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Windows 7: Having Issues Opening A Windows EFS Encrypted File In Win7 Pro. HELP!

27 Oct 2010   #1
montecarlo1987

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64
 
 
Having Issues Opening A Windows EFS Encrypted File In Win7 Pro. HELP!

Hello. I have a question.

I am using Windows 7 Professional. The Professional/Business and higher editions of Windows since Windows XP version have the EFS (Encrypting File System) feature as part of the operating system. This is the main reason why I will not go lower in using/purchasing Windows editions than the Windows Professional/Business line editions.

Okay, I have an issue. Some time ago, I have a PDF file and I placed inside the a folder that happens to be EFS encrypted. When I moved/copied the PDF file into the encrypted folder the PDF file automatically became encrypted too. The text or file name turns from the normal black type to the green type indicating that it is encrypted. Good, I say. It is now secure. When I created the EFS folder I was NOT in Windows 7 Professional. I was using Windows XP Professional when I created the EFS folder. Also, when I created the PDF file and moved it into the EFS folder, I was ALSO using Windows XP Professional as well. (As we know, Windows XP Pro has the EFS technology as well.) WELL, SADLY I LOST MY WINDOWS XP PRO INSTALLATION SOME TIME AGO -- HARD DRIVE FAILURE AND IT IS LONG GONE. The hard drive was sent back to the Western Digital. NOTE: This EFS folder that has the EFS PDF file inside is safe on another hard drive. Now today, I am using Windows 7 Professional that has EFS technology as well. So I am trying to access this EFS folder/EFS PDF file inside with Windows 7 Professional.

Now, I get an acces is denied issue from PDF software programs. I have both the free version (limited version) of Adobe Reader installed (v.9.4) and a program called Nuance PDF Viewer Plus that also is a more advanced PDF application. For your information, I have set the PDF file “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” to the Nuance PDF Viewer Plus to open and view my PDF files. When I open the PDF file in that EFS encrypted file, I have an issue. As the Nuance PDF Viewer Plus opens the encrypted PDF file, I get a message or dialog box in the middle of the screen stating, “Access denied.” Okay, I go ahead and open this same PDF file with my Adobe Reader. Again, I get a similar message that states, “There was an error opening this document. Access denied.”. So I see I cannot open this PDF document that Windows EFS encrypted.

For your information, I did not password protect the PDF file with a more advanced PDF editing software that allows for password protection of PDF documents. So there is no PDF password protection on this Windows EFS encrypted PDF file.

Questions: Please tell me what I can do to still access this EFS PDF file NOW when I am using another Windows operating system that offers EFS.

So what I am looking to understand:
1. Why am I having issues? Please explain.
2. How do I resolve it? Please explain. Do have to only be in my user account of the same Windows operating system I originally created the EFS file or folder in order to open an Windows EFS encrypted file? Please explain.

I guess I do not understand Windows EFS File Encryption system works as it shows.

Please reply.

Thank you!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Oct 2010   #2
mckillwashere

Windows 7 x86/x64, Server 2008r2, Web Server 2008
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by montecarlo1987 View Post
Hello. I have a question.
So what I am looking to understand:

1. Why am I having issues? Please explain.
EFS is based off of you SID(pretty much the user id assigned to you at user creation)+password. IF you force change the Password you lose EFS and if you lose the user you lose EFS... Which is why the system is faulty.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by montecarlo1987 View Post
2. How do I resolve it? Please explain. Do have to only be in my user account of the same Windows operating system I originally created the EFS file or folder in order to open an Windows EFS encrypted file? Please explain.
Same User,
Same password,
Same OS,
Same Unique Id,

The point of encryption is to prevent other people from accessing your data... would you want to be able for anyone to just walk into your encrypted folder?


You pay for the Expensive EFS recovery tool, thats only if its worth the 200+ dollars.

I will suggest truecrypt for encryption over EFS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2010   #3
montecarlo1987

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Thank you! There is nothing I can do as I have learned today. If the certificate and key are lost from Windows XP Pro and never backed up, I am a dead in the water and I can never ever again recover the data. The EFS recovery agents (the 3rd party program that are designed to recover EFS encrypted files) NEED either the EFS certificate or the EFS private key in order to decrypt EFS files and folders. I have learned my lesson and learned to back-up to a USB flash drive or blank CD/DVD-ROM both the certificate and the key to one of them for safe keeping away from the Windows operating system IMMEDIATELY AFTER creating my FIRST EFS file or folder with that version of Windows that includes EFS functionality. I did!

Thank for your help!

Take care!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Oct 2010   #4
mckillwashere

Windows 7 x86/x64, Server 2008r2, Web Server 2008
 
 

Your welcome mate.
You really should look into true crypt. It is ALOT more secure than EFS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2010   #5
wilywombat

win7
 
 

Agree with Mckillwashere, no more getting tied to that SID crap...Plus Truecrypt is opensource so problems are sorted out quicker and best of all secure and free!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Having Issues Opening A Windows EFS Encrypted File In Win7 Pro. HELP!




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