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Great question! The text you enter when creating your personal key will be what you use to unlock the key-it's your decryption password. The reason Mozy provides the option to save the key to your computer is so that if you are restoring to the same machine, you can easily import the saved file to extract files. When restoring to a machine where you have not saved the key to, the restore manager will prompt you to enter the phrase that you used for your encryption.
However, the likelihood that you'll someday need to restore to a different computer that does not have that key saved to it is high, and we recommend that you know and keep that key (the code you used to create it) somewhere safe for that event. One of the things you definitely have to be cautious about when using a custom key is not losing it. If you lose it, there is no way for us to help you access those files and nothing can be done. So make sure you hang on to it or write it down somewhere safe and store it somewhere secure (like a safe, a locked office drawer/filing cabinet, etc.) so you never have the possibility of losing it.
If you'd like to read up on this further, check out the article Decrypting Restored Files Using Your Own Personal Key - Mac for more information.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns!
Many thanks for your response. Could I just clarify some points. This is on the assumption that I have not saved the key to my Mac – or it is not available. However I can remember the phrase that was used to create the key.
Assume that my original computer was dead and I do not have access to the key but I know the passphrase used to produce the key. I now buy a new computer what is the software needed and the steps to follow to download and decrypt my data from the Mozy servers??
The Mozy Restore Manager is actually a separate piece of software which you would use when restoring to another machine via the Web Restore. Should you do a Web Restore (via the web, not the installed client) you would have to download and install the Restore Manager to run the download through it and extract the files with your Encryption key. While in the middle of your download, it does prompt you to install it, so it's easy to find and use when you need it.
If you install the backup software on a new machine, and use the exact same encryption key, it will automatically extract as you do a client restore through it. However, this will only work if you also switch to Mac. An in-client restore can only be done if the new machine is installed as a replacement for the old one, and you cannot install as a replacement going Mac to Windows, or vice versa. This is due to the varying differences in the two different platforms.
So, assuming your scenario you mentioned, here would be your two main options for a course of action:
The Web Restore
The Web Restore will allow you to restore your files to any machine with an internet connection. It bypasses the installed backup software entirely, so you do not need to install the Mozy backup software. If you switch from Mac to Windows (or Windows to Mac) you would have to do this option.
To do so, you'd go ahead and follow the steps to create a web restore. However, I would highly recommend you skip step 12 (even if your restore is smaller) and continue on so that you have the option to run it through the restore manager.
Once you get to step 15 in that article, and are prompted to choose a method of restore, the easiest one will be the Direct Download through the Restore Manager. That will walk you through installing the Restore Manager, Starting the Restore, and it will automatically recognize that you have a private encryption key and prompt you to enter your key phrase there.
If you were to restore via an archive download or order your restore on Media, you would want to separately install the Restore Manager to extract and decrypt the files through it. This article explains more: How do I restore files from a Media Restore USB Drive?
The In-Client Restore
If you are replacing your previously backed up machine with a computer that has the same platform (Mac to Mac or Windows to Windows) you would install on the new machine as a replacement for the old one first. To install as a replacement, you'd want to follow this article for Mac or this article for Windows.
During that install process, you'll want to make sure you set it up with the same encryption key as you had on the previous machine's install. Then, you can run an in-client restore where it decrypts the files automatically as it downloads them and runs them through the Mozy software.
I hope that clarifies for you a bit more, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Many thanks for your response. I am still missing the answer to the following query:
An in-client restore seems the most straightforward BUT this only works if when I install Mozy on the new Mac and enter the same phrase the same encryption key is created. Thus I can download and decrypt my data from the Mozy servers.
@dogdog If you were to use the exact same phrase for the encryption key, then yes it would be the same on both computers, regardless of the operating system.
Please let us know if that answers your question.
My scenario is as follows:
1) I install Mozy on a Mac and use a phrase to create a personal encryption key.
2) I back up files from my Mac to the Mozy servers, which will be encrypted with my personal key.
3) I do not save my personal key but I can remember the phrase I used.
4) My Mac dies and nothing is salvageable.
5) I buy a new Mac and install the Mozy software.
6) I choose to replace my old Mac with my new Mac
a) When I install Mozy on my new Mac, I will presumably get the option to use a personal encryption key - is this correct??
b) I do not have access to my encryption key but I enter the phrase exactly as used when setting up my old, now dead, Mac.
c) if I now do a restore will this deliver decrypted files from Mozy servers to my new Mac??
Yes, when you start a restore you will be prompted for your custom encryption key which will indeed restore your data and decrypt it so that it's usable data in the end.
Please post any other questions or comments.
I am sorry but I do not think that you are actually answering my question.
I keep saying;
I will not have the encryption key.
I will have the phrase used to create the original encryption key.
Having replaced old Mac with new Mac (as per (1) to (6) in previous post), on NEW Mac:
i) When I install Mozy on my new Mac, then when prompted for my personal encryption key will I have the option to enter the original phrase instead of choosing a file??
ii) When I enter the phrase on my new Mac (which is exactly as used when setting up my old, now dead, Mac) will this create an identical encryption key on new Mac (ie identical to the encryption key created on old, now dead, Mac)??
Only if the answers to both these questions is yes will I be able to use Restore in Mozy software to download and decrypt the data held on the Mozy servers.
Here are the answers to your questions:
i) "When I install Mozy on my new Mac, then when prompted for my personal encryption key will I have the option to enter the original phrase instead of choosing a file??"
Yes, however in order for this to work you must choose the "replace" option instead of the option to "add this computer" when the option to add or replace is given to you after you enter your user email and password into the Mozy backup software. When you choose "replace" the license key and your custom encrypted data from the old computer will be now be associated with the new computer. After you "replace" you will be prompted to enter your encryption key passphrase.
ii) "When I enter the phrase on my new Mac (which is exactly as used when setting up my old, now dead, Mac) will this create an identical encryption key on new Mac (ie identical to the encryption key created on old, now dead, Mac)??"
Yes, and the exact encryption key is required anyways to complete the replace process. When you restore your data to the new Mac all the data will be decrypted and usable on the Mac but stay encrypted in the cloud with the same encryption key so may resume backups right where you left off from the old Mac.
The system was specifically designed to operate this way so that you do not loose any data, however if you loose your passphrase then we can not decrypt the restored data.
Please post any other questions or comments.