Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: New op sys, can't access encrypted ext. hard drive

21 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x32
New op sys, can't access encrypted ext. hard drive

I recently made a new install of Win 7 over XP--moved all my (encrypted) files to an external hard drive and reformatted my computer. (The encryption was done by windows, if that helps.) Stupid of me, because the encryption is keyed to my old account and so everything is basically inaccessible. Is there anything to be done? Help very very much appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2012   #2

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

If the files weren't really encrypted but just passworded and made "private" you need to change ownership, follow this

If instead we are talking of NTFS encryption, things get more complex.

If you remember the password you used to encrypt them (you can try the old account password or the admin password of XP) you can try this, or this. or google for similar programs.

But if you nuked the old OS and used this kind of encryption I think you're in deep trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x32

Thanks. I think it's NTFS encryption, as I was able to change ownership but still couldn't get in. I did try the program from EaseUs (hello, free trial) but it just turned up folders with nothing inside, I guess because it's made more for lost/deleted files.
So it looks like my only option is to shell out hundreds for a recovery program like this one. This is probably not going to happen. Guess I'll shelve the drive and wait for a pay raise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

If you did not save the encryption key from the previous installation of Windows...then you are screwed. Having the original password is only part of the puzzle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New op sys, can't access encrypted ext. hard drive

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads for2: New op sys, can't access encrypted ext. hard drive
Thread Forum
Solved Constant Hard drive access Hardware & Devices
How to back up files from system encrypted hard drive? Backup and Restore
Solved Cannot access second hard drive Hardware & Devices
Solved cant access to hard drive Media Center
Cannot access encrypted files even though I never encrypted them Music, Pictures & Video
Can't access hard drive General Discussion
can't access old hard drive files General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:46 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App