I’m a heavy user of Microsoft Onenote, Since it’s very first version, on my very first Tablet PC. Well, times have changed now and I now have 2 machines instead of just one Tablet PC. My main workhorse system (currently a Dell XPS 13), and then there’s my meeting/ideas Tablet PC (Currently the Asus T101MT). The OneNote notebook is stored in the Dell, whereas the Tablet syncs the files from the Dell using a password protected fileshare.
You might ask why I didn’t make use of the excellent sync to web feature by putting my notebook on Skydrive? Well that’s a GREAT feature, I just found out that it doesn’t end well when you have audio/video recordings in your notebooks cause it obviously tries to upload those as well.
Recently I was looking through my Tablet PC strategy and realized that it is pretty much an expandable system. In the sense that, if I ever lose it (knock on wood) The data should be replaceable, and I need to try and protect the data as much as possible. (My Onenote holds… well… a LOT of information that can’t fall into the wrong hands)
My first thought was obviously to set OneNote to sync to a BitLocker To Go secured SD Card, but then I saw this under Options -> Save & Backup –> Cache File Location.
Oh crap.. they specifically mentioned that you CAN’T toss the cache file location into a removable drive. thought that was it, and my dreams of having a protected storage were shattered. That’s when I remembered a command I learnt when I was hacking some Windows Protected Files. MKLINK.
In short, MKLINK allows you to make one folder point to another folder. And then to any program that access it, it’ll be seeing the stub folder instead of the real one.
Given that piece of information, all I had to do was run the command in the command prompt as such
MKLINK /J C:\MYFOLDER\MYSTUBFOLDER F:\SDCARDFOLDER
So now c:\myfolder\mystubfolder can be used to refer to the sync folder on my BitLocker’ed SD Card, and I can happily set that as the Cache File Location in Onenote and it’ll not complain. Yippee!!!
But there’s a few gotchas for this scenario, first of all, since this is just a dirty ugly hack. Starting Onenote when the SD card isn’t mounted, not unlocked, or mounted in the wrong drive. OneNote throws up.
So, try to make sure you are familiar with how to adjust your SD Card’s drive letters, or are prepared to recreated the junction with MKLINK so you can make sure that OneNote can find the cache folder without any problems.
The other gotcha was that, I didn’t realize that BitLocker To Go doesn’t relock on resume from standby. Hmmmm.. I guess that was for convinience sake. I do have a user password to login from standby so I guess it’s not like someone can just access my system if they find it in standby form. Though it is something to note when using BitLocker To Go.
UPDATE: This will not work in Onenote 2013, so you will need to make a VHD on the external media instead, you can check it out here.