How can I decrypt my data on Windows XP prof.?

Posted on 2004-11-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I have data is encrypted on D drive. Then I already formated Windows XP and reinstall finish. But now I can't access my data on D drive. Could someone help me please! I have to use my data........Thank you very much....
Question by:r_akarach
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Wim ten Brink
    Oops... I think you should have decrypted that drive BEFORE you formatted your harddisk. Why? Because when Windows encrypts it, it will use an unique key linked to your system. After you re-install your Windows version on a formatted system, Windows will create a new unique key for your system. But that key won't match your old key. So now you won't have easy access to this data anymore.

    I'm not sure if it can be decrypted but I do know that I once had a similar situation where I had an encrypted folder on my D: drive and reformatted Windows on my C: drive. I'm still not able to access that data. :-(
    (Even tried to copy it to a FAT-formatted disk but it didn't work.)

    Still, I hope a simple solution exists. The data I "lost" wasn't that important to me, btw. I had an unencrypted backup at CD-ROM...
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    did you use the windows encryption ?

    Author Comment

    Yes, I use the windows XP encrytion.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    well the only way to recover your files now is to use some comerical applications which try to bruteforce the encrytion and recover your files that way.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Wim ten Brink
    Yep. That's the power of the Windows encryption. Encrypt some data, lose the key and you're doomed...
    The bruteforce approach might work if you're lucky. But it could take a while before it succeeds. Next time when you format a disk, you should first find a way to either store the encryption key somewhere or make a backup of your data. (Or unencrypt the data first.)
    Now, there is one other thing you could try, though. That is, if you've ever made a complete backup of your Windows disk. You could try to put back that backup and it will provide you the encryption key that you need. Then you can decrypt your D: drive and format your Windows disk again to install XP on it again.
    If this doesn't work then you have no other option than to use a backup of your data, even if it's not completely up-to-date. Or if the data is extremely valuable you might contact a data-recovery company who can crack the encryption for you. This will be extremely expensive though...

    If you've never made a backup then slap yourself in the face because not making backups is like playing Russian Roulette. It will go fine for a while but when it goes wrong it's definitely game over...


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

    Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

    Article by: btan
    The intent is not to repeat what many has know about Ransomware but more to join its dots of what is it, who are the victims, why it exists, when and how we respond on infection. Lastly, sum up in a glance to share such information with more to help…
    As a Mac user and former AppleCare AHA & Senior Advisor, I'm constantly bombarded with questions about Macs and if they need Antivirus. This short article is my response to those questions.
    Illustrator's Shape Builder tool will let you combine shapes visually and interactively. This video shows the Mac version, but the tool works the same way in Windows. To follow along with this video, you can draw your own shapes or download the file…
    Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

    737 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

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    22 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now