Archive for the ‘Office Hack’ Category

Office Hack Series – 4 : Hide Drive Letters or Partitions from Appearing in My Computer

September 28, 2010 1 comment

Note : This post assumes that you have administrator rights on the target PC.

Scenario : You have certain amount of personal data stored on your Work – PC or Laptop. You are required to go out of town for some days and dont want anyone (*coughcough* boss *coughcough*) snooping around those files. or You want to create a backup which anyone cannot  see or modify.

Solution : A simple way, rather than buying any of those expensive file encryption softwares would be to not allow anyone to see those files….and no i dont mean setting the folder properties to hidden.

We have already discussed, how to hide Folders and how to hide certain types of files, Now lets move on to hiding Entire Partitons or Drives.

Normally, Drives are partitioned such that the system drive (C:) is where Windows is installed and more partitions based on your requirement D:,E: and so on… Let us assume that G drive is where you save all your files, documents and etc. All you need to do is to hide G: drive from My Computer and that should do it. So here is how you should go about easily hiding G drive letter partition from appearing in My Computer.

Method 1 :

1. Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > and run Computer Management.  Expand Computer Management (Local) > Storage > Disk Management.  Right click the G: drive partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths..

2. Select G: drive, click Remove button and click OK.

3. To add back the drive letter, follow the above steps, and click Add button. Make sure Assign the following drive letter is selected and click OK.

Method 2 :

U can also hide ur drives with the Microsoft Management Console.

Just go to Start, then RUN and write gpedit.msc next go to user configuration —> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Windows Explorer –> there u will find 2 options 1 is to Hide the Drives and the other one is so that no one can access the drives.

Option 1. Click to Enlarge

Option 2. Click to Enlarge

If you hide the drive from being shown in Explorer, it can still be accessed by writing its path in Explorer address bar. To completely hide them, select the option to prevent access as well for added measure.

Added Advantage :  By hiding a partition, virus wouldn’t be able to infect the files in the hidden drive. so your backup of all that data is safe.

Note : For best results, make sure that the partition you use is the last partition to avoid anyone getting suspicious of missing drive letters in between.

Office Hack Series – 3 : Hide Mp3 files

September 26, 2010 2 comments

Scenario : You have a whole load of music files on your Office PC (All work and no play makes jack a dull boy…..;)) and you want to hide it from prying eyes.

Solution : Now this method is a form of encryption – Steganography…..the science of hiding information. What we are going to do is take the music file and hide it “inside” an image file. And the beauty of the method is the simplicity and non-reliance on external tools….You just need the basic command prompt which is available with every Windows os.

So here’s what you need to do :

1. Go to run –> type cmd –> Navigate to the folder where your music files are stored.

2. Now type the foll. command : copy Image_File_Name/b + Audio_File_Name/b Output_File_Name

here, All the file names are complete with extensions. e.g.  Image_File_Name => image.jpg or image.bmp Audio_File_Name  => song.mp3  Output_File_Name => combine.bmp or combined.jpg(can be any extension but extension of image is recommended)

3. This will result in a new file being created inside the folder with a size the sum of both the image file and the audio file. For all practical purposes, it will appear like an image file but when you try to play it in a music player(like Winamp or VLC… does not work with Windows media player….dunno why ???!), it will play the hidden music file.

Just to be sure i decided to try the method on different file formats and the results i got are tabulated below :

Combining GIF JPG BMP
wma No No No
mp3 Yes Yes Yes
wmv No No No

As shown above, the method only works if you have mp3 files……still better than having no options. right ??

Added tip : to make the files look authentic, use images already on your PC….try using search for them.

Know of Some other method, Let me know in the comments…..till then Stay Sharp and Happy Listening…..

Office Hack Series 2 : Hiding Files and Folders

September 24, 2010 2 comments

Scenario : Your company policy forbids you from storing certain types of files on your Office PC, but you have a bunch of those files on your hard drive, so how do you hide it ??

Solution : Well the simplest way to do this would be by hiding it via folder options. But that is too simple of a method and in your office you would expect the admin department to know this trick……so what other thing can you do ??

Method 1 : This method uses CLSID trick. now you may ask what is a “CLSID” ?? CLSID is short for Class ID. CLSID is the identification of a COM object. Simply put a Class ID (CLSID) is a 128 bit (large) number that represents a unique id for a software application or application component. Typically they are displayed like this “{AE7AB96B-FF5E-4dce-801E-14DF2C4CD681}”.

All that is fine, but how do i use it ??

Very Simple..collect all your files in a single folder and rename it to one of the below CLSID’s. This will result in the folder icon being changed, according to the CLSID, to a new icon and any efforts to enter it will be diverted to the actual object.

List of CLSID’s :

.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} (= My Computer)
.{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103} (= My Documents)
.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} (= My Network Places)
.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} (= Recycle Bin)
.{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} (= Internet Explorer)
.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} (= Control Panel)
.{D20EA4E1-3957-11D2-A40B-0C5020524153} (= Administrative Tools)
.{00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} (= Inbox)
.{D20EA4E1-3957-11D2-A40B-0C5020524152} (= Fonts)
.{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E} (= Network Connections)
.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} (= Printers and Faxes)
.{7BE9D83C-A729-4D97-b5A7-1B7313C39E0A} (= Programs Folder)
.{E211B736-43FD-11D1-9EFB-0000F8757FCD} (= Scanners and Cameras)
.{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} (= Scheduled Tasks)
.{48E7CAAB-B918-4E58-A94D-505519C795DC} (= Start Menu Folder)
.{7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933} (= Temporary Internet Files)
.{BDEADF00-C265-11d0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F} (= Web Folders)
.{6DFD7C5C-2451-11D3-A299-00C04F8EF6AF} (= Folder Options)
.{00020801-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} (= Folder)
.{00021400-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} (= Another Folder)

e.g. You have a folder named “Private”. Simply rename it to “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”

That will result in the folder icon being changed to Default Control Panel icon and any effort to double click will divert you to the Control Panel.

so how do i change it back ?? go to command prompt navigate to the folder where the folder is located and change the name using the command

ren old_name new_name

but doing this time and again can be cumbersome, so lets notch it up a bit……we will create a batch(.bat) file to change and restore the names

So here’s how to go about it :

1. In the same location where you created that folder, create a new file in Notepad, copy the following code into it, replace Private with the name of your folder and save it as lock.bat. To save the file as a .bat file in Notepad, go to file option and click save as, Enter the name lock.bat and then click Save.

ren Private My Computer.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}

2. Create another NotePad file and type in the following listed below and save it as “key.bat”.

ren My Computer.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d} Private

Now you’ll have lock.bat and key.bat along with your folder.

3. Go ahead and double-click on lock.bat and your folder will turn into My Computer icon and nothing inside can be viewed. Clicking on it will simply bring you to the My Computer Panel. To change it back, Click on key.bat nad Voila!!!! you have your folder back. That way all your files can be stored on the desktop in a non-conspicuous way. Sweet, Huh ?? Happy Hiding…..;)

Method 2 : In this method, You collect all this files in a single folder, then compress the folders using a compression utility like WinZip or Winrar. After that is done, you rename the “” to “file.pst“. why .pst you ask ?? because a Personal Storage Table (.pst) is the file format used to store copies of messages and other items within Microsoft software such as Windows Messaging, and Microsoft Outlook. and normally in a professional environment Outlook is the default Email cient. So all your Files are converted into a more readily available and less suspicious Single file. Neat huh ??

Added tip : You could also add password protected support and encrypt file names(available in Winrar), that way your files cannot be easily identified by file identifiers also.

Office Hack Series 1 : Forgot to mention subject in Outlook mail???

September 22, 2010 1 comment

Scenario : You use Microsoft Outlook for your official correspondence. But you keep forgetting to add Subject to your mails. How do you overcome that ??

Solution : Yes…. It’s a concern for all. A mail without a subject creates a bad impression and makes us appear Unprofessional. So how do you avoid this.

To avoid this, just follow the simple steps mentioned below : –

1. Open your Outlook.
2. Press Alt+F11. This opens the Visual Basic Editor and open Project-Project 1 (left side). If this doesn’t open Project-Project 1 then press then Press Ctrl+R.
3. On the Left Pane, you can see “Microsoft Outlook Objects” or “Project1”, expand this. Now you can see the “ThisOutLookSession”.
4. Double click on “ThisOutLookSession”. It will open up a Code Pane on the right hand side.
5. Copy and Paste the following code in the right pane (Code Pane) and save it
Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, Cancel As Boolean)
Dim strSubject As String
strSubject = Item.Subject
If Len(Trim(strSubject)) = 0 Then
Prompt$ = “Subject is Empty. Are you sure you want to send the Mail?”
If MsgBox(Prompt$, vbYesNo + vbQuestion + vbMsgBoxSetForeground, “Check for Subject”) = vbNo Then
Cancel = True
End If
End If
End Sub
For the technologically challenged……what this step does is adds the above code to outlook as Macro.
6. Now whenever you try to send a mail without subject, a pop-up is raised to remind you of the blank subject.

Note : This issue has been addressed in Office 2010 but works for previous versions.
Hope this helps…..till then….Stay Sharp….
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