How to access XP encrypted Files and Folders

Posted on 2003-03-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Okay its my own fault for not doing this carefully enough I admit that.  

I have two partitions both NTFS on my XP desktop.  

All my program and file storage is on the second partition.  I was testing out File ENcryption and did encrypt a few of the files and folders there while log is an myself (administrator privleges)  I was logged into the domain not the machine.

Problems occurred on the main partition that required me to do a format and reinstall.  I can't access these files anylonger on the secondary parition!  I've tried decrypting them as admin, as myself locally and as myself on the network all of which are admin accounts and it just says sorry Access denined.  I figure that the encryption was association with the GUID and even though same accounts different GUID and therefore no access!!!!!  

There are no certificates associated with these encrypted files within the folder.  Does anyone know how to get around this and regain access to this files?
Question by:LoneShark
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8090660
No unfortunately I think you are pretty much our of luck since you didn't save the certificate for your encryption.

The Crazy One
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8090667
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 1000 total points
ID: 8090682
Quoted from this link

A trap that many fall into is when they re-format their system and re-install WindowsXP whilst having encrypted data on another disk and they didn't back up their "keys". In fact they didn't even know they existed. Suddenly they realize they do not have access to their encrypted data. What do you do? The answer is delete the data as you cannot recover it (unless your administrator makes use of an Recover Agent or there is a hidden back door --spooky--).
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8090719
Have you done this?

HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP

Author Comment

ID: 8090934
Yep I've done all that you mentioned and I've read the links and some additional ones out there.  It appears I'm out of luck unless I find some kind of cracking tool.

Oh well, live and learn.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 8091002
Yeah this question has been asked a number of times. The problem is if there is a good craking tool available it may violate the EE membership agreement to post such a tool since it could be used by people with malicious intent. Alhough I think for this situation it is grey area as far as where EE is concerned. Lets just say I haven't seen any posts of a tool that actually works to crack the windows EFS. I imagine there are a few around but I also imagine most of them are underground tools usually found on warez sites.

Expert Comment

ID: 8092580
Not sure about this one, but the fact that you WERE able to encrypt the file as a member of the domain, requires that an encryption recovery agent exists on the domain.  Since you were logged onto the domain, then the EFS agent should exists there with the capability of decrypting your file.  Not sure about that though... worth a shot if the data is important

Expert Comment

ID: 9066408
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.

Featured Post

Cyber Threats to Small Businesses (Part 2)

The evolving cybersecurity landscape presents SMBs with a host of new threats to their clients, their data, and their bottom line. In part 2 of this blog series, learn three quick processes Webroot’s CISO, Gary Hayslip, recommends to help small businesses beat modern threats.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Encryption for Business Encryption (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption) ensures the safety of our data when sending emails. In most cases, to read an encrypted email you must enter a secret key that will enable you to decrypt the email. T…
Ransomware is a growing menace to anyone using a computer or mobile device. Here are answers to some common questions about this vicious new form of malware.
With Secure Portal Encryption, the recipient is sent a link to their email address directing them to the email laundry delivery page. From there, the recipient will be required to enter a user name and password to enter the page. Once the recipient …
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…
Suggested Courses

770 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question