I cant open backed up files - Im guessing its EFS? - green files - encrypted?

Posted on 2007-10-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-21

I cant open backed up files - Im guessing its EFS? - green files - encrypted?

The source laptop has been xp reinstalled.

Any help
Question by:worded
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    You can take ownership of the files but that is not going to remove the encryption - If you did not take the trouble to backup the encryption key then you're stuffed.

    There are some third party utilities such as the one from Elcomsoft which may do the trick but it could be very time consuling at best.

    Author Comment


    Cant take ownership.

    Whats the chances this is Encryption? From 1 of 10 say?  
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    (10/10) Green files are encrypted. The keys would have been lost if you did not back them up, when you rebuilt the PC.

    Author Comment


    "If you did not take the trouble to backup the encryption key then you're stuffed"

    I didnt know there were any encrypted files.

    For future ref - How do you check if there are any encrypted files on a PC before reinstalling windows?
    Aside from ask the user(s)?

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    The method that Microsoft recommends is to use the CIPHER.EXE utility with the /K /N parameters, as in


    This works at least on Windows XP SP2, but may also be part of earlier versions of Windows as well.  This'll find the files no matter where they are on the drive (at least, so long as you have the ability to read file properties).

    Just in case - is it possible you had backed up the user profile (i.e. the folder under C:\documents and Settings)?  If so, then the EFS key recovery software programs that you can find on the 'net might well get the keys you need to decrypt the files.

    Author Closing Comment

    files used encryption = I was stuffed.  Does anyone have the time to make an image of a disk before erasing? Would have been sweet in this case.  Data wasnt important to client in the end, but Iw as in shock for a while.  

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