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Power Tips [part 1] – Power to the console

Summary

You can squeeze a lot more out of your applications than you think. Most of these tricks will significantly boost your productivity.

Private Disk offers you an intuitive interface that allows you to manage your virtual encrypted images. However, once all the parameters were set, you don't really need the interface anymore. All the actions can be performed with the command line switches, a list of them can be found here. Not only that the command line gives you the same flexibility, but it also allows you to integrate your privacy into Windows in a very subtle way.


How?

First of all, you should rename your image to something like sysdrv.xtt and move it to a location others will not mess with (this excludes places such as my documents, the desktop, or a folder named my secret files…). After that, create a shortcut that launches Private Disk with the command line switches that suit your needs best. Usually, this will do:

"c:\program files\dekart\private disk\prvdisk.exe" /nosystray /nohotkeys /noexitdialog /path:c:\winnt\drivers\sysdrv.xtt

Name this shortcut inmatrix and place it in your Windows directory. Then create another shortcut, for instance outmatrix and write the following text to it:

"c:\program files\dekart\private disk\prvdisk.exe" /unload 

You have just created two handy shortcuts that can be used in the following way: press Win+R and type inmatrix, then hit Enter to connect your virtual encrypted disk (you will be prompted for the password). In the same way, you can disconnect the disk by typing outmatrix.

Note: Instead of Win+R you can simply press Start\Run… and type these commands. They can be used at the command prompt (console) too.

Note: The path to Prvdisk.exe is enclosed in double quotation marks. This has to be done when the path to the file includes folders which contain spaces in their names (ex: Program Files). The path to the image file doesn't have to be enclosed in double quotation marks, because Private Disk uses its own path parsing mechanism.


Remarks

As you probably figured out, inmatrix and outmatrix can be changed to anything: open-portal and close-portal, live and die, start and close etc. You can use names like ttfnhz or ptrdsklib too; however, this is definitely not the most intuitive pair of commands out there.

The point is that if you want to keep this 'low profile', the commands should be enigmatic, so that someone who may be watching does not remember them. Yet this is not a great problem, because once the command is executed, the password is still needed. To get a better idea of the seriousness of this, see this article about the strength of AES 256-bit.

We strongly advise you not to add the /password parameter to the .bat file that mounts the disk, if anyone finds out what your command is – your data is compromised.

You can further enhance this technique by configuring Windows not to keep a list of previously executed commands. Actually, we recommend you do this, as this measure will create another 'safety layer' between your data and the rest of the world.

Beginning with Private Disk 2.05, you can use the disconnect on time-out feature. This will back you up in case you forgot to run the dismount command before leaving your workstation.

Another thing you could do, is create a shortcut to the batch file in the same directory, edit its properties and assign a hotkey to it. From this moment on, all you have to do is press the previously defined combination of keys.


Available commands

minimize

start the program minimized to system tray;

/ path : YourFileImage

activate virtual encrypted disk from this file-image;

/ password : YourPassword

connect virtual encrypted disk using the password;

/ symbol : DiskSymbol

connect encrypted disk under the specified disk symbol (disk letter);

/ dismount

disconnect all virtual encrypted disks;

/ dismount : DiskSymbol

disconnect the specified encrypted disk using it's disk symbol;

/ unload

disconnect all encrypted disks and close the program without confirmation;

/ nosystray

hide system tray icon at the right side of the task bar;

/ nohotkeys

disable Dekart Private Disk's hotkeys;

/ noexitdialog

do not display exit confirmation dialog at program closing4

/ logfile

create error log-files in the system disk root (e.g. in the "C:\"): dk_pd.log and dk_pdapi.log.

             


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