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Thread: Windows File + Folder Encryption




  1. #1
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    Well, here is the dilemma.

    An over paranoid friend of mine has always keep nearly everything he has encrypted. This causes many problems for him, but the biggest of which just occured.

    Windows stoppped booting.

    So we are trying to get his files off of his drive (which is in fine condition and perfectly viewable and usable when installed the secondary computer)

    So, how can we get around this protection...? I know this may sound fishy, but HOW does Windows encrypt the files? We have his original User name and password, and I was thinking that maybe Windows creates an encryption key BASED on the user name and password combo?

    If we recreate that user will that work? (- I'm about to try this)

    Another Idea I have is to boot the drive in a windows 2000 computer (that hopefully doesn't have this silly feature) and access them like that? The more I consider this option though, the less likely it seems that it would work...

    Here is some info I found... thanks for the help....

    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;307877
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  2. #2
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    I also found this:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;EN-US;308993

    Which contains this comment:

    How to Remove Encryption from a File
    Only the following people can decrypt an encrypted file.
    The user who encrypted the file
    Any user who was designated as a recovery agent before the file was encrypted
    Any user who has the public key or private key for the recovery agent or the user that originally encrypted the file
    Any user who has been granted access to the file
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  3. #3
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    Well, I just tried the user account creation idea... no dice...

    Any idea where I might be able to enter a User name and password and come up with a private encryption key?
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  4. #4
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    So now I am trying Windows Repair feature... and it requires that you enter in the orginal account password, which my friend did, and it does not work....

    One unique thing though, is that this friend is SOOOO PARANOID that his 'login password' is LOGIN PARAGRAPH... OMG

    It is seriously like 150 charachters long... (and the worst part... it has SPACES and PERIODS in it... omfg)

    Any thoughts on password limits recognized by the Windows REPAIR function??

    Thanks for the help....
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  5. #5
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    i guess the Edit button stop working since i stopped by earlier...

    anyway, the only way to recover the files would be if he had backed up his encryption key before these problems cropped up, or fit into one of the categories you listed earlier (which none of them seem to fit your situation).Encryption is still encryption no matter what you do with the files. Without the key it is going to be very difficult to access the files.
    I've gone too far and need to move on!

  6. #6
    Beefy Guest

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    That and the fact that encryption is there for a reason. Not much point doing it if you can still access files like you are trying to. Blame your friend for being paranoid.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefy
    Blame your friend for being paranoid.
    Oh I have.....

    He is a moron :shoot2: :laugh: :laugh:

    Other things he has done include, constantly run TWO software firewalls behind a hardware firewall, along with 2 or 3 syware programs, and ad aware programs, etc. etc.

    And I really don't think he has anything to hide, he seems prefectly at ease when I am browsing his files, which wouldn't be the case if he had something strongly illegal, or SECRET, or something...

    I don't know... :steam: :steam:

    I do have one question though.. when you encrypt something in XP, how does XP choose a key? He claims he never entered one, nor knew where it was, what it was, or that one was accessable....
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  8. #8
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    XP generates it with the account, and encryption key is not the same as a password
    I've gone too far and need to move on!

  9. #9
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    Firstly - 2 software firewalls is a no-no, likely to cause a security issue:no:

    Secondly - WOW!

    Thirdly - Seek proffessional assistance, if qualified personnel is available get some for that PC too
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  10. #10
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    You might be able to find some sort of program that helps get around encryption (might not be totally legal) but I imagine this kind of encryption is right below goverment agencies in terms of sophistication. If it were easy to get through it would be kind of pointless to put it in the newest version of the most popular PC OS:rolleyes2. You'll probably even end up using some form of Linux to do this (nobody makes good programs for breaking encryption for friggin Windows). I guess you could also call Microsoft and ask them for whatever sort of algorithm they use for encrypting files on NTFS. .
    Slap your friend and tell him to unplug his computer from the internet. 2 software firewalls and a hardware firewalls is insane. Might as well not use the internet. Also explain to him that if a decent cracker really wanted to access his files for some reason, he (or she) could get past all 3 firewalls and encryption doesn't do anything since they'll probably be executing code as the user that encrypted whatever files.

    Edit: Did you enter the actual password though? In theory, if the password and user name were exactly the same as they were before, it would work (the MS article gives that impression anyway).

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