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Recover Windows Certificates

ruiguim asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hi all,

I have an windows XP that have crashed and i need to recover an intalled certificaed from that windows installation.
There is any way to export the certificate by DOS commands or any other way ???

Thanks in advanced.
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You mean the Operating System cd-key?



CD-KEY??? I dont want the CD-KEY. I want to export an installed certificate in Internet Explorer so that i can install that certificate in another windows xp instalation.
I think that would be folder

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application data\Microsoft\SystemCertificates
so you would have to copy this to removable media
but true ? I have not done this, I think IE records sth while adding certificates

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Could you not browse to the site the certificates came from and then double click the padlock in IE to save and re-install them as needed?


Already try that. In IE the certificates appear, but if I export them, it can not export the private key.
I think this is the best that can be donne, if not it was a major security issue.
take a look also into
All Users Profile\Application Data\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA
MachineKeys folder, I read that IE uses this also
Distinguished Expert 2019
Is repair install of the OS an option to restore the system to functional state?
If you did not backup your certificate (including private key), I do not think it would be possible to extract.

A repair install is likely the quickest/surest way.


Arnold that's true. The installation can't be restore. Already try that many times but always give me some problem with the validation of WGA and I can't logon to windows.
I try the proccess like Roads said but I can only export the certificate and not the private key for that certificate. It make sence because it was a major security issue.
The client said that can't request another certificate to the company that issue it, dont know why ... bad luck .. is the way that they learn to make backups of sensitive information.
Question can be closed.
Thanks to all.
Distinguished Expert 2019

Whether the private key is exportable depends on how the certificate with the key were imported.  I believe there is an option when importing a pfx (certificate with key) that needs to be checked.  The option makes the private key exportable.

Someone has the key/certificate that can be exported.  Check your email to see whether you have the PFX file somewhere.
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