Here's a good one.
1) stupidly, I encrypted a folder and subset of files, that we're important to me with Windows XP EFS. I 'thought' I created a restore agent (to allow my to decrypt said files at a later time).
2) HDD crashes due to what appears to be a low-power failure at my home, this broke the mainboard, HDD, and possibly video card
3) built new workstation, and via external enclosure I can view/see my files on my troubled hard-drive. Drive won't boot O/S, getting S.M.A.R.T detection 'bad hd plz replace messages on boot. I disabled SMART on the drive in BIOS, and that got me as far as a safemode boot window, any options of which fail to load, causing the system to reboot mid-load.
On safemode command prompt only, It gets to a raft of files in ./system/drivers before failing to load and rebooting, FYI
I only care about my files that I encrypted, I just want to lift those and then toss the drive, but because my new instance of XP on new workstation obviously is not my user acct which I encrypted the files, they are visible via my external enclosure but no READ, WRITE, EXECUTE, anything (as you would expect since they are EFS encrypted).
Can I fix some possible bad sectors or go the 'repair XP' route w/o overwriting my user account, therby blowing out my ability to decrypt files
lift private key off troubled drive somehow, and associate that w/ my new user account on current workstation, therby giving me rights to decrypt EFS encrypted files
Hack EFS on my troubled external drive, break encryption and gain access to my files again..
I'll be handling my backup/file encryption/disaster recovery different in the future. I had the old workstation on a surge protector, but apparently that didn't save my ass in this case. New workstation is on UPS/Surge protector that is hopefuly worth a shit.