EFS and Vista…. and backup ( or lack thereof )


EFS and Vista…One word of warning. Backup with Vista does *not* backup your encrypted files.

Let’s see this demonstrated here…

Here are 2 files one encrypted and one is not.

I just finished a backup as you can see

Now we delete them…

Restore files…

QAdd files from …

Choose my desktop..

We don’t see the encrypted file as an option to restore:

There are a dozen reasons why I don’t like this.. but we wont get into them now. Let’s just all be aware of this .. it renders this article HOW TO: Use Ntbackup to Recover an Encrypted File or Folder in Windows 2000 irrelevant for Vista

So how should you back them up? Robocopy supports a switch called /efsraw and there are 3rd party backup solutions which support this backup functionality.  


Comments (5)

  1. theCoach says:

    This seems like a <i>fatal</a> flaw in the Backup functionality.

    How about OneCare?

  2. SpatDSG says:

    No – OneCare does not backup Encrypted file either.

  3. Nicholas says:

    With all due respect, why can’t this be addressed in a hotfix? Is it illegal to add new functionality in hotfixes? This goes to an even broader issue. When I made the move from NT4->W2K and W2K->WXP, I generally felt reassured (and later found) that I wasn’t loosing any functionality. However, with Vista, I learn I loose something important (to me) on nearly a weekly basis. This is very annoying, to say the very least. I don’t want to make accusations, but it seems like some missing features/utilities were dropped because somebody was too lazy to get them working properly under Vista. To be quite honest, if I’m going to drop $200+ for an os, I expect better.

  4. SpatDSG says:

    It could be addressed in a hotfix – these are called DCR’s or Design Change Requests. I understand what you mean and perhaps it will be changed in the future.

  5. SpatDSG says:

    note this was fixed in SP1 for Vista