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Dekart Private Disk products family The Forum is intended to encourage discussion on specific topics related to the Dekart Private Disk products family, focusing on virtual encrypted disk issues, encryption algorithms and ways your data is encrypted and decrypted.

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  #1  
Old January 20th, 2007, 11:27
phacops
 
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Default My Documents - success stories?

Is it possible to encrypt My Documents?

Seems like in theory you could create a private-disk file, ie, Z:\my_documents then use Explorer to right-mouse/properties/move my real My Documents to the private-disk Z:\my_documents. But it sure seems like we'll get nailed at boot time when Windows tries to bring up my stuff.

Any success stories out there on something close to doing this?
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  #2  
Old January 20th, 2007, 13:55
Alex Railean's Avatar
Alex Railean Alex Railean is offline
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Default Re: My Documents - success stories?

This means that Private Disk should mount the encrypted disk before the user logs on. This is not possible at the moment, but we're thinking about this for the future versions.

At the moment, you could create a folder on a virtual drive and simply configure all the programs you use to store their files on that drive.
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  #3  
Old June 28th, 2007, 15:02
SecureSteve SecureSteve is offline
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Default Re: My Documents - success stories?

I am interested in the same idea, put all My Documents into one vitual disk. I don't see the problem here. There's nothing in My Documents that is needed for bootup, at least on my system. Am I missing something?
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  #4  
Old June 29th, 2007, 08:17
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Alex Railean Alex Railean is offline
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Default Re: My Documents - success stories?

In general, this is not a big deal, but there is a minor detail - if you change the path to My Documents, and Windows does not find the folder when you log on, it will create a My Documents in a default location.

Since the disk is not mounted prior to your logging on, Windows will figure the path is invalid, and re-create the folder in its standard place. In a nutshell, that's what phacops was asking about.


I solve this in my own twisted way - I never store anything in "My Documents". My personal motives:
  • I don't like long folder names
  • I don't like folder names with spaces
  • Any virus, worm or some other malware will most likely try to harm the files in "My Documents", because that's where people normally store their stuff
  • My own experience (read below)


Obviously, the first two points are probably a 'psychological residue' since the DOS times, when names couldn't be longer than 8 characters; and spaces didn't always work because some programs wouldn't understand them.

The #3 item is pretty serious, because nowadays a virus is less likely to take down the whole system with it (because such behaviour would obviously be noticed immediately), instead they focus on specific targets, such as the My Documents folder, Outlook's address-book, and the place where browser passwords are cached.


However, the most important reason I keep my data elsewhere is separating the system components from user data. Back in the old days of Windows 9x, blue screens were quite common, and I had to reinstall the system pretty often, being a hadcore tester and... my experiments were sometimes fatal :-)

I decided that the best solution was to separate the system data from my personal data:
  • Have my hard disk split in at least 2 partitions, C: is for Windows and programs, D: is for everything else
  • Have Windows installed and configured on C:
  • Along with all the programs I need
  • Then I made an image of that partition and stored it on D:
  • D: was also used for storing documents, images, movies, email-databases, my instant messager's archive, and so on
  • All the programs on C: were configured to store their stuff in custom locations on D:, such as D:\Stuff\Music, D:\Stuff\Docs, D:\Stuff\Email, etc
  • If things went wrong, I would restore the OS from the backup image
  • Upon restoration, my system was perfectly functional, everything 'just worked', becaue D: was left untouched

At that point I realized that separating the system from everything else is an efficient way to make my life easier. I honestly don't understand vendors who ship their systems with disks formatted to a single partition - it's a problem waiting to happen.


Now, we're in the era Windows NT-based operating systems, they're very reliable, and they never fail unless you try really hard. I trust my data are safe and I don't worry that much about this issue anymore, but I'm still following the scenario described above, just because it's "in my blood" now.

Either way, the possibility to mount an encrypted drive prior to the logon-procedure is being analyzed, so it will most likely become available in the next releases.
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  #5  
Old June 29th, 2007, 15:52
SecureSteve SecureSteve is offline
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Default Re: My Documents - success stories?

Alex, Thank You!!

You covered a lot of material that, aside from PD issues, will help me and maybe others in system management. Your point about not using "My Documents" is well taken, and I plan to follow your lead in putting my data into a folder I give a name to. Then Windows can do what it wants with its own folder names.

I had been thinking about the same thing as phacops, so this forum saved me a lot of grief. Thanks for that, too!

SecureSteve
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