Toshiba Fingerprint software and File Protection

  SV 21:06 16 Apr 2008
Locked

I've been using Toshiba's fingerprint reader's TrueSuite Access Manager quite happily for five months to protect some of my important files from prying eyes. Suddenly, last week, when I tried to "unprotect" them, I got a message saying 'Invalid "File Protection Key" '. The fingerprint reader is working fine and TrueSuite Access Manager accepts my fingerprint quite happily.

I'm using WinXP Pro. The only things that have happened since I last successfully access the files was a Microsoft Tuesday download last week, and my installing Norton Internet Security 2008.

So, how did I get on sorting this out with Toshiba?

It turns out Toshiba's TrueSuite Access Manager is supplied by AuthenTec, but in fact is just a rebadged version of ABIG's VitaKey software. The TrueSuite website has disappeared off the internet (although you can find one or two references to the fact that it once existed). Neither AuthenTec nor ABIG offer any support whatsoever. So, the only source of help is Toshiba...

I traced the beginning of my woes to an application fault recorded in Win XP's event log - the fingerprint software had failed. The error description just says "Fingerprint Suite Notifier Application has encountered a problem and needs to close". Great. The application fault somehow broke the connection between the recorded fingerprints and key used to "protect" all of my files. Even having a back-up of the fingerprints was pointless because it was the link between the Fingerprint system and the Windows filesystem that was broken, not the fingerprint information....

I rang Toshiba's support line, which recommended downloading and installing the latest drivers. This I did. It made no difference.

I managed to roll back Windows to a date before the application fault. But this again made no difference.

So where am I today? TrueSuite has lost the connection between my fingerprints and the key it used with the Windows file system to protect my files, which in turn has locked me out of all the files. I can't access them, copy them, move them, or delete them, either from Win XP or from DOS or using the Change ACLs software that comes with WinXP. Toshiba's recommendation is to use the recovery discs that came with the laptop and reinstall Windows XP from scratch. Of course this won't get me back my information, but at least it'll delete all those useless files and free up the space taken by them!

Lessons to be learnt - if you are going to use TrueSuite to protect your files, think twice - you'll get no help from the software writers or resellers if there is a problem. And Toshiba won't be able to rescue you. If you still want to do it, backup all your files BEFORE you protect them. Of course, the backup version of the files won't be fingerprint protected (which rather defeats the object of the exercise, doesn't it...)

Best of luck.

Steve

  laurie53 08:57 17 Apr 2008

All I can say is thank you.

I have this feature on my Tosh and though I have never used it I have toyed with the idea.

Needles to say I will toy no more.

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