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Learn Win XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Compression and the Encrypted File System Page 3

By Jason Zandri (Send Email)
Posted Apr 18, 2003


When you effect changes to the folder and all of the files subfolders contained within, all of the files will be come decrypted.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - If there is a file within the folder that is to be uncompressed that is in an encrypted state, it will stay encrypted as the encrypted attribute of that file is not affected by the clearing of the compression attributes of the other files around it and the fold it's in.

You can select to view compressed and encrypted files in different colors so that you know the state of the file by quickly looking at it.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - In the example above, the folders denoted in blue lettering are compressed and the ones in green lettering are encrypted. This can be set by going in to the Windows Explorer and choosing Tools and then Folder Options.

On the View tab of the pop up box is where you would select the Show encrypted of compressed NTFS files in color checkbox to enable this feature.

If you copy an attribute set encrypted file to a FAT16 or a FAT32 partition or to a floppy disk, it will lose its encryption attribute.

Strangely enough, when you perform this same action under Windows 2000 you will not receive this message. You will simply be able to perform your action without the warning.

The overall rules for encryption are as follows (and they are different than compression):

  • When moving or copying a file within the same NTFS volume an encrypted file will not inherit the encryption state of the target folder when that folder is unencrypted. When you copy or move an encrypted file to an unencrypted folder, the file is still encrypted. If you have enabled a folder to encrypt files and you move or copy an unencrypted file to it, it will become encrypted at that point.
  • When copying or moving a file or folder from one NTFS volume to another an encrypted file will not inherit the encryption state of the target folder when that folder is unencrypted. When you copy or move an encrypted file to an unencrypted folder, the file is still encrypted. If you have enabled a folder to encrypt files and you move or copy an unencrypted file to it, across partitions, it will become encrypted at that point.
  • Moving or copying a file or folder to a FAT16 or FAT32 volume - Windows XP Professional supports attribute driven encryption only on the NTFS file system, so when you move or copy an encrypted NTFS file or folder to a FAT volume, (12, 16 or 32) the encryption attribute will be lost.
  • Moving or copying a compressed file or folder to a floppy disk or other removable media - Windows XP Professional supports attribute driven encryption only on the NTFS file system, so when you move or copy an encrypted NTFS file or folder to most types of removable media, the encryption attribute will be lost because most forms of removable media do not support the NTFS file system.

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