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Encrypted File attribute


We have a set of files deep in a users folder structure where the "encrypt contents to secure data" is set.
These files cannot be opened copied or handled in any way.
The user wouldn't know what encryption was an believes he did not set the attribute.

Accessing the file as the user or the system administrator does not allow access.

Interstingly the 2000 server system (on which these files reside) was recently rebuit/reloaded and these files restored from backup.  Does this mean any related encryption keys etc are gone with the old build.

Any suggestions as to how we can free up these files?

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1 Solution
Robin HickmottSoftware DeveloperCommented:
Its an excryption called EFS and its built into Windows 2000, XP Pro etc (not XP Home )

They can only be opened and copied using the original account they were excrypted with or anyone they have chosen to share there key with ( keys can be imported and exported using a wizard )

Its recomended you do this because if the account gets deleted or you cant access it then you cant get to the files!
Robin HickmottSoftware DeveloperCommented:
Every Windows User Account that get screated has a unique ID and this forms part of the Key. Creating another account with the same name wont work. If you have lost the account you encrypted the files with and you did not back up yuor key then there may be nothing you can do do decrypt them.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/cryptfs.mspx has more information on EFS.
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