Introduction: Hide Passwords in an Old Floppy Disk

Picture of Hide Passwords in an Old Floppy Disk

These days, everything on the internet needs an account. Most people, like me, tend to forget all their user names and passwords, then when you are asked to log in, you have to have your password sent to you. Lots of people write down their passwords on note cards and leave them lying around, easy for anybody to pick up and use to their advantage. Here's a way you can hide your passwords so that you can find them yourself, but it would be tough for a burglar or a sneaky guest to figure out where you put them.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The only materials you will need are:

Old Floppy disk
Glue, preferably stick and bottle

Step 2: Put Your Passwords on Paper

The passwords need to be either written down or printed. The smaller they are, the more you can fit in your floppy disk. Type it at size 7, or the smallest size that you can read. You can write them too, but if you have a printer, I advise printing them instead. You can organize them however you want, just remember that the "viewing window" is only 1 X 3/8 inch, (2.5 X 1 cm) so don't make them too big.

I organized mine by first writing what the account's for, then my username, then the password, so like this:


Step 3: Take Apart the Disk

Picture of Take Apart the Disk

Taking apart the floppy disk isn't too hard. Take note of the way you disassembled it so we can put it back together later.

First you need to take off the metal piece without bending it too badly. Try getting your fingers under the edges, spreading them apart, and lifting. After that's off, there will be a spring. Keep it!

After the metal piece is off and put somewhere safe, the two plastic pieces need to be split apart. At the top, there will be a spot that's open already. Put your knife into it and slide it to one of the corners. Once it can't go any farther, twist it gently. This will pry them apart. Keep doing this all the way around until it's split apart completely. Be careful and don't shatter the actual casing, because it will be put back together at the end.

Inside there's fabric type stuff to keep the disk from scratching. That's only going to snag on our disk, so just rip it out. Some floppies have a little plastic tab under the fabric. Take that off too, along with the adhesive.

Step 4: Prepare the Disk.

Picture of Prepare the Disk.

Take your sheet of paper with the passwords on it and cut them into lengths of about 1 inch (3cm). Take these pieces and glue them to the outer side of the disk. The reason they can't be put on the inner part is because about 1/4 inch (0.75cm) is hidden and not viewable through the window.

Be sure to leave a space of at least 1 inch on the disk without any paper on it. This is to fool anybody who slides the metal piece over into thinking it's a regular floppy.

If you have enough passwords, or if you typed/wrote them real big, you might have to put some on the other side. Just don't forget to leave that empty space, and make sure it's aligned with the empty space on the other side.

I cut some blank pieces of paper and put them on also, just in case I ever need to add more to it. That way you'll be able to manually add more without having to take it all apart again.

Step 5: Reassemble the Floppy Disk

Picture of Reassemble the Floppy Disk

This is the hard part, putting it all back together. If this all sounds a bit overwhelming or confusing, just follow common sense and you should be fine.

First you need to put the little plastic sliding piece back in.

Next place your disk with passwords into the groove that it used to sit in. The disk only sits one way, so make sure it's the right way. Put glue on spots of the floppy disk casing where it will hold well. Be careful not to put any on the areas where there's holes in the casing, otherwise glue will be showing. Also make sure there's none up where the spring is at. If the glue dabs are too big, they could squeeze over to the disk in the center and stop it from spinning.

Take the spring that we saved from step 3 and place it in the groove at the top of the floppy disk. The groove is only in one half of the casing. Make sure the spring is facing the right direction, with the bend pointing down. While holding the spring so it doesn't come out, place the other half of the casing on top of the one with glue. Be sure to press tight until you feel safe that it won't come apart.

The metal piece is now bowed outwards, so we need to move it back. Squeeze where it's bent at, so the metal keeps its straightness. Squeezing it just a little bit closer than it should be can be helpful so it hugs the metal nice and tight, just don't overdo it.

Start sliding the edges over the floppy disk, and when it's close enough, let the spring go inside the metal and catch on the hook. The hook is at the very top of the metal. Push it down until the other hooks catch on the sliding ridge and the metal cover moves freely. If for some reason it doesn't move freely or spring back shut, take it apart and try again.

Step 6: You're Finished!

Picture of You're Finished!

Some tips and tricks:

-Stick a random label on it, so nobody's tempted to use it to store something on it. (Hopefully you aren't still using floppies) Something boring usually helps, such as "School Essay" or "Recovery Disk" Definitely don't write "Passwords" on it.

-Hiding it in a safe place is always fine, but if it's found, people would be suspicious why you're hiding it. Your best bet would be to shove it in a big pile of old computer junk. (Yes, we know all computer nerds are pack rats. Just kidding!)

Always follow basic security measures, such as
-Never tell anybody your passwords
-Don't use the same password for everything (That's the reason we made this!)
-Don't make your passwords and PINS something that anybody could guess, such as your birthday, name, or pet.
-Numbers are always helpful, just put some random numbers in and it increases your security greatly!
-Don't let your Internet browser store your passwords for easy login, otherwise a simple ActiveX control can steal all your cookies with your stored passwords along with it! (Tech jargon)
-The best passwords are something random.
1.Start with a stupid phrase (eg. "vacuum likes dogs")
2.Spell it wrong-"vacyoum lykes dawgs"
3.Add some numbers-"vacyoum4lykes1dawgs"
4.Throw in some odd characters-"$vacyoum4lykes1dawgs"
5.Write it on your trusty floppy drive, because I forgot it already!


bertus52x11 (author)2013-10-29

nice idea!!!

tanello2 (author)2012-06-26

one extra info for this password holder,to make sure that someone will not just look at it and see that there is password inside,so i have made one spot,the part where the original film is there,so if soneone will slide the top they can see that its a normal floppy and my passwords are still safe.

jockkitto16 (author)2012-05-02

this is a very clever project, but wouldn't it be easier just put your passwords on it in a .txt file?

Wehrdo (author)jockkitto162012-05-07

Sure, it'd be easier, but it's just a fun way to reuse old floppy disks. I mean, who really has a computer capable of reading them, anyway? Besides, it leaves behind no digital trace.

spencermon (author)2011-12-10

I am going to do this! great idea. i was just wondering what to do with a floppy disk.

also this is funny

Wehrdo (author)spencermon2011-12-25

I'm glad somebody else is making one. I still refer to mine when I forget my password(s).

BTW, I love xkcd!

Wehrdo (author)2009-09-02

That's a good idea, but most people don't have a little thing that prints out stickers.

fromdad (author)Wehrdo2009-12-11

thats why you print it on paper and glue it on. Did you read the instructions. But nice work. I love the idea

Johnnyp161 (author)fromdad2010-03-10

 haha you're funny..
you just told the author to read the instructions :D


account3r2 (author)Johnnyp1612010-09-04

lol that is funny now that i see it

timothymh (author)2010-05-01

 Or, get a mini CD-R (the kind you can rewrite) and put your passwords in a file on that and use the floppy disk as a holder for it... or not. *realizes he forgot to put the whole message in italics*

Wehrdo (author)timothymh2010-05-12

The biggest problem with that is easily removing and replacing the disk when it's needed.  I just noticed now that all the comments are in italics.  How come yours isn't?

timothymh (author)Wehrdo2010-05-13

 My comment isn't italicized because I don't unnecessarily italicize words. Do you have a problem with that?

Morriscow (author)timothymh2010-05-26

yeah i do, you got a problem with that?

timothymh (author)Morriscow2010-05-27

 no comment.

olvegrn (author)2009-08-30

great idea!I can't wait to try it out! I gotta find a floppy......'

timothymh (author)olvegrn2010-05-01

 Floppy disks are extremely common at yard sales.

Wehrdo (author)olvegrn2009-09-18

Thanks. Floppies seem to become rarer and rarer every day.

Kryptonite (author)Wehrdo2009-10-30

I have one with my year 6 pictures on it, I'd better save it on the computer before nothing reads floppies!

mastermayhem117 (author)2009-12-09

Fun stuff! Love it! And I think I recognize that Gateway disk, I had one just like it that went with my Gateway 2000. Frist computer my house ever owned..

DJ Radio (author)2009-11-18

I will definitely try to look in a floppy disk in the future... who knows what I will find?  Maybe a teacher's password lolz.

metalman84405 (author)2009-10-03

Here is a trick I used in making this project. Just in case someone actually stumbles upon the passwords hidden inside the floppy, make an anagram of your password. If you reorder the letters to your one will be the wiser. Just a thought for those of you out there who are a bit more paranoid. Cheers!

Wehrdo (author)metalman844052009-10-13

Hmm, that's a great idea!  Never thought about that.  Maybe you could make an instructable on how to make an anagram.

bobhdus (author)2009-08-27

That's a great idea. On my old computer I used to put all my passwords on a word document titled "Virus-do not open" for those that like to pry. It scared everybody so they would not go near it when they used my computer.

Wehrdo (author)bobhdus2009-08-27

I personally would open that file lol. I mean, who the heck keeps a virus sitting around on their computer? Except for those Linux users who like to feel special and place viruses on their desktops like trophies, haha.

DrCoolSanta (author)Wehrdo2009-08-28

Second that opinion, it'll be the first thing I will open o.o Btw, who would call an infected file a virus.

bobhdus (author)DrCoolSanta2009-08-28

I understand what you guys are saying but my wifes computer has been hit so hard with virus issues that she is gun shy when it comes to virus's on computers. She used Norton 360 and it was like a magnet for virus's. The folder name has kept my wife and kids from opening that folder on my computer for years. I don't let anyone else use my computer other than them and even that must be an emergency. Some folks don't share there Harley and others go even further with their computers. I have Linux Ubunta OS ready for the day my wifes computer finally craps out.

DrCoolSanta (author)bobhdus2009-09-16

Why wait till then? Ubuntu is the only decent OS that I have used. I'm pretty sure some day, they'll know. I have used my mobile phone earlier, saved it in a password protected file (you know put it in a zip and password protect it.) I have even kept it as a draft on my main email account. This instructable was the only thing that I liked a lot, but I am pretty sure some day, my mom would throw away all the floppies in the house.

livefree (author)bobhdus2009-08-29

Thanks to Harvey Mackay, I have file folders (and online documents and directories) that have names such as "Discontinued Canadian Operations, 1998-1999" and the bad guys fall asleep before they even finishing reading the name of the ZZzzzzzz........

M4industries (author)bobhdus2009-08-27

That's pure genius. Or just a bit of thought. Either way, I think I might do that.

Tommyhzy (author)2009-08-30

Put it on the Floppy disk! That way you'll never forget the password!

Foaly7 (author)Tommyhzy2009-09-12

Yeah, use a normal word that is the keyword for a Playfair cipher on the label for the floppy disc, and make the final decryption of the Playfair your password.

Wehrdo (author)Tommyhzy2009-08-31

Haha great answer!

ReCreate (author)2009-08-28

Windows 3.1? Wow, Can you create images of those disks and upload them?

junits15 (author)ReCreate2009-08-30

you could google for them, the downloads should be safe as long as they arent torrents.

ReCreate (author)junits152009-08-30

Haha that's so funny :D And so not true! Torrents are safe. Once, i saw something that was supposed to be a windows 7 activation crack, so i downloaded it and decompiled it, it was a virus that uploads all your passwords to some guy's server. And guess what, it was deleted in 5 minutes.

junits15 (author)ReCreate2009-09-01

But, if lets say you download a Microsoft office 07' torrent, (or something else illegal it is traceable to your computer and the "men in black suits" can find you although it is unlikely. That’s not to say there aren't legitimate torrents that are legal

ReCreate (author)junits152009-09-01

Oh yea, They aren't legal, At least those.
Well, It is Extremely Unlikely, It would cost them by far way too much time, And Is simply not possible.
If you see in the "legal threats page" on the pirate bay You can see many Company's And such demanding for that information, And the Site owner does not give, Never, Not to mention that he would not have that information either, nor would there be an easy way to track down the user.

junits15 (author)ReCreate2009-09-03

oh ok

ReCreate (author)junits152009-09-05

So i win! Where is my cookie? :D

junits15 (author)ReCreate2009-09-07

yes you win, but sadly cookie monster paid a visit......... XD

ReCreate (author)junits152009-09-07

Oh well XD

Wehrdo (author)ReCreate2009-08-29

No, because the floppy drive on my computer is broken, and has to be disconnected otherwise my computer won't boot. Sorry.

ReCreate (author)Wehrdo2009-08-29

Gah! that's horrible :( Well, Neat I'ble here, Rated :)

Wehrdo (author)ReCreate2009-08-29


ReCreate (author)Wehrdo2009-08-29

Your welcome :)

ReCreate (author)2009-08-30

otherwise a simple ActiveX control can steal all your cookies with your stored passwords along with it! (Tech jargon)
That is if you use Internet Explorer, The evil brother that wants to kill you.
I use firefox, The helpful father.

Wehrdo (author)ReCreate2009-09-02

Yes, Firefox is great. (and the other browsers too)

ReCreate (author)Wehrdo2009-09-03


ReCreate (author)2009-08-30

I...use the same password for everything...i find it next to impossible to use and remember different passwords for everything.

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