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Encrypted File Won't Decrypt


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#1 Andrew

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 07:55 AM

A few months ago, I performed a repair of Windows XP Pro SP2 to recover from some issues (never figured out what, though).



Recently, I tried to access a file that I had encrypted (using NTFS encryption through Windows). I found that I couldn't open, decrypt, or move the file to a FAT32 flash drive (access denied). Thinking that the repair install had done something to the encryption, I logged on as the Administrator and attempted to take ownership of the file, but Access was denied again. I then attempted to edit the file permissions and was able to add all users to the list of accounts allowed to access the file. But when I tried to access it, access denied.

Thinking perhaps that the file was corrupted, I deleted it and restored a copy from a backup made in December (my backups only go back 2 weeks). The restore was successful but the probel remained. So, I tried to restore the file again, but this time to a FAT32 flash drive with the settings set so that security descriptors would not be restored (I use Windows built in backup utility). The restore failed. I tried the same thing again but to an NTFS drive but it failed again.

Can anyone help me?

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#2 HitSquad

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 08:28 AM

You might try cipher from a command line using the /d switch.
The encrypted file needs to be sitting on an ntfs volume. I believe the read only attribute may need to be removed as well. More on it here. Click the "cipher" link on that page.

Edited by HitSquad, 13 January 2007 - 08:32 AM.


#3 Andrew

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 08:34 AM

Will that circumvene the access denied error?

#4 usasma

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 08:45 AM

The "cipher" command (if used properly) will remove the encryption. This will remove the "Access Denied" error if this is the only thing preventing you from accessing the file.

But, since you've already tried to copy it to a FAT32 volume and still get the Access Denied error, I suspect that there may be other factors involved here (from the article that HitSquad referenced above).

Try using a Live Linux distro, a DOS boot disk with NTFS reader, or a copy of BartPE or the UBCD to gain access to the file in order to copy it that way.
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#5 Andrew

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:40 AM

I have used the UBCD4Win to try to access it to no avail




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