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 Post subject: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: June 26th, 2008, 8:39 
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Joined: June 26th, 2008, 8:17
Posts: 28
Hi All,

A client has lost a lot of data from his Western Digital Passport drive as he didn't fully understand the syncing software that is bundled with it.

He copied all his data from his source PC to the Passport, then deleted the data from the source PC. When the Passport was next connected to the source PC it synced and deleted the data from the Passport as well.

Thing is....I have recovered a lot of deleted data from the Passport that matches the customers data in terms of file names and reported sizes but they are all .DML files. They cannot be opened by conventional methods nor by changing the file ext.

Is this a proprietary WD encryption format? Anyone heard of this before? Can we decrypt these files? Any help or comments would be great.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: June 26th, 2008, 9:29 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 12:02
Posts: 2756
Location: Chicago
Can you upload one of the files somewhere ?

_________________
My hobby is numismatics - http://coins.zoxt.net/


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: June 26th, 2008, 9:49 
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Joined: June 26th, 2008, 8:17
Posts: 28
I can't sorry. I need to be really safe in complying with our client confidentiality policy and I wouldn't want to risk it by uploading a file, even if it is only a system file. Sorry that isn't much help :)

It was a long shot anyway, I will try contacting WD although my googling efforts so far today has lead me to believe that the data is gone.

It just seems strange that the data appears to be there. I will try viewing the data in WinHex and see if that sheds any light. I will post back if i find anything out.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: June 26th, 2008, 10:04 
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Joined: October 21st, 2005, 0:45
Posts: 1424
Location: Mexico
Hy

Looks like a propietary Language code, check this maybe could usefull

http://filext.com/file-extension/DML

Best Regards


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 18th, 2008, 5:32 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
ARGH!!! The same thing happened to me after my desktop's hard drive fried. I was thrilled I had all my data "backed up" (silly me) because I had been syncing my desktop and my WD passport. I didn't think I had autosync turned on in the WD Sync software, but, regardless, I certainly didn't think it would start dumping my data without asking for confirmation first after I plugged it into my desktop with the new hard drive!! I lost a lot of files (because I sat there, staring at the screen in awe, thinking...no, it can't be deleting those! well, duh!), but I, too, recovered a TON of files with the .dml extension with some good free data recovery software from download.com. I think they're the data I lost, but I can't be sure. But I can't do anything with the files anyway. They are definitely encrypted files from a syncing process. This is soooo frustrating and WD support was completely useless and my 30 days are up, anyway. Please help. This is so ridiculous and I'm sorry I bought this thing -- it should have a BIG STICKER that says, WD Sync is not back up software (like in says in "answer XXXXX" on their website which you can only find after an hour of reading through answers about how WD products and Windows Vista don't mix -- thank goodness I have XP), or maybe I should have just thought about it first before plugging in. But I also figured, "No problem -- the files are just in the WD Passport's Recycle Bin." Well, NOPE, NOT THERE. AND, I don't know what the value of the "restore deleted" option truly is and I certainly don't want to push "reset data" since I can't find out what that does in ANY WD literature. WTF? Why didn't this thing come with a stupid instruction manual?!? ARGH!


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2008, 4:47 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
By the way, the files are AES 128-bit encrypted (or were, anyway). All I can find are .dml files and a "journal" of sync data from the day I lost my files. I think they are gone forever. I've emailed DMailer and we'll see what they have to say for themselves. WHY would they completely wipe out these files without a prompt? Why didn't they go to the recycle bin? I haven't used the drive since April when this happened, so they can't be overwritten. I've tried various free data recovery software programs on Mac and PC. One (PhotoRec) recovered 100s of 1000s of files, including many .cab files, but I didn't find anything "new" and useful that I didn't find with the other recovery software programs. I'm going to see if NewEgg will help me out since I got it from them.


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 Post subject: WD Passport WDSync Recover GOOD NEWS!
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2008, 15:23 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
Wow!! DMailer may have redeemed themselves and I hope this post makes a lot of people happy.

First things first: If you thought you had a secure backup of your data on a WD Passport and you plugged it into a computer that crashed/fried/etc. and planned to copy your lost files to your fixed-up PC from your WD Passport and found yourself (as another blogger said somewhere) like a deer in the headlights as you watched in horror as the WDSync software automatically started syncing your newly blank internal drive (or empty folders on your internal drive) and the Passport, thus "removing" all your "backed up" files from your Passport, you are not alone (and you're not stupid).

DO NOT save ANYTHING to the Passport. The files are not gone yet because they have not been overwritten. They are "deleted" files, which typically could be recovered with some free recovery software from download.com, but alas, they are also encrypted, so just recovering them won't help you. You also have to decrypt them (DMailer uses AES 128-bit encryption). I contacted DMailer and, thankfully, they may have offered a solution. But before I get to that here are some tips about using the WD Passport (which are buried in a DMailer .pdf flier and in an answer on the Western Digital website)...

If you are computer savvy...you should realize that the WDSync software is not backup software and is, in fact, just syncing software. So, if you delete something from your desktop it will delete it from the Passport as well, next time you sync. However, EVEN IF you are computer savvy, you probably wouldn't have guessed in a million years that DMailer would make "autosync" the default setting and that they wouldn't tell you ahead of time or prompt you in some way before it started deleting files. So, if you want to use WDSync to sync your data between your computer and your Passport, before you do anything else, SHUT OFF autosync and always manually sync. If you are not interested in syncing your data and just want to backup your data, skip the WDSync software all together. Don't use it. Just use the Passport like a jump drive and drag and drop your files to it. Your data won't be encrypted or password protected, but download.com offers a number of downloads that will do this for you (specifically for external drives, jump drives, etc.).

If you are not computer savvy...don't use the WD Sync software. Do what I just said. Drag and drop your files to the WD Passport as if it were just a jump drive. This way your data are backed up and you can delete whatever you want from wherever you want without worrying about all your data suddenly vanishing.

Ok, all that said, here's what I did after I was stuck like a deer in the headlights watching my precious files disappear:

(1) Again, DO NOT save anything to the WD Passport after this happens or your files could be gone for good.
(2) Email DMailer (the company that makes WDSync software for Western Digital). Do NOT contact Western Digital, they will just tell you you are screwed. WD's customer support is awful. Go to http://www.dmailer.com and tell DMailer you just accidentally removed encrypted files from your passport that you need to recover.
(3) This is the response I got:

Thank you for using our product.

We are really sorry for your data loss.

We suggest you to use undelete software and try to recover your source files. Please find below a list of providers for this kind of software:
http://www.winundelete.com/?rid=google&kid=wu0406
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/
http://www.ontrack.com/software/

Once you will have recover your WDSync data folder (and files), we will be able to provide you a data recovery tool that will help you to unencrypt these data. For that, you will need your profile's password, options file (.option), database file (.db) and the Dmailer files (.dml).

Please note that this tool is not able to recover file names, and may not recover all your files (this tool doesn't recover emails or favorites too).

Best Regards,
Dmailer's Hotline.

(4) Just for kicks, I ran some recovery software and turned up a lot of .dml files, but you shouldn't have to use recovery software if you haven't overwritten your files. Double click on the Passport icon to open the drive. Find the "WD Sync Data" folder. Open the folder for the computer you accidentally synced to (e.g., "office computer"). Open the "Data" folder. There you should find the .option file, the data base file and a folder containing the "deposited" files from the latest sync. In the Sync deposit folder are more folders which should contain the DMailer files (.dml).

(5) Wait for DMailer to get back to you with their data recovery tool. (I haven't gotten mine yet, so can't say how it works.)

GOOD LUCK!!

Scigirl22


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2008, 15:33 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
Another FYI...

If you deleted a file from your ("your") computer that you know is on your Passport (but that file is synced and encrypted) and you need to recover the file from the Passport and you know that "autosync" is enabled in WDSync, so you're afraid it will automatically get deleted when you plug in your passport and log in to "your" computer's profile with your password...

Plug the Passport into a different ("other") computer. Double click the WD icon (or Drive icon on a Mac). Run the WDSync software (.exe). Log into "your computer's" profile using your password. Open the folder that contains the file you need. Open the file and save it to the "other computer's" desktop. Exit WDSync. Double click on the WD icon to open the Passport (if it's not open already). Drag and drop the file from the "other computer's" desktop to the Passport. Disconnect your passport. Plug your Passport into "your" computer. DO NOT open WDSync or log in to your profile. Double click on the WD icon - drag and drop the file from the Passport to where you need it to go on "your" computer.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 25th, 2008, 9:52 
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Joined: June 26th, 2008, 8:17
Posts: 28
Wow, thanks scigirl! I was about to close this case off as a lost cause when i decided to check back on my old post to see if anyone had added anything.

i'll get onto Dmailer now and see what i can get from them, maybe harder for me as i am not the original owner of the drive? worth a try anyway.

very entertaining read as well :) glad you managed to get your data back.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2008, 22:25 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
OK, actually, I was wrong. The .dml (Dmailer) files in the WD Sync folder are just the files from the last sync that successfully got synced (vs. removed). SO, you DO have to use recovery software from download.com (free) or other sources ($59.99 and up, I've found) to recover files from your WD Sync folder (as DMailer initially told me to do and I tried, but to no real avail at first because it recovers files called _00.dml and DMailer's recovery tool is thrown by the underscore; even if you rename them, the application doesn't recognize them as .dmls). So, you have to recover your "profile" folder from the PREVIOUS successful sync that involved successful syncing of the files that were eventually lost. Does that make sense? Hard to explain. Unfortunately, I'm finding that may mean that they've been overwritten. But try it. I'm trying it now. Also, DMailer's recovery tool may not run on your Windows machine successfully - you may get an error message that the application is not configured correctly. If that's the case, let me know and I can help you fix that problem. I went back and forth with DMailer because of it, and they weren't helpful, so I spent some hours, learned something about programming code (which I've never done before) and got it to work. They even asked me to stop emailing them so much after asking ME how I got their software to run on my XP machine! They really are not as helpful as I'd hope they would be (are you reading this, DMailer?). Anyway, I will let you know if I manage to get my files back. Unfortunately, last night in my desperation, I started moving files around on the Passport and am afraid I could have overwritten the ones I need to recover, so don't do that (no matter how good of an idea it seems to be at 3am)).


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 29th, 2008, 2:56 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
As long as you have the password for the profile to which the files were synced (or better yet, I should say from which they were removed), then you're ok. You have to get that from your client if you don't have it already. It is the password he/she entered upon running the WD Sync software.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 29th, 2008, 18:57 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
OK, so I messed up and didn't recover all the files I lost, but I learned my lesson and figured out the process. Don't follow the instructions below (or above, depending on your forum settings) - they aren't quite right. Send me a PM if you need help. I can only help you if you haven't saved any info to your Passport since losing the files. Keep in mind this only applies to files that were removed during a syncing process, not to files you just deleted, though it may work, I don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: July 31st, 2008, 14:35 
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Joined: July 31st, 2008, 13:38
Posts: 1
Heya! Im having the exact same problem with the dmailer data recovery tool ;~; I sent you a PM scigirl, if anyone else has an idea on getting this program working any help at all would be wonderful~~


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: August 7th, 2008, 16:54 
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Joined: August 7th, 2008, 16:48
Posts: 3
Hi, wow finally there is a glimmer of hope for me and my 110GB of "lost" files! Thanks scigirl for the information you have posted on this forum.
Ok so I have found my WD Sync Data folder with all my now encrypted .dl files in it. Do I STILL need to use a data recovery tool to remove these from the passport to say another hard drive? I have emailed dmailer for the decryption tool in the meantime.
Thanks again. I've been trawling the internet on and off for weeks to find an answer (also emailed WD 3 times!!! they did not respond, their customer service is non-existent much like their instruction manuals!!)

Gill


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: August 11th, 2008, 20:45 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
Make sure to note that the .dml files that are in your WD Sync folder are just the encrypted files that are saved on there that you can see when you log into your profile. You HAVE to run recovery software (go to download.com - get software for recovering files from a FAT32 device) and recover deleted files (files you can't see) from that profile and save those recovered files to your internal drive or some other device. THEN you can use DMailer's program to decrypt the recovered files. If you have not saved ANYTHING to your Passport since losing the files, you're probably fine and will be able to recover everything you lost. But doing anything with it plugged in can potentially overwrite your files, so be careful. (This makes more sense if you understand that DMailer's "recovery tool" is just a decrypter, and doesn't recover anything - you have to recover the removed files first with some other software from the web -- if you have a PC, you're in luck - if on a Mac, good luck.) Also note that you will probably have to rename your recovered files before decrypting them (from _blahblah.DML to blahblah.dml; use a batch rename program) and that the recovered files have to be in a profile to be decrypted, so you probably have to save them back to your WD Sync folder on the Passport by dragging and dropping (I would temporarily move the current contents of the WD Sync folder somewhere else while you do this and then move them back later).


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files? VIRUS!
PostPosted: August 12th, 2008, 17:08 
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Joined: July 18th, 2008, 5:19
Posts: 18
Guess what! I now have Avast! antivirus and it detected a Trojan horse virus in the WD Sync.exe application (the one that comes zipped on the device)!! THIS software is a NIGHTMARE! I recommend no one uses it. WD should do something about this. They need to be held responsible for the software they choose to install on their products instead of us all having to deal with a company in France (as helpful as DMAiler has been, they also have been unhelpful). Anyway, beware of that. Also, I can't use "Copy to PC" to copy files from my Passport to my computer anymore from my old profiles. I get an error message that my portable device has been disconnected (when it hasn't) and then it just copies all the folder with no files in them. Is a mess. I really really recommend not using this software if you buy a Passport. Better yet, get a large jump drive and stick with that. If you need more than 4Gigs, well, I'm sure there are better options.


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: August 12th, 2008, 17:59 
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Joined: August 7th, 2008, 16:48
Posts: 3
Hows this for a laugh..... recieved today....orignal email was sent by me on 9th July to WD!!

*********************************************************************

Below is a response to your recent question. If the response provided does not answer your question, you can either reply to this message or go to the link below.

We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you within 96 hours.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

Subject
Cannot access information on drive

Discussion Thread
Response (Victor D.) 08/12/2008 02:03 AM
Dear Gillian,

I am very sorry to inform you that you cannot access the files from a other computer then the one where the sync was created.

With kind regards,
Western Digital

Customer (Gillian Samson) 07/21/2008 10:18 AM
Hi, I have still not received a response to my issue, can someone please reply. Regards
Customer (Gillian Samson) 07/14/2008 10:35 AM
Hello, I have not received a reply about this issue. Regards, Gillian Samson
Customer (Gillian Samson) 07/09/2008 10:34 AM
I purchased this drive to backup my failing Compaq laptop. I ran the WDSync program on the laptop which was running XP. (I have only since found out that for a backup you shouldn't use the Sync software.. your manuals included with the product do not state this, i found this out after reading much information on you website!)
My Compaq laptop has now died and I am working on a Toshiba running Vista. I plug the drive into the laptop via usb and it asked me to register, now I had already registered the sync software when on my Compaq so I tried the existing user name and password. It does not show up the files I synced in the software. Yet I can see from windows explorer that the drive has used 110GB of storage (this is how much info i backed up from the Compaq) So now I can see the info is there somewhere on this drive but I cannot access it! I have precious photographs and many hours of music albums that i dont want to lose. How do I transfer them off the drive??
*****************************************************************************


PS Thanks for the info scigirl and the PM you sent me.... i am working on it now lol


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: September 9th, 2008, 15:19 
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Joined: September 9th, 2008, 15:11
Posts: 2
nothing more since one month. anyone able to open a dml file yet?
i'm still looking for a solution.
thanks


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: September 9th, 2008, 16:45 
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Joined: August 31st, 2006, 17:53
Posts: 356
Location: Birmingham, Al
Hanginthere2 wrote:
nothing more since one month. anyone able to open a dml file yet?
i'm still looking for a solution.
thanks

Did you not READ this thread, ALL the answers are here


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 Post subject: Re: WD Passport - DML file extension - Encrypted files?
PostPosted: September 17th, 2008, 6:51 
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Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 8:46
Posts: 2
Hanginthere2,
I'm hangin in there also. I too was a sucker for the WD Sync Software like probably hundreds more.

I have just got the new decrypting tool today from Dmailer and just like the last one I got, it still wont open up any of the profiles. It finds the profiles and when I go to open them it says "The Profile Has No Files". Has anyone else encountered this?

The recovered data (6Gb) consists of everything that is required:-

Option file (.option)
Database file (.db)
The Dmailer files (.dml)

If anyone knows why the profiles wont open & if anything needs to be done to the retrieved data it would be very much appreciated.


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