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I have a large folder with a lot of personal photos that I would like to copy. But Windows 7 won't let me. Apparently they are encrypted. I can't remember setting that, nor can I remember any sort of key or password I ever received for decryption.

I tried to turn encryption off. I see Windows doing it on all the files and it doesn't return any errors. When I then refresh the folder, they are still encrypted.

Is there anything I can try?

Edit:

I didn't reinstall Windows on that disk, I do have a new disk and am copying the files from the old to the new disk. The old accounts are still present on the old hard drive. I've also made myself the owner of that map, made sure I have full control over the map, but that doesn't help either.

It looks like the problem lies even deeper... I can't decrypt the files with the account that encrypted them.

Another update:

I got a window in my new installation, asking me to back-up encryption keys. I followed the wizard, but I'm then asked to provide a .pfx file, which is nowhere to be found.

More updates:

I've been fiddling around with the files a bit, and I found that I can add my own certificate to them. However, when I try to do this, I'm told I need read and write rights, while I have them.

Yet another update

I managed to find all the keys on my system, with "AEFSDR". However, the trial version doesn't recover files. I'm not really willing to pay a 150 euros for this program. So, how will I figure out which of the keys is the right one? (The program found some 650 keys)

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Did you ever reinstall Windows on that disk? –  haimg Jan 5 '12 at 20:39
    
Where are these specific folders located? Are you sure it aren't permission problems? Did you ever turn encryption on? Do you have access to the OS or are you trying to access it in a different way? –  Tom Wijsman Jan 5 '12 at 20:39
    
I didn't reinstall Windows on that disk, I do have a new disk and am copying the files from the old to the new disk. The old accounts are still present on the old hdd. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 5 '12 at 20:45
    
I've also made myself the owner of that map, made sure I have full control over the map, but that doesn't help either. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 5 '12 at 20:52
    
Updated my post. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 5 '12 at 21:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+100

Here is some information that I was able to find :

The article encrypted file system recovery describes several methods for recovering EFS files, written for XP. The described methods are rather hackey and may take some doing to adapt to Windows 7.

The DPAPIck v0.2 tool claims the ability to recover EFS certificates, but I have no experience with it.

The youtube video EFS Recovery By Hand claims to show how to recover EFS, but I have not checked it out.

The Diskinternals EFS Recovery tool is a commercial tool going for 70$.

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The first method doesn't seem to be working in Windows 7. The second one doesn't include the ability in v0.2, when v0.3 is released it will contain it. The youtube video is essentially the same method as from the first link. Thank you very much anyway! –  Simon Verbeke Jan 10 '12 at 15:56
    
Well, at least the Diskinternals utility is cheaper than AEFSDR .... And it has a trial mode for searching for keys (but not for exporting them). You will get better results if you boot from the original disk, but the doc says it can also work without this. –  harrymc Jan 10 '12 at 16:35
    
I'll see what the DiskInternals tool can do :) Will probably look for a 'free' version though.. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 10 '12 at 16:39

EFS - the "delayed recycling bin"

It sounds like you may have replaced your hard disk, installed Windows on a new disk, attached the old disk and booted the new disk with the intent of copying your data to the new disk.

If so:

You have to boot Windows from the original disk, login with your original user name and password and then decrypt the files.

If not:

See I CAN NOT RECOVERY MY PHOTOES ENCRYPTED BY EFS AFTER TO FORMAT

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Let's hope it works :) As I've deleted a LOT of unnecessary files on the old hdd, which might include some important stuff... Will report in in a few minutes. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 5 '12 at 20:57

Type rekeywiz.exe at search/run box of Start Menu. Does it show any keys?

Also the backup-wizard you refer to in the "another update" edit asks you to choose a filename to save it as, not a .pfx file to find.

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This shows the certificate that's handed out to the new account. –  Simon Verbeke Jan 13 '12 at 15:04

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