Cannot Access EFS filesystem

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Cannot Access EFS filesystem
Posted by:  Marco Bellettini (suddenlyfrustrat…
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009

Hi all,
all of sudden I cannot access any files that have been encrypted on XP
NTFS (EFS) and I get the same error ("cannot access file") or similar
(it depends, obviously, on the application's error message). I did not
change my password recently or played with certificates and the likes,
so it's a real mistery for me. I tried to log on with the
administrator account, but nothing happens. I 've also played with
recovery agents, but as far as I've tried, I couldn't access my files.
Obviously, it is also impossible to copy files to another location and/
or remove the encryption or add further certificates/users to access
the directory/files. My certificate shown in certmgr.exe->personal-
>certificates is issued to my name, the expiration date is 2109, the
intended purpose is encrypting file system and by double clicking on
it, it shows that I have the private key corresponding to the

What could be a possible solution? I've read many Microsoft articles
on creating recovery agents, exporting private keys and the likes, but
I'm missing a point: how do I use these recovery agents and private
keys if Windows XP does not allow me to add any further user to access
the filesystem? Moreover, it seems that no certificate/private key
file is corrupted. The funny thing is that the most important files
are encrypted, and those are the ones I cannot access anymore...

Any help is very much appreciated.