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Access denied because of encryption


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#1
raving_84

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i have windows xp operating system installed on "e" drive.
drives c,e,f are FAT 32 and drive d is NTFS. i was experimenting with
a feature called "MAKING MY FOLDERS PRIVATE". Win XP allows only
My Documents and few other folders to be made private. The catch is
that you can do this only if the drive is NTFS. (i have adminstrator privileges)

so here is what i did : since drive "d" is NTFS, i dragged My Documents to
"d" drive from "e" drive's E:\Documents and Settings(win xp is installed on e)
Then i made My Documents folder private.

In addition i either encrypted or compressed or both(i dont remember exactly) a few folders which happen to contain all my songs, a few videos and some
important documents.

And one fine day, my Operating System crashed, and i re-installed it again in E:.
Now my Win XP does not access either the My Documents in D: or the other
folders containing my songs and stuff. "ACCESS DENIED" is the message.

But this has happened to me earlier. That time i accessed the private folder
D:\MyDocuments from LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM(which i have in another partition) and moved it to another drive (i think it was C:) from linux. And when i opened Windows XP i had the MyDocuments Folder in C(Eureka!)

The problem now is i cant access linux right now(i will tell u guys what that is
after you guys help me out with this problem). so i need another solution for
this problem which occured entirely because of my ignorance!

Please help me guys
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#2
admin

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Welcome raving_84 <_<

If you did in fact encrypt the files on your NTFS, you're going to have some serious trouble recovering them, unless you backed up your security certificate. :D

I'm very curious how you may have used Linux to access these files last time. I've never heard of this approach. :D

Do you know there are Linux Distros you can load from a bootable CD?

When you "make private" in XP it uses transparent encryption to protect these files based on your logon. This encryption information is contained in a security certificate. This certificate can be backed up (usually to a floppy drive), and it's a good practice to do so (as you've discovered). Microsoft offers no way to recover these files without a properly backed up certificate. However, there are third party companies that sell software they claim will. I've never tried it, plus last I check it was pretty expensive ~$100.
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#3
raving_84

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thanks for the early reply Admin :D

i am not absolutely sure if i have encrypted. but i am reasonably sure that i have
compressed atleast some of the files.

please give me some guidance on how to back up the security certificate. i can
also tell my friends about it.

by the way i was able to use linux to transfer the file (i think) because i had
not encrypted them. it was just private. i just used Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V

Anyway coming to the problem:

i downloaded Active@ NTFS Reader for DOS v 1.0 from the net.
Using ntfsreader i was able to copy the file from ntfs to FAT32
partition(the software created a bootable floppy from which i could copy ) but i was able to do this 1 file at a time. The problem is since it was
compressed in NTFS when i open this file now (for example a text file compressed
in NTFS)it now gives some unreadable characters and an mp3 file that i
transferred doesn't even open in windows media player. <_<
It says "The specified protocol is not recognized. Be sure that the file name and syntax, such as slashes, are correct for the protocol" :P

please keep sending your tips. this problem is giving me a big headache :D
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#4
admin

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There's no built-in utility in XP to convert from NTFS to FAT32. You'd have to use a third party utility like Partition Magic. However you can convert one of your existing FAT32 partition to NTFS. http://support.micro...om/?kbid=307881

Then try copying the files you want to recover using the command line, or the utility you downloaded.
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#5
raving_84

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thanks admin

i will try this out. <_<
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#6
raving_84

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Sorry to bother you again admin

but i am in deep trouble.
the utility i have got doesnt copy to NTFS partitions, so that route is out
command line also gives the same message ACCESS DENIED

and to make matters worse i think i have encrypted my files

you were saying something about security certificates?

i spent an entire night reading about security certificates, recovery agents,
policies and stuff(my head is really spinning!) <_<

WIN XP's Help & Support says that there is a provision for recovering encrypted files when a user loses private key or system crashes etc.

it requires administrator rights to do all the stuff like creating a certificate,
and a recovery agent and import and export ..(man! i am really lost)

i tried my best to follow the instructions .
this is what i did

1. i created a security certificate using cipher /r
2. i created a backup for the encrypted file on the same NTFS partition(if i
create it i can access it) in a folder called BACKUP(d:\backup)
3. using MMC i created a GROUP POLICY imported the security certificate
and stored it in personal certificates.
4. using backup again i restored it to a folder called RESTOREDVERSION on the
same NTFS partition d:

After this WINDOWS XP help says that i will be able to change the property in the advanced settings by clearign encrypted , but if i do this i still get access denied

i desperately need some enlightenment!
please help! :D
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#7
admin

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WIN XP's Help & Support says that there is a provision for recovering encrypted files when a user loses private key or system crashes etc.

it requires administrator rights to do all the stuff like creating a certificate,
and a recovery agent and import and export ..(man! i am really lost)

This only works if you have a backup of your security certificate. <_<

As long as you know the password, you should be able to recover the files using a third party program (search for XP EFS recovery), or bring it to a knowledgable local computer shop.
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#8
raving_84

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i tried Advanced EFS Reader 2.0 by Passware
It works fine but shareware version decrypts only the first 500 bytes

However it has recovered some private keys which i have made a backup
Can this be used in any way?
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#9
admin

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However it has recovered some private keys which i have made a backup
Can this be used in any way?

I'm afraid I don't know. <_< You'll probably need an expert in NTFS EFS encryption.
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#10
raving_84

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in one of my early mails i had said that i can access the files which i
make private from linux, i was able to recover that folder completely by
copying that folder from ntfs to a FAT32 drive. so i have something to be
cheerful about :D

i will keep trying to solve the encryption problem. i am not about to give up
i am having my holidays now and so can devote a lot of time for this.

geekstogo is really good and i would like to thank all of you for helping me
i am sure it is one of the best forums online.

Mr.Admin has been the one who has been replying to my mails. thanks a million
admin <_<

if anything new comes up i will post a message again

regards
raving_84
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