What is the exact error message? How is she trying to open the file?
The error message comes in two flavours depending on how the user tries to access the file:
if you use Windows to navigate to the file in the folder on the server and doubleclick on it you get a message with darkgray (indesign themed) background
"This file is already open by another user or another application. This file may be stored on a network server and cannot be opened until the other user closes it"
or if you navigate to the file with Open with Indesign you get a regular windows coloured message
"SixthformProspectus.indd You don't have permission to open this file - contact the file owner or an administrator to obtain permission"
the only user to have ever opened the file is the user currently trying to open the file
If there is no .idlk file, it does sound like it's the encryption (and ID does not encrypt files to the best of my knowledge, so that problem is external). If you move the file to her desktop will it open?
I can't even copy the file - I get a message that the user has to give permission to make changes - I am using a domain Admin account on the server and she is a mere user.
As indesign seemed to go the extra mile with file access control I had assumed that the encryption was part of this process - if it isn't then that is an avenue I should pursue.
thanks for the help.
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This sounds like a server permissions issue, not an InDesign specific problem.
The fact that you can't copy the file is pretty clear indicator.
Check your account permissions for server access and try again.