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How can I hide a directory unless my app is running?

Posted on 2002-06-24
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02
Before you answer, know this.
the data for my app will reside on a moveable harddrive which will travel from one PC to another.
I want data on that drive to ONLY be accessable when my VB app is running.
As soon as my app stops, the directories cannot be seen, browsed or copied.
Can I do this?
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Question by:rbend
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 7107875
1. NO (simple answer).
2. Not Directly (more accurate).
3. Not the way you envision this happening.
============================================
A. You will probably need to tie the program to the hard drive's serial number.  This may either be hard-coded or stored in a strongly encrypted file.  Even the hard drive's serial number might be spoofed.

B. Store the application files in one or more compressed and encrypted files.

C. When the program starts, create the directories and expand the compressed files into the new directories.

D. When your program accesses the files, decrypt them.

E. When your program ends, delete the directories.

F. Add a registry entry to RUN a clean-up program (little utility you write) that will delete the directories if they exist (at startup).

You will still be vulnerable to hacking while your program is running.

=================================================
You might try MemoryMappedFiles.  You will still need to decrypt the data.

You will also be responsible for encrypting and saving any changes made by the user.
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Author Comment

by:rbend
ID: 7108042
aikimark:
You have been thorough, but let me stall just a bit to see if anyone has a solution.
I have 5000 files on the drive.
So much of what was suggested is not practical.

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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 7108538
rbend,

What kind of files?
How large are the files?
How are the files used?
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Accepted Solution

by:
vinnyd79 earned 50 total points
ID: 7109439
This will do it

http://www.pc-magic.com/
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 7109506
thanks, vinnyd79.  That looks like an interesting product.
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Author Comment

by:rbend
ID: 7110192
vinnyd79:
Interesting program, however when you hide folders then move the drive to another machine, the files are visible again.
I have about 5000 mp3 files I need to protect in this way.
I want them only to play using my software and not be copyable from the HD.
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 7110290
that's why they should be strongly encrypted.  It won't matter if they are copied, they can't be played.
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