty much screwed without the EFS key. That elcomsoft looks interesting.

  7. #7
    Member Met-AL's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the replies. Much appreciated.


    After coming to the conclusion that the only way to get those files back with out a brute force attack running for about 20 years on a supercomputer, my buddy worked dilegently to get the corrupted Windows install working agian. After several hours of doing this and that, he finally got it to the point that Windows XP setup was able to repair the install.

    Needless to say, he informed the user, his boss, not to use file encryption again unless he backed up the key.

    Once again, thankyou for the replies. It was a happy ending.

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