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Error message when you try to open an EFS-encrypted file in Windows XP or in Windows Server 2003 after the file has been opened in Windows Vista: "Access is denied"
Article ID: 939391 - View products that this article applies to.
Consider the following scenario. In Windows Vista, you use Encrypting File System (EFS) to create an EFS-encrypted file. Or, you edit an EFS-encrypted file in Windows Vista. Then, you try to open the file in Microsoft Windows XP or in Microsoft Windows Server 2003. In this scenario, you receive an error message that resembles the following:
You cannot open an EFS-encrypted file in Windows XP or in Windows Server 2003 after the file has been opened in Windows Vista.
Access is denied
This issue occurs because Windows Vista uses version 3 of the $EFS stream. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 use version 2. Windows Vista updates the $EFS stream on encrypted files to version 3. There is currently no option to save the EFS-encrypted file in Windows Vista by using a format that can be opened in Windows XP or in Windows Server 2003.
To resolve this issue, install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935791/ )How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
Article ID: 939391 - Last Review: April 11, 2008 - Revision: 2.0