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Thread: Inaccessible Encrypted Files - I'm an Idiot!




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2

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    ok, I have major problem. I encrypted my personal data under XP, and was forced to reinstall after a major falfunction. Now, I am unable to access those encrypted files.

    I have the same username, password and computer id, but the certificate issued by XP has a different thumbprint.

    My question is how can I, if at all, regain access to these files?

    I would be greatful to anyone that can offer assistance as I really need to gain access to this data.

    Cheers
    coelmay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    735

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    The windows XP help & Support centre has a bit to say on this topic, I suggest you run help, and ask for help on "Encrypted Data"

    Heres a snippet:

    To recover an encrypted file or folder without the file encryption certificate
    Open Backup.
    Use Backup to make a copy of the file in case of loss or damage.
    Send the original encrypted file to the designated recovery agent.
    Have the recovery agent use their recovery certificate and private key to decrypt the file.
    Have the recovery agent send the decrypted file back to you, using any file transfer method that is desired.
    Notes

    To start Backup, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
    The administrator of the local computer is the default recovery agent, unless you are in an Active Directory domain environment. In an Active Directory domain environment, the administrator that initially logged on to the first domain controller is the default recovery agent.
    Sending the file to the designated recovery agent can be done in a number of ways, including backing up the file up to tape or floppy disk.
    Files backed up using Backup or any other backup tool retain their encryption while in their backup storage location. The original files can be decrypted or modified without affecting the encrypted state of the backup copies.
    You can recover an encrypted file or folder yourself if you have kept a backup copy of your file encryption certificate and private key in a .pfx file on a floppy disk. Use the import command from Certificates in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to import the .pfx file from the floppy disk into the Personal store.
    For more information about using Certificates in MMC, see Related Topics.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    2

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    I have tried playing with the security setting, changing the owner, adding people to the allow list, etc.

    I don't have a backup of the data (stupid me, I have learnt now!), and I have tried addting a recovery agent, but am unable to as I can't seem to get a certificate for myself that allows me to do anything other than encrypt data and decrypt it again - not other people's data though.

    I don't have a copy of the certificate that was used to encrypt the data initially. I have tried using Backup (I haven't previously backed up the data) and even when I restore it I am still unable to access it.

    I am at a loss. I am thinking that the only thing I can do it trash it all.

    :(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    The Land of OZ!
    Posts
    674

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    I think you need to choose a recovery agent before you decrypt the files.

    but try to login with the actual Adminstrator account [not an account with admin rights but the actual Administrator account]. and try to decrypt the files. i know with Win2K that will work maybe XP is the same..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bendigo Australia
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    Sorry i couldn't help you on the phone coelmay but I'm sure somebody around here will find an answer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    358

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    Quote Originally Posted by coelmay
    ok, I have major problem. I encrypted my personal data under XP, and was forced to reinstall after a major falfunction. Now, I am unable to access those encrypted files.

    I have the same username, password and computer id, but the certificate issued by XP has a different thumbprint.

    My question is how can I, if at all, regain access to these files?

    I would be greatful to anyone that can offer assistance as I really need to gain access to this data.

    Cheers
    coelmay
    Same thing happened to me buddy...ya know what...just try to remember what ya had and Format...thats what i had to do after 4 days of nervousness...i went all over the place...then i erased all of it and i almost cried...i had maybe 10+ gigs of music and 10+ gigs of programs...and i had some CD back ups...but they were like 1-3% of what i had before...sorry but i think thats what ya have to do...suck it up and take it...just like me...."weeping"...take care man..and tell us if you found a way...good luck...peace

    FiRE
    <img src="http://forums.tweaktown.com/attachment.php?s=&postid=163310">

  7. #7

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    The administrator should be able to decrypt files as by default it is the recovery agent. Windows XP only allows login as administrator in safe mode, maybe you could try that?
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