So you've heard people talking about locking folders before you
upload... what that heck is it you ask? Most people are reluctant to
go into details because of all the questions that arise. In this
tutorial I hope to cover all the basics of locking folders to make your
pub safe from wondering deleters. If you need information on
breaking your locked folders head over to Dir
Locking - Breaking Dirs.
I'd like to note that I took most of this information from a pubbing
guide written by hawk from Net
Knowledge Base. I have been informed that he also devised these
methods himself, so big thanks to him for his hard work. I only take
credit for rewriting his wonderful information to make a little easier to
understand and follow.
In this tutorial assume [sp] is a blank space, this way you can easily
see where the spaces are without confusion. When using this I will
sometime put in brackets  what the dir looks like with the actual spaces
- FlashFXP - A
great ftp client designed with the FXP Groups in mind.
First thing you need is a good pub to test stuff out on. In this
tutorial we will be working with a deletable NT pub as they are the
easiest to do this with. So head over to your local FXP board and
find a NT pub that is "deletable." Since UNIX and NT have different
file systems, locking directories on UNIX is completely different and is
covered in Dir Locking - UNIX Advanced.
Once you've got that load FlashFXP and connect to it, then go to the pub
directory, this is where you have access to create and remove directories
Simple Locked Dir
*NOTE: In this section all directory names can be replaced with
whatever you want unless otherwise specified. The spaces are what's
important, not the folder names.
A simple locked directory is easily defeated but with a lot of them it
can make getting into further directories a hassle and many will give up
easily. In the directory you want to setup a locked folder right
click and select "Make Folder." In the dialog box type the
Now we have a locked directory, if you try to enter it the server will
spit out some sort of error message, usually "550 The system cannot find
the file specified." To access a locked dir we need to make a higher
level directory which is done by making another new folder as follows:
Notice that we did not use the second space when creating the
second dir, that is because that is a placeholder and is what actually
locks the folder. It is not part of the actual directory structure
of the pub. To get inside your new directory you simple add the
following to the directory path at the top of the window in FlashFXP:
You will now be inside your locked folder and should have no problems
creating more directories or uploading files. If it cannot find the
directory you either have a weird pub or did something wrong. Try
the procedure again and look for error messages in the status window.
Some NT pubs do not allow the creation of locked dirs of this type.
Also it is bad idea to make a locked folder in the root of a pub because
the sysop will easily find it and probably notice his security holes and
fix them (no more pub for you).
If you would like to remove this directory there is a special procedure
for doing this. Notice if you simply hit del on it the server will
have problems accessing the directory. To remove it we need to
manually put the RMD commands in ourselves. From the base directory
(where you started creating the locked folder) select Commands -> Raw
Commands from the menu bar and put the following in the dialog box:
That should remove the second folder we made and to remove the locked
folder put in:
Now if you refresh the server window the folder should be gone.
Again if it did not work try it again and watch for errors, some servers
do not allow the removal of directories. Now that you know how to
create a basic locked folder we can move on some more advanced techniques.
Reserved Words Locked Dir
As I said in the last section those directories can be easily cracked.
This is done by a method called "cloning" which I'm not going to go into
here because I am focusing on locking dirs, not cracking them. All
you need to know is that it exists and is very easy to do. There are
some dirs that cannot be cloned a NT file system because they use reserved
words in their name. The most common reserved words are:
CON, AUX, COM#, LPT# , PRN, NUL
In LPT and COM the # should be replaced by any number you wish, this
makes it possible to have a vast number of un clone-able locked folders.
To create/remove one of these directories you follow the procedure in the
Simple Locked Dir section replacing "locked" with one of the reserved
words above. If you try to create a directory with a reserved word
without the spacing at the end the server will give an error message
usually saying that it's an illegal filename.
Special Locked Dirs
There are also a few other locked dirs that are a little more tricky to
crack and don't use reserved words. These dirs need to be created a
different way because of leading spaces in the names, look closely for the
creation differences. The dir we will try can be made as follows:
./[sp].[sp]locked[sp].[sp]/[sp]/ - [./ . locked . / /]
./[sp].[sp]locked[sp].[sp]/access - [./ . locked . /access]
Notice the leading "./" in the dir name, well the "." is a special
command that tells the server to use the current directory, if that is
omitted then the next character, "/", tells the server to use root in
which case your folder would be made in the root of the server. The
"/" still needs to be after the "." to signify the beginning of the dir
name so the leading space is included, although it is not necessary in
this example it just adds and extra touch to the dir. The reason
this is a special dir is because it cannot be cloned. If you try to
create another folder without the place holder "/ /" at the end the "."
will be dropped along with spaces because it will assume the "." is for a
It is also possible to create a folder that is invisible, meaning it
cannot normally be viewed in the directory structure of a pub. To do
this we create a directory consisting only of spaces like this:
./[sp]/[sp]/ - [./ / /]
./[sp]/access - [./ /access]
Now if you are in the directory you created this from you will not see
any directories because the FTP client does not interpret the blank folder
properly, but if you put the folder in the bar on the top and hit enter it
should take you to it. Also for some reason this does not create a
real locked folder, if you go up one folder normally the server wont be
able to display a dir listing, but with the blank folder it can. You
can put as many spaces as you want in the first folder, just remember how
many you made because you need to use the exact same amount to access it.
Well now you know all there is about basic dir locking, experiment a
little and maybe you'll learn your own techniques. Watch for errors
when doing things with illegal dir names, it will ease the frustration
when things aren't working because usually it's because the server is
denying you. Some servers have a special setup that does not allow
locked folder of this kind at all.
If you are getting access denied when trying to remove directories,
whether they are locked or not, it is usually because there is something
still in the folder. Even if nothing is visible there may be a empty
folder like the one we created above. For files if you're getting
access denied it is because the file is in use, either being uploaded or
downloaded, at the time.