Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CLSID Folders & Hide Folder

CLSID Folders Explained

Don't you just hate those stubborn stupid icons that refuse to leave the desktop, like the Network Neighborhood icon. I am sure you want to know how you can delete them. You may say, that is really simple, simply right click on the concerned icon and select Delete. Well not exactly, you see when you right click on these special folders( see entire list below)neither the rename nor the delete option does not appear. To delete these folders, there are two methods, the first one is using the System Policy Editor(Poledit in the Windows installation CD)and the second is using the Registry.

Before we go on, you need to understand what CLSID values are. These folders, like the Control Panel, Inbox, The Microsoft Network, Dial Up Networking etc are system folders. Each system folder has a unique CLSID key or the Class ID which is a 16-byte value which identifies an individual object that points to a corresponding key in the registry.

To delete these system Folders from the desktop simply go to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
Explorer\Desktop\Namespace{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

To delete an icon simply delete the 16 byte CLSID value within "NameSpace". The following are the CLSID values of the most commonly used icons:

My Briefcase:{85BBD920-42AO-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}

Desktop: {00021400-0000-0000-C000-0000000000046}

Control Panel:{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

Dial-Up-Networking:{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD01CCC48}

Fonts: {BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948534}

Inbox :{00020D76-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

My Computer :{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Network Neighborhood:{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-O8002B30309D}

Printers :{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-O8002B30309D}

Recycle Bin :{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

The Microsoft Network:{00028B00-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

History: {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}

Winzip :{E0D79300-84BE-11CE-9641-444553540000}

For example, to delete the Recycle Bin, first note down it's CLSID value, which is: 645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E. Now go to the Namespace key in the registry and delete the corresponding key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

Similarly to delete the History folder, delete the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{FBF23B42-E3F0-101B-8488-00AA003E56F8}

Sometimes, you may need to play a trick on your brother or friend, well this one teaches you how to hide all icons from the Desktop. Go to the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

In the right pane create a new DWORD value by the name: NoDesktop and set its value to: 1. Reboot and you will find no icons on the desktop.

Till now you simply learnt how to delete the special system folders by deleting a registry key, but the hack would have been better if there was a way of adding the DELETE and RENAME option to the right click context menus of these special folders. You can actually change the right click context menu of any system folder and add any of the following options: RENAME, DELETE, CUT, COPY, PASTE and lots more.

This hack too requires you to know the CLSID value of the system folder whose menu you want to customize. In this section, I have taken up Recycle Bin as the folder whose context menu I am going to edit.

Firstly launch the registry editor and open the following registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\
{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder.

In Case you want to edit some other folder like say the FONTS folder, then you will open the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{CLSID VALUE HERE}\ShellFolder.

In the right pane there will be a DWORD value names attributes. Now consider the following options:

  1. To add the Rename option to the menu, change the value of Attributes to

    50 01 00 20

  2. To add the Delete option to the menu, change the value of Attributes to

60 01 00 20

3. To add both the Rename & Delete options to the menu, change the value of Attributes to 70,01,00,20

4. Add Copy to the menu, change Attributes to 41 01 00 20

5. Add Cut to the menu, change Attributes to 42 01 00 20

6. Add Copy & Cut to the menu, change Attributes to 43 01 00 20

7. Add Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 44 01 00 20

8. Add Copy & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 45 01 00 20

9. Add Cut & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 46 01 00 20

10.Add all Cut, Copy & Paste to the menu, change Attributes to 47 01 00 20

We want to add only the Rename option to the right click context menu of the Recycle Bin, so change the value of attributes to: 50 01 00 20. Press F5 to refresh and then after rebooting you will find that when you right click on the Recycle Bin a RENAME option pops up too.

To reset the default Windows options change the value of Attributes back to

40 01 00 20

The Registry File which one can create for the above process would be something like the below:

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\
{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\Shell-Folder]

"Attributes"=hex:50,01,00,20

Lets look at another security implication of our this newly gained knowledge. Anywhere in the desktop [or in any place hard disk] right click and go New -> Folder. Now name anything you like to this newly created folder [i won't really bother about that], just add ".{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}" without double quote at the last of the name.

That is if your folder name is chan, rename it with chan.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} ->press Enter

Now try to open the folder. What happened?????

You seems landed up opening Control panel!!!!!Imagine if you apply this trick to your private folder, your secret contents will be safer than normal.

Now its important to know how to get back the normal folder so that you can access its content for yourself.Follow the below procedure.

[For those people who know a little bit of DOS: Simple rename it back to some other name using "rename" command]


1. open notepad and copy-paste the below content in it

rename chan.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} chan

2. save the file as "normal.bat" in the same directory where our folder is.

3. Double click on it & your good old folder is back !!!!




NOTE:

*This is the same technique used by many popular softwares to hide folder contents. Now you know that they are not really doing magic but simply renaming your folder under the hood.

**Do not forget the period after the 'n' in chan. Similarly all system folders can be added to the Start Menu.(accept My Briefcase, I think).

***This trick can be applied on files too.


WISE WORDS:Education begins with life.

2 comments:

Randomman159 said...

With the last example, hiding a folder, is there any way of making it go somewhere other than control panel?

Puri said...

Yes, you can. Use the ID for My Computer.
From start menu make the 'My Computer' unavailable from the Desktop > Create a folder on the desktop with a name of your choice > Invoke DOS-Prompt > Rename your folder as ..

You can access this folder only after renaming it via DOS-Prompt.

-Puri.