#978 Options Sometimes Forgotten with 3.26.01 (4352+)


I am running 3.26.01 (4352+).

I find that some options are sometimes changed without my changing them explicitly.

- "Show Notes in Edit" (Display) went from checked to unchecked.
- "Lock Database after idle" (Security) went from unchecked to checked.
- "Save previous passwords per entry" (Password History) went from
checked to unchecked.

I believe that these are all database-specific options.


  • DrK


    Can you please explain a bit more what you mean by "sometimes changed without my changing them explicitly"?

    For example, do you set a value and this doesn't stick or do you set it, it sticks but when you open the database again later, they are lost - but "sometimes" implies not always!

    Anything that can help pin this down would be appreciated.


  • Gil

    I use a single database.

    I always keep "Show Notes in Edit" checked.

    I always keep "Lock Database after idle" unchecked.

    I always keep "Save previous passwords per entry" checked and set to 3.

    When the application warns me that some passwords have expired, I go to the entry that needs an update.

    SOMETIMES, I see "Notes hidden" in the Notes field (instead of the actual notes).

    On those occasions, if I do "Manage-Options", I see that "Show Notes in Edit" has become unchecked. If I look, I generally see that "Lock Database after idle" has become checked. When it happened this morning, I also saw that "Save previous passwords per entry" had become unchecked.

    It seem that the options are slipping back to what may be defaults values.

    For the most part, the only times I ever change these options is when I'm trying to correct for them being changed without my doing anything. For that reason, it's hard for me to say exactly when the change of options occurred.

    I have had this problem with earlier versions. In the past, it was also the case the "Password Policy" also changed (back to 8 characters). That isn't happening anymore. I filed bugs against earlier versions, so you can probably look at the bug database to see what version had this problem for "Password Policy". Perhaps whatever change was made for that option could be made for the others.

  • DrK

    Although I have found a minor issue (it checks to see if the DB preferences have been changed in order to update the Toolbar and Starus Bar before they have been updated - I will commit the fix for this later today), I cannot see any difference in processing between, for example, "Show Notes in Edit" and other DB preferences in the Display tab. So I am at a loss on how this is happening.

    You are correct that the defaults for the 3 preferences you mention are:
    "Show Notes in Edit" - unchecked.
    "Lock Database after idle" - checked.
    "Save previous passwords per entry" - unchecked.

    Also, although you say it has been fixed for the Password Policy "password length" field, we changed the default length from 8 to 12 in V3.26 and so it might not but the default is the same as the value you want.

    I will have to ask another developer to look at this code as I am obviously missing something. However, no one else has reported it and it could be your environment, although I am also at a loss as to how your environment could affect this internal settings.


  • Gil

    I have noticed that I can sometimes detect this problem before it becomes serious.

    I normally keep the database open read-only. Occasionally, I will notice it marked "*R-O" in the status bar, indicating that something has changed.

    When I see this, the thing that has changed is that database-specific options have returned to default values.

    I can then undo this corruption by closing the database and then re-opening it (still read-only).

  • DrK

    Gil - just so that I understand completely (sorry in advance re: capital letters):
    1. You open you database in read-only mode.
    2. You use it as normal.
    3. WITHOUT going into Manage->Options, you notice that the Status Bar indicates that the database has changed ("*R-O").
    4. On going into Manage->Options, the database preferences have returned to their default values.
    5. Closing and reopening the database restores your particular database preferences.

    The Status Bar actually shows 2 different indicators in the small panel before the one showing R-O or R/W. An asterisk (*) means that one or more database entries have changed. A degree symbol (small superscript 'o') means that one or more database preferences have changed. It can show both (in the order asterisk then degree symbol) meaning both one or more entries have changed and one or more database preferences have changed.

    As you have reported, this is worrying for a few reasons:
    a. Database preferences get changed without going via Manage->Options.
    b. If it really is "*R-O" (rather than "oR-O"), then these changes haven't correctly indicated that they have, as the asterisk means only one or more entries have changed.
    c. Entries shouldn't change if the database is R-O.

    In the current development version (revision 4397), you can change a R-O database's preferences but you are warned that they are only for this session and will not be saved as you can't save a R-O database, although you can do a "SaveAs". Currently the Status Bar does not indicate that they the preferences have been changed (although this may be alter before the next release).


  • Gil

    It is possible that I saw °RO (with degree symbol - hope that comes out here) instead of RO. I had not realized that the application was using both ° and , and I may have seen a ° and assumed it was a *.

    Thus, it is possible that I am seeing the scenario you detail, except that I may have seen °RO at step #3 instead of *RO.

    If that is correct, then your concern (a) will apply, but (b) and (c) would not.

    I will keep my eyes open and add a comment here the next time I see the problem (and I'll record more carefully whether I saw ° or *).

    I see that you write first "A degree symbol (small superscript 'o')
    means that one or more database preferences have changed" and then (about 4397) "the Status Bar does not indicate that the preferences have been changed."

    Does that mean that use of the degree symbol was present in 4352 and then removed in 4397?

  • DrK

    Rev. 4397 does not remove the degree symbol - it is just that, when you change a R-O database's preferences temporarily, we currently don't show that they have been changed because we don't update the flag in the core library to say it has been changed. I will probably alter this so it does to ensure the changed values are saved if the user does a "SaveAs" with the R-O database.

    Can I confirm that my '3' & 'a' are correct? i.e. database preferences revert to their default values without you using Manage->Options.

    If it is not too much trouble to you, can you try and note your previous actions prior to this happening - for example it may be when your database is locked (time out or you locking your screen etc.). Probably less trouble if you try to remember what had just happened prior to noticing it rather than keep a detailed log! :-)


  • Gil

    In one situation, I did notice behavior #3 ("WITHOUT going into Manage->Options, you notice that the Status Bar indicates that the database has changed ("*R-O").") and (a) ("Database preferences get changed without going via Manage->Options.")

    Most recently, I did notice the preferences going back to the defaults without Manage-Options. In this most recent case, however, I never noticed the status bar reporting any change. I discovered the problem when I opened an entry to change it and the notes were not displayed.

    (This is the usual way I notice the problem. That is because I generally don't open database entries except to update them.)

    I tried closing the database and re-opening it, but this didn't fix the problem this time. It seems that the preferences had already been saved into the database file.

    I did have the database open read-write yesterday. I suppose that it is possible that the preferences got changed (NOT by Manage-Options) and saved during that time. I wonder whether is anything that one might do while updating an entry that might cause the database options to revert to the defaults.

  • Gil

    Here is a recent observation.

    I awoke workstation from standby and unlocked.

    I opened the application, giving passphrase for the open database (lock on workstation lock was set).

    The database was then open read-only, as it had been the day before. The status bar showed "R-O" (no star, no degree symbol).

    This database normally has "show notes in edit" checked.

    I opened an entry and noticed that its notes were hidden.

    I closed the entry.

    I selected "File-Exit".

    Application asked if I wanted to save changes to the password list.

    There should have been no changes to save (database had been read-only for a long time). Application may have been asking because it knew that the options had been changed (e.g., "show notes in edit" had been modified somehow to default setting).

    I selected "cancel" (to cancel the closing of the application).

    I selected "File-Close".

    Application did NOT ask I wanted to save changes - it just closed the database.

    I re-opened the same database, read-only.

    I checked with "Manage-Options" and determined that "show notes on edit" had the correct (non-default) setting.

  • Gil

    I just experienced the same situation again except that, this time, I did see the degree symbol.

  • DrK

    As I said, I have no idea how this is happening and why only you have reported the issue.

    However, I have produced a release a version tailored for you. It will take a minidump when the database is open in R-O mode and the "Show Notes in Edit" preference is not set (ie. changed from your default of set).

    It will also take a minidump if the database has been changed or the preferences have been changed when the database is open in R-O mode, just in case a different preference has been changed.

    As I use the same process we already have for taking minidumps, when it happens then PasswordSafe will terminate.

    In order not to generate a minidump unnecessarily, please ensure that the database has the correct preferences with the normal PasswordSafe version. Also, do not change preferences (database or application preferences) when using the tailored version.

    Lastly, no promises. Hopefully, this will trigger when we detect the issue but it might be too late as the damage may have been much earlier. We will have to see.


    PS. As this is specifically tailored for you, I will send details of where to download it from via a separate email.