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I have to recover some SSL certificates from a dead WinServer that a client has. He have no copy of the original SSL certificates and he want to recover them.

I can browse the hard disk but I cant boot the WinServer setup so my question is: Where WinServer stores the SSL certificate in the hard disk?

Thx in advance.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Technically machine certificates, are stored in the registry under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\My key. But you would have a hard time getting them out - the private keys (contained in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\My\Keys subkey) are encrypred with a machine-specific encryption key.

So your two options to get you there remain:

  1. ask the certificate authority which originally has provided your customer with the certificates to revoke the current ones and re-issue them based on a new certificate signing request
  2. pull a copy of the Windows server machine's disks and try to get it running in a virtual environment to export the certificates/keys

Personally, I would prefer option 1. as it is likely to involve the least effort.

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