Suddenly Encrypting Files?

Feb 23, 2016

Yesterday I spent some time consolidating files from three external hard drives down to two. Somewhere along the line Windows started prompting me to backup my encryption key. Why, since I didn't ask for any encryption. Bitlocker is off for all drives.

Then I performed a full backup of my D (data) drive using the "copy hard drive" function in Paragon Hard Disk Manager. And, as I have done before, I replaced my existing D drive with the backup.

I've used that software many times to make the backup and I've never specified encryption in the process. I don't even know if it's possible in Paragon. Yet, somehow, I have encrypted files on the (new) D drive, so every time I boot up I get a prompt to backup the key. I actually did the key backup once, figuring "what the heck," but the prompt still appears.

I ran cipher /u to see what might be encrypted and got a list of encrypted files on the (new) D drive, and Windows reports that every one of them "could not be decrypted." About half are PDFs in my Documents folder, and others are various file types in other folders.

Also, when I run a search in File Explorer on that drive, when the requested files come up they have blank icons, no folder path, and don't do anything when I double-click them.

What's going on here? The logical assumption would be that I encrypted some files, but I can't begin to imagine how, or why only some of the files on that drive are encrypted. I hope putting the first D drive back in the computer will take care of this in the short term, but that won't tell me how any files were encrypted. I don't want to encrypt any files right now, and I want this nonsense to stop.

EDIT: It seems that entire folders were encrypted. I tried decrypting a few of them, and the results are hit-or-miss. Some work, but others don't, and there's no explanation.

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