November 4th, 2002, 12:24 PM
some of the dangers of encryption in windows XP
wasn't sure whether to put this in the tutorials forum or not as it isnt really a tute but is more of an advice thing...
recently my winXP box sorta died from my own doings, admittedly it is a cracked version as i couldnt afford the 500 odd dollars AU to buy a legit copy, i put a custom startup screen on which messed up the cracking of the program and subsequently i could not boot the system to get into my account, which by coincidence had my uni work for the year encrypted using EFS
so i did what some people would do (not really the right thing i know) and reinstalled windows over the top of my existing install, little did i realise that XP actualy removes the old install completely and then installs a fresh copy of windows rather than overwriting stuf and keeping settings like old versions did, my old admin account was overwritten and i am now unable to recover my encrypted files as i didnt make a backup of the certificates / keys, id never used encryption before so i wasnt aware of the consequences of this...
for users of XP pro, more detailed info on this can be found in help and support center if you search for 'certificate backups'
i was considering copying the info here but didnt due to concerns of copyrights and such
so yeah, the 'downfalls', if you like, of encrypting data when you've never used encryption before......
i guess the moral of this story is that backing up of data regularly cannot be emphasised enough, thankfully i do havea backup of the data that is a little over a week old on another computer, i was also able to recover most of the data from my zip disk that i use to transfer my files over long distances using drive rescue