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Failed to Unlock Signing Key [0xa1010009]

Created: 31 Dec 2012 • Updated: 10 Jan 2013 | 3 comments
Mohammad Ashkaibi's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.


I have this nasty error message returned as an email after the original email is sent:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

        Subject:        RE: Settlement Information Form 004

        Sent:           12/30/2012 2:55:00 PM

PGP: Message is blocked - failed to unlock signing key. Error code: [0xa1010009].

The original message is embedded in this non-delivery report. Click Send Again to see the original text and have the opportunity to re-send the message. If the problem persists and you still receive another non-delivery report, please contact your administrator for details.

It happened with two users, so I checked what's special about them. I found both of them have expired keys (in addidion to the current ones). What do I do about this?

Many thanks in advance!

- Moh

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Mohammad Ashkaibi's picture

Hello again,

I've just discovered the reason behind this behavior. It is the "Offline: Block" rule within PGP Desktop policy. What was special about those two specific users is that they had the PGP services stopped so it applied offline policies. This is silly cheeky

So it wasn't related to key expiry or something because PGP Desktop would simply use the valid key!


PGP_Ben's picture

Good so I marked your response as the solution. Did this work for you?

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

Mohammad Ashkaibi's picture

Yea, it worked so well. All I had to do is starting the PGP Desktop services then it went like a charm. As I said before, I'm almost certain that having an expired key does not generate such an error, since the client then will simply use the valid key, eh?

Thanks for marking the answer. It is great that trusted personnel can do this on other's behalf, because I nearly forgot all about this post!

- Moh