Encrypted Files on External Hard Drive

Mar 29, 2009
  1. I have an Acer Aspire E360 with Windows XP Media Center Edition. My computer was running really slow, so I decided to re-install windows. I backed up my files onto my 1TB Seagate External Hard Drive using Seagate's backup software. Once everything was backed up, I re-installed windows. When I went to copy my old files from my external hard drive, I realized that the folder containing my music was encrypted (the folder was highlighted green). When I tried to copy them over to my internal hard drive, I got an error saying "Error Copying File or Folder, Cannot copy 'file name': Access Denied. Make sure that the disk is not full (which it is not) or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use." When I right click a file that is encrypted and click properties>advanced>details, it shows the name of my computer before I re-installed windows along with its thumbprint. I've tried using decrypting software but i keep getting errors in all of those. I've also tried opening the files in a different operating system (ubuntu) but it still didn't work. I would like to figure out a way to decrypt the files and be able to put them on my iPod.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Anyone using EFS (Encrypted File System) must use the Windows' tools that specifically backs up their encryption keys BEFORE they somehow lose their keys (e.g. disk / file corruption). Failure to do so results in files i have yet to see anyone recover.
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