Making Self-Extracting Volumes
This video will show you how to turn a standard SafeHouse volume into a self-extracting program file which needs nothing other than the password to run.
Self-extracting volumes are Windows EXE files which include both an embedded copy of SafeHouse Explorer and your volume.
SafeHouse self-extracting volumes are smart files which allow you to access your private data without the need for any extra software -- not even SafeHouse Explorer. These files have an EXE file extension which allows them to be run like any other Windows program -- just click on them. Then, assuming you enter the correct password, you'll be presented with a thin copy of SafeHouse Explorer with full drag-and-drop access to all of your files.
Self-extracting volumes are created from within the normal version of SafeHouse Explorer using the Make Self-Extracting Volume item on the Tools menu. The tool works by making a copy of SafeHouse Explorer and then attaching to it a copy of one of your existing volumes.
The initial password for self-extracting volumes is the same as the original volume from which it was copied from. You can later change the password as often as desired just by opening up the volume.
The maximum size for self-extracting volumes sis 3GB.
Slim Version of SafeHouse Explorer
Self-extracting volumes have a slimmed down copy of SafeHouse Explorer attached to them. This keeps the user interface down to just the bare essentials so that people receiving self-extracting volumes for the first time will find them easy to use.
Self-extracting volumes will take advantage of the SafeHouse high-performance device driver when it's already present on your PC. These volumes can also be accessed just fine without our driver being installed. The thin version of SafeHouse Explorer will adapt to provide the richest experience possible given what it finds available on the host PC.
Self-extracting volumes include a Change Password tool found under the application's File menu. You must close the volume in order to be allowed to change the password.
Distributing Sensitive Files
SafeHouse self-extracting volumes are perfect for distributing your sensitive files to others who may not already have SafeHouse Explorer. All they'll need is for you to tell them the password.
Secure Email Attachments
Self-extracting volumes can easily be attached to emails. The only thing you need to be careful about is that since these files are EXE files, many email readers (including Outlook) will block them. The simple cure is to put the volume inside a zip file since nearly all email readers allow zip files to pass through without alteration.
If you are planning to distribute volumes by email, it's best to make them only as big as needed.
And of course, never include the password in the same email as the secure attachment!
Secure Archives on DVD
A popular application of SafeHouse's self-extracting volumes is to use them for making secure DVDs. Your files can then be accessed directly from the DVD without needing any other software -- not even SafeHouse Explorer!
Extract Volume from EXE File
The Extract Volume from EXE dialog allows you to obtain a copy of a volume embedded within one of our self-extracting SafeHouse volumes. This procedure does not alter your original EXE. All it does is take a snapshot of the volume portion of the file and place it into a stand-alone file of your choosing.
Some of the reasons for extracting a volume include:
- You would like to access the file within the the full version of SafeHouse Explorer.
- You would like to use the volume with SafeHouse Professional.
- You need to resize the volume.
- You need to perform an administrator password reset on the volume.
Resetting passwords is an important capability in our SafeHouse Professional Edition and these features are fully compatible with SafeHouse Explorer if you choose to enable them.
Providing you have enabled password resets in advance, if you subsequently find it necessary to reset a password on a volume contained in a self-extracting EXE file, you'll need to extract the volume out back into a normal SDSK volume file. Once you've got a standard volume file, you can use the administrator password reset tools in SafeHouse Professional Edition just as you would with any other volume.
Volumes can be extracted out of EXE files using a menu selection found on the SafeHouse Explorer Tools menu.