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Windows 7: I can't access an encrypted word doc from a System backup

19 Nov 2012   #1

windows 7 professional x64
I can't access an encrypted word doc from a System backup

the backup was from a system backup I made 4 months ago (Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore) My hard drive was replaced last week and I'm trying to restore this doc. The backup was done under Windows 7 Pro; I'm running Windows Home Premium now. The file had been encrypted (green in explorer). Can anyone offer suggestions how I can copy and begin to edit this doc? Thanks in advance for your help Tom

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Thomas,

I'm afraid that unless you backed up your EFS certificate from your Windows 7 Pro installation to be able to import/restore into your Home Premium installation, then you may be out of luck to gain access to it. That's what the encryption is for. No certificate, no access.

After you have restored the encrypted file from the backup, you might see if using the 30 day free trial of the Advanced EFS Data Recoveryprogram may be able to decrypt it.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2012   #3

windows 7 professional x64
I restored my encrypted file (and cert) from backups

thanks Shawn, your comment helped me restore my encrypted document from the System backup.
my takeaways from this...

1. I don't think Windows 7 Home Premium supports encryption, so I had to upgrade to (again) and pay for (again) Windows 7 Pro (I lost the product key and Microsoft customer service could not locate my purchase)

2. when you encrypt a file always backup the encryption certificate to external media (I did that when I encrypted the file)

3. MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER WHERE THE ENCRYPTION CERT WAS BACKED UP TO (and know that if you restore an encrypted file from a backup to a reformatted hard drive, you need to import the certificate)

3a when you export the encryption key you will be asked to enter a password.
when you import the key you will be asked to enter the same password.
obviously, keep track of this password, knowing that it may be a while before you have to perform these steps.

4. I followed the instructions on this Microsoft web page:

5. after I imported the certificate I was able to read the encrypted doc.

Thanks again for pointing me to the solution. Regards, Tom

p.s. how do I format text...this is ugly
p.p.s it was the preview that looked ugly, not the post...very confusing
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Nov 2012   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're welcome Tom. I'm happy to hear that you got access to it again. Thank you for posting back with your results. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I can't access an encrypted word doc from a System backup

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