Jan 082018
 
Fast Lock version 2.0 - Software "lock" for your hard disk.
File FSTLOCK2.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category System Diagnostics
Fast Lock version 2.0 – Software “lock” for your hard disk.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
FL.EXE 67541 36924 deflated
README 15375 5130 deflated

Download File FSTLOCK2.ZIP Here

Contents of the README file


This file contains additional information about FastLock. You can print
it using the DOS "print" command if you so desire.

------------------------------ Contents ---------------------------------

This guide is organized into sections in the following order.

* What is FastLock?
* New features in version 2.0.
* Warnings.
* Screen readability (Alt-M)
* Configuration options
- Default Password
- Master Password
- Park Disk Heads
- Speed
* Lost or forgotten passwords.
* Boot problems.
* Limitations.

------------------------- What is FastLock? -----------------------------

The concept behind FastLock is simple. It is designed to be a software
"lock" for your hard disk. It was originally designed for laptop
hard-disk based computers, most of which do not come with a physical lock
and key like AT-class desktop machines do. However, it works quite well
for single-user desktop machines also. Its basic purpose is to provide a
medium level of security for the data on your hard disk in a program that
is quick and easy to use. It is NOT designed for handling multi-user
security issues or protecting extremely valuable data. You can liken
FastLock to the lock on your front door or on your briefcase. Most of us
use such locks because they are easy to use, don't cost too much, and they
provide us a reasonable level of security. However, if our security needs
go beyond that, we invest in things like safes, armored cars, etc. In a
similar vein, FastLock will handle the security needs of many people who
are the sole or primary user of their computer, with a minimum of cost and
fuss.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No software program can protect against damage to your
hard disk from a person of malicious intent. They can easily pick up the
computer and throw it on the floor. You should get into the habit of
doing regular backups of the data on your hard disk.

-------------------- New features in version 2.0 ----------------------

FastLock can now support any size hard disk. Formerly, it was limited
by the size of the File Allocation Table (FAT), and would not lock a
disk larger than 32 megabytes if the FAT was larger than 64K bytes.
That limitation has been removed, so FastLock will lock any size
disk, although it still only locks the bootable partition of the
first fixed disk.

FastLock now has a Default Password that can be set by the user. Once
the default password has been set, you simply need to press Enter at
the main password screen to lock the disk.

FastLock also has a Master Password for added protection against losing
your password. The master password can be used to unlock the disk regardless
of the password used to lock it.

---------------------------- Warnings ---------------------------------

FastLock operates reliably for more than 99% of its users. Be aware,
however, that if you do experience a problem, you may lose access to all
data on your hard disk. This is why we strongly suggest that you back
up all data before running FastLock the first time. Once you have
successfully locked and unlocked your disk, you can feel confident that
FastLock will operate correctly in your environment -- if it is going
to crash it will probably do so the first time.

Because of the nature of the program, it is very dependent on the
hard disk configuration and the environment you are running. We cannot
foresee all problems, but mention here some areas we have experienced
problems in before. In general, we recommend caution if you have
a non-standard computer configuration.

Disk Caching
If you are using a disk cache program, make sure that delayed
writing is turned off! Since FastLock will reboot the computer after
the locking process, the data must be written to the disk
immediately. If it is not written immediately, important information
may be lost during the lock process, which could result in losing all
data on your disk.

Disk Managing Software
FastLock is not designed to work with hard disks requiring the use
of a device driver. If your hard disk requires a driver to be installed
in CONFIG.SYS, or some other partitioning software other than FDISK,
you may lose access to all data on your hard disk if you run FastLock.

BIOS bug
Some computer BIOS's have a bug in the code that performs multiple-sector
reads and writes to the disk. This problem sometimes occurs in non-IBM
computers or disk controllers. (See "The Paul Mace Guide to Data
Recovery", page 13 for more details.) This bug can be avoided, if
it is present, by setting the Speed option to Slow (this is the default).

Multi-tasking Environments
FastLock is not designed to run under Windows, OS/2, Desqview, or any
multi-tasking environment. Loss of data may result if you attempt
to use FastLock under these circumstances.

Be sure to make a backup copy of the release diskette before using the
program. If you should forget the default or master password, the only
way to reset them is to re-copy the original FastLock program (fl.exe)
from the release diskette. Make sure you store the original copy of
the program in a safe place.

--------------------- Screen readability (Alt-M) -------------------------

By default, FastLock outputs in color if it detects that the video
adapter is capable of color output. This may result in "color"
combinations which are difficult to read if the computer has a color
video adapter connected to a monochrome screen. This situation
occurs most frequently on laptop computers. If you have any
difficulty reading parts of the screen, press Alt-M. This will force
FastLock to use monochrome output. The Alt-M key toggles FastLock
between using monochrome and color output. When running on a
computer with a true monochrome adapter, FastLock will always output
in monochrome regardless of the setting of this option.

----------------------- Configuration Options -----------------------------

The configuration menu can be reached by pressing F10 from the main password
screen. It contains the following options:

Default password

The default password can be used to lock the disk by just pressing
Enter at the main password screen, without having to type anything in.
This makes it even easier to lock the disk! It also lets you lock
the disk even if someone is watching you do it, without worrying that
they saw the password you typed.

To set the default password, select "Default Password" from the
F10 Configuration menu. You can then type in the password you want
to use as the default, and then will be asked to verify it, since the
letters are not shown on the screen.

To change the default password, select the same "Default Password" option
you used to set it. This time, however, you must be able to enter the
old default password before you set the new one. This prevents someone
from changing the default without your knowledge.

You can also lock the disk using the default password by typing
from the DOS command line:
fl /D

If you have already set the default password and have locked the disk
at least once, using the "/D" option will lock the disk without
even having to press Enter at the password screen. If FastLock is
unable to lock the disk or needs to print an error message for some
reason, it will do so in the normal manner and remain in the program
until you exit it manually.

Because the default password is stored in an encrypted form in the
program file (fl.exe), it will reduce the security of the program
slightly. If this is a concern, do not set the default password.
You can always tell if the default password has been set by checking
the status at the bottom part of the screen.

If you forget the default password, simply re-copy the program (fl.exe)
from the release diskette and set a new one.

Master password

The master password allows you to have a "back door" into FastLock.
Regardless of which password was used to lock the computer, you
can always use the master password to unlock it. This is very
useful for system administrators who want to insure they will
always have access to the computers in the office, even if someone
else locks them.

To set the default password, select "Master Password" from the
F10 Configuration menu. You can then type in the password you want
to use as the master, and then will be asked to verify it, since the
letters are not shown on the screen.

To change the master password, select the same "Master Password" option
you used to set it. This time, however, you must be able to enter the
old master password before you set the new one. This prevents someone
from changing the master without your knowledge.

Because the master password must be stored somewhere, and offers a second
way to unlock the computer, it will reduce the security of the program
slightly. If this is a concern, do not set the master password. You
can always tell if the master password has been set by checking the
status at the bottom part of the screen.

The master password is stored in an encrypted form in the fl.exe file.
If you are setting the master for several computers, set the master
password first, and then copy the program to the other machines.
If you should forget the master password, simply re-copy the program
(fl.exe) from the release diskette and set a new one.

Parking disk heads

Most fixed disks have a reserved "landing zone" over which the heads
should be "parked" before the computer is transported. Doing so
prevents the heads from destroying a data area if the computer is
bumped hard enough to cause the disk heads to impact against the disk
surface. Some fixed disks will automatically park the heads when
the computer is powered down. Others require you to run a special
"park" or "ship" utility before powering down when you want to
transport the computer.

FastLock comes with a built-in "park" or "ship" type program which is
normally executed after the disk is locked. If FastLock is able to
park the fixed disk heads successfully, you should see a message similar
to the following:

"Parking fixed disk heads ... Done"

If FastLock is unable to park the heads, you will a see message similar
to the following:

"Unable to park heads successfully."

If you see the above error message, this does not mean that there was
any problem with the disk lock. It just means that FastLock's
built-in "park" program didn't know how to park the heads on that
particular disk. Please call us if you see this message so that we
can modify FastLock to be "aware" of the hard disk type you are using
in your computer.

If you don't want FastLock to park the fixed disk heads after locking
the disk, select the "Park Disk Heads" option from the F10 Configuration
Menu, and then select "Do not park disk heads". You do not need to have
FastLock park the heads if your fixed disk is of the type that parks them
automatically after power down. However, it doesn't hurt to let FastLock
do it anyway. We would suggest that you let FastLock do the head parking
unless one of the following applies:

1) You see the "Unable to park heads" message.
2) The park operation takes more than half a second to complete.
3) You are positive that your fixed disk is "auto-parking".

Speed

There are 2 speed options, Fast and Slow. This determines how
the low-level disk drive Input/Output is done by FastLock.
Some computer BIOS's have a bug in the code that performs multiple-sector
reads and writes to the disk. This problem sometimes occurs in non-IBM
computers or disk controllers. (See "The Paul Mace Guide to Data
Recovery", page 13 for more details.)

This bug can be avoided, if it is present, by setting the Speed
option to "Slow". The "Slow" option is recommended because it is safe.
It does reads and writes one sector at a time.

Selecting "Fast" will allow FastLock to do multiple-sector reads and
writes. This will speed up the time required to lock and unlock the
disk, but it does not work on some computers. If your computer has
the BIOS bug described above, it could result in loss of data on your
fixed disk. We suggest that you only try this option if you are fully
backed up.

--------------------- Lost or Forgotten Passwords -------------------------

If you lose or forget your password, be of good cheer. We offer a service
(for a fee) that can recover your password for you if you have previously
sent in your user registration card. Call (213)850-6722 for details
regarding this service.

The reason that we must charge a fee for recovering lost passwords is that
there is no "short-cut" or "back-door" built into FastLock to circumvent
the protection features. If we did put in a "back-door", a thief could
find it and use it just as easily as we could. The only way that we can
recover your password is through the use of specially designed program
that consumes a lot of computer power to "crack" your password. This can
take several days depending on how long your password was and whether you
remember any of the characters in it.

-------------------------- Boot Problems --------------------------------

Normally FastLock will take control of the boot process when you reboot
from a computer whose hard disk has been locked. A screen will come up
requesting the proper password. If, for some reason, you do not see the
usual FastLock password screen when your computer powers up, you can
still unlock the hard disk by booting from a floppy disk and running
FastLock from the floppy disk. From the main screen, press Alt-U. This
will invoke the unlock portion of the FastLock program. You should
then be able to unlock the hard disk by supplying the correct password.

NOTE: you should only invoke the unlock program in this manner on a
system which has been locked by FastLock. Once the unlock program
is running you will have to reboot if you choose not to unlock the disk.

-------------------------- Limitations --------------------------------

FastLock is designed to lock only the bootable partition of the first
fixed disk in your computer. It is designed to be used on IBM-compatible
systems running true versions of MS-DOS or PC-DOS between 2.0 and 4.0. You
should not try to use FastLock while running in a multi-tasking
environment or on a network server. FastLock does a wide range of checks
on your hard disk before attempting to lock it. If it sees anything it
doesn't like or doesn't understand, it will report an error and cancel the
lock attempt without modifying your disk in any way.


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