Unable to open database after harddisk replacement

  • Riaan

    Riaan - 2014-06-20

    Good morning all.

    I had to replace my laptop's harddisk after it started to give issues, and I am now unable to access the database file. It is giving me the error "The Composite Key is Invalid"

    Below are some more details:
    All the data on the laptop was backed up, and replaced after the reinstall
    Previous Operating System : Windows 8
    New operating System : Windows 8.1
    KeePass Version : 2.26
    The Composite Key is made up of the following
    - Master Password
    This has not changed
    - Key File
    I confirmed that I am using the correct file
    - Windows User Account
    This is a Windows Domain Account

    I have tried creating a new database and then importing that database file using Repair Mode, but no luck.

    Please can you assist as this is the storage for all the passwords that I use for work.


  • Horst

    Horst - 2014-06-20

    If you are using a Master password and a key file then your Windows account doesn't matter of course.

  • wellread1

    wellread1 - 2014-06-20

    If you receive the "The Composite Key is Invalid" message then the only available option is to use the correct Master Key. Unfortunately if you have verified your Master Password and Key File, and your Master Key includes the Windows User Account, the only remaining problem is an issue with the Windows User Account. Beyond the advice and cautions at http://keepass.info/help/base/keys.html#winuser there is not much to be done. Have you verified that you could open the database on another computer using the same domain account prior to the disk failure? Was the domain account reset at some point during failure recovery? When a database is linked to a Windows User Account the user pretty much has to validate the disaster recovery plan in advance of a disaster.

    If your original hard drive is intact and can boot (or be repaired sufficiently to boot) then you might be able to get access to the database long enough to change the Master Key so that it is no longer linked to the Windows User Account. You would then be able transfer the database and open it in a different Windows User Account.

    Last edit: wellread1 2014-06-20
  • Riaan

    Riaan - 2014-06-27

    Morning all.

    Thanks very much for the replies.

    I was able to retrieve the profile data for my Windows account from the old hard disk. Luckily it was still all intact.

    I have recovered the entries from the KeePass database, and have now also removed the "Windows User Account" option from the Composite Key combination :)

    So, all is working again.


  • wellread1

    wellread1 - 2014-06-27

    That's great.

    As far as I remember no one has posted the steps to retrieve profile data from a Windows user account and use it to open a KeePass database. If you think your procedure would be useful to others I encourage you to post it.


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