Tech Tip: View encrypted file system info/Allow Web directory browsing in Win2K

Learn how to view encrypted file system information and allow Web directory browsing.

Windows 2000 Professional: View encrypted file system information

Windows 2000's Encrypting File System (EFS) offers a means to securely encrypt and decrypt files on the fly. EFS is transparent to the user, who only has to configure the encryption bit on the folder or file.

Encryption is particularly useful on notebook computers that carry sensitive information. Although a brute-force password hack could eventually enable a thief to gain access to the account used to encrypt the data, EFS offers reasonable security against data theft.

Windows XP lets you configure a folder option that causes the names of encrypted folders and files to appear in green as a visual indicator of encryption. However, Windows 2000 doesn't offer this option.

In many situations, it can be helpful to be able to identify encrypted folders or files at a glance. The Windows 2000 Resource Kit includes the Efsinfo.exe tool, which enables to you determine file encryption and much more.

This handy tool also displays information about the user, recovery agent, and certificate. Use Efsinfo.exe to view information about a single folder or file, or use it on a folder and all subfolders.

You can download a copy of Efsinfo.exe from Microsoft's Web site. For information on the syntax and options for this tool, type EFSINFO /? at a command prompt after installing Efsinfo.exe from its setup file.

Windows 2000 Server: Allow Web directory browsing without enabling browsing

If you've been in IT for a while, you might remember the Gopher protocol, introduced in 1991 as a distributed document search and retrieval mechanism. Gopher servers offered a relatively easy means for users to browse a hierarchy of documents.

In some ways, these results were similar to what you see today when you view an FTP site from a Web browser such as Internet Explorer--a hierarchical list of folders and documents.

You can enable something similar to Gopher in Internet Information Services (IIS) by enabling directory browsing for a Web site or virtual directory. Enabling directory browsing provides an easy way to offer a list of documents or other files to users without developing any HTML code.

To enable directory browsing on a folder, open the folder's properties in the IIS console, select the Directory Browsing check box on the Directory tab, and click OK.

If you don't want to enable directory browsing because of security concerns or because you want more control over how the resulting page looks, you can create an Active Server Page (ASP) for the folder, which delivers the same results. For sample code that you can use as is or customize, check out Microsoft Knowledge Base article 224364.

Keep in mind that enabling directory browsing for a directory enables drilling down through the directory's structure. On the other hand, using the ASP code only enables browsing of the current directory. However, you can propagate the Default.asp page to the subdirectories if you need browsing capabilities there.