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Windows 7: Cannot access encrypted files even though I never encrypted them


10 Jul 2010   #1

W7 64 Ult
 
 
Cannot access encrypted files even though I never encrypted them

I have a 1TB external USB drive (M: for my entire music collection (all legitimately purchased!)

It has always been connected to my desktop. Up until a few weeks ago, my desktop was Windows 7 32bit Ultimate. A few weeks ago my system died so I got a new one and I installed Windows 7 64bit Ultimate this time, fresh install, fresh everything. And everything works perfectly, except...

I can access (and play) the majority of files and folders on this external USB drive; however, there are probably 50 folders with a couple thousand files that appear GREEN IN WINDOWS EXPLORER, and when I look at their security properties, they have checked "Encrypt contents to secure data". If I try to remove this checkbox and apply, I get "Access Denied" error messages for each file in the folder. I stumbled onto this problem when I was trying to play some of these files and also fix some ID3 tags, and alas, I did not have the ability to play them nor update their tags.

--I never used Bitlocker on my old Win32 system
--I never explicitly applied encryption or any certificate to any subset of files on my old Win32 system

I have followed other instructions in the forum to TAKE OWNERSHIP, and have that registry mod enabled so I can right click any of these GREEN FILES and take ownership; however, I still cannot play or edit these files: I still see "Access Denied" if I clear the "Encrypt contents" check box.

This is EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING as you can probably imagine.

Again, this is just a data drive, no OS ever lived on it, and I never would arbitrarily set encryption for these files and folders.

What is the solution? I would even accept a painful workaround.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Have you tried taking ownership?
Might work...
Take Ownership Shortcut
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2010   #3

W7 64 Ult
 
 

yes, I already tried that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


10 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JayNYC View Post
yes, I already tried that.
Sorry didn't read your post properly. I will try and find another way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I can;t explain how they may have gotten encrypted. But right cilck on a file or folder that is green, click properties, then advanced.

There you will see that there is a check box to encrypt contents to protect data. Try unchecking that.

If it allows you then your good to go.

If NOT. There is probably no way to get them back. That probably means that they were actually encrypted on your old machine at some point (somehow) and used that other account's credentials to do so. Unless you used the files and settigns transfer wizard to transfer your account from the old machine to the new (Sounds like not because it "died") or saved your encrption credentials (sounds like not since you didn't know it happened) then there is likely no way to recover the files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2010   #6

W7 64 Ult
 
 

holy moly. i can't believe this. thousands of files are just "gone" ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

So you weren't able to uncheck the "encrypt" attribute from the advanced properties dialog?

I can tell you that I have had folders and files "unexpectedly" turn encrypted on me but... it was because I DLed a zipped folder in which the encryt flag was set so when the folder was unzipped it automatically became encrypted on my machine though I was able to disable the encryption flag. I've not had any just turn that way, even when swapping drives between machines.

If your old machine is still working or your 32 bit os is still on another HD, you can boot up that version and go in and un encrypt the files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Are you able to Zip one up for us? An encrypted file off your machine? So we can see what it looks like at my end, possibly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #9

W7 64 Ult
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fseal View Post
So you weren't able to uncheck the "encrypt" attribute from the advanced properties dialog?

I can tell you that I have had folders and files "unexpectedly" turn encrypted on me but... it was because I DLed a zipped folder in which the encryt flag was set so when the folder was unzipped it automatically became encrypted on my machine though I was able to disable the encryption flag. I've not had any just turn that way, even when swapping drives between machines.

If your old machine is still working or your 32 bit os is still on another HD, you can boot up that version and go in and un encrypt the files.
FSEAL!! That may be it.... these files may have mostly come from other ZIP files...

When I try to uncheck the "Encrypt" attirbute I got a dialog that says "You will need to provide Administrator priveleges to change these attributes" -- so I click Continue and bang it says Access Denied (yes, I'm definitely an admin).

Any suggestions how to undo this encryption?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2010   #10

W7 64 Ult
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fastboy42 View Post
Are you able to Zip one up for us? An encrypted file off your machine? So we can see what it looks like at my end, possibly?
Fastboy - if I try to zip up one of the files it says "File not found or no read permission"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot access encrypted files even though I never encrypted them




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