Recovering data on a passworded vista drive

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johnsonwk2

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I have a a hard drive with vista and it is password protected. What I need to do is plug it into another computer and get files off of it. Normally if it had xp on it I would just go to the security tab and take ownership of the file, no big deal. With a drive with vista on it though you can't see that security tab. Also tried using ontrack easy recovery pro, but that would not even see the files that I needed.

Any ideas would be appreciated because my client needs those files ASAP.
 
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The files may be scrambled according to an encryption algorithm. They won't even appear to be files to other programs.

You need to decrypt them with the same program that encrypted them. How was it done in the first place?
 

johnsonwk2

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There is just a log on password, the files aren't specially encrypted or anything.
 
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Easiest way is use a Linux live-cd and then mount the drive and copy to another drive as Linux doesn't see Windows Permissions. Puppy Linux is a small footprint and works great for this from cd.
 
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There is just a log on password, the files aren't specially encrypted or anything.
Log on to what? How was the drive password-protected?
There is nothing on the drive to log onto.

Depending how this drive was protected, one method involves using an algorithm to produce an encryption string from the password that is then used to scramble the files until unscrambled by a similar algorithm. If done is this way (which EasyRecovery would seem to validate), the files do not retain enough of their original structure to be seen as anything but a string of random bytes.

How was it password-protected? Who put the pasword on the drive? How do you know that it was password-protected? Are you positive that it is not just a permissions thing?

If it is just a permissions issue, then you need to take ownership exactly the same way as on XP. The method is unchanged. If you have no secirity tab, something is wrong. Do you see the tab on your own files?

This context menu entry can also help:

Try taking ownership. This needs to be done quite a bit in Vista, so if you want you can use this to add the option to your context menu instead of doing it manually:
Vista Take Ownership Context Menu
 
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