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How to hide folders from other local users?

On W2K I'd like to share my lap top from time to time with friends, but I'd also like to keep folders and documents on there that I do not want them to have access to.  I can be Administrator and let them be a user, but I notice that logging in as this user I still have access to all the folders and data I created when logged in as Administrator.  How can I construct a "Chinese Wall" between the users and myself, so that my folders cannot be opened, and preferably can't even be seen?


2 Solutions
Right click the folder, select the security tab and uncheck "Allow inheritable permission....". If prompted, select copy. Then remove the everyone group and - if listed - the users group, so that only administrators ans SYSTEM have full access (if they're not already there, you have to add them - not absolutely necessary, but good practice) and you may add your personal account here, if you're not a member of the administrators group.
You can either use NTFS permissions, but if you borrow your notebook to someone else there may always be a chance that he calls you and urgently needs admin privileges to do something RIGHT NOW.

The better option is to make use of the new EFS (Encrypting File System) feature: bring up the affected files or the folders containing them and set the "encrypted" attribute. (RightMose Click, Select Attributes button) Nobody but yourself and the local administrator (domain dministrator if you are a member of a domain) will be able to read that files any more, not even using hacking tools that circumvent NTFS security.

Note that for emergencies you should use the certificates snap in in the MMC and export the file recovery key of the administrator account onto a floppy.

Armin Linder
stevaAuthor Commented:
I notice that my Lap top  file system is FAT32, so I don't see the security tab when I right click a folder.  I suspect that the EFS idea above  is also going to require NTFS.

I have plenty of space (20G) on this disk, so I need to figure out how to break off a piece of this  FAT32 partition and make it a separate NTFS partition,  and then I'll experiment with your ideas.

You guys have both been helpful.  How do I spit the points between both comments?



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No file encryting EFS nor NTFS permissions on FAT32 :-(

You need to convert the drive to NTFS. Now if NT is the only OS you run there isn't any problem doing so, just type

convert c: /fs:ntfs

at the command line and reboot. The file system will be converted automatically. You won't loose any data (hopefully. Since this is a pretty dangerous situation for your data I suggest that you make a backup copy if you can).

Without NTFS there isn't a standard way to protect files, but you can always use third party encrypting software, or compression or archiving software like WinZip that allows for file encryption.

Another way I can think of: if your harddisk is large enough you could create an additional D: partition and format it using NTFS and then make use of permissions and/or file encryption. This way you keep FAT32 on C: giving you backward compatibility if you need to dual-boot with Windows 9x or ME.

Armin Linder
Hi steva
This question is still open and needs to be closed. If any of the comments above helped you, please accept it as an answer. If not please send an update about your issue so that the question can be finalised. Thank you



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------CLEAN UP------

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

RECOMMENDATION: Split points between schmiegu & arminl.

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


Rajiv Makhijani
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