Please help: I read in PC Magazine that Vista Ultimate has a nice feature to prevent reading\theft of personal files (i.e. encryption tool) in case a notebook gets stolen.
So, I followed the PC Magazine recommendations and encrypted my personal documents, music, and pictures by right clinking each folder, Advanced, Properties, and Clicking Encrypt. The process took about 2 hrs. I thought all was well but then when I started my computer the next day, and when the desktop loads, there is a message indicating, "Encryption File System needs your Smart Card". When I click this message, a window pops up stating:
Encryption File System
You are encrypting a file or trying to access an encrypted file using a smart card
Enter your Smart Card PIN
Insert Smart Card or
Swipe Finger to Log On
Now, I cannot access my files that I encrypted
My guess is that once I encrypted the files, Vista needs to export the encryption certificate to a Smart Card. Without this, I cannot decrypt my files again. I went to Best Buy, Radio Shack etc and no one sells these cards or card readers. Found a few websites to purchase a Smart Card Reader and Smart Card.
My questions are:
1) Can I decrypt without a Smart Card/Smart Card Reader. I tried going to each folder, right clicking, properties, advanced, and checking decrypt but the above window pops ups.
2) If I do purchase a Smart Card Reader/Smart Card will the certificate be exported and can I then decrypt to make my files as they were prior to the encryption?
3) Is there anything else I can do?
Thank you for your assistance!