Pastic SCM – “authentication or decryption has failed”

I recently was playing around with Plastic SCM, since after all these years the perfect source control solution continues to evade us.

Overall, so far Plastic has been quite good. However, I did run into a silly user-friendliness issue that I thought I would share.

The message “The authentication or decryption has failed: server:port”


can occur for a couple of reasons.. I was running into it because the certificate hostname did not match the server hostname.

By default, Certificate Hostname is generated automatically when the Plastic SCM server is installed and matches the machine name.

Server Hostname is the address you specify in the Plastic SCM Client configuration.

So.. If you configure your client to use IP address, instead of the server machine/host name, you will receive a mismatch dialog when you start Plastic SCM client.


The match is also case sensitive..

Here is the silly part.. If you have a mismatch, the Plstic SCM Client will warn you and allow you to proceed with your change management tasks.. The Explorer extension, however, will give you “authentication or decryption has failed”.

The sillier part is that even after you align the configuration (match server certificate and client hostname strings), the Plastic SCM Client will work without any warnings, but the Explorer Extension will continue to give you an error until Windows Explorer is restarted.. (i.e. kill explorer.exe, run explorer.exe).

So the moral of the story is that changes to Plastic SCM Client configuration, do not get propagated to the Windows Explorer extension component until the Explorer gets restarted.

Leaving this as WTF for now..