I bought online a Dell Latitude 3450 two months ago. It has Windows 7 and 64 bit OS. The computer came already installed (not at my request) with the Dell Data Protection (DDP) programme. Booting up the computer, I went thru the typical wizard installation process of the DDP programme. Naturally, this programme then encrypted my files. A small key icon was overlayed onto the typical file and folder icon to show that the file was encrypted. After a few days I had transferred music onto my ipod but it wouldn’t play because the music files were encrypted. As a result, I went into the DDP Programme and ticked a box to un-encrypt the all of my files (the key icon dissapeared, and I was also able to play the music on my ipod). There were no other issues with any of the files after this - or so I thought.
About a month later (last week), while working on the computer I began receiving a pop up window from DDP programme telling me that there were new policy updates and that I had to sign in with my password to receive these new updates. This window kept popping up every 2 minutes for over an hour, so I decided to uninstall the DDP programme as I didn’t think it was of much use anyway (this was done through usual Control Panel – Programmes & Features). After uninstalling the DDP programme I found that I was locked out of all of my files – word, excel, pdf, jpeg, etc….everything. I was also unable to access Outlook Express and my emails. The various error messages were “you do not have the correct permissions to access the file location” … “access denied” … “user does not have access privileges” … “document may be read only or encrypted” etc. I had a computer repairer manage to get me back into Outlook Express and my emails, but it still doesn’t work properly (not all emails downloaded, format slightly different). I tried to do a system restore from four different restore points (unsuccessfully), and each time I got the message “System Restore did not complete successfully. System Restore failed to extract the file (C:CMGb2ce9.ALT) from the restore point. An unspecified error occurred during system restore”.
I have then spent the last 4 days on the phone and chat lines with Dell to figure out how to fix the problem. I was told that before I initially uninstalled the programme, I should have disabled the password function. Because I didn’t do this initially, they asked me to reinstall the DDP, find the disable password function, disable the password, then uninstall DDP again. I was unable to successfully download a new version of the DDP (some error occurred), however the icon now appears in my start menu and on my operating system (it won’t successfully load either). However, when I go to Control Panel – Programmes & Features to look for DDP or any of its components to uninstall, it does not exist. The Dell technician tried a few things but these were of no assistance. He finally told me to reformat the system and backup all the necessary data. I am unable to backup any data that is on this new computer. When I try to copy or send any files on the C: drive to a USB/external drive it says I need permission to perform this action. Thankfully, I still have most of my original data backed up, as I only transferred all my files 2 months ago onto the new computer. However, it’s the files I have been working on in the last 2 months that are encrypted that I need assistance with.
The last Dell technician I spoke with today advised me that when I originally uninstalled DDP without disabling the password function, it created a lock around the current data. When I tried to reinstall a new version of DDP it created a different locking system to the original – so they are not recognising each other. It’s the original locked data that needs un-encrypting, as well as finally uninstalling the stupid DDP programme off the machine entirely.
I have searched high and low for solutions. Any takers on this issue?