I guess like most people I get lulled into the belief that logging into my computer every morning keeps my data safe from prying eyes (not that I have anything secret there). After one of those dataprotection courses where they tell you how evil the world is, I thought that I’d better protect my data better and looked at the windows encryption.
Yes, the one you find by right clicking a folder (on my italian machine it says. Crittografia contenuto per la protezione dei dati). A simple click on my personal root at it should be done – Loooooong time waiting for the processing (ca. 100Gb).
So long that I went home for the day.
I find that data copied to removable media maintain the encryption – and that is just fine and useful.
But, now comes the fun bit supported by long complicated help pages of windows.
You can’t read you data on another machine. Well if it is a Win7 machine you can just study some pages on http://windows.microsoft.com/it-it/windows7/encrypt-or-decrypt-a-folder-or-file and they will tell you the complicated and nerdy way to copy your certificate (Per eseguire il backup del certificato EFS) in 10 TEN simple steps. (The biggest laugh is that they dare ask if the support is useful – La pagina è stata utile?).
And the day after
just remember NOT to save the certificate in an encrypted file on your flashkey ;=)
Getting used to it
Then came the moment I wanted to work on my laptop (XP). There is a half-told story by MS Support (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223316/it) leads you to believe again in efficiency……maybe not. In theory you just install service pack 3 – singing: as time goes by. But not in the home edition…funny isn’t it?
The best part of the joke
Quality control and debugging comes in many shapes and sizes. As a user you only do it if you suspect errors. In good faith I also did my backups the old fashioned way. I have a ‘fat’ 500Gb harddisk (fat as in – I never really bothered about the file system).
Yeeeess, I have updated my backupfiles with my encrypted files on the harddisk from that XP machine before I noticed the quirk. It turned out that now my files became really deep deep encrypted, as in unrecoverable deep Encrypting File System.
Oooo what fun I had, inventing swearwords for good old microsoft. Windows is an excellent trademark isn’t it. Windows – as in where you throw out your money and time.
Now probably somebody wants to tell me how EFS should be used – don’t. Honestly.
This is one of the things that should be so easy to use that teachings should be superfluous.
It should just work flawlessly in the year 2013.
Learned my lesson and removing the encryption that has done more damage than a virus.
Now, removing the encryption of all the files took 57 hours according to the progress bar,,,,,
time for a coffee…time to go home…
If I only had a penny for all the broken promises of Microsoft…
Earn a few bucks
Actually you could earn some money fixing this problem. Interested ?