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Can't Retrieve Data in My Documents Folder


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#1
deadgecko

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A month ago I discovered a minor virus on my system and following Symantec directions had removed it, but when I went to put the computer into Safe Mode to finish the process, my install of XP Pro completely crashed (this was all on the C: drive). I tried to repair the install using the installation discs, but it turned out that my brother (who originally set up the system 1.5 years ago) had forgotten what the administrator password he'd used to install it was. Since I couldn't fix it that way, I instead I did a parallel install of XP Pro on my second harddrive (D: drive). That install now works fine and as far as I can tell I haven't lost any of the data on my system. The original C: drive install had two profiles on it which were password protected. I know both passwords and I can access the My Documents data for one of them, but not for the other.

So here's the problem, all of my personal files which I really need are in the second My Documents folder. When I try to access it through the D: drive Windows install it just says it's not accessible and that access is denied. The C: drive windows installation is still messed up and I can't access any aspect of (i.e it won't go into Safe mode or anything). How can I rescue my files and move them over to the D: drive so I can reformat the C: drive?

I'm running an Intel Pentium 4, 2.40 Ghz, 1.79 Ghz, 512 MB of Ram, two hard drives of 80 gigs each. Windows XP Professional, 2002 edition.

If anyone can help I'd be very grateful.

Thanks!

Ali
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#2
admin

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Welcome deadgecko <_<

I don't suppose you backed up or exported the EFS private key to a floppy or CD? If so, it can recovered using this method:

If you lose your Encrypting File System (EFS) private key (for example, your computer installation is destroyed, or you have reformatted), a designated EFS recovery agent must restore the files. The designated recovery agent uses his or her EFS recovery agent private key to decrypt the files so they can be recovered.

To Restore the Designated Recovery Agent's EFS Private Key on Another Windows 2000 or Windows XP Installation:

   1. Log on to your computer using the local Administrator account, or an account that is a designated EFS recovery agent.
   2. Browse to the path and file name of the .pfx file to which you exported the EFS recovery agent's private key, and then right-click the file.
   3. Click Install PFX to start the Certificate Import wizard.
   4. Click Next and confirm the file location and name.
   5. Click Next. Type the password for the private key, and then click Next.
   6. Click Place all certificates in the following store, and then click Browse.
   7. Click Personal, and then click OK .
   8. Click Finish, click Yes to add the certificate, and then click OK.


If not, you'll have to gain access to your original installation, or use a third party tool to access the data. This program will allow access to these files from the new installation ($99): http://www.elcomsoft.com/aefsdr.html

Or, recover the original installation. There are some free tools that will allow you to reset the administrator password using a Linux boot disk. However, using this method you'll be unable to access encrypted files. Here are some commercial products that will reset the password, and allow full access to encerypted files:

EDR Commander ($149): http://www.elcomsoft.com/aefsdr.html
Windows XP / 2000 / NT Key ($199) http://www.lostpassw...-xp-2000-nt.htm

After you have the adminstrator password you should be able to perform a repair installation, or perform other recovery methods using the recovery console.

Considering the cost of the software required, you may want to bring this computer to a local shop and have them perform the recovery.
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#3
dbldady

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I am also trying to recover EFS keys on a parallel XP install.

I can browse a broken XP media center sp2 install drive from a working XP mc install.
I think I have access to all the files and folders on the drive except the encrypted folder and subfolders.

Is there a way to export EFS keys from the broken XP os while the drive is slaved and browsable from the working XP mc boot drive?

I have ongoing discussions about the broken OS here:
http://www.geekstogo...ll-t188429.html missing hal.dll at system boot

and attempted recovery steps here:
http://www.geekstogo...ed-t188594.html cannot copy file: access denied

Thanks to all the XP mullahs who have assisted so far.

I do not believe I exported the EFS private key before the OS broke ( NTFS ) I wish I was educated about the need to export long ago.

I am hoping discover a way to recover the EFS keys and whatever supporting files that go along before I do a repair install to the broken OS from recovery console. The drive has not been reformatted.

From all the scary stories I have read while researching these problems, it seems I really need to decrypt the files and copy them away from the broken XP drive before I do the repair install. I 'think' the repair install might replace previous admin and user account passwords/EFS keys. If I am mistaken, or if there is a way to easily retrieve the origional passwords and EFS keys after the repair install, PLEASE post a procedure and I'll forge ahead.

I did read something somewhere about a "preserve the security state" option somewhere but I can't find the article again and I'm not sure if it was referring to an XP repair install or not.

I am also seeking is clarification to the answer posted above:

Or, recover the original installation. There are some free tools that will allow you to reset the administrator password using a Linux boot disk. However, using this method you'll be unable to access encrypted files.

After you have the adminstrator password you should be able to perform a repair installation, or perform other recovery methods using the recovery console.


Thanks to all who can help!
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#4
sari

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Since you already have 2 open threads about this issue, let's try and keep the discussion there, rather than adding to a 4 year old thread. It gets too confusing to have multiple threads open at the same time.
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