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Windows 7: EFS- apparently forgot password to key..

18 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
EFS- apparently forgot password to key..

I encrypted a bunch of files a while ago and copied the encryption key to my external hard drive. I had to reinstall windows a few months ago and while the encrypted files were still on my data partition, I can't decrypt them using the key because it says I have the wrong password. I've tried every possible password I know but none work, is it because I reinstalled windows and I have a new user? Any suggestions?

The files aren't that important but I'd like to get them back. I have the key, its just it won't accept any password. Does it have to be linked to the original user for the key to work?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Nov 2011   #2

7 ultimate x64

Yes Unfortunately, your encrypted files have certificates allocated to them from your user profile, now your profile has changed you cannot access your files.

In the future you should create a recovery agent, this way you can recover files you have encrypted if you lose your key.

To create a recovery agent goto a command prompt and type cipher.exe /r:recoveryagent

now goto to your local group policy and the EFS node. Add data recovery agent there. Keep your keys safe and note you have to create a recovery agent before any files are encrypted.

Im not sure how this will work if you have to reinstall windows and the original recovery agent profile is lost (I think you may lose the recovery agent ability to decrypt files) however it is worth noting this as a backup plan if you lose your original keys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 EFS- apparently forgot password to key..

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