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Windows 7: How2 hide a folder without using the Windows "hidden" attribute and...

08 May 2015   #11
pintree3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

lehnerus2000 read what I just wrote (above you) and you'll see that, in actuality, it has nothing to do with IT


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08 May 2015   #12
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pintree3 View Post
lehnerus2000 read what I just wrote (above you) and you'll see that, in actuality, it has nothing to do with IT
Whilst I was typing my comment, you posted yours.

Telling you how to thwart the NSA, FBI, etc. is even riskier.

The thing is, if they think you have something worth seeing, they'll just confiscate your laptop.
If you are lucky, they might just remove the HDD/SSD and return the rest to you.
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08 May 2015   #13
pintree3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Nah I have nothing to hide from anybody in north America. Actually from most countries and quite possibly even nothing to hide where I'm going. I'm just being cautious just in case, I don't know, "Bambi" just happens to be illegal and the only person who may think so is that one particular individual at that point in time, so because of this 1 individual and one movie I lose everything. Some films are quite old (50's, 60's) since movies were slower then and therefore for someone who has English as a 2nd language, this movie is easier to follow.
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10 May 2015   #14
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Hiding files from an IT department or not, your privacy should always be your prerogative.


I do see what's being asked in the title of this thread. I backed off from trying to answer it only because I wasn't sure whether your purpose, Pintree, was to gain a little knowledge about hidden files and how they worked (as your questions from the "Here's what's important:" section of your OP seemed to suggest), or if your purpose is to find a method of hiding files from others. It appears that latter is the actual question being asked here.


Taking advantage of the Hidden file attribute clearly isn't an effective method in keeping prying eyes away from data.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
The hidden and system attributes are just ticks attached to each file for use by file managers and system utilities
File attributes aren't meant to be used against people. If I were to recruit a single member on this forum, tell them that there is hidden data on my desktop, "go find it". The first thing they'll think about is the Hidden file attribute... "I'll just turn on View Hidden files and System files in Folder Options", and they'll be into my data in no time.

Okay, so if the Hidden file attribute isn't effective at hiding things, what are other methods of hiding files then? I can tell you there aren't very many. So why not hide folders in plain sight then...

A bit about Desktop.ini files
So, I haven't had the opportunity to make tutorials yet, but one of the topics I plan to eventually cover, actually, is how to hide files in Windows 7 by taking advantage of the rather mysterious Desktop.ini feature of Windows. Desktop.ini files are essentially hidden text files that reside in certain directories throughout the system that exist to change how a folder is displayed or treated. Things like a folder's icon and name can be altered using these Desktop.inis.

An old school trick I've seen some people use to hide folders is to assign a folder a blank icon and empty name using a Desktop.ini. A pretty lame way of hiding a folder seeing as Explorer can still see and easily read it. But that's just one example of hiding a folder in plain sight.

Using Recycle Bins to hide files
Desktop.inis can also be used to create Recycle Bins. Write out the appropriate Desktop.ini, place it into a folder, do a bit of tinkering to the folder, and bam, you've transformed the folder into a fully functioning Recycle Bin, complete with the Recycle Bin icon and resource name.

So what have these Recycle Bins have to do with hiding things? Well let's say that you first placed valuable files, files you want to conceal from all eyes, into a folder before turning that folder into a Recycle Bin. Does that work -- will your files survive the transformation? Sure does. Now, instead of opening up the folder to reveal the valuable items you've previously placed in it, the Recycle Bin-ned folder will instead open up to show you the items you've previously deleted (you wouldn't have guessed). Though this Recycle Bin will still hold the valuable files you've placed in it before. They'll be kinna trapped within it.

If I were to show every member on this forum my secret, artificial Recycle Bin and tell them that there is hidden data in it -- and tell them to "go get it" -- I reckon only 3% of the members here would know how. This trick will sure fool your average power user or administrator working in the IT department.

Proof of concept
I've attracted to this post a batch file that will convert any folder of your linking into to a Recycle Bin. Simply create a new folder, place some junk/test files to be hidden into it, and run the batch file in it.

I'll leave it to you guys to tell me how to retrieve those files that are hidden... in a Recycle Bin... in plain sight.


Attached Files
File Type: bat ConvertToRecycleBin.bat (766 Bytes, 5 views)
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21 Jun 2015   #15
pintree3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Pyprohly I have waited and waited and waited, as you can see, over a month now and it seems no one bit. And yet I believe what you came up with is brilliant. I myself did not try your ''ConvertToRecycleBin.bat'' only because I know I would not know how to retrieve such hidden files from the recycle bin--unless a simple search within it with the name of the hidden folder would do the trick--this is based on my logic but if it requires anything techie then I would have no clue. [BTW the other reason for not having tried it is that I was not sure exactly as to where to place it and how to use it]
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