Windows 10: Need to know how to restore access to encrypted drive?

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  1.    19 Jan 2017 #1

    Need to know how to restore access to encrypted drive?

    Long story but to start....

    I am on Windows 10 64bit. I was cleaning out my User folder and inadvertently deleted something I shouldn't have and now I cannot access my personnal information on an encrypted drive.

    I have an OLD system image. Can I restore individual files from this? If so, which ones do I need to restore to get access to my encrypted disc?

    If not then (as a last measure) I CAN make a current image, restore my last (very old) system image, copy the necessary files from it. The restore the current image and copy the necessary files back if I know which files(folders) to copy and restore?

    I imagine I have made a VERY serious boo boo!? I don't want to restore (permanently) to my last image but maybe forced to....

    I used to make an image every week but then got quite lax then this happened

    I would appreciate some help and guidance....

    You don't need to kick some sense into me as I am already doing that to myself....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 6,352
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       19 Jan 2017 #2

    Ouch !!

    You didn't say what tool you are using for encryption so I assumed Bitlocker. I know you have been kicking yourself but it is always a good idea to export keys and passwords and most products allow for this process.

    Microsoft may have your encryption key; here’s how to take it back | Ars Technica

    This article talks to keys being saved in OneDrive folders. You didn't say what folders you deleted. (Any chance are they in recycle bin or did you head there and delete the files permanently.

    Depending on system activity since your deletion you may find a product to restore deleted files.

    Good luck
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    19 Jan 2017 #3

    Just standard Windows encryption and I don't use Onedrive (turned it off)

    I assumed my folder in Users was just MY data (huge mistake) I deleted some folders that were, like, 6 years old....

    No protests from Windows so I cleared the trashcan. All proceeded as normal till switch off and switch back on

    Then lost a heap of settings all over the place. The most important being no access to my encrypted personnal data

    I DON'T want to restore the old backup image but it looks like that is what I have to do!? I'm not in a hurry but will need access to my encrypted data sooner or later?

    I'm hoping it is just a matter or recreating a folder and restoring a file (or two?) to get access to the encrypted data????

    I think I did export the encryption certificate(?) but where the **** did I put it!?

    Thanks for your response....
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 6,352
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       20 Jan 2017 #4

    We all do things differently. When I want to delete suspect folders I rename them, set a reminder in Outlook and then give them the axe.

    What are you using to make Images of boot drive? I would check if there is a tool to look inside image and do selective restores.

    While I have not done this, you might want to investigate restoring to a virtual machine.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    20 Jan 2017 #5

    Again, I use stock standard Windows "Create Image" routine. I've restored an image in Windows 8.1 but the same routine in Windows 10 is SO convoluted and complicated. I've spent hours trying to do "Restore Windows from an image" function.
    First it won't boot off the DVD recovery disc. Then, when it does, there are so many overlapping options that I chose the wrong one.... I thought I was restoring from my hard drive but, in actual fact, it just booted off my usual hard drive. Going round and round. Select an option and it does something else. Try again and it won't do the first thing.... Like bashing my head against the wall.....
    There are a couple of (standard) backup/restore options and they are NOT compatible. Backup and Image, never the twain shall meet!?
    You go into backup and it doesn't recognise an image and you can't get it to boot off the DVD, just keep trying to boot off the USB.... Yes I have changed the boot options
    Well, back to bashing my head.... Maybe I might "jag" something????

    I chose to use standard Windows to avoid external program problems. But the "Image" system comes from Windows 7 and is no longer (really) supported in Windows 10!? I avoided Acronis, Norton etc etc
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 6,352
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       21 Jan 2017 #6

    If your machine won't boot from DVD plase enter your BIOS and diasble secure boot.

    As your machine is still functioning may I suggest you create a recovery USB drive. Type Recovery Drive in Cortana, create a recovery drive appears at top. You likely need an 8GB USB key.

    Boot from key, pick language, click Troubleshooting, Advance Options, System Image Recovery, Windows 10, and see if it sees Image.

    I mentioned @Bree on this post. Bree uses the Windows Image recovery function and may know a trick to allow you to find Image. As I recall Bree had recommended making a disc with each image. Better chance of finding Image.

    Going forward I recommend as do many of the members Macrium Reflect. Free, fast, reliable.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 6,352
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       21 Jan 2017 #7

    I posted this separately as I wanted to draw your attention. This is a process to allow you to get at files within the Image which is ideally what you wanted, I think.

    How to access a system image and restore individual files using Windows 10's native VHD support - TechRepublic

    I would copy out entire users folder to some media as an extra backup.

    Got my fingers crossed, hope you get your files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 5,953
    10 Home x64 (1709) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       21 Jan 2017 #8

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    I mentioned @Bree on this post. Bree uses the Windows Image recovery function and may know a trick to allow you to find Image. As I recall Bree had recommended making a disc with each image. Better chance of finding Image.

    Going forward I recommend as do many of the members Macrium Reflect. Free, fast, reliable.
    @louwin, yes - I routinely use 'Backup & restore (windows 7)' to make and restore system images. It can be very temperamental about recognising an image as being available to restore. If you have ever renamed the system image folder, make sure it has exactly the same name as it was given when created. If you have moved it to another HDD, try copying it back to the original drive it was created on. The most reliable way is to boot into the same recovery environment as the OS that created the image, preferably from the boot CD created at the end of making the system image, failing that a recovery USB made by the same OS. You can also boot the OS to it's recovery environment from Settings > Update & security > Advanced start-up, though using this route will require you to provide an admin account password in order to restore a system image.

    TBH, the only reason I persevere with the native MS system image is that (for the free version, at least) Macrium requires to be installed and adds itself into the windows recovery environment. I prefer to keep to a 'pure' MS system as far as possible.

    I see @Caledon Ken has added the 'mount the .vhdx file' tip while I was writing this. If you look in 'WindowsImageBackup\<your_PC_name>\Backup yyy-mm-dd hhmmss' you will find one or more .vhdx files, these are the images of each partition (you may need to 'click continue to grant permanent access to this folder'). Double-click on one and it will mount as a virtual drive, though I would advise making a copy of it first and mounting that instead - it is mounted as 'read/write', you don't want to risk modifying the original
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    22 Jan 2017 #9

    Thanks Bree, very Useful and informative. I use the image system for the same reason you do. I have only ever had to restore 3 times and Windows 7 was the last time. I've been through 8.1 and now 10 since. I booted off the DVD but it wasn't very intuitive. Having to go into "Troubleshoot" to restore an image

    Thanks Caledon but I gave up on the selective file restore as I couldn't work out which files to restore. The actual certificate file is called a "pfx" filetype but I couldn't find it in a working system

    After much "faffing" about I managed to restore the very old image. I have a few HDDs and it jumbled all the drive letters

    Thank you both for your replies. I hope I don't have to use your revealed techniques but will save them just in case....

    I am onto other problems now, like major Windows 10 Update always failing at 26%

    Thanks again
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 6,352
    Windows 10 Pro Build 1709
       22 Jan 2017 #10

    For the update that fails.

    Run the microsoft trouble shooter.

    Type troubleshooting in the Cortana search bar, troubleshooting appears at top.
    Click it, window opens, lower right side "Fix problems with Windows Update", click.
    Window opens, click on “advance”, click on Run as administrator, click “Next”.
    Should run clean. If not run again.

    Then head to the and download the KB you are looking for. Likely KB 3213986. Failing on lots of devices, had it fail on two of mine.

    In command prompt(admin) issue these to commands

    Net stop wuauserv

    Net stop bits

    Then double click on file you downloaded. After it is installed reboot.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

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