Forums Help & support Problem opening self-decrypting (.exe) file in Windows 10

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Svante 8 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #3196 Reply

    Robert Weiner

    I have an AxCrypt self-decrypting file (.exe), created on a PC running Windows 7, using AxCrypt 1.7.3156.  I am trying to decrypt this file on a new PC running Windows 10.  I have a copy of the file on a USB drive: when I doubleclick on the file on the USB drive, I get the familiar dialog box asking for the passphrase, and the file decrypts usual when I enter the passphrase and click ok.  When I copy the .exe file from the USB drive to the Windows 10 PC hard drive, and doubleclick on the file stored on the hard drive, I again get the familiar dialog box asking for the passphrase, but when I enter the passphrase and click ok I get the following error dialog box:


    AxCrypt error dialog box

    Can you tell me what I should do to be able to decrypt this file when it is stored on the hard drive?



    #3200 Reply



    I’m not quite sure, but what comes to mind is if you have permissions for the folder where it resides and where it tries to decrypt to. The self-decrypter is more or less obsolete, so you should probably not depend on it too much.

    Looking at the source code, it appears that the issue arises when trying to set the file times to the original values. When you decrypt the file on the USB-stick, does it get a strange value (like several 100 years ago or in the future)?

    This happens *after* the file has been completely written, so I’m really little at a loss here without debugging and digging deep into this. Which, to be honest, I won’t be doing since as mentioned this is pretty much obsolete – and you can get at the data.



    #3201 Reply

    Robert Weiner

    You are correct: it is a permissions issue.  When I move the .exe file to a subfolder on the hard drive (which changes the permissions), there is no problem in decrypting the file on the hard drive (or in encrypting a file to a .exe file, if I use AxCrypt 1.7.3156).

    I’m sorry you’ve removed the self-decrypter option from AxCrypt 2; I have found it convenient for encrypting email attachments sent to recipients who haven’t installed AxCrypt, or any other encryption software.

    Thanks for your response.  I’ve been using AxCrypt 1 for several years and have found it very useful for my purposes.

    Bob Weiner

    #3203 Reply



    The reason (well, one reason) that the self-decrypter will not be continued is because it so seldom actually works sending as an attachement. Also, we now have a fully-featured stand-alone version which does not require installation that can be pointed out in a link in the e-mail.


    #3207 Reply

    Robert M

    I agree the self-decryption option will be missed.  It’s not essential but it comes in handy from time to time.

    When you say it seldom works as an attachment, I assume you’re referring to the way mail systems object to .exe files in general?

    Anyway, if a person still wants to send self-decrypting files, I suggest using the free 7-Zip for that purpose.

    #3208 Reply


    Yes, Robert – I refer to how mail systems generally object to anything that could contain an executable, which includes zip-files in general and encrypted ones too! It’s really not easy to send executables via e-mail. Sometimes you can change the extension (I usually add .removeme), but sometimes the filters just look at the content.

    It is convenient when it works, but….


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