Instructables

A Few Ways To Hide Data On A Computer

If you're interested in coding or batch scripting, check out my latest Ible here.

A lot of people can't do more with a computer than type a Word document or make a "picture", so called, on Paint. Of course most people reading this instructable will know a bit more about Windows than that. But even people whose knowledge is limited to browsing the Web have digital secrets they would like to conceal from prying eyes (and chances are, the more you know about computers and related items, the more you will have to hide). This -ible is meant to give a few ideas to people who can really use computers about hoarding information, teach people who know the basics a few ways to hide sensitive data, and perhaps inspire the computer illiterate to learn something (though the last group will most likely never get a chance to read this page).
You need:

> A Computer
> A Little Bit of Your Time
> A Little Patience: this is my first instructable.

  • This instructable is not meant for people who are so completely "computer illiterate" that they do not understand computer basics, such as how to navigate directories, save documents, etc. If you have trouble saving a Word document to your desktop instead of My Documents, I advise you to learn the simple things first (just opening My Computer and browsing folders is surprisingly informative) before continuing here.
 
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Uthulyz3 days ago

To get the .tmp to work I just changed the file extension to ".exe" and it booted no issue.

Thanks for the help too, Mano!

account3r22 years ago
I like making caches...

I thought of that a long time ago and saw that it was on Instructables...

It is very cool though!
UnderManiac2 years ago
Batch files are way too easy to read, by just right clicking on them and selecting "edit". Not a bad idea if the person looking for stuff like that knows anything about batch files.
UnderManiac2 years ago
You can easily change the file extension back to .txt to make it readable in notepad. Using software to hide text, pics, etc, inside a picture works very well. There are several programs out there that can do that. Hide a porn pic inside a background or other normal pic. Only you know which picture contains it.
You and your friends can communicate privately by typing your text and hiding it in a picture, send the picture and they can decode it. Don't modify the picture in any way after you encode it with text, or the text will become unrecoverable.
llamma10104 years ago
Ok i'm sorry to break it to you but your thinking to hard. some on can just right click on the batch press edit and get pass.  i suggest that you put the batch  in a hole in the wall.
If you don't want that to happen, go to f2ko.com and download their .bat to .exe converter.
there are people amongst us, that reverse an exe built by a novice within seconds...
lpdunwell2 years ago
first thing I do, if I cannot open a file is look at it with my trusty hex editor.
Oroka5 years ago
Personally I use a separate partition. When not in use, I go into Disk Management, and remove the drive letter. The drive goes away until you reapply a drive letter to it in Disk Management. I am sure you can apply more security to this 'hidden' drive, but it serves my purposes ;)
El Mano (author)  Oroka3 years ago
TrueCrypt is great for that, too.
 How about disguising a batch file in a steganograph? Check my recent instructable "steganography the easy way" to know how, or maybe just disguise the file with steganography in the first place...
RedFlash4 years ago
Fuel bills would be a bit expensive =)
 Very Very Good, but i was wondering why, whenever i open the Batch file that the text has filled another line. Please help me.
El Mano (author)  DarklordNinja9874 years ago
I'll try to answer both questions at once. 

By "multiple files" I'm guessing you want to get sveral identical text files unpacked, perhaps in seperate locations?

Where does this extra line appear?
 The  text appears underneath the original text, and i wish to make more than one DIFFERENT batch files please help
El Mano (author)  DarklordNinja9874 years ago
For each line you want unpacked, put it between "echo" and ">"/">>"

echo Hello! I am a text file.>X.txt
echo This is a second line beneath the previous one.>>X.txt
echo The End>>X.txt

This would create a txt file with three lines, line one saying "I am a text file," and line three saying "The End."

To create multiple files:

echo I am file # 1>PATH\File_1.txt
echo I am file # 5345422A>PATH\File_5345422A.txt
nivekcizia4 years ago
 you can right-click->edit a batch file and it'll show everything in it. This isn't a very good way to store things
 and how do i create multiple "batches"?
on my pc it saves the files as .tmp....is that problem from my pc or????
WhiteDemon5 years ago
Try to make a "Cache" with the .txt document instead of archive.That text can be seen when you open your picture with notepad.It will be situated at the end of the whole text in Notepad.And your picture can still be opened as a picture
El Mano (author)  WhiteDemon5 years ago
Good idea...It wouldn't work with most files, but it would be a handy way to hide passwords.
erikals5 years ago
Mate, thank you for the great 'ible. This instructable has unlocked secrets of xp I did not even know existed. Thank you again.
you could also change the font on all of your word documents into the symbols and then place them into the secret file
jchar775 years ago
Nice car! Where did you get it from? :D
rohxas5 years ago
hmmm, good idea, but the program doesnt seem to be working for me. any idea about that?
El Mano (author)  rohxas5 years ago
Storage Bin Creator is in batch now. Let me know if it doesn't work.
El Mano (author)  rohxas5 years ago
I know that two of the three computers in my house have AVG 8 virus protection, which prevents the program from running, showing a message titled "Storage Bin Creator.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close...", followed by a "Threat detected; Heal, Move to Vault; Ignore" window. I had to uninstall AVG to compile the batch file. I compiled the .bat file because the safe icon looks better than the batch file icon, but there's no point if one can't run the program; I'll add the batch version as soon as I can.
hg3415 years ago
well this was nicei say this know that im REALLY good with pcsi would like to know how to compile a .bat file to a .exe file

and you should add a step about turecrypt
http://www.truecrypt.org/
El Mano (author)  hg3415 years ago
You can find a fairly good batch compiler http://www.f2ko.de/English/b2e/download.php. I couldn't get this program to work until I disabled my virus protection; AVG immediately tagged any .exe it compiled as a virus, and promptly destroyed it.

Yes I know about TrueCrypt. Ironically, I discovered it literally five minutes after I published this instructable.
hg341 El Mano5 years ago
wow thats funny and thanks for the link
hg341 hg3415 years ago
btw is that a Ogame background?
sure looks like ogame or evogame
El Mano (author)  terrapinlogo5 years ago
It is simply a wallpaper. I needed a picture for the intro, so I took a screenshot of my desktop.
gschoppe5 years ago
as a technician, I can say that in the course of diagnosing a computer, I would likely discover or delete any and all data stored in these manners... I would read any bat files I find, definitely check out any nonstandard folders, and open any "misbehaving" image files with a hex editor ... these are common virus techniques for basic obfuscation... I would not trust them for anything more than simple "security through obscurity" ... which is only useful if no one skilled wants your information.
El Mano (author)  gschoppe5 years ago
First of all, nothing is ever, ever, completely secure. If you can access something, there are probably six ways to crack, trick, or manipulate it. These are ways you could hide things from nosy family members, coworkers, and/or friends, but yes, as you made clear, no one with expert PC knowledge and a couple of good programs would be fooled.

Second, what is a hex editor?
a hex editor is a program that allows you to view and change any file as straight hexadecimal numbers... most hex editors also show binary and ascii (or unicode) representations... they are pretty darn useful in reverse engineering or editing compiled programs or file formats that don't provide a spec... also useful for figuring out when a jpeg isn't a jpeg, or when programs' skin files are really renamed zip files or such things...
jdege5 years ago
If the cops are looking at your computer, they'll hand it off to a computer forensics specialist who will run a program that scans every disk block, searching for incriminating content. It will even pick up deleted files - hiding things with odd file or directory names won't help. The only security is encryption - and even that is true only if you can ensure that non unencrypted copy is ever written to disk.
El Mano (author)  jdege5 years ago
As I said above, these are methods of hiding things from your family and friends. They would never keep anything from a skilled technician. If you have reciepts for murder weapons or files you use on your underground Anti-Obama radio show and the cops are closing in on you, I advise you to A) Encrypt everything on your computer, or B) Place a large pile of thermite on top of your poor PC and cremate it.
portpatty5 years ago
I would suggest just using a secure USB drive