Data Recovery from an Encrypted Hard Drive
A lot of businesses follow the good practice of encrypting their data. It is an added layer of security and helps protect against theft and unwanted access. The good thing is that it is easy to implement and tough to crack. If you are storing private information, like financial documents or customer information, then it is vital that you are making use of some sort of file encryption.
However, here’s the catch: if an encrypted hard drive fails then recovering data from it can be extremely tricky. Data recovery is not something that is guaranteed to bring all of your data back. Having to repair bad sectors and rebuild boot tracks is all part of a common recovery procedure. When you chuck on the added element of files that are encrypted it can cause issues that result in further data loss.
The good news is that programs like R-Studio exist to help recover your data. One of the features of this program is that it can still recover data that has been encrypted. Bear in mind that although it will do its best, because the files are encrypted it may be harder to bring them back. Restore everything it uncovers to a separate drive.
Bear in mind that if you are recovering encrypted data then you will still need to know the key pair (otherwise it wouldn’t be very secure encryption). If you don’t know it or it has become damaged then it is unlikely that you will be able to bring the data back. Decrypting Windows’ Encrypted File System without a certificate is near impossible. If you don’t have a backup then your files are gone. Chances are also zilch if the file was encrypted with a corrupted or missing certificate in the first place.
If you have no luck restoring the data yourself then it may be worth turning to the data recovery professionals. Although this is not a cheap solution, if the data is important to you then it may be worth shelling out the money in order to get it back.
The best thing you can do is to ensure that you have constant backups of your drive. It sounds simple and that’s because it is. Rather than having to go through the recovery process and risk losing lots of important data and suffer downtime, having a backup copy will mean that you can just restore everything from that. You will still be able to encrypt the backup just as you would normally if you employ a good backup solution.
In the future it is worth using the free and open source program TrueCrypt. This offers better encryption than what is built in with Windows and can encrypt an entire partition if you so wish. However, even using this you still need to ensure that you are making constant backups. Encryption is secure for a reason and performing data recovery on a drive that is protected can be difficult. Save yourself the hassle in the long run.
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