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soriold
Member

3 Posts

Posted - 04 February 2006 :  23:37:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yesterday my desktop crashed rather hard again and I decided that it is time to reinstall Windows again. I backed everything up onto an external Maxtor hard drive, including several copies of my .pwa files. I also have Password Agent on my laptop and tried to open the .pwa file (the one on the external hard drive) but get the following error message:

READING FILE FAILED. ACCESS IS DENIED

When looking at properties (General -> Advanced -> Details) of the file I see that an encryption was enabled. Under "Users who can transparently access this file" it lists the name of the desktop as well as a "Certification Thumbprint".

I do not remember enabling the encryption but figure it is part of the security system. However, I cannot open, copy, cut&paste, that file and am REALLY worried that I cannot get to my passwords anymore.

I would REALLY appreciate any help I can get.

Thank you so much!

Stefan

oracledba
Member

26 Posts

Posted - 05 February 2006 :  19:53:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
wow. read your post, think I understand. Not sure what can be done. The good news is that I'm a novice to password agent so the fact that I dont know what to do is no big deal. I can confirm that under "normal" cirumstances the ".pwa" file is NOT encrypted as you indicated. For example, though you one would never have cause to do this - if things were "normal" one could open the .pwa file with notepad. The only thing that will be clear text is your password hint. all other contents of the file is encrypted (all you see is hex characters).

If you can't get this far then it sounds like your OS did encryption to the file AFTER password agent was done with the file. depending on how you did a backup you might be able to get the certificate to open file from your backup.
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soriold
Member

3 Posts

Posted - 06 February 2006 :  19:43:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You might be right about the Operating System and I was wondering if anybody has an idea on how to get that bloody certification?. The backup was simply done by putting a 1:1 copy (drag & drop) of the desktop files onto the laptop.

Thanks again!
Stefan

quote:
Originally posted by oracledba

wow. read your post, think I understand. Not sure what can be done. The good news is that I'm a novice to password agent so the fact that I dont know what to do is no big deal. I can confirm that under "normal" cirumstances the ".pwa" file is NOT encrypted as you indicated. For example, though you one would never have cause to do this - if things were "normal" one could open the .pwa file with notepad. The only thing that will be clear text is your password hint. all other contents of the file is encrypted (all you see is hex characters).

If you can't get this far then it sounds like your OS did encryption to the file AFTER password agent was done with the file. depending on how you did a backup you might be able to get the certificate to open file from your backup.

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oracledba
Member

26 Posts

Posted - 07 February 2006 :  15:00:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Try following this thread there are ideas on what might be wrong and
how to resolve.
But if its the worst case senerio. then this is how xp security is supposted to work. That being, you had the OS(xp not password agent) encrypt the file, you used the file without problems, later some flake (you you say) who does not have the certficite got their hands on a copy of the file and now wants to read it but cant. yup those without the [exported] keys cant get to read your secret stuff.


http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support/browse_thread/thread/f95b24510d419b43/bb030713f3fb6ba1%23bb030713f3fb6ba1?sa=X&oi=groupsr&start=0&num=3

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