My laptop recently died: probably a power supply fault. I'd backed up all my data to an external (USB) hard drive, but failed to notice that several large folders were encrypted. I normally make a separate backup onto DVD, but the folders were too large.
I now need to access the files in these folders fairly urgently. Nothing will open from my backup, but as far as I can tell, the original hard drive is intact. Can I install this drive in a compatible laptop and read my files directly? Or must I use the original machine? Is it possible to clone the data from this drive onto an external hard drive and use this instead of the original hard drive? I don't want to risk overwriting any of the original data. Failing this, would it be possible to recover the relevant encryption codes from such a copy?
Otherwise, is there any way I can get sight of the text files without actually recovering them? I'd even be prepared to retype entire documents if I knew what was in there.
My machine is a Dell Inspiron 5150 running Windows XP Professional.