When trying to access encrypted files, access is denied?

0 pts.
Tags:
Encryption
File encryption
File management
Folder security
Folders
Windows Security
I am puzzled. I have encrypted several folders and the associated files that are in them. Now, for some reason, when I want to access a file (doc) it won't let me! Also, when I try to decrypt the file it says "access is denied". I double-checked the security setting of the file and my name is on the list! I need HELP!!!
ASKED: May 7, 2008  8:46 PM
UPDATED: May 8, 2008  1:47 PM

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When you try to access a file on an NTFS file system volume, you may receive an “access is denied” error message. The file’s NTFS permissions indicate that you can access the file.

This message will appear if another user has encrypted the file

This behavior can occur if another user has encrypted the file. To determine if a file has been encrypted:
How can I check to see if a file is encrypted with EFS or not?

When you try to access a file on an NTFS file system volume, you may receive an “access is denied” error message. The file’s NTFS permissions indicate that you can access the file. Sometimes this means that the file is encrypted with EFS.

To determine if a file has been encrypted:

1. Start Windows Explorer, and then click Detail on the View menu to view the details of the folder’s contents.
2. Click Choose Columns from the View menu, and then click to select the Attributes check box to add the Attributes column to the current view, and to view the file attributes.

You can also right-click any portion of the details header-column and click the Attributes column to be displayed.

3. If there is an “E” in the Attributes column for that file, the file is encrypted.

You can also use the CIPHER command from a CMD window:

Run the CIPHER command without any parameters to display the encryption status of files and folders.

A U means that the file/folder is un-encrypted. An E means that it is encrypted.

To resolve this behavior, the file must be decrypted by the user who encrypted the file, or by the designated Recovery agent. Files that are encrypted by using the Encrypting File System (EFS) are accessible only to the person who encrypted the file, regardless of the other permissions that are on the file.

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  • Jirvine
    Was the password on this account recently reset by an administrator? If it was reset but not changed then the SID associated with those files was changed, that's why you are getting access denied. The username is right, but not the password SID. Is the PC attached to a domain?
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  • Ysrd
    I would need more information, OS version and patch level would be good place to start. If the computer has recently been removed from a network and just the user name is the same that is really not enough as it's the userID a numerical value, mostly these are just allowed to be auto generated on Windows system so it could be anything. For this I use a Linux bootable CD called the Knoppix STD (STD Security Tool Distribution) and the tools on there allow me to re-access any Windows systems that have suddenly issues. It can also be used for full forensic analysis of the system to see why the issue started. If you are using it with Vista you will have to update the disk drivers as the as built distirbution is a bit out of date. Now if this is a daunting task, tell us more abouit your system so we can help you more.
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