PC-Magic Software  

Tech Support for Win95/98/ME versions of:
Magic Folders (MF)
Encrypted Magic Folders (EMF)

This for the Win95/98/ME version
For XP questions
click here

Keep in mind there are very few problems (if any) that won't be corrected by uninstalling the program. If you suspect one of our programs is interfering with other programs or functions then uninstall (using DISABLE on your KeyDisk, or the Uninstall program in the program), and reboot. If the problem doesn't go away then it wasn't our program that was causing the problem. None of our programs mess with anything (including the registry or disk structure) that would linger after an uninstall. I mention this because occasionally we get people who are totally convinced that one of our programs is messing up their computer, only to find later that it wasn't our program at all. Uninstalling will tell.

If you can't find an answer here then you can request tech support. But please check here first.

Please select the question or topic that most closely resembles your question.

"Need VBRUN500.DLL" or "Need MSVBVM50.DLL" message

You need to install the VB5 runtime files.  Get them -here-.

Error 5

Get vbrun300.zip and extract it into your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder.

Then get either emf3.exe (for EMF) or mfd3.exe (for Magic Folders), extract the files and then run INSTALL.EXE

COMDLG32.OCX errors

Download COMDLG32.ZIP and extract COMDLG32.OCX from it into \WINDOWS\SYSTEM

Any problems with Win98?

EMF and MF work fine in Win98.

I'm using so-and-so disk utilities - any known problems?

After over hundreds of thousands of downloads the only disk utility we've found that's stupid enough to delete your hidden folders and files is the one we protect against and warned you about during installation: CHKDSK   We had some errors in McAfee's Virus Scan we had to work around, but they wouldn't affect your hidden files or folders even in the worst situation.  Something about Mijenix products also makes them incompatible with MF or EMF, but it won't affect your files - you just have to choose which you want to use - ours or theirs.

What type of encryption does EMF use?

This is discussed in EMF's "Help" file.  (MF.DOC)

Getting "need vbrun300.dll" message.

You need to get VBRUN300.DLL and put it in your Windows directory.  Get VBRUN300.ZIP .  Extract VBRUN300.DLL from the .ZIP file and put it in your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder and then run MAGIC.EXE.

Not enough memory, or it goes to DOS, when I run MAGIC.EXE or INSTALL.EXE

You have an old or bad VBRUN300.DLL.  Get VBRUN300.ZIP.  Extract VBRUN300.DLL from the .ZIP file and put it in your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder.  Then use "Find" to locate any other VBRUN300.DLL files that may be on your system and delete them.  Reboot, and then run MAGIC.EXE.

Any problems with FAT32?

None at all..

My registration no longer works.

If you registered before July 2000: The key to your registration is a small file called MFD.SYS for Magic Folders, or EMF.SYS for Encrypted Magic Folders. As long as you have the registration file in your \WINDOWS folder the program will be registered. So restore MFD.SYS or EMF.SYS from your backups and put it in your \WINDOWS folder and everything will be fine. If you also lost the program you can get the latest version of EMF or Magic Folders at http://www.pc-magic.com/dl.htm

If you can't find MFD.SYS or EMF.SYS we can verify your registration and email or mail you a new one for $5. Send email to register@pc-magic.com requesting a replacement, how you want to receive it, which program it is for, your name and address, and authorization to use your credit card.

If you registered after June 2000: The key to your registration is the registration number we supplied when you registered. Just select "Register" and then "Input Registration Number" from within the program. If you've lost your registration number we can verify your registration and email or mail you a new one for $5. Send email to register@pc-magic.com requesting a replacement, which program it is for, your name and address, and authorization to use your credit card.

Magic Folders registration doesn't work on EMF?

EMF is not the same program as Magic Folders. Your Magic Folders registration will not work with EMF. You can upgrade to EMF for $30 (the difference between EMF's registration and Magic Folders) or you can just uninstall EMF and reinstall Magic Folders which you can get from http://www.pc-magic.com/mfd.exe Backup your MFD.SYS file (the key to your registration) and put it in with MAGIC.EXE after Magic Folders is reinstalled. Your registration will be active again.

If you wish to upgrade to EMF, see the next question.

How do I upgrade from Magic Folders to EMF?

You can upgrade from Magic Folders to EMF for $30, which is the difference between the two registration fees.

If you wish to update your Magic Folders registration or upgrade from Magic Folders to EMF then please -click here- Any other method of registering will charge you the full amount.

Err97 message after installing.

Err97 means that MF.EXE isn't being loaded as it should. Error 97 indicates Magic Folders is not loaded in memory. The first thing to do is get the latest version from our WEB site: http://www.pc-magic.com/dl.htm

Also check to make sure there is a line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file that runs MF.EXE, or whatever you renamed it during installation. Verify that the line points to the MF.EXE file. Some users move the Magic Folders files without updating the line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file that loads MF.EXE. Also check to make sure that part of your AUTOEXEC.BAT file gets executed. Some users have AUTOEXEC.BAT files that are set up for different boot options and the place where MF.EXE is loaded is one of the sections that doesn't get executed during the normal boot process.

Also check the [386enh] section in the SYSTEM.INI file. It should have a "DEVICE=" statement that points to MF.EXE (or whatever you renamed it during installation). Make sure it either points to a valid MF.EXE file or the MF.EXE is in the Windows folder.

If you need to uninstall use DISABLE on your KeyDisk.

Installation fails with "Unable to copy all files...." message

EMF: Get the latest version from http://www.pc-magic.com/emf.exe

Magic Folders: Make sure you've extracted MAGIC.EXE (and aren't running it from within the .ZIP archive as some Zip programs allow). If that still doesn't work then create a folder called "C:\EMF1435", extract the files into that folder, and then run MAGIC.EXE.

MSCOMM.VBX error when running MAGIC.EXE

MF and EMF: Get the latest version (should fix the problem) or try copying MSCOMM.VBX to your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder and try again.

"Can't open SigFile" Error message

The program attempts to create a small file called "C:\(C)RSE". This error occurs if it can't create the file. Maybe C: drive is full?

Hot-key not working

We submit our request to establish a hot-key to Windows. Sometimes it doesn't grant the request. You can set it manually by doing the following:

    • Right click on "Start"
    • Click on "Open"
    • Double click on the "Programs" folder
    • Double click on the "Accessories" folder
    • Right click on the Encrypted Magic Folders icon
    • Select "Properties"
    • Click on the "Shortcut" tab
    • Change the "Shortcut key"
    • Click on "OK" to finish

Windows may not honor your request either, so keep trying different hot-keys until one works.

How do I install the latest version?

For EMF get the latest from http://www.pc-magic.com/emf.exe and just extract it over your current version. Currently EMF upgrades are free.

For Magic Folders get the latest from http://www.pc-magic.com/mfd.exe and just extract it over your current version. Updates are free for 6 months after your registration. After that $10 will extend your free updates for 6 months. If you don't want to update then click here and download the latest version that is within six months of your registration and just extract it over your current version.

Some filenames remain scrambled in EMF encrypted folders.

EMF Version 97.07 or earlier: Some people have found that some of the filenames in their encrypted folders have not unscrambled and now have names that begin with "~^~", for example "~^~abcd.baa".

First, I want you to know that your data is safe -the files are not encrypted, its just the file names that are scrambled. Here's what to do:

    • Get the latest version of EMF from http://www.pc-magic.com/emf.exe
    • If you have EMF installed, just extract this new version over your current installation.
    • After rebooting, try removing the affected folder from your hidden folder list.
    • If that doesn't work then try the DECRYPT.EXE in this new version to see if it will recover the filenames.
    • If not, then check the affected folder(s) for a file that starts ~^~0DIR." and ends with an extension the same as the scrambled files. If it's there, and bigger than 0 bytes then we can recover your files. If there's a ~^~0DIR.??? file with another extension then we may also be able to recover. If there are no ~^~0DIR files then you'll have to try and rename them using your backups (check the file sizes) as a guide. The ~^~0DIR file will have the SYSTEM, HIDDEN, and READ-ONLY attributes set so make sure Explorer is displaying those files or you won't be able to see it.
    • If you find any ~^~0DIR.??? file(s) make backups of them, and if you wish, send me a copy and I'll may be able to make a translation list telling you what the files should be renamed.

The older version of EMF that you were using kept the scrambled filenames in those ~^~0DIR.??? files. But no matter how much we protected them, files are files and as such were susceptible to corruption. All versions of EMF after and including 97.07a utilize a new filename scrambling method that doesn't save the original filenames in files and therefore isn't vulnerable to file corruption.

EMF locks up at shutdown, or when hiding folders.

It's not locked up. It's just scrambling or unscrambling filenames, but it does take up most of the computer resources while it's doing it so that it may seem like the computer is locked up. For some reason Win95 slows down significantly when unscrambling folders with a lot of files. (Win98 fixes this) The best way to get around this is to spread the files over several directories or to disable filename scrambling.

As a test we calculated the time it would take to scramble 1000 filenames on a 486-66. When all the files were in one directory it took a whopping 31 seconds. When spit into 2 directories (of 500 files each) it took 16 seconds. And when split into 4 directories (of 250 files each) it only took 9 seconds. All for the same number of files.

My password is not working

Make sure you enter your password using the same case. For example, "password" is not the same as "Password". If you're sure you're entering your password correctly then the password file got corrupted somehow. Uninstall using DISABLE on your KeyDisk. Reboot. Reinstall.

Hidden folder list is gone - or a folder is missing

Sounds like the file containing your hidden folder list got corrupted somehow. Uninstall using the "Uninstall" function in the program or use DISABLE on your KeyDisk to uninstall. Reboot. Reinstall.

How do I uninstall?

If MAGIC.EXE is running then use its "Uninstall" function. If you can't run MAGIC.EXE then use DISABLE on your KeyDisk. If you've lost your KeyDisk then see the next question.

How do I uninstall if I've lost my KeyDisk?

Here's how to manually uninstall Magic Folders:

    • Remove line from AUTOEXEC.BAT that runs MF.EXE (or whatever you renamed it). If you don't know how, use Notepad, open C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT, make your changes, and then save the file.
    • If you have Win95 then remove "DEVICE=MF.EXE" line from \WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI in the [386Enh] section.
    • Re-boot.
    • Remove the C:\Z___ folder and all the files in it.

If you made MF or EMF harder to defeat by manually implementing any of the options suggested in their "Help" then you'll have to undo those options yourself.

Once completely uninstalled you can re-install if you wish. I would recommend that you get the latest version from our web site: http://www.pc-magic.com

Some encrypted files remain after uninstalling EMF.

This probably won't happen if you uninstall correctly using DISABLE on your KeyDisk, or the Uninstall function in the program, but in any case, all you do is use DECRYPT.EXE to recover the encrypted files.

Sometimes hidden folders are visible, although not accessible

Many programs keep their directory listings in memory. So if you have the program do a directory search before hiding your folders the program will continue to use the old directory information even after you hide your folders. Explorer does this. In many programs, pressing F5 will force the program to refresh it's listings.

However, to make matters even more complicated sometimes programs won't refresh their listings even when told to do so. This is probably because Windows notices nothing has changed in the disk cache so it feeds the same directory information as it did previously. In EMF you can select "Update Explorer" and "Write to Folders" in the properties menu and see if that does the trick.

In some cases you can't even force the program to update it's listings. For example, we did some tests hiding the "Documents" System folder. Sometimes it would accurately reflect whether it was hidden or not, but sometimes it wouldn't. It would show the list of documents when they were hidden (although clicking on the document wouldn't work) and sometimes it wouldn't show the document list even tho it was visible - and we couldn't find any way to force it to update it's listing. We can only hide/un-hide the files. We can't control how programs react to this.

MAGIC.EXE won't run because I hid the folder it was in.

Use DISABLE on your KeyDisk to uninstall. Reboot. Reinstall.

I need CHKDSK access to.... (make a Windows recovery disk, etc..)

MF: Go in and click on "Temporarily enable CHKDSK access" in the Functions menu.

EMF: Go into properties and disable "CHKDSK protection".

Make sure you don't actually run CHKDSK with the /F option or you could lose all your hidden files. See "Help" in the program for details.

I lost my KeyDisk. How do I make a new one?

The latest versions of EMF and Magic Folders let you make a new KeyDisk from within MAGIC.EXE

If you have an older version of Magic Folders then you'll need to uninstall (using the Uninstall function in the program) and then reinstall to create a new KeyDisk.

Can I hide a system folder - like "Favorites" ?

You can with the latest version or EMF. Get it at http://www.pc-magic.com/emf.exe

All my hidden folders become visible after I enter my password.

Frankly I've never really understood this question. But yes, when you enter your password all the folders (and their files) in your hidden folder list become quite visible. Likewise, when you hide them they all become hidden. If you only want a subset of your folders to be visible at any one time then create multiple accounts and put the folders in different accounts and then enter the password of the account whose folders you want visible.

I've discovered how to defeat MF or EMF!

There are a variety of ways MF or EMF can be defeated using the standard installation. For suggestions on how to make the program harder to defeat see "How to make MF (or EMF) harder to defeat" in the program's "Help".

EMF users should remember that even if EMF is defeated your files remain encrypted and their filenames scrambled.

If you find that EMF or MF isn't hiding your files in DOS then make sure the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file has a line like:

LH C:\path\MF.EXE

where "path" is the path to the MF.EXE file. If MF.EXE (or whatever you named it during installation) is run in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file then your files will be hidden in DOS as well as Windows.

Removable drives

You shouldn't use Magic Folders or EMF on removable drives. Although the files and filenames would remain encrypted and scrambled on other computers (if you're using EMF), the folders and files would not be hidden, for EMF or Magic Folders.

In addition, Magic Folders and EMF don't mark hidden folders, they just filter file requests against your list of hidden folders. Therefore any removable media with folders with the same name as the one you hid would have their folders hidden as well, and in the case of EMF, their files would be encrypted too. We may in a later version include the disk ID or volume name in the hidden folder list, but we haven't done that yet.


Many backup programs won't backup your hidden folders unless they are visible. You should test your backup program to see if it requires the folders to be visible. Remember, if you have multiple accounts you can't make all files visible at once, you can only make the magic folders of one account visible at a time.

Remember if you're using EMF that because files are only encrypted within an encrypted folder, copying a file from an encrypted folder to an unencrypted folder decrypts the file. This is true for backups as well. You can get around this by disabling "Auto-Cryption" from within the "Properties" menu. This temporarily disables the automatic decryption of your encrypted files thereby allowing your backup program to copy them to your backup disk without EMF automatically decrypting them first. You can also use this function to verify that files in your encrypted folders are really encrypted.

You can also use PW.EXE to enter your password and disable Auto-Cryption from DOS or a batch file in preparation for doing a backup. See EMF's "Help" for details.


Do not use MF or EMF on a file server for a LAN. Anyone on the LAN will be able to see your "hidden" files and folders. In EMF the files in your "hidden" folders will still be encrypted but they will be visible and others can delete, rename, copy, move, or modify them.

However, MF and EMF work great protecting files on your local drives that are not accessible to the LAN.

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