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I'm having some issues with encryption in Microsoft Office documents. When I try to create an encrypted file, I get:

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When I try to open an encrypted file, I get:

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I had some deja vu back to the time I hacked up Windows 2000 so Office 2007 would run on it, with the extended kernel and some DLL patches from Windows XP. In the end, Office 2007 worked, except it couldn't save encrypted documents - it could open them, though.

This has me puzzled, because this is an official supported configuration and I can neither save, nor open on a newer version of Office on a newer version of Windows.

This is the latest version of Windows XP SP3, patched through 2019, and the latest version of Word 2010 patched through July 2020. I have Office SP2 version 7214 (October 2018) and Word version 7254 (July 2020). Only difference is since 2018, updates have broken Office 2010 on XP SP3, so I have the MSO.DLL file from KB4092483 (which dates to Sept. 2018) - without it, Word fails to start at all, because MSO.DLL references an > XP only function in the DLL file.

No other issues, just this one - somehow, encryption does not seem to be working at all. Is there such a thing as a High Encryption Pack I can install? I've looked and I can't find one anywhere from Microsof.

Update:

I ran:

regsvr32 C:\Windows\system32\schannel.dll
regsvr32 C:\Windows\system32\crypt32.dll
regsvr32 C:\Windows\system32\dssenh.dll
regsvr32 C:\Windows\system32\rsaenh.dll

With the first two, I get "..the DLLRegisterServer entry point could not be found." error - the other two are good.

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  • Your problem is most likely caused by using a frankenstein combination of outdated Windows, outdated Office and a mix of files from multiple versions. The solution is to upgrade... 5 years ago. – gronostaj Aug 8 '20 at 16:34
  • @gronostaj It's really not as hacky as the W2K setup was, that was DLL hell but we got it working in the end, just because we could. Here, though, MSO.DLL is the only file that's different and there's no other issues, which is why this seems highly unusual. Also, MSO 2010 is still in support, it's not even past-EOS – InterLinked Aug 8 '20 at 18:05
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A combo of MSO + Windows updates modify some system files that aren't compatible with Windows XP. There are two options:

Option 1

Don't install KB updates 4019276 and 4459091. These are POS updates for Windows Embedded XP which bring TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 support to Windows XP (unofficially). If you don't need TLS 1.1 and 1.2, this is the easiest option. (Note: if you installed the above KB updates, you can't uninstall them, it's too late - you'll need to nuke your system and start over - or use Option 2).

Side note: You'll need to apply a reg fix to get the TLS 1.1 and 1.2 options to show up in IE8; you can also just use a GPO to configure TLS settings.

Option 2

If you need TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 natively in IE, or you've already installed these updates, you need to replace a system file that these updates modify.

  1. Download KB 3081320 from the Windows Update catalog.
  2. DO NOT install the update. In cmd, extract the update by typing file /extract.
  3. Copy dssenh.dll to "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14"

This has worked for others. If this does NOT work (you still have problems with encryption), continue to Option 2b.

Option 2b

If the above does not work, you'll need to replace the system32 version of the DLL instead of trying to get Office to use a different version. There aren't any known implications - it's just a bit cleaner to have both DLLs, but replacing the system32 DLL is guaranteed to work, so if copying to the Office14 directory doesn't cut it, this will:

  1. Download a copy of the portable "Replacer" utility for Windows NT 5. I can't remember where I originally downloaded it from - it looks like it's available here - the script needed is Replacer.cmd and I don't believe it works on Windows NT 6+ (Vista and above).
  2. Specify C:\Windows\system32\dssenh.dll as the DLL to replace.
  3. Specify the extracted DLL as the DLL with which to replace the original DLL.
  4. Reboot Windows.

Now, Microsoft Office 2010 will work normally again, with no encryption problems and you have TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 support - the best of both worlds!

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