Microsoft Fingerprint Reader


Update on 3/26/3009: I recently received an official communication from our hardware group that is germane to this old blog post:



Thanks for your interest in Microsoft Hardware products.  The Fingerprint Reader is no longer being manufactured by Microsoft but we recognize it may still be available from retailers and resellers.  The product runs on 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft will not be releasing any updates for the product to run on 64-bit versions of Windows XP or Windows Vista. The product is not supported on Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit).  To ensure this is clear to our customers, the product will not install on Windows 7 (the user is warned that the application will not run). 


If you currently use the Fingerprint Reader and are unable to use your product with 64-bit versions of Windows XP or Windows Vista or the Windows 7 beta release, please visit the following Web site for assistance: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/support/fingerprintreader.mspx.


For a couple years now, I’ve been happily using a DigitalPersona fingerprint reader. It was given to me at one of our internal events, and I had let it sit on my shelf collecting dust wondering why I’d ever need a biometric security device to logon to my machine. Then, one day, I ran across it while looking for something else, and I decided to plug it in and give it a try. Unfortunately, the personal edition of the DigitalPersona device wouldn’t allow me to logon with my fingerprint unless I was using the Windows XP Welcome Screen option (and I prefer the Windows Classic Logon). So I was just about ready to disconnect it and put it back on the shelf to collect more dust when I read that I could use it to provide usernames and passwords for web sites I frequently visit. Interesting.


Basically, you visit a site that requires authentication, touch the reader with one of your registered fingers, then tell the fingerprint software what it should enter into selected fields on the web page. You can also indicate whether or not you’d like the “submit” button on the page to be pressed. That’s it! Now, the next time you visit that web page, you just touch the fingerprint reader, and everything is done for you. It’s really that simple, and it makes logging into secure sites a breeze. I suppose it could be used for any site that has fields you’d like to fill in, but I’ve used it exclusively for authentication.


I knew that we had recently come out with our own Fingerprint Reader, and I figured that I could use my new computer purchase as an excuse to try it out. So, even though the DigitalPersona reader had never given me a single problem (other than the Windows XP logon restriction), I purchased the newer, slimmer, and sleeker-looking Microsoft version. And guess what I quickly discovered? It’s also made by DigitalPersona! I was very happy to learn this, although I wondered if our version would provide any benefits over the older reader.


The Microsoft Fingerprint Reader does allow you to logon to your machine, even if you’re using the Windows Classic Logon screen like me. Plus, the interface that allows you to configure fields and buttons on a web page is improved and very straightforward. As you can see in the screenshot, the software highlights the field on the web page (in this case, a Hotmail password field) that corresponds to the field that you are registering. Then, you can tell it which button to use to submit your information. In my case, it automatically selected the “Sign In” button for me. After I press OK, I’ll never have to type these credentials again…I can just use one of my registered fingers.


One word of caution. I’ve discovered that the reader will not work more than a couple times when plugged into a Belkin F5U237 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Hub. If I plug it directly into my computer, everything works as advertised. The fingerprint reader appears to require 260mA of power from the USB port, and from what I’ve read, the USB specification states that devices may use up to 500mA before they need to provide their own external power source.


I’m not sure why it doesn’t work reliably when connected to the Belkin hub, but I’ve tried a number of things to diagnose the problem: I’ve plugged the hub directly into the wall (instead of through a surge protector), I’ve tried all of the ports on the hub, I’ve tried another hub of the same make and model, I’ve upgraded all of my USB drivers, and I’ve spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Belkin technical support. Although the support person I spoke with was very helpful, we were unable to successfully resolve my problem. I’ll probably try a different USB hub to see if the issue I’m having is limited to this specific make and model. Update: I installed an Adaptec USB card, and everything now works fine. It appears that the problem is with the USB chipset on my motherboard (VIA).


Regardless of this slight hiccup, I am very happy with the new reader. For around $41 (or $39.88 if you live near a Sam’s Club), this is a nice piece of hardware that offers a lot of convenience. If you’re looking for unique and useful gift ideas for the upcoming holidays, this is one I’d highly recommend.

Comments (209)

  1. I heard that you cannot use it to logon a system connecting to a domain. Is that true?

  2. You’re correct, Marc. From the online documentation: "You can log on to your Windows account using the DigitalPersona Password Manager logon screen instead of the standard Windows logon screen, if the computer is not a member of a domain and the Welcome screen is not enabled."

  3. AIM48 says:

    Why do I have to go the hardware route and "swipe" my finger. Why not just use one of the many password managers out there (including the one built into IE) (obviouslly this wouldn’t work for the XP login – but for regular site browsing it should be just fine)

  4. Farhan Ahmad says:

    Hi AIM48, personally I don’t have a fingerprint reader but I think the biggest difference is the fact that you have to "swipe" (?) your finger _everytime_ you need to log in to something. In comparison, for the password managers you have to "log in" to the manager once. After you have logged in, you (or anyone who has access to your _logged in_ account) can log in to the websites that you have info saved for. So fingerprint readers a bit more secure. :-/

  5. Nicholas says:

    I’m really disappointed that Microsoft has apparently disabled Netscape/FireFox support in DigitalPersona– the wizard even pops up for these browsers, but it never saves!

    Funny how it works perfect in IE..

  6. bill says:

    But why a fingerprint reader with a disclaimer that it’s not for use with important data connections like banking ect? If it’s only secure enough to log into Yahoo games, then a password manager is good enough and more convenient. I’ll wait for a couple months until someone else enters the fray with a secure version.

    Interesting that out of all the reviews I’ve read the only one that didn’t point this out was on a MS employee site. πŸ™‚ Of course, biting the hand that feeds you is a fool’s game anyway; especially when the hand belongs to MS.

  7. mr o says:

    Seems ‘funny’ how DigitalPersona product almost identical to the one branded with microsoft works with firefox but the ms version doesnt?

    Why did MS cripple the sw so that firefox isnt supported? – Given that Firefox is securer than IE (perhaps just because less treats targeted at it 😐 )

  8. Dan Geatens says:

    how about a 64bit ver i got this thing thinking it would work on any windows os!

  9. Nicholas and Mr. O…although I’m not on the team that wrote the software, I doubt we "disabled" any support for third-party browsers. More likely, the desired integration may not have been possible to implement…especially given that we’re experts in IE, not the other browsers. To my knowledge (and based on personal discussions with product teams), we’d never intentionally disable support for non-Microsoft technologies. Either we don’t have time in the schedule to ensure support, or we’re not experts in the third-party technologies, or any of a number of other reasons. I can tell you that our intentions are nowhere near as nefarious as the news media typically depicts them.

  10. Jeff Laun says:

    I have never used one of the fingerprint readers. I would like to know about the process of using it. Say I go to hotmail.com and it is asking for a logon. Do I just put my finger on the scanner and the software logons on? Or do I need to clip something or do some other action either before or after placing my finger on the reader.

    TIA,

    Jeff

  11. Jeff…you got it. Of course, you have to register your finger once and enter your credentials the first time. But, after that, every other visit to the site simply requires a touch of the reader.

  12. Jeff Laun says:

    Thanks for the response. I have to get myself one.

    Jeff

  13. Blah says:

    It’s utterly pointless. It doesn’t work in Firefox so its a waste of money.

  14. mr o says:

    I accept that Microsoft is not the big bad that some media make it out to be or the *nux community wish but if the original manufacturer, and I assume who assisted in the latest revision of their product to float under the MS brand, could get it to work with Firefox first time then the product already had that knowledge imbedded in the software unless when Microsoft touched it, they broke it?

    Never-the-less I have brought myself the kit and am impressed – obviously some clever chap or someone with a lot of time on their hands will find the solution for firefox functionality and ie / firefox web form registration interoperability. (i.e. register once with either browser, use in both).

    regards.

  15. Nicholas says:

    Well, it obviously has some sort of FireFox integration, since it’s able to pop up the login wizard, just like it does on IE (and will even highlight the login boxes, check boxes, etc.. just like IE!). It even saves the XML formatted data for the wizard when you complete it (somewhere in your Application Data folders, I forget.) But when you go to "log in" to that site with your fingerprint, it’s like the software completely ignores the previously saved data, and acts like you want to create a new registration.

    I e-mailed Microsoft tech support, and they informed me that the product is meant to work only with Internet Explorer. I have returned the product because of this fact, but if you like IE, then I suppose you’ll like the fingerprint scanner.

  16. Tom says:

    DigitalPersona’s Canadian Director of Sales, Tony LaMantia, was kind enough to reply to my question about Firefox incompatibility with the MS Fingerprint Reader products, which he confirmed. "Yes I understand this is true for the Microsoft biometric peripherals…"

    I also was on the verge of buying the MS keyboard w/fingerprint reader, but not now. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone now. How quickly this Firefox issue is resolved will show how serious Microsoft is about responding to its customers, but I will not be holding my breath thats for sure.

  17. Tom…"I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone now." Does that mean that you wouldn’t recommend this to 85%+ of users who use Internet Explorer? I understand that the Firefox integration might not work, and that’s good to know for people who use that browser. But I don’t see what that has to do with someone like me who has no issues at all with IE.

  18. normand says:

    is-it good with avant browser and other browser like this one?Is-it enough secure for bank password and transaction?

  19. G.Wright says:

    Michael, do you know if by chance the new Microsoft drivers will work with the old digitalpersona model? I have an old digital persona model and have never been able to get the software to save my passwords for websites, although it works fine for logon. Also, every time I remote in to the PC with a remote desktop connection, the next time I use the digital persona, it does not work for login, and I have to type the password manually. I figured, ah, new product, they will write better drivers for it someday… But it never happened. I am disappointed to hear that digital persona makes the Microsoft unit, as I believe their products to be poorly supported junk.

  20. G.Wright…believe it or not, I had tried exactly what you suggest. I plugged in my old DigitalPersona device, but it wouldn’t use the Microsoft drivers. So, based on my simple experiment, it looks like they need their own drivers.

  21. peter says:

    do we need windows systeme pack 2 for using fingerprint

  22. Adrian says:

    Will this thing work with Win2K? I see tat requirements state WinXP.

  23. Tom says:

    Michael, I wouldn’t recommend this product out of principle. If it doesn’t work with Firefox (10 million downloads as of Saturday), what else will it not work with? Is MS really telling us that its only going to work with MS apps only? This is unacceptable, and a very old and tired tactic that the public is not going to stand for anymore. Wasn’t this stuff supposed to be addressed with all the anti-trust shenigans of the last 10 years? I guess not. Then it was software not working with software, now its hardware not working with software. Note: I am not asking, nor expecting, this device to work with *every* conceivable piece of software out there, but I don’t think its too much to ask to have MS at least make it compatible with the 2 or 3 other top browsers out there. The people selling the MS hardware (input devices and the like) should have the attitude, "hey, lets make sure this works with all the major stuff out there.. that means more sales!" Instead, we have the attitude, "oh, lets just make sure this only works with IE". If this was a mom and pop outfit, I would sympathize with an excuse that "well, we can’t afford the extra programming time to make this work…", but that simply doesn’t fly with MS.

  24. Sammy says:

    I am to a FireFox User, Just bought the reader today for 39.99 at Sam’s Club. Though this would be a Cool thing but soon found out that It dont work with firefox, Very Disappointing. I Hope Microsoft Will Fix this Issue Soon. I Will Keep my Reader only to use it for Devolpment I want to see if there is something i can make for it to make it secure, is there a way in the registry to turn off the user logon screen? i know it sound hokey But Id like to make something that requires a Fingerprint to sign on make it to where your fingerprint is your identity.. im not tring to make a fort knox or anything cause anything and everything is hackable anymore i just want to make it easier for the end user but a little harder for the hackers. I Noticed alot of the older generation people at work have a hard time chaning there login passwords at work every 90 days they always seem to forget and have to call tech support 2 or 3 times till they remeber the password. if anyone hears of support for FireFox Id love to know. So Post it on here. Thanks!

  25. Chris says:

    I am really considering this, and wouldn’t mind using IE while I was doing so, but the main reason I would use this is to "re-login" that is, to automatically put in my password to unlock my computer. every time I step away I hit [windows]+L to lock, but I have heard that the reader won’t work in this situation. Can anyone verify this?

  26. Chris…unlocking the computer with a fingerprint works fine. I tried it just now a few times to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. πŸ™‚

  27. Dave says:

    Just bought one. Just installed it. Works like a charm. Love it already. Sick of remembering passwords. Why would MS accept any liablility?

  28. Vincenzo says:

    I am really considering buying this product but so far I have been unable to find the reader in any store.(Netherlands) So this is where my question comes in. is the cable attached to the reader itself one of those very short things where you will almost have to place the reader next to your computer of is it a fair length of cable?

  29. Vincenzo…I just measured the cable. It’s about 4.5 feet long.

  30. Vincenzo says:

    Thank you

  31. Chris Lynch says:

    Think I’m going to return it – was all excited to get it working, hooked it up, and no Firefox support AND no domain support. Blows both of my uses.

  32. Joe says:

    Works great but not with firefox. It also works very well using Novell authentication as well as other stand-alone applications requiring a password such as my GroupWise e-mail application. Hope microsoft will be able to revise their software to allow it to work with firefox.

  33. Shaun says:

    Does it work under the old windows logon i dont use fast switching/welcome screen

  34. Encrypted says:

    Hi Michael,

    I too very much enjoy the convenience of the MS Fingerprint Reader. Although, I’ve experienced a very significant and time consuming problem with installation of the Digital Persona software breaking my personal digital certificate rendering Outlook encrypted emails completely unreadable.

    After literally more than 12 hours of troubleshooting – hours on the phone with MS h/w TS (which got no where) and more hours of troubleshooting, I finally found that restoring a backup of the System State from before the DP software was installed (no, unfortunately, a System Restore doesn’t fix the problem), then exporting a copy of the digital certificate through Outlook, Tools, Security, re-installing the DP s/w and finally re-importing the digital certificate fixed the problem. Finally, the Fingerprint reader works and I can once again read encrypted emails!

    The System State restore is important b/c just trying to delete and re-import the digital cert doesn’t do the trick.

    Could you please pass these details along to the FP h/w team and h/w tech support so others don’t also bloody their head on the device!?

    Thanks!

  35. Nathan says:

    I saw this thing in Sam’s the other day and thought, "oh cool." I have a few more questions before I buy one though. Is it possible to use one reader on multiple machines? Can I use it at home and then take it to work with me? Or does the software license only allow one install on one machine? Are there any current competing devices out there to compare this to?

    Thanks! All the above comments and questions were very helpful.

  36. Dave says:

    Hi Nathan;

    It works fine on multiple machines. Always some hiccups with new roll outs. Hope DP releases some further info on Password Manager regarding the true security algorithm and if it is somewhat secure.

  37. I bought this thing on a whim and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I didn’t realize how many times a day I typed in my password–everything from email to source safe.

    And I REALLY like the way it works with FUS. Just tuck your finger and it switches to that user. No problems whatsoever with the software or hardware.

    The biggest danger is that I’ll forget my passwords! I keep them written down in my safe, and PGP encripted on a USB keychain disk.

  38. Floyd says:

    How do I login using only fingerprint and disable password box?

  39. Encrypted says:

    FWIW, I’m just not comfortable with the red light shining near my eyes all the time, so using some double-sided tape on the back of it, I mounted the little reader vertically on the right side of my keyboard with the touch surface facing right – away from my eyes. Being ride-handed, its an easy reach to touch a print.

    I purposely recorded serveral prints off-center and angled to allow for more realistic usage.

    Enjoy!

  40. rcme says:

    Great review Michael,

    This is very cool technology, which I had seen, but was apprehensive about, since I could not tell how it actually worked form the marketing literature. I have a few questions and comments.

    As I understand, the fingerprint reader provides two different authentication services:

    1) Authentication login for Windows XP operating system

    2) A simple credential manager (for IE forms)

    For #1, does this use a GINA plug-in? Perhaps that is why one user reported that after installing, they lost access to thier private key (likely stored via DPAPI), under the user’s account that existed prior to installing the GINA plug-in? There was a comment that this doesn’t work with Domains, but how does this work with Windows workgroups? Is there a "real" windows username and password that the fingerprint reader is protecting? Otherwise, how would one authenticate between workgroup computers. For example, on my home network, I have my user accounts (username and password) replicated on various computers to allow automated authentication for accessing files, printers, etc.

    For #2, does this work with the IE AutoComplete for user and passwords? Is this why they recommend that you don’t use this for "important" usernames and passwords, in that the "credential store" that the fingerprint reader is protecting could be vulnerable, but not that the fingerprint technology itself is insecure?

    Is the fingerprint reader more for security or for convenience? If it is truely securing my Windows login, then I can write a program (eg. using DPAPI), that will encrypt data in the user context. If the user’s login session is protected via the fingerprint reader, the whole computer would be more secure (regardless of whether one uses it for web passwords in IE).

    I am thinking about getting this for my kids for their home computers, this would be simpler than trying to have them remember their passwords in the home network workgroup (besides being pretty cool!). Are there any know problems with using the fingerprint reader for "kid fingers".

    If they work out the Domain login issue, this would also be great for our school computer lab (which currently uses Domain login authentication). It would be great to be able to have the students login to the lab computers using fingerprint authentication opposed to having them remember passwords (and the associated password management issues). How many users are supported for each device?

    Hmmm.. I haven’t looked, but how do they plan to sell this to the corporate world if they don’t support Domain login, or perhaps this is a consumer only device?

    Thanks.

    -rcme

  41. Bob Pierce says:

    I’ve had my reader for a few weeks now. Everything works OK except trying to use it for the "unlock computer" dialogue box – the one that comes up from a password-protected screensaver. Have to resort to typing in the id and password.

    Any ideas.

  42. Eric says:

    Hi, could someone explain this statement? I have been having problems logging onto Windows using the fingerprint reader. However, everything else was fine. Anyway, can some please explain what this means? Thanks!

    "IMPORTANT! If your computer is a member of a ‘domain’, you cannot use your fingerprint reader to log on to Windows."

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it~~!

    ~~Eric

  43. Douglas says:

    Can’t believe this doesn’t work with Netscape and/or Firefox. Come’on!

  44. Andy R. says:

    I just got this as a christmas present, I asked for fingerprint scanner. I am very disappointed that this device does not work with firefox. I read above that a supposed microsoft employee said that we should recommend it anyway to the 85% of the people who only use IE. Well, I don’t think that the 85% of the people who only use IE are willing to try new products like this fingerprint reader, the 15% of us who are on the technological edge are trying out fingerprint scanners for the first time because we are interested in security and we generally are using firefox. I thought I could keep out of trouble using IE but just being careful of where I went and what I clicked on, I was sadly mistaken. I would not recommend this device to anyone. I will research other devices today and if I find something that does work with firefox I’m taking the microsoft fingerprint device back.

  45. Joe L. says:

    I got the MS Fingerpirnt Reader standalone for Christmas. In none of the articles and reviews I have read is there any mention of it having any trouble reading prints so I was surprised that it had so much trouble with my prints. Though I did not keep an exact count it seems like 90% of attempts were faulure. Most of the time there was no response from the reader at all. Many times I got a "flash" like like it was scanning but was followed by silence, no from the software indicating either success or failure. These the duration of the "flashes" ranged from about a half second to about 10 seconds with a few that quit only when I took my finger off. Of those times when I did get a "tone" most of the time it indicated faulure.

    Reading in the docs about possible recognition trouble with "dry" prints I rubbed in a little of the wife’s skin conditioner but this but this brought no change in results. I cleaned the reader numerous times with the prescribed ammonia based cleaner but the trouble continued.

    I forget which one but a review mentioned the possibility of older folks having trouble due to their prints not being as pronounced as those of younger people. I am a somewhat high mileage 54 year old. Could this be the trouble?

    The troubles asside I was stunned to discover that there is no way enter, edit or delete passwords off line. Instead the user is forced to each individual password protected site in order to delete the user/pword file for that one site only. Only then can a new user/pword file be created. This must be repeated for each and every file that needs editing!!!!!

    I still have trouble believing that so simple and basic a feature as an editor was seemingly intentionally left out of the password manager. Is there something I missed here?

    If I am correct and there is no editor in Version 1.0 of the password manager will one be added in the future?

  46. Jc says:

    I got this as a Christmas gift, and am very sad that it doesn’t work with Firefox. It is a very nice unit, and the software is easy to use. Is it really too much to ask for it to work with more than MS products? I seriously doubt it would have taken very much effort to integrate it with Firefox, we’re talking a very small percentage of the over-all development cycle. This is something that should have been a requirement from the beginning of the development process. I’m not impressed.

  47. SamouraiMan says:

    I was wondering if there is an import/export feature in case you want to use it on a different PC.

    Cheers.

  48. SamouraiMan says:

    Actually, another question! Looks like the product from Digital Persona not only supports web logon but also applications. Is this also true with MS?

  49. Bob Pierce says:

    Joe L –

    I don’t know my mileage, but I’m 58 and it recognizes my prints fine. For me, everything works as advertised except trying to use it to logon from a password-protected screensaver’s "unlock computer" dialog box.

    Did you try the reader on another computer? And I do know that you have to follow the install steps exactly (I found this out the hard way).

    Also I agree with your complaint about the lack of any real password management functionality. This version barely deserves a 1.0.

    Bob Pierce

  50. Rob van Hulst says:

    Somebody from the Netherlands wrote that he couldn’t find it in the Netherlands. I’ve just bought it yesterday at Computercollectief in Amsterdam, http://www.comcol.nl. They have a shop and also do mail order.

  51. AngelArs says:

    Sony makes one too, which might work with Firefox, but it’s three times the price! I saw it at amazon. Buy.com has the MS version for 41.00 and free shipping.

  52. AngelArs says:

    APC makes one that apparently allows the use of Firefox AND online banking, PLUS it costs LESS then the Microsoft unit! Life is good! You can see it here and at Buy.com:

    http://www.apc.com/tools/get_content/index.cfm?http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=246&fs=Mobile%20Computing

  53. PJ says:

    AngelArs,

    The APC one DOES NOT support Firefox. I went through this this weekend. For christmas I got the Microsoft scanner and my father was given the APC one. Neither work with Firefox which is very disappointing because we are both very dissatisfied with MSIE due to it’s complete lack of security.

    So now we both have a light paper weight for our desks.

  54. Joe L. says:

    Bob Pierce

    The troubles that caused my MS Fingerprint Reader to fail miserably reading my prints may have been cured by further instalation work or an exchange for anther one but even if perfect recognition were acheived that would still leave my vast disgust at the lack of any real way to manage the passwords. They did not even include a method to back them up!!!! What in Heaven’s name were these people thinking when they released a product without such basic functions? So back to the store it went.

    I shall keep an eye on Microsoft and Digital Persona to see if they sober up and build an editor and back-up into the next software update. If they do I may try agian.

    I am also going to take a look at the APC unit "AngelArs" mentioned earlier. The APC unit uses something called "TruePrint Sensor Technology". Googling that I came up with:

    http://www.findbiometrics.com/viewnews.php?id=372

    "Used to replace PINs, passwords, physical access cards and keys, AuthenTec’s TruePrint(R)-based sensors provide the most convenient and reliable fingerprint security solutions available today for the PC, wireless, access control and automotive markets. AuthenTec’s patented TruePrint technology allows fingerprints to be read below the surface of the skin to the live layer — or true fingerprint. As such, TruePrint is not affected by common skin surface conditions including dry, worn, calloused, dirty or oily skin that can affect other sensors’ ability to acquire accurate fingerprint images for user authentication purposes. Uniquely, TruePrint is the only fingerprint sensor technology capable of acquiring anyone’s fingerprint under virtually any condition."

    Ignoring for the moment any potential corporate advertising hooey: if the fingerprint reading problem was due to my "high-mileage" hands these guys may have the fix.

    The makers of "TruePrint Sensor Technology" is "AuthenTec Inc." and have a site here: http://www.authentec.com/

    There is a "Where to Buy" link on the site that includes the APC unit and many others. I have not yet made a decision to buy any of them but hopefully there is one in there that looks worth a try.

  55. Mike Clarkson says:

    It doesn’t look like it’s possible to use the MS reader to store multiple personas, other than (presumably) by using different Windows accounts. I’d like to be able to use my fingerprint to access (say) my Hotmail account, and dad to be able to use his fingerprint to access his Hotmail account, without switching Windows users. Does anyone know if this is possible?

  56. PJ says:

    Bob,

    I’ve used both the MS and the APC unit. While I’m very disatisfied with the MS units software the APC units software was no better; the software was severely lacking. As I mentioned previously the APC units software also does not support Firefox (which may or not be a factor for you) and does not seem to have any more functionality than the software with the MS unit.

    Now as for the hardware the APC unit does seem to use a different technology for acquiring prints. The MS unit uses an optical system and the APC unit seems to have a sensor that sees the conductivity of your skin in some way to see the print. It takes a very good image of the print, but so does the MS unit (for me anyways).

    The APC unit is my fathers and he is 61 now and it had no trouble reading his prints, so "high mileage" may not be a factor with it.

  57. AngelArs says:

    Joe L, I purchased the APC unit yesterday at Circuit City. I told the salesman that buy.com had it for 34.00 and they reduced the price of theirs from 49.99 to 33.00 πŸ™‚ I must say that it is a great piece of technology. I especially like their feature where I don’t have to enter in a fingerprint/passowrd at all. The unit senses the login screen and automatically sends the correct information to the screen. This takes less than a half of a second and most times you hardly notice the login screen at all πŸ™‚ You can also modify the passwords later, and up to 20 people can use the same sensor. APC is a great company and my UPS from them has NEVER had ANY kind of a problem at all. Wish APC made cars πŸ™‚

    PJ, I am going to ask APC’s tech support more about the Firefox issue. I don’t use Firefox but I see some of you do, so it would be nice to know what APC’s plans are regarding this. I’m sure they will resolve the problem faster than Microsoft will πŸ™‚

    As for the functionality of the software VS. the Microsoft software, first of all the Microsoft unit ONLY uses Win XP. However the APC unit can be used with Win 98, Win ME, Win 2K, and Win XP. Also, you can edit the passwords with the OmniPass software that APC uses, but you cannot edit then in the MS software, at least that’s my understanding of it. Also the security issue is much better with the APC unit. Here is my understanding of how APC’s works; First "the fingerprint image" is itself encrypted with the XTEA encryption algorithm using a 128-bit key! Next, that data is encrypted AGAIN using DPAPI. The user account information is associated with the fingerprint template and these are signed using an RSA private key maintained by CryptoAPI. When users enter passwords into the software to replace log-in info, the user-names and passwords are first encrypted with the XTEA encryption algorithm using a 128-bit key! Next they are encrypted in DPAPI, which uses the user’s unique private Windows password to derive the key, and entropy from the application. As if that’s not enough, they are encrypted STILL AGAIN with a 3DES key which is itself protected by an RSA keypair.

    Mike Clarkson, I don’t think the Microsoft unit allows for that, but the APC unit allows up to 20 people to access it, and it even supports multiple languages. It also has a two year warranty VS. a one year with Microsoft’s. Multiple users can switch accounts directly and easily by right clicking on the icon in the taskbar. Hope that helps.

  58. Iam Nemo says:

    Hi! I’m running XP Pro SP2 and using the fingerprint reader (latest driver). I cannot access the Logon Manager to modify an incorrect password I enterewd by miatake. According to the instructions below I should be able to access this feature by simply clicking on the little hand icon in the top title bar. When I do nothing happens…

    Please help! Thanks!!

    From the driver Helkp file:

    Changing Fingerprint Logons

    To modify the account information entered by a fingerprint logon, click the hand icon on the logon screen title bar to bring up Fingerprint Logon Manager. Select the account and then click Change. On the Edit Fingerprint Logon dialog box, edit your existing account information in the appropriate text boxes and click OK. You can also change the fingerprint logon title and Quick Link settings.

  59. Glen says:

    will the fingerprint reader work as a fingerprint scanner for a biometric software package.

  60. mswanson says:

    Glen…good question. It’d probably depend on the support of the specific biometric software package.

  61. Bruce says:

    Just bought this product, question is, can this thing be backed up so I don’t have to redo all the logins in the event of a format?

  62. Hans Rijfkogel says:

    Is there any possibility to back up the fngerprint data in case of reinstalling WindowsXP?

  63. Rick A. says:

    I received a Microsoft fingerprint reader as a Christmas gift, installed it, and used it just long enough to become addicted.  After about 2 weeks it would flash, but would not recognize any fingerprints.  Reinstallation of the software did not help.  My computer is older, with only two USB1.0 ports so I use a port expander. Eliminating the expander, connecting the reader directly to the computer has not helped.  I exchanged the reader for a new one and the problem remains. Any suggestions?

  64. Darien Fenn says:

    This blog was very helpful — I appreciate all the input from various readers.  I was ready to order the MS product, but thought I should check first.  Now I’m glad — I resent the pressure created by the ‘only works with IE’ strategy, and I frankly do not believe that MS programmers aren’t competent enough to make this product work with the major browsers.  Give me a break.

  65. Darien: I fully agree that we’re competent enough to make the product work with other browsers. However, it all comes down to time and resources, and although the popular view is that we’re overflowing with money to spend on just about anything, the reality is that we’ve a cost-conscious company that is responsible to our customers and investors. In our case, a vast majority of our customers use IE, so that’s where we work best.

  66. Everybody says:

    Wow…i just bought this at office depot near seattle….yeah the big City near Microsoft itself.  I swear on any and everything I will never use IE again..other then the required computer Updates I have to do.  So after many Viruses, and attacks i switched to Firefox..  Seeing this product has been out for a few years and still no sopport to Firefox.  I think I need to return this, and tell allll the local stores in alll the major cities to spread the word the this particular product…reallly stinks.  I wonder if any Anti-trust, or Monopoly lawers would just love to get their grubby hands on this info.

  67. rd says:

    Well … I got me one of these little gizmos as well … certainly not for logging onto web pages. Can’t imagine there isn’t something a bit more usefull for the device.

    To begin with, we have about 20 employees in our plant and no time clock. You can imagine the trouble this might cause some days, so I thought I could use it as a fingerprint time clock – providing I could find some software. Of course I did, but I have to buy their reader for them to function.

    Has anyone heard of a time clock software package for use with the Microsoft (persona) reader. Now that would be a usefull tool.

    Cheers

    RD

  68. luke says:

    Same problem regarding the screensaver with password protection. I had to reboot the computer manually and finally gave up. I uninstalled the software and type the password the conventional way.

  69. Chad says:

    I use firefox and do domain logins to a samba box, but my MS fingerprint reader is not totally useless to me.  There is an SDK (and a fee version) put out by Griaule (www.griaule.com.  It allows developers to use it in their apps and it includes a login manager that works great with domain logins (I posted an item on their forum that allows you to use it without the digital persona software conflicting it).  RD – You could use it with a time clock app you write in C, VB, Java, etc.

    If I get some time soon, I’ll try my hand at a firefox plugin with the SDK, but my plate is full for the next few weeks.

  70. Kingsley says:

    Am trying to write a project on this Fingerprint Reader with my friends in school before we found out it already has been invented, i cant go back in writing another project coz i have little or no time, please mail me if you have any idea on how the Fingerprint Reader was created, what it has in it. mail me at tukurbandito@hotmail.com

  71. Ultr1 says:

    So actually i havent found any firefox plugin for it on the web. it would be very nice if you could  write one. Did you allrad begin working at it?

  72. Eric L says:

    Found a workaround for Firefox on another forum.  Apparently it can’t authenticate the passwords individually, but it can authenticate the master password for the keyring (probably due to the generic application support built into the software).  Not quite the same, but it is an improvement.

    Eric

  73. Eric L says:

    Hrm…  Except for one thing.  Apparently it doesn’t work in the newest version.  Maybe this time Firefox broke support for Microsoft? πŸ˜‰

  74. Jon H says:

    I just purchased the Microsoft Optical Mouse with Fingerprint reader today. I used to be an IE user (6.0) so I switched to FF, but since the new IE 7.0 Beta 2 is out I purchased this device and I love it. The only downside to this product is that its not compatible with some products and programs like FF and other third party apps. You should expect this because Microsoft designed the Firmware to work on systems running XP, running Microsoft applications. Know why they did this? Because they have people qualified in those areas/products. I hate to say but FF is just getting outdated for me. Microsoft has done a great job on IE 7.0 Beta 2 and I love using the fingerprint reader with it. I hate how you cant backup passwords though, and you guys are right, they need to provide a firmware update that encrypts the data, so that people can use this device for secure purposes, (eg: online banking). Just to let you FF lovers know anyways, before you purchase the product you must be brain dead or something to not notice the system requirements on the packaging, AND not to mention that this IS a microsoft product which probably with only allow proprietary software and applications!

    duhh nuff said.

    Jon

  75. KurtS says:

    Since this device is being marketed as a "convenience" product, it needs to take into account the habits of end users. Obviously, the value of this device is to simplify the logins for the dozens of web sites we visit daily. However, how many people use only one browser exclusively? So, if this reader isn’t compatible with a browser I often use, that pretty much nullifies the "convenience" factor. Personally, I won’t buy a product that makes my life more difficult for the sake of some theoretical "convenience" pitch. Microsoft take note: if another company builds a device that’s compatible with both IE and Firefox, your product is pretty much obsolete. How hard could it be to improve on this product? I was ready to buy this device until I learned of its shortcomings.

  76. Juan Pablo says:

    Hey! I’m trying to use the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader to catch the image of the fingerprint, I know it is possible because on the wizard it shows you it.

    Please! Please! Please! help me with some information about this. You can contact me at poncejp@hotmail.com

    Thanks!

  77. Justin says:

    I am interested in purchasing one of these devices, however I have a question.  My wife and I both use the same computer.  We both have Hotmail accounts.  The only reason I would want this is for the ability that I could swipe my finger, and it would log me in.  And then later, she could swipe her finger and it would log her into the same site.  We only have a couple sites that we need to log into seperately (ebay, hotmail, yahoo, etc), and I hate using the "fast user switchin" in XP.  I would rather just be able to swipe whoever wants to log in, even though it is at the same page.  Does that make sense?

    Thanks, Justin

  78. Yadu Kishore says:

    Hello, just came across this blog,

    Can we use the MS fingerprint reader to capture a raw image (jpeg,bmp,etc..) of the fingerprint just like from a normal scanner?

    Me doing a project on fingerprint recognition and would appreciate any reply.

  79. mcweber says:

    Hi, I have a digitalPersona fingerprint reader, but it is old, i works with a old software named U.are.U, but this software is not availble for Windows XP, I download the microsoft fingerprint software and install it, then I didn’t have any problem, but when I try to use the wizard and scan my first finger apper a message seying: These scans is not suitable to register your fingerprint. To try again, touch your fingerprint reader with your right index finger.

    Does anyone know how can I make to work my fingerprint?

    Thanks

    ( I review tha regedit and I found few lines with U.are.U reader, mayby changing the lines with a diferent identificator, can you helpme to do this just lelling me how apperar the identificator por microsoft reader)  

  80. Rob Latour says:

    Ok I give up – can anyone tell me how to delete a entry from the MS finger print reader quick list once the web site it points to is deleted or gets redirected?

    Thanks, Rob

  81. AndrewL says:

    I have a reader on my tablet that uses Omnipass, and after using it for some time, I decded to purchase the microsoft reader for my PC. Although it works well, there are several sites that I have multiple accounts for work, and personal. ie. I bank personally at the same place I bank with my business. Another example would be opening quickbooks for my company, and for me personally. So, with Omnipass, I can choose different user profiles for the same user that allows me to switch between a work profile and a business profile and open different accounts on the same client or web site. I notice that the packaged software for the Microsoft reader won’t allow me to do this. Has anyone tried the Mreader work with the Omnipass software, and know which of the three drivers I would need to install ‘if’ it works?

  82. Dave says:

    One things that bothers me and from what I have read, most if not all the posts say the same thing. What they are not saying is that " For this to be truly an effective peice of hardware and software. The software needs to auto generate a password. Too many people that are sloppy and I know a few. They use the same username and password with some minor varitiations on all their websites. Why did they not right the software to autosuggest a password to use?

  83. Mike Earls says:

    OK, the problems I’m having no one else has mentioned. I absolutely LOVE this thing. I had been using PWsafe to store my passwords and so had fairly secure passwords. The convenience of the reader was a blessing. I went back and bought a second for my laptop (not installed yet).

    This was last month, when the bad Windows update came out and screwed up MS Office for some. I started having problems with Excel and Word crashing (still using Office 97). After numerous exchanges with MS support, it was determined that it was the DigitalPersona software crashing Office. This was confirmed by uninstalling and reinstalling the DP software.

    Calling DP and listening to their recording, I learned a few things:

    They don’t support the software included with the MS reader, referring callers to MS support.

    They acknowledge incompatibility with XP SP2.

    They are only interested in enterprise customers.

    My MS tech that had been working on my problem is trying to bail, saying I must deal with DigitalPersona.

    Help, anyone?

    Mike

  84. Josh says:

    QUOTE: They are only interested in enterprise customers. "

    Uhhhh, not the way I see it. The damn thing doesn;t even support Domain Logins, and the data is NOT ENCRYPTED. I hope the people using this don’t think their passwords are safe by ANY stretch of the imagination. We bought one to test against our standalone, encrypted login readers, and to be honest, this is a JOKE if DigitalPersona thinks they’ll get into the "Enterprise" with this software.

    Chalk up another SysAdmin who’s going to try and educate some more people about how unsafe these things are.

  85. Mike1951 says:

    update to above post:

    Incompatibilities existed with their own personal versions, not the version they created for use with the MS reader.

    By contractual agreement with MS, DP cannot provide any support for the MS included software. It is totally the responsibility of MS to support.

    DP’s own software will not work with MS reader, only their own.

    Opened a second ticket with MS today without benefit. The most likely culprit appears to be my old Office 97. MS swears they have no other reports of problems similar to mine.

    Mike

  86. Mike1951 says:

    Clarification to Josh:

    I was talking about DigitalPersona, not MS.

    DP has dropped their non-enterprise products and no longer support them.

    Also, I don’t have a security issue 99% of the time. I live alone and no visitors. I don’t even have a Windows logon password. But for websites, where I might access from my laptop somewhere other than home, I have good passwords. The reader provided an instant login as opposed to typing in a long pw.

    I use PWsafe to generate long, secure passwords and use the reader as a shortcut to use those passwords and also to log into PWsafe.

    PWsafe dumps the memorized password from the clipboard after some minutes, so I found myself retyping PWsafe’s very long password often.

    Mike

  87. Jon B says:

    I echo Rob’s question above.

    Ok I give up – can anyone tell me how to delete a entry from the MS finger print reader quick list once the web site it points to is deleted or gets redirected?

  88. Mike1951 says:

    Apparently, each login is stored in individual .dpm files.

    The problem is that the file names are cryptic and non-descript so knowing while file to delete is the problem.

    If someone could decipher the filename or find a way to view the contents, it might be possible.

    Otherwise, it only allows you to delete a login from that page, which in your case, no longer exists.

    Mike

  89. Rob says:

    ok so here is how I found which files contain which links:

    open up a DOS window (can you beleive it) and at the venerable c:> prompt enter the following command:

    cd "C:Documents and SettingsxxxApplication DataDigitalPersonaOTSTemplates"

    where xxx is your xp user sign on name.  

    Next enter the command:

    find "quicklink" *.dpm >listing.txt

    Following this, use ms notepad to open up listing.txt to see which files belongs to which quick list picks.

    You can then delete the .dpm file(s) you don’t want.

    Finally, you need to log off and log on again before the quick list picks disappear.

    Hope this is of help to others,

    Rob

    PS: Michael – thank you for sponsoring this forum

  90. Keith Dipboye says:

    I found the last post on deleting microsoft fingerprint logons when I also discovered the unusual lack of editing/deleting features in this product. To clarify: once you create a logon for a particilar app there is no straightforward way (short of opening the dos box and finding the hidden directory) of correcting a mistake. Other than this strange absence of a vital feature, it is a cool technology.

  91. Konrad Grampp says:

    I have the microsoft fingerprint reader and i would like to log in to a program. The problem is, that the software does not recognize the form on the screen as a login screen. I tried the following: I wrote a little visual basic dialog with just 2 textboxes for username and password and an Ok button. When i run this programm in the vb development environment, it is recognized as a login screen. When i compile it to an exe-file and start it, it is not recognized as login screen. Does someone have an idea, what criteria the software uses to recognize a login screen?

  92. Steve Andrews says:

    Keith – That is my number one complaint after using it for the better part of two years.

  93. Patrice says:

    Hi all. I have a question about this Reader: is it possible to use the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader to obtain an ID code of a fingerprint? The idea is have a list of "authorised" persons that would be identified by a fingerprint code. Or is Microsoft Fingerprint Reader only dedicated to protect one’s computer + password manager? If this is the case, do you know any peripheral/gadget (USB if possible) that would simply provide a "fingerprint ID Code" when someone’s finger is put on the device?

  94. Matt says:

    Hi, I just bought the Intellimouse with fingerprint reader.  Im having some problems with this thing.  Apparently, when i open msn messenger, and put my finger on the reader, i then enter all the information, and save it.  then i put my finger on the reader again and it puts in my username and password, and then tries to sign in but says, the password field is empty.  Its really weird.  Ive tried it on two computers and same problem.  If i cant fix this then im returning this thing.  Please help if you can.  Thanks

  95. Dave Copeland says:

    What has annoyed me and quite frankly makes me restrict the use of the fingerprint reader is the fact that you cannot get the software nor has there been an update to the software to auto generate a password. Most of the problems with password security is that most people use the same password or a variation of the same password for all of their websites or login.Yes basically I am saying that if the software was rewritten the lazy persons way would to have a password auto generated then maybe things might be more secure.  

  96. Mike Earls says:

    Dave,

    I use Password Safe to autogenerate the password of up to 32 characters.

    Then paste that into the fingerprint reader script.

    So I have secure passwords without giving up the ease of the fingerprint reader.

    Mike

  97. Greg says:

    Hi Matt

    This is a known issue with MSN Messenger, and is noted on the MS website.

    MSN Messenger is looking for actual physical keystrokes and not copied passwords entered by some remote program, for security reasons.

    To get by this I make sure I’ve selected the "Do not submit" logon option when I first register the fingerprint information for MSN.

    Then when I want to logon using the fingerprint reader, I select the password box, and press the back arrow, then the Sign On button. If this seems like a lot of work, it’s still less keystrokes then typing my password.

    Maybe someone will come up with a real solution.

  98. Kim says:

    I have used both the APC biometric fingerprint reader and Microsoft’s.  I am miserable with the Microsoft Digital Password Manager–what a piece of crap.  The APC is far superior.  Why are there no software upgrades available?  Why can’t you easily delete an entry?  Why can’t you "unmask" your own passwords?  Why does it not always recognize a log-in, even though the upper right icon shows that there is a fingerprint stored?  Worthless!!!!

  99. Benoit says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just switched to Win XP x64. Is there a 64 bit driver available for the fingerprint reader?

    Thanks

  100. Kent says:

    I am curious about all the discussion on how the device is not compatable with Firefox. Firefox frustrates me because to view a video on MSNBC you are instructed to download IE 6. I stopped using Firefox and and moved to IE7 because of this. I would think that if you can live without video you could live without support for this a fingerprint reader? Sounds more like a Firefox problem than Microsoft.

  101. Sebastian says:

    I bought the fingerprint reader, too and had problems with Firefox. Nevertheless, there is a firefox extension that is some kind of workaround for the problem.

    http://redoneill.free.fr/fingerfox/index_en.php

    the Digital Persona-password-manager normally finds most applications, I used it for some of my own desktop applications already – no problem with that. With Firefox, there is the problem that they draw their own chrome, which is obviously not supported. So it’s their problem. Bugs are already filed for that, please vote for them (register a bugzilla-account and find the "Vote for this bug"-link there πŸ™‚

    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=275114

    Any developer here that could do that?

  102. danny says:

    Does anyone know whether this thing can lock files and folders to prevent access without the fingerprint in Windows XP? That’s really the deciding factor here. Thanks πŸ™‚

  103. Nathan says:

    If I don’t have IE open and I place a finger on the device, it opens the "one touch menu" window immediately.

    If I do have IE open and I place a finger on the device (to log into a website, for example), then it takes about 15 seconds for it to insert my info into the website.  In addition, if I press it on THIS website (no password assigned to this site), it also takes about 15 seconds for the "one touch menu" to pop up.

    As such, the problem appears to be a conflict between the reader and having IE open at the same time.

    Note – it didn’t do it during the first 2 days I had the device…but it has been doing it for a week now (I have rebooted and reinstalled multiple times).

    Any ideas?

  104. Nathan says:

    Finally got it to work again, but it required uninstalling and then manually removing every lefover registry entry relating to the fingerprint reader (there wansn’t too much left, but just enough to apparantly cause a problem) before reinstalling.

  105. Joao says:

    hi dudes! i’m about to buy a fingerprint reader, but first i want to know if it is capable to login in a java application (very simple: just a frame whith a textfield to enter a password) witch i’m developing to manage the entrances and exits of employees (i mean: can i use it the same way in my own application as i use it in IE??)…

    Thanks a lot!

    PS: a barcode reader just gives me a string (as if typed in the keyboard)… what does it gives to my application.

  106. I’ve had the device for about a year now, and only just started using it for web-sites. Many thanks to the two poeple who posted links to the firefox plug-ins (http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/software/microsoft-fingerprint-reader-firefox-extension-170449.php and http://redoneill.free.fr/fingerfox/index_en.php – direct download link is http://redoneill.free.fr/pub/fingerfox.xpi but IT IS worth reading the instructions first…) . Not tried them yet, but its a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, so thanks.

  107. cole says:

    i just wish that i could use it to put my password it after the screen saver   and use it on myspace

  108. Sören says:

    I need 64bit manager softweare! I have mailed Microsoft support also…

  109. Mr. B says:

    is there anyway to get it to work with Firefox? Microsoft are such dingdongs. If it ain’t their stuff, then they dont make it compatible.

  110. Brian says:

    I tried to register my son’s fingerprints, he’s 3, into his profile so he could play his games but it seems to have a problem reading small fingers. Mine scanned fine. Has anyone had this problem or this a minimum scanning width for the scanner to register a fingerprint?

  111. K says:

    Where can i download the driver for the MS finger print reader?  I lost my disc. Thanks!

  112. MIke says:

    Hi Machael,

    Is it possible to disable the keystrokes on a password prompt so that the only means of getting bast the prompt is to use ONLY your fingerprint?

  113. Eldon DeKay says:

    Michael,

    I am a happy Windows 2000 user and recently purchased the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader.  Sad to say I couldn’t read the fine print until I got it unwrapped.  XP only.  Is there a way around the limitation that would let me install it on a W2K machine?

    Eldon

  114. Marcelo Lisboa says:

    I’m still having some problems with Microsoft FingerPrint under Win xp64, drivers and application are not available for download, and i would like to know if someone have a solution for this or if Microsoft will finally do a good work and adjust drivers for you products for all versions of your OS.

  115. Mark Braker says:

    need 64 bit drivers for this Microsoft hardware.

    Microsoft’s own hardware not supported by the OS.  Come on guys

  116. I used many fingerprint readers (lla my PCs have one) including Microsoft, DigitalPersona and some others. I am extremely satisfied with the Microsoft implementation, but very disapointed by the fact Microsoft does NOT support x64 or Vista. I recently moved to Vista gold, and did not find any prerelease drivers… I hope it is not a sign for a product drop!

  117. Nanik says:

    Has the firefox support been added yet?  I see people have been complaining about it for over 2 years.  I bought this with the intention of using it to log in to both the computer and websites, but as of now it will not log in to the computer because it uses a domain, and it will not unlock the computer … i’m guessing for the same reason?  And it does not work with firefox, and I won’t go back to IE because its not secure.

  118. DUIT Dale says:

    I’ve enjoyed using the fingerprint reader on XP for the past year.  One not obvious benefit to the use of it when integrated with web browsing is that it compiles a quick list of sites such that placing your finger on it when not in any particular window pops up the quick list.  I use this to get to those sites monthly to pay bills and I love it – reduced surfing time to ever changing website layouts.

    As a Vista Build 5744 user, I just went to http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/Download.mspx and selected a driver for this.  I have to restart now so can’t yet validate it’s success.  I’ll post back.

  119. DUIT Dale says:

    DigitalPersona Fingerprint Manager 2.0.0 installed and works now with Vista.  Yeah!!

  120. M Deshane says:

    Just got one of these the other day, looked really neat figured it would be easier than always typing in usernames and passwords. Come to find out it DOES NOT work on the Windows Vista x64 Edition. What a way for MS to support hardware. It’s not a big supprise though, I’ve found several pieces of hardware and software that will not work with any x64 version of windows. I just hope the guys at MS quit drinkin long enough to PUT OUT SOME DRIVERS!!!

  121. pazzer says:

    ********FIREFOX SUPPORT***********

    ok, far too many people here asking the same question, so check this out, it works, so ask no more…

    This firefox extension allows DigitalPersona to send credentials to a firefox web form… so download the .xpi then drag and drop from *desktop* into firefox window (restore down to half the screen width), reboot firefox, and hey presto.. click on "Fingerfox" in the bottom-right of firefox, and then DigitalPersona allows you to add your print/credentials into the Fingerfox window!!!

    it worked for me.. πŸ™‚

    http://redoneill.free.fr/fingerfox/index_en.php

  122. JOHN says:

    TELL ME CAN YOU USE THE Microsoft Fingerprint Reader TO MORE THEN GRANT ASSECT TO WEB SITES AND REMEMBER PASSWORD..IS I POSIBEL TO START PROGRAMS LIKE WINAMP WITH YOUR     FINGERPRINTS SORRY ABOUT THE ENGLISH I AM FROM DENMARK…

  123. Vijay says:

    Can i use this with a peice of code written by me..like i write some code to access this finger print reader and do some functionality..is this possible?

  124. Chandra says:

    Hey guys i am excited about finger print reader keyboard, is any one out there made it fully working with firefox using fingerfox extenstion?

  125. Dan says:

    I tried to install Digital Persona, Password Manager on my Windows XP x64 PC. I was wondering if there is a manager supporting this OS. I used it all the time since it is right on my keyboard when I was in x32. Please help!

    Thanks,

    Dan

  126. ChuckS says:

    Ok. I have just received the MS Fingerprint Reader for Chrismas. And like many others, I am interested in using it to log into a domain based home network.

    I see that this issue has been raised on this blog since December 2004 and is discussed at many sites on the web.

    From the web I see that fingerprint readers from APC, Precise Biometrics, and even Digital Persona all claim to be able to log into MS domains using their figerprint readers.

    Has Microsoft released any updated drivers for this reader that will allow a domain administrator to allow its use for domain login?

    Or will it be the case that the only fingerprint reader that cannot log into an MS domain is the MS reader.

    I will appreciate any advice you can provide.

    ChuckS

  127. any driver available for windows 2000 server edition ??

  128. Howard says:

    Hello Michael.

    I have been using the reader for a couple months now and was wondering who to send a "bug" report to?

    Seems in IE7 that the reader bogs down the web page if there are ANY fields to be filled in.

    Noticeable a lot in eBay…

    After a page is loaded, my scroll-wheel is choppy, then clears out a couple seconds later. Other web pages that require scrolling, but no sign-in or other form data to fill in scroll quickly and immediately. Just noticed this anamoly after installing the reader.

    I’m using 2.0 software and I haven’t found a fix for this yet.

    Do you know if they are working on a 2.1?

    Thanks.

  129. Carlos says:

    I used this on my WinXP 32bit and loved it but now am running Vista 64 bit and no drivers…. Anyone know when Microsoft will release some 64bit drivers for the device??

  130. LMRoss Inc. says:

    We’ve been using Digital Persona Fingerprint scanners on an AD2003 domain at one of our client’s offices for well over a year, and they work great.  The UrU software is easy to setup and configure, and we haven’t seen any of the incompatibilities listed here.  We assign each new user a 16 char alpha numeric mixed case password. We show it to them once, and say, "put your finger on the red light".  Unlike the ms software UrU does encrypt the fingerprint information.  Digital Persona has left the User end of development to ms, and is focusing on high-end enterprise use.  

    Don’t judge DP by the use ms put their hardware to.

  131. Steven Withey says:

    I bought a new MS Fingerprint reader along with my new Vista Ultimate x64 and was gutted that it doesn’t work.  Despite t saying clearly on teh box that it’s Vista compatible and no mention of it only working on 32-bit version. Sort it out MS!!

  132. John Luckett says:

    I was also very, very disappointed to discover that the Fingerprint Reader does not work on Vista x64.  I sincerely hope that they will have drivers available soon.  πŸ™

  133. boilersplus says:

    I`ve just setup the reader on my pc, do you know any software for encrypting and decoding files or folders using the reader?

  134. Dards says:

    I bought this MS Fingerprint scanner hopping that I can use this on my Attendance System but sad to say that this Fingerprint scanner does not include any SDK, can anyone here give some compatible SDK for this hardware?, and I just wonder why MS said that it cannot be used on some bank, is it not reliable?

  135. JTiggidy says:

    I second the Vista64 disappointment.  It is very pathetic to me that they cannot even support their own hardware on their os.  Its not like they have a huge list of devices they would have to integrate.

    I have to believe there is a higher percentage of 64 bit uses that would even bother with the biometric stuff anyway.  MS slowly losing my respect piece by piece with Vista.  

  136. Big Biff says:

    Our Company is using Digital Persona Reader and Manager. It works fine. Till now.

    New PCs; more then 3 GB RAM; 64 bit; No driver.

    Digital Persona does not support the 64 bit.

    Microsoft does not support the 64 bit.

    It would make me think, when Digital Persona supports the 64bit someday and Microsoft at the same time or a few days later.

  137. Andy says:

    It seems you can get the Microsoft reader to log you onto domains if you install the software whilst the computer is only a member of a workgroup and join a domain after.

    I only did this once and it happened like this: I was using this reader on Windows XP Pro and because I wanted FUS I didn’t join my home domain with this PC. I recently upgraded to Vista (and I do mean upgraded, not a fresh install but an upgrade of my XP OS). Once I had got most of the drivers, etc. working for Vista, and had the fingerprint reader working again, I joined the computer to the domain (because Vista can do FUS when on a domain) and the reader continued to let me logon!

    A few days after the upgrade to Vista I realised that the computer was very unreliable, I think because I had been using the XP OS for a few years and had allsorts of software, drivers, etc. installed.

    So, I wiped the machine and installed Vista fresh. Now, of course, the reader won’t let me logon because I had to install the software again.

    I can’t be bothered to take the computer off the domain, reinstall, rejoin the domain, etc. to see if it will work again but for someone who has the time or inclination it may work.

  138. Andy says:

    Dards,

    I think the reason MS say it cannot be used with some banks is the this is more of an “executive toy” than a security device.

    Don’t forget it only costs a few $s and if some flaw was found that showed it was easily circumvented they find themselves liable. So, to avoid this liability they tell you not use it with banks.

    Also, I don’t know what your bank login screen is like, but mine asks for different parts of my PIN and password each time and the reader software cannot deal with this. Also, it can only cope with one “password” field on a web page so, as it is in my case, it won’t accept the six, individual, single character password boxes that are present.

  139. Grant says:

    I have also had my digital perona fingerprint reader working on win xp x32 and wokred awesome then when i got vista there were no pre-release drivers then finally they came out with some right when i upgraded to x64. They don’t support that. COME ON MS!!!

  140. SIMON says:

    Just installed Vista Ultimate 64 bit, ah no 64 bit drivers for the finger print reader, bugrit

  141. Jai Shankar says:

    Hi all,

    I want to know how to access the Finger Print Reader through browser using Java Script…If Java Script is not possible means is there any other way to access?any soucer code is there for this one. Please let me know the solution for this if any body knows……It is an urgent requirement for me….

    Thanks,

    Jai

  142. Chionsas says:

    same problem here..

    new PC with 64bit Vista and no luck with the MS fingerprint reader =/

    what a shame..

  143. jasond says:

    I was on the phone with MS yesterday for about an hour or so complaining about the 64bit problem . basically I got no decisive answer to when or if they are going to come up with drivers. BUMMER.

  144. Roc says:

    My fingerprint reader worked fine until recently.  Now it only works for Windows login, but it doesn’t recognize any web sites with logins.  I have XP SP2 and IE7.  I have reinstalled everything, and am running Digital Persona 2.0

  145. Jeff Laun says:

    First, thanks for having this nice resource of information.

    Second, on the fingerprint reader there is a thin plastic film covering the glass.  Does anyone know if this is part of the readers functionality or just a protective film so the glass doesn’t get scratched.  

    TIA,

    Jeff

  146. Caesar says:

    still no Vista64 driver

    funny is that in device manager appears the correct name, but with a lemon

    give us a suitable driver

  147. I want to purchase Microsoft Fingerprint Reader (USB) device.but i need some information regarding it.

    1) Can i use it for Attandence System?

    2) Is SDK included with package?

    3) Documentation?

    4) After sale services?

    5) Can i recognize fingerprint using SDK?

    Please reply me soon i am interested in this device.

    Please reply me at my mail address

          friend_ssk55@hotmail.com

    Thanks

    Shakeel Mumtaz

  148. Jeff Laun says:

    For what its worth.

    The plastic film over the fingerprint reader just protects the glass under it.  (I was worried it was part of the operation of the device).   Mine was getting very foggy (I cleaned it with alcohol)  I have since removed the plastic film and now the reader is much more responsive.

    Jeff

  149. Bully says:

    I just bought the dam thing and shure..ive got the x64 Ultimate, so no go.. And the package clearly says Vista, but not anything about drivers only for x32.

    And its a dam shame they havent made any, i mean, its MS Vista software, with MS hardware!

  150. David S says:

    Does the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader work for anyone with IE7.0? I can’t seem to make it work since I upgraded to IE7.0. Can’t find driver for it.

  151. Chaso says:

    I have a question on this…does the Microsoft Fingerprint reader work with other non MS software, I need to install a Punch In system for a small business, could I use this?

  152. Hi,

    Im new to this blog, but does anybody know where i can find the APC Biometric Fingerprint Reader Driver for Vista 64-bit???

    Please email me at info@turboprocessingpc.co.za or phoenix90@telkomsa.net

    Thanks in advance

  153. Cyndee says:

    I am confused about this Persona Password.  Im gettng the IE error message, "Internet Explorer has encountered an error and needs to close" Mod Name ntdll.dd – which apparently is related to this fingerprinting. But when I go to download the fingerprinting program I get the error message that I don’t have the Digital Persona Password Manager 2.0.0

    Where do I get this?  What am I doing wrong

  154. Ahmed says:

    hi

    I try this one to login in youtube after choosing change my pass dosent work !!

    I want to use it to log in my websites i boght it today can you explane how it works i saved my finger print but no way to log in with sites ?

  155. Jannes says:

    Hi Mike,

    i would like to know if its possible to use the MS Fingerprinter to logon to any software which needs a password athentification. For Example: I would like to use the fingerprinter to mount my truecrypt volumes! is that possible?

    Thanks for your answer!

    Jannes

  156. Jeff Laun says:

    Regarding James question on password authentification.  My reader works on almost all passwords.  I have used it to connect to mapped drives, SQL server, MSWord password protected doc files, VB programs and of course website logons.

    For me it doesn’t work in Firefox, but I think there is an extension available to fix that.  I also can’t use it with my FTP program since the password prompt is generic.  So the fingerprint reader doesn’t know which FTP site I am trying to go to.

    Jeff

  157. Paul King says:

    My advice – AVOID Omipass – it is resource hungry, extremely buggy and unreliable, and can result in very long delays during startup & shutdown, as well as outright system lockups.  

    Luckily the problems disappear completely as soon as software is uninstalled.

    I speak from painful personal experience here, though if you check the forums you will find plenty of others with similar experiences.

    Softex Tech support is truly dreadful too – the process is little more than a defensive butt covering exercise on their part… They basically claim there is nothing that could be wrong with the software, so any problem must be with the user, and that it is just tough luck if you didn’t happen to pick up any issues during trial period – and that is it.

    I was told I would have to pay again for the next version if I wanted a solution (assuming it is any better), even though previous version never worked.

    Actually works out much faster & more reliable to just type a master password on booting, and to use some other password software if you need it for websites etc.

  158. Benny says:

    i also have Vista x64, and MS fingerreader…and still no drivers for it, i mean, what the hell is the problem? The package also says "Makes Windows Vista security more convenient" which drives me insane, it should have said Vista x32!!

  159. John says:

    About Fingerfox: it’s a cool extension, but if it doesn’t fit your needs (it happened to me), consider giving a try to FingerAuth: http://www.fingerauth.com. It’s working like a charm with me on Vista. Regards, John.

  160. Bhavin says:

    hi..i need to develop a biometric application and I want to use MS fingerprint reader for capturing fingerprints. can i use it as a scanner? the digital persona software doesnt allow me to do so.

  161. Fernando says:

    About capturing fingerprints, try http://www.griaule.com/page/en-us/downloads

    I’ve tried it on VB6 and works fine with the MS fingerprint reader.

  162. Joker says:

    I’ve tried it with Grfinger 4.1 and 4.2, with Cfm (payoon.com), but all of them need money, is there anything(sdk or doc) for free?

  163. Paul says:

    Add one to the list of people frustrated by lack of 64 bit drivers….

    However I thought I’d share my successful work-around for Firefox.  It won’t be for everybody, but if you just use your fingerprint reader to log on to a few websites, then this will do the trick.

    First, install the "IE Tab" extension in firefox.

    Then, when you come to a page for which you want to store your logon info, open that page in IE (not simply an IE tab within Firefox, but in an external IE Window).

    Since the fingerprint reader works fine in IE, add your logon info in the IE window.

    When you have your logon page opened in Firefox, choose Tools > IE Tab Options from the menu bar.    Click the "Add" button.

    Now when you browse to that  logon page within Firefox, it will open in an IE tab and your fingerprint reader will work!

    I realize not everyone will like this solution, but I have been using it for ages and have been very happy with it.  I hope it works for you.

  164. Rob says:

    I use this successfully with Firefox by using it via RoboForm password manager. I log into RoboForm using my fingerprint and RoboForm logs me into the sites I use with Firefox. Very easy to manage and secure.

    I also have the screensaver password issue. I wonder why it shows that dialog instead of the Welcome Screen?

  165. Rob says:

    To solve the screensaver problem, add another user in Control Panel > Users. This will change the checkbox in Desktop > Properties > Screensaver to say "On resume, display welcome screen" instead of "password protect" (assuming welcome screen is enabled).

    I used TweakUI (MS Powertoy) to add the Administrator account to the welcome screen and this solved it also.

  166. Bob says:

    Anyone know what file to restore from backup that has all of your FP reader logon and passwords stored – so I can put it on a new machine?

  167. hap says:

    Add another to the list of people frustrated by lack of 64 bit drivers….

    And why aren’t microsoft hardware devices integrated with Windows Update.

  168. Michael says:

    I have never had a problem with my MS fingerprint reader until two days ago when it stopped putting the username/password into registered sites. The FR icon is on the page, it is connected and infact it even produces the "bedupe" sound it makes when it successfully reads the fingerprint, just does not fill the fields. I have tried placing it in many usb ports including right on the computer (not a hub) and still does not fill. Before I uninstall and try to re-install the software does Anyone have any ideas?

  169. Rob says:

    re: Michael

    I had exactly the same thing when first setting it up. Reinstalling the software worked, even though it’d only originally been installed about an hour or two earlier.

  170. Dan says:

    Yet another user stitched up by "Windows Vista Compatible" but no mention of the total lack of support for 64-bit – I’m seriously unimpressed!

  171. Rob says:

    Does anyone get the mouse not responding sometimes on Windows startup? The fingerprint reader works, although the green light on the very front is off.

    Unplugging and re-plugging the USB connection fixes, although it’s a pain!

  172. Adam says:

    I have a fix for the error / problem with Microsoft Finger Print Reader and Remote Desktop! After much and F*ing around and no luck with google I have come up with the following batch file. Just Run this when you are done using remote desktop and it will basically log you on at the console and then lock the station which lets you use Micro. Finger Print reader to login once you get home, etc…

    Open Notepad.exe

    %windir%System32tscon.exe 0 /dest:console

    rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation

    Click save as then type “logoutRDP.bat” as filename (or whatever)

    (using quotes let you save as .bat w/out having to set the folder options show file extension)

    Now just click that to log out of Remote Desktop, I put in my quick launch wink.gif

  173. I’ve been using a MS reader for about 3 years but lately I have to wait from 15 to 30 seconds after the recognition beep until the data is inputted on the screen.  I’ve went through all the comments and don’t this this mentioned.  I have it plugged directly into the computer.  Any suggestions?

  174. Juha says:

    I’ve wondered why MS doesn’t provide roadmap for their hardware as they do for SW. It would be nice to know if there is going to be any 64-bit Vista support for the Fingerprint Reader ever or if MS is planning to intro new product in this category or what ever is in the planning…

  175. csmeutah says:

    I’ve used mine at home on an xp machine for a couple of years and it’s worked fine.  Now I have the same problem as Micheal where it recognizes the fingerprint but not the site.  If I try to set up the site again it complains that the site is not a login site, in otherwords it no longer recognizes the sites.

    I’ll look for the cd…

  176. John Butare says:

    Another person looking for x64 support for this product…

  177. Frank Gnad says:

    I upgraded to Vista Ultimate 64-Bit and I got every x64 driver I needed except for… Microsoft fingerprint reader.

    I had this experience with my strategic commander controller under win98 changing to win2000.  There was never and will never be a driver be available for this hardware in the future.  The same thing seems to happen with the fingerprint reader.

  178. Shawn says:

    Where are my dam 64-bit Vista drivers!  I buy M$ software!  I buy M$ hardware!  You don’t even support your own stuff!  M$ is really pissing me off!  It’s my own dam fault because I keep buying this crap.  Time for a change.

  179. Andrew P says:

    another person looking for 64 bit drivers…

  180. wewex says:

    remember people this thing dose not encrypt your fingerprint!!!

  181. Andy says:

    Yes, it does encrypt your fingerprint if you use DigitalPersona Password Manager 2.0, wewex. Only DigitalPersona PM 1.0 didn’t encrypt the fingerprint (and everybody started saying "oh! uh! nasty! terrible! ugh! unacceptable! blablabla").

  182. William B says:

    Still no support for Vista x64? This thing has been collecting dust since I upgraded to Vista Ultimate x64 in February… You would think by now they could have set a few days aside to add some support for their own product.

  183. Robert Jones says:

    I have three of these on three different computers. They worked relatively well with IE6 and XP. But with the Digital Persona version 2 software, IE7 and XP or Vista, forget it. I my experience, the fingerpring reader slows down browsing by an unnacceptable level. I transferred one to a new VISTA machine with lots of processing power and memory. IE became so slow I removed the fingerprint reader and software. It then went back to normal. Tried installing again, same result. My other two machines still have XP and with the Microsoft Fingerprint reader installed they are much, much slower. I’m about to give up on these things. It can’t be my configuration, because it seems to happen on every machine I own.

  184. Ron Smith says:

    Can not belive that a company like Microsoft would put out a product that will not even support its on hardware. Namely 64 bit vista fingerprint reader

  185. Patrick says:

    On the logging onto a Domain issue, I use my MS Fingerprint Reader at work, on a Domain login.  It could be that my login information is the same for my laptop as it is for the domain, don’t know, but it works daily.

  186. Patrick says:

    I can’t believe Microsoft makes a Fingerprint Reader that VISTA cannot find a driver for online.  ROFL

  187. Jon Dickens says:

    Arh, Any time for release of z 64 bit driver for xp ??

  188. “Why do I have to go the hardware route and “swipe” my finger…”

    This is a good point: it offers nothing over simply assigning, say, an F* key to a password manager.  It is simply an expensive button.

    “Arh, Any time for release of z 64 bit driver for xp ??”

    Take consolation in the fact that with recent Windows Updates it no longer works for Vista 32-bit.  Even the most recent fully supported OS is not being properly supported.

  189. YellowPingo says:

    1) Any one knows how secure that Fingerprint Manager program (whether its version 1 or 2) is in keeping the passwords safe? I mean, can someone get access to the passwords stored in it and use them directly without your fingerprint? (through copy/paste, for example?) Do you HAVE to swipe your fingerprint in order to open and manage the Fingerprint Manager software? Does it store anything in the registry that could be unsafe?

    2) Also, any one got this working on a Linux machine?

    3) Did microsoft make an upgraded product of this? Like version 2 or a newer version?

    4) Any one knows of other fingerprint readers similar to this one with same functionality?  

    Thanks for any feedback πŸ™‚    

  190. eddie says:

    i installed my MFR months b4 then it works well. then right now i installed it again the reader didnt respond for scanning. it lights steady all the time. is MFR really dont run in XP with service pack? i also tried downgrade my laptop still didnt work

  191. My question says:

    I have bought a microsoft fingerprint reader.

    please show me how to take my fingrprints on screen. I want to scan my fingrprints into a bitmap file. to do this, what software can i use.

    thanks.

  192. Michael says:

    Is there no way to log onto a vista pc thats connected to a domain ?

  193. Anonymous says:

    using password managers SUCKS! this hardware simply rocks!

  194. Noah M says:

    I need to read the fingerprint off my ms reader and get the user details onto a VB program. Which dll or activex controls do i pick and how to pass parameters from the fingerprint device to my system.

    Thanks

  195. M.Aasif says:

    hi there guys, i have bought Microsoft finger print reader it works ok on my laptop but on my desktop its installed fine but do not scan any finger print for registration. both machines got xp pro and for both of them its connected to local USB port. try to on all diff ports but no luck. any ideas ?

    Regards

  196. Adi says:

    Hi,

    I just bought the Microsoft Fingerprint Reader and after installing the software, i did the setup on the “Fingerprint Registration Wizard” that was no problem.

    But then when i tried setting a password to one of my email sites, by opening the login page & pressing my finger on the scanner nothing happens, & i don’t get the fingerprint reader icon on my task bar.

    I can’t find the One Touch Menu or the Fingerprint Logon Manager.

    Would appreciate if some could help me out of this problem.

    Thanks,

    Adi.

  197. Falken says:

    I’ve had this little guy for a few years. I LOVE it.  My only complaint is that it won’t log me into the domain.  Ah well, it’s not designed for that kind of use.  

    What’s up with all the Firefox people whining?  Firefox is ok, but it’s third party.  Don’t expect a complany to support every third party piece of code out there, even if there are millions of downloads.  Good grief.  BTW, I’ve always used IE, learned to love it’s strengths and curse some of it’s weaknesses…but I’d never change.  AND, I’ve NEVER had any major problems…virus or otherwise.  

  198. Agravated says:

    so i bought one of these about a year ago (or when vista came out), along with an upgrade to 32 bit vista. I like it alot, used it all the time. Even modded my desktop case to allow for easy access. not long ago, i discovered you could swap your 32 bit vista disk for a 64 bit one through some ms program, so i swapped it out (bad idea there is no upgrade path from 32 to 64 bit os’s but any way, i happened to have a 64 bit version of xp floating around, installed it, upgraded it, only to find my microsoft finger print reader doesn’t have any drivers for 64 bit operating systems. From my understanding, in twist of irony, the only 64 bit opperating system that microsofts finger print reader works on is linux… I’m still holding out hope that this will be fixed, but i checked again today, and found nothing – less really, than i had previously. Is there any hope? or do i have a 30$ dust magnet permanently glued into my desktop case?

  199. Warren says:

    Anyone know which XP security update in the last month or two conflicts with the MS fingerprint reader? The first problem that surfaced was the FPR no longer worked while plugged into a USB hub (powered). Then when plugged directly into a USB on the computer, the OS started freezing (KB and screen requiring power down) after a random length of time. It took some time to determine that the FPR was the problem.

  200. Ivan says:

    Nowadays, if my computer is a member of a domain, it is possible to use DigitalPersona Password Manager to log on to your Windows XP user account? I need the Logging On with the Windows XP Logon Screen feature. Thanks.

  201. Steve Parks says:

    Dear Mike,

    I use the latest version of DigitalPersona Personal on Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit. The sw allows for standard user accounts to have their own authentication. I’d like to know if I can bypass/login to a standard user’s account if I am the administrator. Meaning, is there a way for the administrator account user to override the login for a standard user that is protected by the fingerprint program. I have searched for an answer but I cannot find it (DPP’s site has no info and it’s not in their product’s help section). Do you know perhaps?

    Thanks

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