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I had some files encrypted with cipher cmd command on an external hard drive with FAT32 format. one day I had to copy a large file on that hard drive and I reformated the hard drive to NTFS format. after I reformated the hard drive my encrypted files were somehow broken. the result was my files got a *.pfile extension and a $EFS file was created in each folder and they are no longer encrypted. anyone have any idea what should I do to get my files up and running again?

  • That's odd. EFS stores keys in the SID (Windows authentication database), either locally or on a domain controller. What can you tell us about this "cipher cmd command" that you used, and you didn't actually reinstall Windows in the interim did you? – a CVn Feb 7 '17 at 13:11
  • View and use files that have been protected by Rights Management might be relevant. – Seth Feb 7 '17 at 13:37
  • Hello, I just simply used cipher /e /s:[Path_name] for encrypting the files. and didn't reinstall the windows, if you are curious about the certificate key I have a backup of that key, I was using the external hard on two computers and it was working just fine until the day I reformatted the hard drive using "convert c: /fs:ntfs" command then I saw my files have the ".pfile" extension and in each folder I was seeing an $EFS simple file @MichaelKjörling – Amir Ebrahimi Feb 7 '17 at 13:52
  • @Seth I have tried it but its no good. – Amir Ebrahimi Feb 21 '17 at 12:23
  • cipher shouldn't even work on FAT32 (Displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.) Why would your external hard drive have the drive letter C:? Are you still able to use the file or are they actually encrypted? Did you try to decrypt a single file using the /D switch? Does it work? – Seth Feb 21 '17 at 15:48

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