Format and Reinstall



kinghq
07-10-2005, 02:09 AM
I have an HD partitioned into 2 drivers, C and D. Because I am on a wireless
network at school, I encrypt all my files I don't others to see. Two nights
ago I was doing an automated software upgrade that failed. To make a long
story short, I had reformat the C drive and reinstall windows. Now I can't
access the encrypted files. Is there anything I can do access them?

The computer name is the same. The account name was different, but I was
able to boot into safe mode under the default administrator account and
change the name back to the original, but this didn't work. Please help ;(
I have a back up of the files, but there are a couple files that I had not
yet backed up that I need.

Carey Frisch [MVP]
07-10-2005, 02:09 AM
Before you encrypt anything important, you should back up your
personal encryption certificate (with its associated private key)
and the recovery agent certificate to a floppy disk and store it in
a secure location. If you ever lose your original certificate
(because of a hard disk failure, for example), you can restore
the backup copy and regain access to your files. If you lose all
copies of your certificate (and no recovery agent certificates exist),
you won't be able to use your encrypted files. No back door exists,
nor is there any practical way to hack these files.
(If there were, it wouldn't be very good encryption.)

HOW TO: Remove File Encryption in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/d­efault.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;3089­93

Without a backup of the original Encryption Certificate Key, encrypted files
are unrecoverable as they will stay encrypted forever. There is no recovery
method since the encryption algorithm is now completely different with a
reinstall of Windows XP.

See if the following articles help in any way:

HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/d­efault.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;3084­21

Best Practices for the Encrypting File System
http://support.microsoft.com/d­efault.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;2233­16

Encrypting File System in Windows XP
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/cryptfs.mspx

EFS Files Appear Corrupted When You Open Them
http://support.microsoft.com/d­efault.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;3297­41

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows XP - Shell/User
Microsoft Newsgroups

Get Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/protect/windowsxp/choose.mspx

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"kinghq" wrote:

| I have an HD partitioned into 2 drivers, C and D. Because I am on a wireless
| network at school, I encrypt all my files I don't others to see. Two nights
| ago I was doing an automated software upgrade that failed. To make a long
| story short, I had reformat the C drive and reinstall windows. Now I can't
| access the encrypted files. Is there anything I can do access them?
|
| The computer name is the same. The account name was different, but I was
| able to boot into safe mode under the default administrator account and
| change the name back to the original, but this didn't work. Please help ;(
| I have a back up of the files, but there are a couple files that I had not
| yet backed up that I need.

Star Fleet Admiral Q
07-10-2005, 02:09 AM
Do you have a backup copy of the C: drive before you formatted? If yes, it
may be possible to decrypt the files, based on a KB article on the MS site.

--

Star Fleet Admiral Q @ your Service!

http://www.google.com
Google is your "Friend"

"kinghq" <kinghq@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:08C262F1-22C3-47A3-A0BA-1E58CB59CEE2@microsoft.com...
>I have an HD partitioned into 2 drivers, C and D. Because I am on a
>wireless
> network at school, I encrypt all my files I don't others to see. Two
> nights
> ago I was doing an automated software upgrade that failed. To make a long
> story short, I had reformat the C drive and reinstall windows. Now I
> can't
> access the encrypted files. Is there anything I can do access them?
>
> The computer name is the same. The account name was different, but I was
> able to boot into safe mode under the default administrator account and
> change the name back to the original, but this didn't work. Please help
> ;(
> I have a back up of the files, but there are a couple files that I had not
> yet backed up that I need.

Steve B.
07-10-2005, 02:13 AM
The same just happed to me two days ago. A little different circumstances but
the same end result. There has to be a way for Microsoft to crack these
files, otherwise how do law enforcement officials read info on hard drives
and computers they sieze? Some type of master decryption key or certificate
must exist. I was just about to call and pay for tech support to tell me what
options I have until I read this article. I'm at a point now where I am
desperate to decrypt these files. They contain the most important info on my
machine, hence why I encrypted them.
Their absolutly should be a warning built into XP that pops up and informs
the user to copy the security certificate immediatly after encrypting files
so that this will not happen.
Microsoft, are you sure their is no option to decrypt these files?


"kinghq" wrote:

> I have an HD partitioned into 2 drivers, C and D. Because I am on a wireless
> network at school, I encrypt all my files I don't others to see. Two nights
> ago I was doing an automated software upgrade that failed. To make a long
> story short, I had reformat the C drive and reinstall windows. Now I can't
> access the encrypted files. Is there anything I can do access them?
>
> The computer name is the same. The account name was different, but I was
> able to boot into safe mode under the default administrator account and
> change the name back to the original, but this didn't work. Please help ;(
> I have a back up of the files, but there are a couple files that I had not
> yet backed up that I need.


Format and Reinstall