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PGP Desktop Passphrase Error

Created: 23 Jun 2011 • Updated: 29 Jun 2011 | 8 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

When attempting to Decrypt & Verify for the first time, I get an error when the Passphrase box pops up. It says 1 Uknown Key. I do not understand what this means and I do not know how to fix this.   

 

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Thomas K's picture

Moving this thread to to the PGP forum for you.

Tom Mc's picture

This error is suppose to mean that you do not have the key that the file was encrypted to.  It you double click on the "Unknown Key" it may show the Key ID for the key it was encrypted to. If it does, you can then check to see if this matches your Key ID.

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Admissions_Ivey's picture

I cannot click on "1 unknown key". It does nothing when I try. I'm trying to decrypt a file. It will not allow me to enter my passphrase. I thought I installed everything correctly for the PGP Desktop software to work properly, but for some reason it is not. I do not know much about these "keys" so I am completely confused.

Tom Mc's picture

Files can be encrypted to either just a passphrase, or to the recipient's public key.  If the file is just encrypted to a passphrase, the sender needs to somehow safely let the recipient know the passphrase.

If the file is encrypted to the recipient's public key (which the recipient must have generated and distributed, such as by sending it to the Global Directory), the recipient must use his/her private key for the decryption.  Since the private key needs to be safely in the hands of only the owner of the key, it is encrypted to the passphrase set up when the key was generated; this requires the owner of the key to enter his/her passphrase before the private key can be used for the decryption. 

This is explained in detail in the User's Manual

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Admissions_Ivey's picture

I am the person in our office that uses PGP Desktop to Decrypt electronic test scores that come via email. I needed a "backup" person, so my co-worker Linda was assigned to help. My license under the Help menu shows 2 License Seats. We thought this meant we could have another PGP Desktop on a 2nd computer, but we do not know our License Number. So, we contacted Symantec Customer Support. I was emailed a link to install PGP Desktop. I forwarded this to Linda. She installed it, using a License Number that Customer Support emailed to me for her. The installation seemed to do fine. However, her License Seat shows 1. I am pretty sure we are not using the same License Number, since I do not know mine. Now, she cannot decrypt, but I still can. She is the one getting the "1 unknown key" message when trying to enter a passphrase. I thought this would allow both of us access to decrypt anytime we need to. Somewhere along the way we've messed up. PGP Desktop was originally purchased and installed on another woman's PC in 2008. She is no longer with our company. She did install it on my PC before she left, but I think she transfered it from her PC to mine, and didn't give me the license number. I know nothing about keys or keyrings. I only know how to decrypt. All I want is for Linda to be able to decrypt these scores when I am out sick. Should we uninstall everything we've done on her PC, and start over?

Tom Mc's picture

Assuming that you are using PGP keys instead of S/MIME keys (which may not be correct), you need to open PGP Desktop, right click on your key (in All Keys) and select Export.  Place a check for Include Private Key, and select Save.  Take this file to your backup's computer.  Double click on it to start the import of it.  Once imported, go the PGP Desktop's All Keys, right click on it and select Properties, and then set Trust to Implicit. This should take care of it.

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SOLUTION
Admissions_Ivey's picture

Tom you are a life saver! IT WORKED!!!! You just don't know how happy I am. This has been the worst headache ever. Thank you soooo much! I will now mark this SOLVED!

Tom Mc's picture

Congratulations - very glad to hear of your success!

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