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Windows 7: Lost encryption key, remember password

04 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Lost encryption key, remember password

Hi folks,

I have win 7 ultimate 64bit and a while ago i tampered with file encryption and was dumb enough not to back up my encryption key. However, i remember my password that i used to encrypt those files. I formatted C: and re-installed Windows 7, just to notice i can't access some of my important files on another drive.

So, i thought several possibilities of recovery, and i appreciate if you guys could express if any of the options below are viable.

1) Since i didn't back up my encryption key, where is the original one located? (if i use some recovery program to restore it)

2) Can i use recovery programs to restore pre-format a) user account, or b) encryption key, or c) windows (which actually then works)?

3) I remember the password i used to encrypt the files, so can i just make a new encryption key and kind of import it to my present windows to decrypt those files?

4) Does "Advanced EFS Data Recovery" or some other encryption key recovery tool work for my problem?

Sorry for being a total noob and asking for help, but i really, really would appreciate any help i can get on this matter.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

Your password has more to do with the encryption key used to decrypt the encryption key used on your files. I'm going to say recovering the necessary files for decryption is well out of reach at this point. And no, you cannot create a new user account with the same username and password, that information is only half of the story.

Without the backup encryption key that encrypted data is pretty much out of reach. And unless you got super luck the reinstallation didn't write over the previous user directory and its files...its slim very slim.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you for your reply!

Well, actually i managed to recover that whole pre-format 'user' directory. There are even those certificate folders, but i don't know how to proceed. There is no .pfx or .cer files anywhere to be found (because i didn't back them up?). However there is files in those certificate folders. Looking somewhat like this: C5676869FD4E3BFB624BD0D83D895B49196661AC.

Can you help me further?
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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