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XP file security w/password

Posted on 2005-05-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hello wizards ...
I use XP pro n my HD is partitioned 3 ways - all as FAT.
I want to know how can i secure a file/ folder using passwords for me as an Admin (wherin someone could use the PC under my login - yet needs a pw to go ahead to open folders) OR for other users on this PC with separate logins  ??

I prefer using the inbuilt Win security, if any.   Also a 3rd party software which is FREE will do but thats the last option ..

Thx
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Question by:rajivmhas
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:softplus
ID: 13976355
You can't use windows security with FAT. You might want to look into changing your FS to NTFS, where this is no problem. But even on NTFS, if you have physical access to the computer, other people COULD access your files (eg. boot disk with tools :))
If you use a 3rd party software, you would have to use one that encrypts your files, e.g. PGP (free for private use).
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Expert Comment

by:luv2smile
ID: 13977246
NTFS is much more secure than FAT and has built in permissions so that you can control WHICH users have access to WHICH files/folders and what type of access they have (lots of advanced options).  This is much more secure than just password protecting a file. Each user of the computer should have their own username and then if that user doesn't have rights to a file then they will get an "access denied" message if they try to open it.

Your other option as mentioned above is to use a 3rd party tool.  
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by:star57tech
ID: 13979630
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Expert Comment

by:Reid Palmeira
ID: 13981999
yep, the first step is to shift your file system over to NTFS, then you can set permissions on the folders for particular users.

There are alternatives such as pgp which can be used to encrypt files and thus protect them from prying eyes, but this doesn't use built in windows users and if you forget the password, you're lost.

cheers,
reid
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Author Comment

by:rajivmhas
ID: 13984204
Ty for the info.
Having done the PC as FAT.. is there a way to configure it as NTFS w/o losing any data or for that matter reinstalling all the data !! Is it necessary to have all drives as NTFS or just the C drive ? I wanted to install Linux Mandrake somewhere down the line and was informed that the drive shud be FAT .. Is this true?

Will look into the PGP option but like I said .. last option ..
Thx again
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Author Comment

by:rajivmhas
ID: 13984233
Just searched for PGP on google.
And nowhere on the PGP weblink is there a free for home/private use section. Unless I missed it
Its either a free 30 day trial OR purchase ! Any other ideas.
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
kneH earned 375 total points
ID: 13984271
www.pgpi.com is free for personal usage.

Also you might want to look into the convertion tools to convert FAT to NTFS without formatting or anything.

Lastly.
You could just hide your files from the other user. Be creative. Will work.
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by:star57tech
ID: 13988675
Yes the program I mentioned has a 30 day trial, And I have 3 people that uses my computer at times, and instred of going through everything, I just open the program and choose file or diretory that I want password protected and its done.

Your question on conversion
Here is microsoft link to do that and the run command below
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/convertfat.mspx

To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt
1.
 Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
 
2.
 In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
 

For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.

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Expert Comment

by:Naser Gabaj
ID: 14002567
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LVL 22

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by:Reid Palmeira
ID: 14033992
The pgp "trial" for pgp desktop is both a trial and still fucntional software. It disables full features after 30 days but still allows you sign and encrypt and decrpty files which sounds like it may be all you need. kneh also points you to http://www.pgpi.com though i think that for freeware one of the few options for windows xp is pgp desktop, the same trial software at this link:
http://www.pgp.com/downloads/desktoptrial.html

cheers,
reid
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LVL 12

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by:kneH
ID: 14201893
Cheers for the creds.

And good luck trying to sort privacy ;)
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