Bypass the encryption

I spent a good ten hours or so at work trying to recover some information that was stored on a coworker’s machine. But so far, every idea that I had has been a failure. I got an idea, I tried out that idea, I waited and then I was let down. I don’t know if there’s a way around it because if there was, the encryption software wouldn’t be worth buying but I’m trying to do what I can.

For the last month or so, it has been my objective to encrypt all of the laptops there were on site. The encryption process is pretty straight forward. I just install the administration software and then the encryption software and the rest is done automatically. So far, I had a perfect track record and everyone’s laptop has been encrypted.

A few days ago, I encrypted a laptop and the user brought it back down to me saying that they couldn’t log into their machine. He said that he had changed the initial password to something but it wasn’t taking the password that he was typing in. The more he types in the wrong password, the longer the system makes him wait. In the user’s manual, there’s a way to reset the timer by inserting a CD and then entering the Admin password and then canceling out of that screen. When the laptop reboots, the login screen will be shown again.

For some reason, the login screen didn’t show up. Instead, we’re presented with a black screen that says something about a failed integrity check. I’ve never seen this screen before so I had no idea what to do. What’s worse is that, if we can’t get pass this screen, everything on the hard drive is potentially lost. That’s not good news when the person is responsible for a $25 million dollar project.

I feel responsible for this mishap because I was the one that encrypted his hard drive. Before doing so, I didn’t backup any of his files. I’ve encrypted three hundred or so laptop and nothing like this has happened so I assume that everything would go well. There’s always that odd one that will do something totally different from the other.

I’m not expert in data recovery but I’ve got a few theoretical ideas that work… in theory. For situations like this, you need to think outside the box and try to figure things out in a creative way. At the moment, I don’t have many options left but so far when it seems like I’m out of options, another idea pops into my head. All I can do is give it a try and hope for the best. I’ve got one last thing to try tomorrow so I’ll have to cross my finger and hope that some of the data can be retrieved. I’d prefer to be able to decrypt the drive fully and get all of the data but when you’re fight a losing battle, it’s better to win a little than nothing at all.

2 replies on “Bypass the encryption”

  1. If the encryption product hasn’t been broken (very very very unlikely for commercial package still on the shelf), the only way to recover will be for him to remember his password.

  2. That’s the thing… he’s got no where to enter his password… we have an admin password that we can use to get into the computer but the prompt for it doesn’t even show up… that’s why I’m trying to bypass it somehow…

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