Let’s hide our stuff…

Disclaimer: This article is contributed to Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7 & 8) only. And, I’m pretty sure that this will definitely be boring for computer geeks…

What are attributes?

Before we start, let’s get into the terminology of attributes, which is nothing but some parameter which defines the properties of an object. One or more attributes can be assigned to a single object at a time. What’s needed for us now is the File Attribute. In addition to the metadata such as “date created” (which you may have seen when you’re hovering your mouse), four other basic properties (attributes) can be assigned to a file or folder such as Read Only, Hidden, System and Archive. Looks very simple indeed, it’s very important for our dirty activity now.

These attributes can also be invoked via command line through the ATTRIB command. Go to your Command prompt and type the following:

attrib -h -s -r /s /d F:\*

What does it do? The attrib command sets (+) or removes (-) attributes of a file or folder. The path is given at the last. F:\* tells the “attrib” command to apply the attributes to every single file or folder in that location (in this case, your F: drive). The “\s” is to apply to sub-directories (crawls into each & every folder) if any, whereas “\d” is to apply to folder names.

The -h -s and -r is the kind of attributes that need to be applied. The “minus” sign indicates that the attributes need to be removed. I’ve used read-only (r), system file (s) and hidden file (h) attributes. So, this command reveals everything inside the F:\ drive. If you replace with “plus” sign, these attributes will be added, thereby hiding the objects in the drive, making it read-only and system’s critical things.

Note: This can be useful sometime. My drive was infected by a virus which replaced every single entity inside the drive to a shortcut. It maybe shocking at the first look. But, the directories are still there. The virus has just hidden the files & folders, made shortcuts and locked the attributes option (so that none can remove it). But, the command line force-removes the attributes, so that one can obtain the files anytime.

Our idea to hide stuff…

What we’re gonna do is to make a batch file which creates a locker for us, where we can put things into and hide it so that no one can find it. It’s very useful and different from hidden files in a sense that hidden files can be brought out by a search query. But, this doesn’t! It simply shields the directories…

cls
@ECHO OFF
if EXIST "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" goto GET
if NOT EXIST Files goto MAKE
:HIDE
ren Files "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
attrib +h +s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
goto END
:GET
attrib -h -s "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}"
ren "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" Files
goto END
:MAKE
md Files
goto END
:END

What you gotta do is create a batch file containing the above code (Use a text editor like “Notepad” to create a “.bat” file). Run it. Now ask me, “What the heck is going on?”

In Windows XP, the Control Panel can be invoked from anywhere using that “large stuff” in braces.

To check this, create a new folder somewhere and rename it to “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”. The folder transforms into a Control Panel. Opening the folder will link you to your Control Panel, instead of showing the stuff inside it. Even a search query can’t detect the folder (nor the files inside it). Rename it again to something else, and you’ll get your files back. Unless you put the folder in an empty drive and a clever guy finds the difference in the drive’s free space, this is totally a clever way for hiding things.

What does this program do? It searches for a folder named “Files”. If it’s not there, the program makes one for its use at the first run. Running the program again (i.e) if it’s there, it renames the existing “Files” to the Control Panel “thing” and applies hidden & system file attribute, so that the folder remains private forever…

Running it again brings the directories back into existence!

Note: This works only for Windows XP. Renaming folder to “Control Pa….” doesn’t do any good in Vista, 7 or 8. It still remains as a stupid folder.

Don’t worry Vista, 7 and 8 users…

You have your own unique accessibility environment called the God Mode which gives enough facilities that you can do inside your Windows OS. So, why do you need a control panel? Just use the Master Control Panel, as the XP access code doesn’t work for future Windows versions.

Replace the “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” with “God.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” and you’re done…

People can rename an empty folder and transform it to the God mode (if they wanna test it like XP). But, you can’t rename it again (unlike XP). It requires command line. I don’t suggest people to try it on a folder-you-use. It won’t get lost. But, it’s quite tricky for beginners. In the above program, the batch file itself does the job of renaming & applying attributes. So, it won’t cause any issues…

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