unencrypt folder that user encrypted

Posted on 2008-01-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have a user at my organization who encrypted folders in his account. Now the user is gone and I cannot unencrypt them.

How can I unencrypt them? If I take ownership of the folder, will that allow me to unencrypt?
Question by:lenivan
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 20763503
If this is on a domain then by default the domain administrator account has the data recovery agent encryption key and if you log onto the domain with this account tou can open the encrypted file and remove the encryption.

If it is not on a domain then there is no recovery agent by default and chances of recovery are not good.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 20763517
BTW - taking ownership will give you NTFS permissions - but will not allow you ot unencrypt.

Author Comment

ID: 20763642
This is on a domain and I am the domain administrator. However, when I am on the server where the folder actually exists (the user maps to the folder), I cannot unencrypt it. I can change the permissions to view the contents, but I can't actually open the files.

What else can I do?
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

KCTS earned 1000 total points
ID: 20763723
By default the Data Recovery Agent is mapped to the actual  "Administrator"  account   - inless you have re-mapped it you have to use that specific account - not just any administrator account - but the "Administrator" account, if you see what I mean. if a domain user has encrypted anything this account has the data recovery key - of course you will also need NTFS permissions as well, which you can grant to yourself as administrator.

If the encryptin was done with a workgroup account there is no way back.
LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Pete Long
Pete Long earned 1000 total points
ID: 20767361
Hello lenivan,

Need to recover encrypted filed from NTFS EFS (Encryption file system)

WARNING without the original Encryption key (somewhere) you are snookered :(

This software is available on 30 day basis (but it doesn't expire)
Advanced EFS security http://www.elcomsoft.com/aefsdr.html
Methods for Recovering Encrypted Data Files

Best practices for the Encrypting File System


LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 20770231

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