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Dissapearing files

609 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Mosaic1
Okay, heres the story.

My computer's C drive was infected with a virus, I tried to clean it, but it didn't work

So I formatted my C drive and reinstalled windows, but before I did that I scanned my D: drive for viruses and there was none, so I didn't format it.

But now where there was supposed to be like 30 gigs of digital video, the folder just says "Access Denied" when I try to open it...

What the hell is going on? I need those files... anyone know how I might retrieve them?
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Is your Hard Drive formatted as NTFS and did you encrypt those files? If so, you will not be able to reclaim them.

Here's a page with information.

A trap that many fall into is when they re-format their system and re-install WindowsXP whilst having encrypted data on another disk and they didn't back up their "keys". In fact they didn't even know they existed. Suddenly they realize they do not have access to their encrypted data. What do you do? The answer is delete the data as you cannot recover it (unless your administrator makes use of an Recover Agent or there is a hidden back door --spooky--).

Before you format (and has a general backup habit) you should always backup your certificate with your public/private key! Confused? It's simple and is explained in the Windows Help File though it's not mentioned during the encrypting process. XP assigned each user with a self-signed certificate along with a pair of public and private keys. These are required to use EFS. Other users don't have access to your keys thus cannot access your encrypted files. When you format and re-install windows then a new certificate is assigned to your account (which won't work with previously encrypted files). That's why it is vitally important to back up your keys.

It's a simple task to backup your keys. To back up:

Click Start, then click Run and type "mmc"

Microsoft Management Console opens up. Click File, then click "Add/Remove Snap-in..."

Under the "Standalone" tab click ADD

Select Certificates, then click add, then close, then OK.

Double-click Certificates - Current User, double-click Personal, and then double-click Certificates.

Click the certificate that displays the words File Recovery in the Intended Purposes column. Right-click the certificate, point to All Tasks, and then click Export.

Follow the instructions in the Certificate Export Wizard to export the certificate and associated private key to a .pfx file format. Make sure you export your private keys with them, you will be asked to password protect your keys (to verify when importing later on). Save this to a secure floppy disk

Now when you format or if your keys get damaged all you have to do is double click on the exported key, follow the wizard and you should have access to your files.
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