cannot access encrypted files after installing a new hard drive

Posted on 2004-11-22
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I installed a new hard drive.  I copied the files from the old hard drive to the new hard drive by setting the old drive as a slave and moving the files in explorer.  I had encrypted a folder in the old drive.  I didn't think about it and now cannot access the encrypted folder on the new drive.  I formatted the old drive using windows xp disk management.
Question by:baker14410
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    This is downt to EFS on Windows XP, The files are decrypted by your password HASH (possibly with a unique key as well I imagine) the only way to properly fix this that I know of is to boot the old drive, highlight the files and uncheck the encrypted checkbox
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution


      You should have exported the private keys so that you could recover these files as necessary.
      this article discusses exporting private keys;en-us;887414

      It looks like you may be out of luck.;en-us;308993

      If these files are very important you should try this utility

      Good Luck.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Hey there.... Simply take ownership of the files/folders from your current windows XP installation and you will have access to any encrypted file/folder with no problems :)....

    To Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP:;en-us;308421&sd=tech

    To Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP:;en-us;Q308421&sd=tech

    and trust me this is as easy as 1,2,3 !!...

    Good Luck and Cheers!
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Personally can I suggest that myself and Worked4me get the points,

    <Matthew1471>"The files are decrypted by your password HASH (possibly with a unique key as well I imagine) the only way to properly fix this that I know of is to boot the old drive, highlight the files and uncheck the encrypted checkbox"

    <Worked4me>"It looks like you may be out of luck.;en-us;308993"

    The files are basically encrypted, if someone knows a way to bypass encryption without having the original HASH by all means step right up, but I think we can safely say it's not possible (not without being able to boot up the old drive and turning off encryption anyway)

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


      Sorry Lee this happens way to much out there.

      He had all the important parts intact until he reformatted the drive.
      The FEK, DRA, and the EKU field.
      All you could ever want to know about EFS.

      As previously mentioned;en-us;308993 he was just
      out of luck.

      This is a tough lesson to learn and is why you need to use the best practices recommended for EFS.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Interesting thing I just learnt from the above posts

    "Comment from LucF

    Have you imported the original EFS certificate yet?
    1) Browse to the path and file name of the .pfx file to which you exported the EFS recovery agent's private key, and then right-click the file.
    2) Click Install PFX to start the Certificate Import wizard.
    3) Click Next and confirm the file location and name.
    4) Click Next. Type the password for the private key, and then click Next.
    5) Click Place all certificates in the following store, and then click Browse.
    6) Click Personal, and then click OK.
    7) Click Finish, click Yes to add the certificate, and then click OK.



    looks like he might be able to copy over the cert and input his password if he still has his profiles directory intact
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Sounds great :)

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