An error occurred applying attributes to the file. Access is denied?

Hi All,

I am using Windows 7 ultimate sp1. I had to reinstall my Windows 7 with again ultimate sp1. After the reinstallation, I'm unable to open the encrypted files, please read to help if you know this, any help will be appreciated)

I think I've tested the file encryption(I mean just normally by going to the file properties>general>advance>Checked the encrypt contents to secure data [that's all I did]) & forgot to stop this encryption in my past w7.

I can remember whenever I was creating a new file(s) like notepad, pdf, word or folder etc in past version of window 7 these are encrypted by default as it's color auto change to green color.

I was not aware of this thing at that time but now I'm suffering which files shown in green color these are encrypted and I'm unable to do any modification or moving file to another place.

When I clicking on any files(ex: notepad) it showing Access is denied in a small popup window.

Taken ownership of the files By visiting the file>properties>security>advance>owner>Edit>Select to Admin>Apply>ok, now I'm the owner but still showing "Access is denied". Too sad.

When I checked the files>properties>Details>Attributes -> AE, Non-encrypted file attribute comes as A.

I don't have any encryption key/certificate. I just have only encrypted files. When I had a test for encryption on past os, I've not created any encryption key backup file (.pfx file) because I was unaware of this thing. I don't know why test encryption may be read from any article and gave a try.

I have tried the following::
When I right-click the folder > properties > go to advance > Unchecked encrypt content to secure data > apply changes > continue (as Administrator control) > then I get below error messages...

An error occurred applying attributes to the file:
Access is denied.
Ignore. Ignore All. Try Again. Cancel. [4 buttons to click]

Clicking on Try Again button the same message and Ignore means nothing happened.

This is a really annoying little problem that I need to have gone away, so any help would be appreciated!

Points to note:
  • SAFE MODE doesn't help.
  • I am logged as an administrator, which makes it all the more frustrating.
  • Taken the ownership of the files still have no access, it feels me like rubbing salt to the wound.
  • If you wanna suggest: Export the Encrypting File System (EFS) certificate and key on the computer where the files were encrypted/Ask the agent who's encrypted(It's me), It's not possible because my system is reinstalled. Even I've not created any pfx file or any encryption certificate file for back up, now I fully understand the quote ' a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'.

I know here many windows expert are present unlike me. Please let me know how to resolve it! I'll be grateful for this.


Your need more than Admin Ownership.

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