Can I revitalise an old key-pair?

John Clizbe John at
Mon Sep 2 00:06:04 CEST 2013

Pete Stephenson wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM, MartinHvidberg <martin at> wrote:
>> Or do I need to get one of my old computers up and running, hoping to find
>> some sort of key file there.
> If you go through your old systems and are able to find the relevant
> secret key files or the GPG/PGP keyring files, then you can continue
> using that keypair. If you cannot find the secret key, you'll need to
> create a new keypair. :/
On *nix and similar systems (MacOSX, Cygwin) GnuPG stores keyring files in
~/.gnupg (~ = your login directory: /home/<username> or /Users/<username>)

On Windows XP and older, keyring files were stored in
<drive>:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Gnupg

Windows Vista and newer versions use

You'll want the contents for all of the directories you can find. A tool such
as the linux-based SystemRescueCD [‎ ] makes this
task somewhat easier.

You should be able to use the newest set of keyring files directly. The keys
in the older keyring files may be imported later.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet: John (a) Gingerbear DAWT net
SKS/Enigmail/PGP-EKP                  or: John ( @ ) Enigmail DAWT net
FSF Assoc #995 / FSFE Fellow #1797  hkp://  or
     mailto:pgp-public-keys at

Q:"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"
A:"An odd melody / island voices on the winds / surplus of vowels"

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