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Where is Internet Explorer Form Data?

Posted on 2016-07-20
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Last Modified: 2016-07-21
I just had a technician install Windows 10 on a new drive and I reinstalled all my programs. I lost all the saved form data from MSIE 11. Is there a way to get this back? I have ALL the user files from the previous drive (if they are stored there).

Any ideas?

Thank you.
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Question by:Lev Seltzer
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7 Comments
 
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:McKnife
McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 41722278
I did not try that, but you might be getting to the form data if you export and import certain registry keys from your old user profile: http://www.ehow.com/how_12074842_move-cookies-autocomplete-passwords-new-computer.html (please note: the article talks about passwords, but the registry names suggest "form data" as well).

You would need access to the file c:\users\yourname\ntuser.dat of your old profile and mount it like this:  http://zeda.nl/index.php/en/load-user-registry-hive-in-regedit

Worth a try if you have that file backed up.
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LVL 47

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by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 500 total points
ID: 41722866
By default, it is not possible to restore the former data and password from importing registry or file from the old HDD.

You need to put back the old HDD and logon to your previous OS to export the form data.
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LVL 56

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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 41722873
@Jackie Man
Why would that turorial exist, then?
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LVL 47

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by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 500 total points
ID: 41722900
@McKnife

Why you rely on ehow to solve problem?

You shall know that you need to decrypt the registry hive as the form data is not saved as plain text in registry.

If it is so easy to copy form data from one computer to another via registry without logo to the OS, it will be just too risky to save any form data in a computer.
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LVL 56

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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 41722905
I don't "rely" on them. They say it works, that's all.
"If it is so easy to copy form data from one computer to another via registry without logo to the OS, it will be just too risky to save any form data in a computer." - where in the world is that "easy"? Normally, the security baseline allows no access to profile folders or registry hives of other users, the hard drive itself would already be encrypted.
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LVL 43

Accepted Solution

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Davis McCarn earned 1000 total points
ID: 41722911
Form data and saved login credentials are kept in what is known as protected storage which is encrypted and mostly in the registry sections listed in that tutorial.  Because it was (maybe still is) a major security vulnerability, different versions of Windows and IE store them differently.
For years, the go to program was NirSoft's PSPV ( http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/pspv.html ) which, when logged in as that user on their booting Windows would reveal almost everything ever typed into a field in IE.  I used it regularly when setting up a new PC for clients who, more often than not, could not remember their passwords; but, when it also showed their credit card information because they had typed it into an online purchase, I was thankful that you needed to have local access for it to work.
Nirsoft has some great stuff; but, if you read his article, you should notice he stops at IE7.  He does so because M$ made extensive changes to handling the protected storage and his utility became marginally useful, at best.
Bear in mind, too, that Edge is not going to use the fields saved from IE so you my find the effort is for naught.
IMHO, you'd do better to use something like Dashlane to remember and fill out website form data and passwords.  It will let you export, import, and will carry forward that information regardless of what M$ does with IE, Edge, and Windows.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Lev Seltzer
ID: 41723127
Thank you all for your contributions. It seems that at this point I cannot do anything easily without restoring my previous computer, which I do not want to do at this time.
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