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How do I disable EFS for the whole C drive?

I am about to back up a user's data and install a new image.  A lot of their files and folders are encrypted.  I have the ability to decrypt the files but it is tedious since there are a lot of file trees.  Is there a simple command I can run that will turn off file encryption? I've already learned the hard way that if I don't decrypt before I back-up the data, the files will not open.
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USM-Tech
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USM-Tech
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2 Solutions
 
arnoldCommented:
You disable EFS for the users.
Alternatively, you could look at a login script that will change the settings on the folder.
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/kbase/WindowsTips/WindowsVista/AdminTips/Security/DisablingFileandFolderEncryption.html

The common consensus is that each user will need to remove the encrypt setting from folder/files and once all the items are decrypted, you should through GPO disable EFS. Is this system part of a domain or is a stand alone.  You could disable DFS through local policy as well.
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USM-TechAuthor Commented:
It is a standalone.  Is there a way to disable EFS for this user?  This is the only user account that I need to back up.
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arnoldCommented:
Disabling EFS without decrypting the files first, will result in inaccessible files.

On a standalone system, I am not sure whether you can apply a local policy based on an individual user but it might be possible.

The backup works, but only the user can decrypt them when restored.

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USM-TechAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your input.  It sounds like the best solution is to go through each folder tree, select all files and folders and decrypt.
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USM-TechAuthor Commented:

Here is a time-saving tip I came across while in the process of removing encryption from each file.  One folder had 63 subfolders and no files outside the folder.  What I found was that if you "Select All" and decrypt the folder, it will prompt you to apply the changes to all folders and subfolders.  The key is that you have to have all selected but click on an encrypted file for this to take effect.  So here is what I did to save time in the case of the 63 folders (each containing encrypted files) but no encrypted file on the same hierarchy:
 
1) Create a small document file on the same hierarchy as the folders.
2) Encrypt that file.
3) Select all
4) Right-Click the file you just created and encrypted and choose Properties.
5) Select "Advanced..."
6) Uncheck the "Encrypt contents to secure data" checkbox under Compress or Encrypt attributes
7) Select OK
8) In the "Confirm Attribute Changes" box choose "Apply changes to the selected items, subfolders and files
9) Select OK
 
This decrypts not only the file I just encrypted but all the encrypted files in the 63 separate folders.  This saved me from having to open all 63 folders and repeating decryption process.
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USM-TechAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the great tip!
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