File unencryption Win XP Professional

  blevins2 16:12 16 Mar 06

Hi, This is a last, desperate cry for help, although I think I know the answer! I inadvertently encrypted my "MYDOCS" folder about a year ago. As soon as I realised, I tried to unencrypt. All was fine until the other day, when I suffered hard drive probs. I copied my MYDOCS folder to a USB drive as a backup and then formatted my C Drive & reinstalled Win XP Professional. I now find that some (not all) of the files in my backup copy have green fonts (which I gather means they are encrypted) even though I have not encrypted them. Anyhow, I cannot now open these files or move them back from the USB to C drive. Is there any possible way to recover, or have I lost them permanently?

  ventanas 16:21 16 Mar 06

I assume you used Windows Encrypting File System. If you did not back up the Recovery Agent Certificate then I'm afraid they are gone for good. When you reformatted your drive Windows would have created new security identifiers (SID's) for each user, even if the users are identical. Therefore the files cannot be accessed, even by the admin account. There is no "back door" option to get at encrypted files.

It really is essential to back up the Agent Cert if you use file encryption.

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