I’ve got unexpected problem today on my Windows 10 notebook
- At some moment system became unresponsive – high CPU usage (cooler fan got noisy) + mouse cursor moves, but can't click anything and keyboard is completely dead (Ctrl+Alt+DEL does not work)
- After waiting for around 10-20 seconds I turned notebook off via power button
- After restart – can’t open any encrypted file (some subfolders are encrypted)
I’m looking if there is a way to restore access. I did not create a backup of the encryption key (note: system was prompting me to do this last weeks).
So far I looked into the properties of the encrypted files and see strange thing:
- File properties -> Advanced -> Encrypt … Detals: I can see ‘myself’ in the list of ‘users who can access this file’. But when I click "Back up keys…" it says "Certificate or key is not available for export on this machine. Error code: 1f"
- There, when I click “Add” user – I see 3 “My” users in “More choices”, each with different certificate and one of them has same thumbprint as the already added user (issued 21.08.2021 - approximatelly the time I've set up the system, two others issued 14.12.2021 and 16.12.2021). However adding any user fails with error “To add users to this file, you must have access to the file and Write and Modify permission for it” (I’m administrator on machine and the owner of that file – therefore I definitely have that permission)
- I tried exporting certificated seen in step 2 (issued 21.08.2021) – but option to “export with private key” is disabled, however ‘certificate properties’ displayed there mention ‘you have a private key that corresponds to this certificate’
- I tried looking for certificates in “Manage User Certificates” -> Personal. There I found only certificate issued 4 days ago (16.12.2021).
I suspect access will be restored if I somehow add mentioned certificate issued 21.08.2021 into current Personal store, but I can’t find how can I export it with the private key (which is mentioned as “i have”).
Any ideas about what has happened and how it can be fixed are welcome.