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Encrypting files during Win2000 backups may cause problems

Using Microsoft's Encrypted File System (EFS) to encrypt files while doing backup on a Windows 2000 system may cause problems.

With all the attention on the dangers of stolen data, more storage administrators are looking at encrypting files as a means of protecting their data.

Microsoft's Encrypted File System (EFS) is a function built into Windows in order to protect files. However, if you are trying to do backups with a Windows 2000 system, the backup may fail and you may get an Error 32 (sharing violation.)

This problem is caused when the version of Windows 2000 being used to run the backup software doesn't have the latest Service Pack (SP 3 or above) installed. The specific cause of the problem is that the OpenEncryptedFileRaw function needed to back up an encrypted file doesn't work under the earlier versions of Windows 2000.

Normally, a problem this obvious would have shown up a long time ago on a mature operating system like Windows 2000. However, some administrators are just running into it now because they have only recently started using EFS to encrypt their data.

According to Microsoft, the fix is simple. Install the latest Service Pack on the Windows 2000 system being used to run backups.

About the author: Rick Cook specializes in writing about issues related to storage and storage management.

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