EFS - no policy? Include the private key in the export?

Discussion in 'Windows XP General' started by *Vanguard*, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. *Vanguard*

    *Vanguard* Guest

    I just EFS-protected a folder and all subfolders and files under it. When I
    look at the folder's properties, under Advanced, it shows it was encrypted.
    I can run certmgr.msc to export my personal EFS security certificate.

    I then wanted to export the recovery agent's (Administrator's) file recovery
    certificate in case I need that. However, when I run secpol.msc and look
    under Public Key Policies -> Encrypting File System, it says the policy is
    empty (which is not the same as not configured).

    At the time, I was logged under my own user account which is in the
    Administrators group (so I have all admin permissions). Do I actually have
    to be logged in under Administrator to export its file recovery certificate?
    I didn't under Windows 2000. An administrator is an administrator and any
    administrator-level account should be able to do what any of the others can
    do, including whatever Administrator can do. Maybe Microsoft changed how XP
    lets you get at certificates and other attributes of other admin accounts in
    their over over eager protectiveness.

    One other point. Is there any reason to NOT include the private key when
    you export a security certificate? If you export without the private key
    (i.e., all you export is the public key), you don't have to password-protect
    the file. If you select to include the private key then you are prompted to
    enter a password to protect the file (so no one else could use your private
    key since the public key only has significance when paired with its private
    key). If I need to restore the system or do a fresh install of the OS, why
    wouldn't I want to use the same private key with that exported public key?
    Would the exported public key even be usable if Windows were wiped and a
    fresh install put on the drive (since the private key to pair with the
    exported public key wouldn't be there anymore)?

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    *Vanguard*, Feb 9, 2004
    #1
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