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Methods for Recovering Encrypted Data Files
Article ID: 255742 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q255742
NoticeThis article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center
(http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000)is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy
This article describes methods for recovering data that was encrypted with the Encrypting File System (EFS) if the private key for the user who encrypted the files is lost or destroyed.
If your computer is a member of a Windows 2000-based domain and you encrypted the files by using a domain user account, your encrypted files can be recovered by the EFS Recovery Agent for your domain. There are two methods for determining who the Recovery Agent is:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223316/EN-US/ )Best Practices for Encrypting File System
241201Other EFS-related information is available on the following Microsoft Web site:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/241201/EN-US/ )HOW TO: Back Up Your Encrypting File System Private Key in Windows 2000
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/prodtech/windows2000/w2kccadm/dataprot/w2kadm21.mspxNOTE: If you do not have access to a Recovery Agent's account with a valid recovery key, you cannot recover the data. There is no workaround in EFS.