Recovering encrypted files from external USB drive

I had a laptop with Windows XP crash.  I installed a new hard drive, installed windows 7, installed my apps and recovered data from an external usb drive.  Everything went fine with the excpeption of an encrypted folder.  I can see all the contents but when I try and copy the folder, or it's contents from the usb drive to the laptop I get an access denied error message.  Is there anyway I can recover these encrypted files?
cramermcAsked:
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Usama FoadIT ManagerCommented:
Try making new user account in the new PC with the same name and the same password as in old one.
cramermcAuthor Commented:
I tried that and still get the same file access denied errors when I try and copy the file(s) or access them.
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Usama FoadIT ManagerCommented:
May be you need to set the administrator password in Windows 7 like the one in Windows XP.

Also, you can follow the following link to take ownership of the files

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67717-take-ownership-file.html
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arnoldCommented:
Do you have the exported user EFS certificate and have it handy for import on the new system.

The failure of the original drive complicates matters.
http://thedailyreviewer.com/windowsxp/view/cannot-decrypt-efs-encrypted-file-even-though-i-loaded-the-previously-used-encryption-certificate-112201612
thegofCommented:
If these were stored under the encrypted file service (EFS) then you may be out of luck unless you stored your encryption key (certificates) off-line.  So here's the link to exactly how to recover the files with the stored key.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Recover-encrypted-files-or-folders

Now, here's an official response from Microsoft on the possibility of recovering files without a key.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/w7itprosecurity/thread/1b879bc6-8889-416e-a795-a2af3274d95d

This unfortunately may not be the answer you're hoping for, but it's the correct one.

Here's another link regarding using XP alone, but again, if you don't have the original system functioning, you're out of luck as you again need the key

http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/windowsxp/articles/456/1/Decrypt-Encrypted-files-on-Windows-XP


Ok, with all that said, there are some commercial software packages the "claim" to be able to bypass the encryption IF you know the password.  Here's one that offers a demo you can download and it will tell you if it thinks it can decrypt the files.

http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/recover-encrypted-data.htm

Note: I have not used the software so I can't recommend it.
Usama FoadIT ManagerCommented:
If you still have the old HDD, try booting Windows XP, even in safe mode, and change the permission for this folder.

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thegofCommented:
The issue isn't ownership.  It's encryption. Without the keyfile (certificate), the files cannot be decrypted regardless of the file ownership.  
cramermcAuthor Commented:
Well I got lucky.  I had an old drive that was origionally installed in the laptop.  I had "cloned" its partition when a larger drive (the one that crashed).  I was able to boot that, access the external usb drive and un-encrypt all the folders/files.  Put the newest drive back in and then I could copy the files no problem.  I appreciate all the help, and especially UsamaFoad for pointing me in that direction.  Most appreciated folks!!
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