I want to hide files, AND the space they take up



I want to hide some files on a DVD, and the amount of space that they take up. I also want to password protect them. On top of that, I want to put plain, unhidden files on the DVD and make it look like that’s all there is, to throw off nosy people. I am aware that one could guesstimate the amount of space used on a DVD by looking on the bottom, that is unavoidable. But that doesn’t make hiding files pointless, and it is of no concern to me because I can do nothing about it and most people do not know this.

What program will allow me this kind of powerful security? Will this present a problem during the burning process?

Please don’t suggest basic things such as:
1. Using the ‘Hidden’ Attribute on WindowsXP
2. Using WinRar/zip and password protecting than using #1
3. Renaming the password-protected file in #2 to something different to ‘throw them off.’

I want to have my files hidden so that only the program that hid them can detect them.


I had some software called Hide In Picture that would allow you to conceal a file, pretty undetectably, within a graphics (.JPG, .BMP, .TIF, etc.) file. IIRC you had to password protect it. A quick Google gets: http://sourceforge.net/projects/hide-in-picture/


yeah, I’d suggest steganography as well. It won’t hide the size of the files your trying to hide per say - whatever dummy pic (mp3, etc) you put up will just be larger than the original.

Whatever program you chose to use will prompt you for a password & will stick your text within the picture’s image. Then simply re-run the image through the program, provide the password & it’ll give you the hidden document.


You seek for in-depth knowledge, not really appropriate for the newbie forum, isn’t it?!?


When I posted this last night, I didn’t think it was too complicated for this forum. Seems I was wrong. My mistake. :doh:

edit: aekdb and olyteddy, steganography will not work in my case. I don’t think any remotely intelligent person will be fooled when they see a ~4GB .jpeg file or .avi file with NOTHING inside of it. Or any file of that size with nowhere near that amount of content.

Password protecting my files in an archive then calling it a day would be easy, but you have to understand that I want to look like I’m NOT trying to hide anything. A password protected file will only raise suspicion if it’s in plain sight, or easily detectable. And I plan on doing this for many DVDs as well. So if they see that nearly all of my DVDs have password protected files, that will only make them suspect even worse things. This is a very important problem for me.


You can use TrueCrypt which also encrypts your files.


I just tried the below and it actually works. It really was quite easy. I used Nero, UltraIso and HexWorkshop. I did not bother putting a password on my ‘hidden’ file.

To make the disc with hidden data:

  1. Use program of your choice to password protect your ‘hidden’ files.
  2. Use program of your choice to make an ISO image of some small ‘non hidden’ files.
  3. Open your ISO with a hex editor and go to the end of the data.
  4. Type in some secret phrase like “My hidden file starts here”.
  5. Open your ‘hidden’ files with a hex editor and copy all the data.
  6. Paste this ‘hidden’ data to the bottom of your ISO that is open in the hex editor and save the new ISO.
  7. Use program of your choice to burn this ISO image to disc.

To retrieve your hidden data:

  1. Use program of your choice to rip your disc to ISO.
  2. Open this ISO with a hex editor and search for “My hidden file starts here”.
  3. Delete everything above and including your secret phrase.
  4. Save the rest of the data to whatever format your original ‘hidden’ data was after you protected it with a password.
  5. Open this file with the program you used to protect it and enter your password.



The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. If you look at the read-surface of the disc, you may very well be able to estimate the size of the burned data (by area) and will see that more data was burned that the filesystem indicates.

  2. A full read of the disc would show your encrypted data tagged on at the end. That is, if the rip-to-ISO program actually found the data, then the size of the ripped data is stored somewhere on the DVD, just not in the filesystem. Other tools will find it as well.



Yes. But this is what he asked for. He indicated he wants the data to be there and that he knows the disc will look like more data is burned than shows up in the file system.


Yes, this is correct. I’m not too worried about that, and I doubt the people I am protecting myself against will actually assume that there are files hidden that well on the DVD.

Thank you for the excellent post RichMan, it’s a very clever solution! I will try it out right away.


I hope it turns out as easy for you as it was for me. If you have any problems let me know. Please post back here with your results so I know I got the instructions clear enough for others.

Also, the above instructions assume that your hidden data will all be in one big file (a ZIP maybe?). If you need to use multiple hidden files on one disc, you will need to mark the beginning of each in the ISO file with the hex editor. That way you can easily find and extract them later.