Program and/or database requires a password

Tekman
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Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Tekman » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:53 pm

Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium
CintaNotes Version 3.4.0.2

I can assure you I have never set a password within the program and that is what this issue is about.

As of 05-01-2017 a database file has appeared on the opening desktop screen - named Everything and it has the CintaNotes icon on it. The file size of this file is 18.6Mb. My CintaNotes database is 8Mb.

Today when clicking on CintaNotes on the pinned icon on the Task Bar and it was pinned there a very long time ago, then CintaNotes will not launch. It comes up with a dialogue box asking for a password.

If I try to open any other older backup versions of my database file then it says these require a password. Yet it also claims an instance of CintaNotes is already running.

I have not created a file on the Desktop via CintaNotes called Everything. The properties for that file claim the following:
Created: 01 ‎January ‎2017, ‏‎07:38:23
Modified: 01 ‎January ‎2017, ‏‎07:38:23
Accessed: 01 ‎January ‎2017, ‏‎07:38:23

I have used CintaNotes since that date and it is only on 05-01-2017 that the issue of requiring a password has cropped up.

I have a backup file saved to an external drive i.e. a comprehensive backup of all my data which is run last thing before shutting down the computer. This backup was last taken as follows i.e. about 20 hours ago from the current UK time which is now 21.55hrs:
2017.01.05 01:11:04.938 (UTC+0)

The CintaNotes database file has the following date and time and is when I asked CintaNotes to backup now: Modified: 2017-01-05 01:06:39.0638851

Naturally a file exists within that backup. However, I do wonder if that too will come up asking for a password. I have not attempted to open it in case something is happening behind the scenes. Also, but it will be missing a lot of data, then there are a few very old CintaNotes databases in the Archive section of the backup program that I use. This program being Bvckup 2.

Interestingly or worryingly, then I have a file search program called Everything which just searches for file names. I have no idea what its internal structure is i.e. what type of database it uses. In any event I would not expect it to create a file on my desktop. You will note from above that the date for that file is 01-01-2017.

On a side note, then I have discovered that whenever landing on your forum site and indeed checking the address URL in my browser, then when I log in with my username and password then I am taken to a Chinese site which looks like something to do with DIY. The site looks a bit unreal and its heading is my username. Something is obviously monitoring your forum site and then redirecting me - a user to some other website. I can assure you a run a 'very tight' machine security-wise and I run Malwarebytes - the paid for version (runs in the background all the time) that gives website protection i.e. blocks redirects to malicious sites. To log into your forum then I have to click on the CintaNotes logo and then log in again and that seems to work.

I am wondering if every instance of CintaNotes database files are now password protected, and/or is it the actual application program CintaNotes that is password protected. Naturally, I have it to automatically open my current CintaNotes database.

I can absolutely assure you that I have not set a password in CintaNotes. In any event, I always immediately record all my passwords in KeePass.

Can I get my database back or is all of my data lost?

I take this opportunity to thank you for any support that you can provide.
date
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby date » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:43 am

Well if you associate .db files with CintaNotes (Options-System-Associate...) it's only natural that the .db files have a Cintanotes icon. I just tried, and if the .db file is _not_ a CN database (for example, a text file or anything), CN asks for a password to open it. But it isn't a CN database anyway.

If you are in doubt somehow you can always add the files you want to work with/try out to a ZIP file first, if something fails, you can restore. That is foolproof :)

Why do you think the modification times are not natural? (And I don't understand... you are using CN since 1 jan 2017 and have 'very old' backups...)

About site redirects - I don't have that here... Can be many things.
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:58 am

I think that date is definitely on to something. Here's my theory what happened:
1. Some time ago when using CN, you activated the " associate .db files with CintaNotes" option. All files with db extension got CintaNotes icon.
2. Some other program that you recently installed created a file called Everything.db on desktop. (CintaNotes never creates files on desktop unless you tell it to do so, or if cintanotes.exe is on the desktop as well.) You double clicked on it.
3. CintaNotes tried to open the file, but since it is not a CN database, the opening failed. Due to the way SQLCipher works, there's no way to tell a corrupt file from an encrypted one.
4. Hence he password prompt appeared. And CN remebered the file it is to open, and tries to open it every time.

What you need to do is to click "Notebook" and select your old notebook file on disk. The places to look are near cintanotes.exe (for portable version) and in %APPDATA%\CintaNotes.

Hope this helps!
Alex
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Tekman » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Hi Alex

Thanks a million times to the power of n where n equals an infinitely large integer.

I thought you do have to associate db files with CintaNotes so that on launch it will default to the last used database and hence open that for convenience and hence efficiency for the user.

I could not find %APPDATA%\CintaNotes but I think I maybe using your program as the portable version (no-install). I have a folder in my D: partition named Programs where I like to install or have my programs located. I guess %APPDATA%\CintaNotes would be found in the C: partition.

I opened an old database from a few months ago and Oh waht joy it opened. However, to open it, as it looked like it would have used another program, then I used the open with...etc and associated it with CintaNotes and as stated; it opened.

Then from within, the now running CintaNotes, I then went to the file menu and selected my latest database and I was pleased to see it open and with all of my data intact.

I do have a question as I have had the odd wobbly with CintaNotes and also maybe I am unsure about 'good practice' regarding running CintaNotes. I currently use the folder where CintaNotes stores all of its backups (and as said - last thing at night I always force an internal backup within CintaNotes - that in turn is picked up by Bvckup 2) Is there a way to have the 'main used database within say some folder called 'whatever' and to also make CintaNotes do its various timed backups and any forced ones by the user to the backups folder that resides under the root tree of where CintaNotes is located?

I always feel a bit shaky using CintaNotes particularly when say upgrading to the latest version and thus getting my database running.

Perhaps what I am asking is that is there a model system or recommended practice of folder structures etc in order to run CintaNotes in the best way system-wise?

Again, thanks for your prompt help; it is certainly much appreciated.

Glyn

PS
I do wonder if my boot-up today helped in some way with what was going on.

I did try running any database yesterday in the manner you suggested and nothing worked so I thought best to leave alone and seek help before maybe every backup database became locked. I certainly did not want to go through my Bvckup backup files and/or the old ones it archives i.e. does not delete or over-write when a new instance requires backing up. My IT training says don't make a matter worse if you don't know what you are doing and never 'chew-through all of your external backup files - seek help from someone that knows.

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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:52 am

Hi Glyn,

I could not find %APPDATA%\CintaNotes but I think I maybe using your program as the portable version (no-install). I have a folder in my D: partition named Programs where I like to install or have my programs located. I guess %APPDATA%\CintaNotes would be found in the C: partition.

Yes, if you're using the portable version, then the files will be near cintanotes.exe by default.

Then from within, the now running CintaNotes, I then went to the file menu and selected my latest database and I was pleased to see it open and with all of my data intact.

Great!

Is there a way to have the 'main used database within say some folder called 'whatever' and to also make CintaNotes do its various timed backups and any forced ones by the user to the backups folder that resides under the root tree of where CintaNotes is located?

Sure. The backup location is configured in the "cintanotes.settings" file, parameter name is "backup.folder". It supports both relative and absolute paths (relative paths are relative to the CN user data folder, which is the app's folder in the portable version, and %APPDATA%/CintaNotes in the installed version). By default it is "backup", i.e. backup subfolder of the CN user data folder.

However the main database can be placed wherever you want. You can use the "File/ Save As" command to put a copy of your database into the "wherever" folder and work with it in the future. Or simply move the file and when CN asks for it, open it from the new location.

I always feel a bit shaky using CintaNotes particularly when say upgrading to the latest version and thus getting my database running.

The correct way to think of it is as follows:
1) Notebooks are simply .db files on disk
2) CintaNotes can open a .db file from any folder
3) CintaNotes remembers opened .db files and tries to reopen the last one on subsequent runs
4) The File menu lists the notebook files opened recently
5) You can remove a notebook from this list by using the File/Close command.

Perhaps what I am asking is that is there a model system or recommended practice of folder structures etc in order to run CintaNotes in the best way system-wise?

The exact folder layout of course depends on whether you're using a portable or installed version. But here are a few basic principles:
1) It's best to put backup folder on a different drive from original files, just in case something happens to the hard drive
2) The .db files are better put to a place that you won't forget to copy when you're reformatting your system. My Documents\CintaNotes folder is a good fit for that.
Alex
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Burdden » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:25 pm

Hello All,

New here. Following rules of re-using an existing report thread

Operating System Windows 7
CintaNotes Version 3.8

I'm not sure if it is a bug, though I am inclining to think it might be. Nonetheless, hoping for some answers and assistance.

I had a Trojan/virus attack which led to all my files to get deleted. Long story short, I used a recovery program to possibly recovery my files.
One of the main files I just needed out of my 260 GB lost data was the latest Cintanotes.db file,
I think I found it and proceeded to copy it over to my old PC to load up the db, only to be prompted the file is encrypted and would like a password.

So first question,
1. Can someone kindly give an explanation of how the password protection works?
Because I use cintanotes like I use my browser they go hand in hand. Once I fire up one, I fire up the other and I have don't ever
remember setting a password, to which I assume every time I load up the program, I should be prompted for a decrypting password,
am I right or wrong?

2. Was this prompt due to the transfer of the db file from my main pc to the another, something I've done previously on past versions?

3. Could the db file be corrupted hence the password prompt?
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby date » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:21 pm

You set the password yourself. It just means CN cannot open it and therefore assumes there is a password. If the database is not passworded you will be able to read through it with a text reader. For large files, try something like EmEditor. If you see chunks of text, there is hope, otherwise it sounds to me like it is a corrupt file.
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Burdden » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:51 pm

@date, as suggested to use EmEditor to open the db. Good news, I see of massive chunks text and I assume all my stash.

BIG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D

Now please answer me this, my bad if I'm making you reiterate yourself, you said I set the password, but I have never once been prompted to enter it everyday I load up cintanotes. Is there an option to just encrypt the db and not the program itself that I totally overlooked, which is what you are saying I did?
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby date » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:22 pm

Now please answer me t you said I set the password
Instead of 'you' I should have typed 'one.' One has to 'set' the password first, it doesn't set it by itself. In your case, there is no password, but CN could not read the database and assumed there was a password. So in your case, it presumably is a corrupted file.

Unfortunately I don't know much about recovering corrupted databases, hopefully the developers will be able to help. At least the plaintext is there! Also there are automatic backups made by CN which is on by default. Perhaps you can see if you can fetch one of those from your recovery image, and see if they are intact?
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:55 am

Hi,

date is absolutely correct - due to the way whole DB encryption currently works, unfortunately there's no way for CN to tell apart a password-protected file from a corrupt one.

Here's how you can try to fix the db:
1) Exit CintaNotes
2) Rename your old database (e.g. to cintanotes0.db)
3) Start CintaNotes, it will create a new blank database
4) Import from your old (renamed) database using File/Import
5) (Optional) Delete the duplicate main section
6) WARNING: If you use Simplenote sync, there are complications: the steps above can lead to note duplication. To avoid that, instead of importing from the old DB, configure and perform sync.

Please also refer to this page for additional info, in case the steps above don't help:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=156&start=20#p7331

Please let me know if this helps, thanks!
Alex
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Burdden » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:18 pm

Hello there Admin,

Much appreciative for the replies and assistance.

I actually did your suggested steps before registering on the message board, to which I was greeted by the password prompt.
Nonetheless, I followed through on your suggested steps again and got the same result.
I did not enable simplenote sync previously, so step 6 is a no go.

Any other ideas?
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:32 pm

Sorry to hear that it didn't help.
Well, do you maybe have a backup that is recent enough? By default CN places backups into the %APPDATA%/CintaNotes/backup folder.
(or into "CintaNotes\backup" subfolder if you have portable version).
Alex
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby Burdden » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:44 pm

:: Latest Update::

That specific database is indeed corrupted, I have managed to find other backups from May, right before I upgraded to V3.8.
Well it's just shy of two and a half months [not men]. I am extremely happy with that.

The recovered databases I found all imported completely fine with no password prompts, except the most recent one [hourly backup]
which I wanted initially. I was freaking anxious before I clicked that Import button. Talk about life safer,

That being said, I am equally still very much pleased that besides being unable to properly import that particular database,
I can actually access my clipping [I'm not sure if 100%] but I did see the listings of my most recent entries using Emeditor.

Quick question, looking at the database from Emeditor, the non alphabetic and numerical characters are those encryted entries
or just random gibberish?

Simplenote Synchronization here I come, No JOKE!!
Though I'm still pissed I was hit by a trojan/virus that did this much damage in the first place, even while using the so called
Malware/Antivirus protectors = F9 Failures to them all.
Now I can access emails and other accounts ;) ;)

Massive Thanks again to date and Admin. :D
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:09 am

Hi Burdden,

really glad that you managed to recover most of your work! This is a very good result I think.

> Quick question, looking at the database from Emeditor, the non alphabetic and numerical characters are those encryted entries
or just random gibberish?

Neither, the database in SQLite format, so EmEditor is not suited for viewing these files, you need something like SQLSpy to view and edit it.
Alex
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby date » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:12 pm

Burdden wrote:Quick question, looking at the database from Emeditor, the non alphabetic and numerical characters are those encryted entries
or just random gibberish?
They make up the parts of the sqlite format. If it were possible to read this, you would think there already exists a program to do this. I know those exist for video and pdf files. I googled a little but didn't find anything straightforward...
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:51 am

date wrote:They make up the parts of the sqlite format. If it were possible to read this, you would think there already exists a program to do this. I know those exist for video and pdf files. I googled a little but didn't find anything straightforward...


SQLiteSpy (https://www.yunqa.de/delphi/products/sqlitespy/index) is great little program to do just that.
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby date » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:26 am

CintaNotes Developer wrote:SQLiteSpy (https://www.yunqa.de/delphi/products/sqlitespy/index) is great little program to do just that.
I tried it, but it doesn't work on broken and partial db's (like you commonly get with file recovery programs.)

I found Undark (http://www.pldaniels.com/undark/) which seems to work partially though.

But if he can open it in SQLiteSpy (or equivalent), it is basically a solved problem, because you could just select and copy, right?
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Re: Program and/or database requires a password

Postby CintaNotes Developer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:41 am

If he didn't use password protection, then basically, yes.
Alex

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