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HP Notebook PCs - Using a Fingerprint Reader with DigitalPersona or Verisoft

This document pertains to HP EliteBook and ProBook notebook computers with Windows 7 or Vista.

Many business applications and Web sites require you to log in with a unique user name and password before you can access them. A fingerprint reader allows you to log in by moving a finger across a sensor instead of typing on the keyboard. Many HP notebooks have a built-in fingerprint reader, as well as an access manager to keep track of the different user names and passwords that you regularly use. Regardless of the number of user names and passwords stored in the access manager, all you need is a single fingerprint to access them.

Does my computer have a fingerprint reader?

Not all models include fingerprint readers. The fingerprint reader can be easily identified as a small metallic sensor located near the keyboard or display.

Figure 1: Fingerprint reader sensor

Fingerprint reader sensor

Like any hardware device, a driver is required to control the fingerprint device, and the driver is designed for a specific operating system. The access manager software must read the signal from the fingerprint reader driver to logon to a secure site or application. If the access manager cannot communicate with the driver, because the driver is incompatible with either the software or the OS, the fingerprint reader will not work.

How does a fingerprint reader work?

You are probably familiar with the barcode readers used in grocery stores. A barcode is a series of bars of variable width and spacing, which together form a distinct pattern. When a barcode reader scans this pattern on an item, the item is identified and its price sent to the cash register for tabulation.

Similarly, a fingerprint consists of a series of whorls and ridges on your fingertip, which together form a pattern that is unique to you. When the fingerprint reader on your computer scans your fingerprint, you are identified and then granted access to your stored user names and passwords. User names and passwords are stored in logon accounts, which are configured and maintained in the access manager.

Whenever you open a Web site or application for which you have created a logon account, a fingerprint icon appears on the screen. This lets you know that you only need your fingerprint to log in. Since your fingerprint is unique, the access manager does not allow anyone else access to your logon accounts.

How do I use the fingerprint reader?

After your fingerprint has been registered with the access manager and at least one logon account has been created, you simply swipe your finger across the fingerprint reader to use it.

Figure 2: Use the fingerprint reader

Using the fingerprint reader sensor

To ensure that the fingerprint reader is getting a good image of your fingerprint:

  • Hold your finger flat as you move it across the reader.

  • Move your finger in a straight line without turning it sideward.

  • Move your finger slowly enough to allow time for the reader to recognize it.

View an introductory video on setting up a fingerprint reader.

Which access manager should I use?

Use the table to determine which access manager (also called credential manager software) was available at the time you purchased your computer.

HP Fingerprint Access Manager Availability
Software Name
Verisoft Access Manager
HP Security Suite 3.x and 4.x
For XP and Vista only
HP ProtectTools 5.x
For Vista and Windows 7
HP ProtectTools 6.x
Windows 7
NOTE: HP Security Suite (version 3.x and 4.x for XP and Vista) was renamed as HP ProtectTools (version 5.x and 6.x for Vista and Windows 7).

The access manager program and fingerprint reader device driver are designed to work on specific models and operating systems. You be able to update to a newer version of the program for the original configuration of your computer on the HP support Web site. However, you cannot upgrade to a different operating system.

For example:
  • Verisoft and HP Security Suite are designed for XP and will not work in Windows 7.

  • Digital Persona and HP ProtectTools are designed for Vista and Windows 7 and will not work in XP.

The drivers and programs available for one model are not designed to be compatible with other computers. If you choose to change the operating system, HP might not provide drivers and programs, and the fingerprint reader might not work. When searching for drivers and programs, you must use the specific product number for your computer. See HP Notebook PCs - Locate the Notebook Product Number or Model Number .

What if the access manager interferes with another program's operation?

Some access managers, such DigitalPersona, have components that modify other programs. These components allow the access manager to integrate select security features into those programs. For the most part, this integration is seamless but on occasion it interferes with the operation of another program.

This can result in:

  • The program not working properly.

  • The program periodically crashing.

  • The program not responding.

To resolve this issue, try the following:

  • Run the affected program with administrator privileges. This allows the program to run without security for as long as it is open, and prevents it from conflicting with the access manager.

    1. Click Start, and then click Computer to open Windows Explorer.

    2. In Windows Explorer, browse to the program's executable file. The executable file extesnion is .exe. Most programs install on the root hard disk drive (C:) in the Program Files folder, within individual folders.

      For example, Microsoft Access 2011 is located in the following location: Computer > C: > Program Files > Microsoft Office > Office14.

      Figure 3: Locate Microsoft Access 2011

      Location of Microsoft Access 2011
    3. Right-click the program's executable file and select Run as administrator from the pop-up menu.

      Figure 4: Run as administrator

      Run as administrator selection
  • Disable the access manager logon prompt. This prevents the access manager from intercepting a program's request for a secure logon.

    1. Click Start, enter the name of the access manager in the search field, and then select the access manager from the search results list.

    2. In the access manager, expand the Password Manager item, select Settings, and then uncheck Prompt to add logons for logon screens.

      Figure 5: Disable the access manager logon prompt

       Disable the access manager logon prompt
    3. Click Apply to save the settings and close the access manager window.

  • Disable any add-ins installed by the access manager. Some programs, such as those in the Microsoft Office collection, allow other programs to install add-ins. If the access manager installed an add-in, that might be causing a conflict with the program.

Do I need a Windows User Account to set up the fingerprint reader?

There must be at least one Windows User Account on the computer before setting up the fingerprint reader. If multiple people use the same computer, each person must have a Windows User Account. The fingerprint reader can be configured to recognize each user and logon.

See Create a user account Non-HP site on the Microsoft Web site for more information.

How do I set up the fingerprint reader?

The first time that you use the fingerprint reader, you must enroll one or more fingerprints with the access manager so the fingerprint reader has a pattern to match. After you have enrolled a fingerprint, you can then start creating logon accounts for secure applications and Web sites.

To set up the fingerprint reader:

  1. Click Start, type protect in the search field, and then select the HP ProtectTools Security Manager from the search list.

    Figure 6: Select Security Manager

    HP ProtectTools Security Manager
  2. In the HP ProtectTools window, select Credentials then click Fingerprints.

    Figure 7: Security Manager setup

    Security Manager setup
  3. On the Fingerprints screen, enter your Windows password and click Next.

    Figure 8: Verify your identity

    Security Manager Verify your identity screen
  4. Next, follow the onscreen instructions to register the first fingerprint (right index finger).

    Figure 9: Register your fingerprints

    Registering your fingerprints for the first time
  5. Enroll a second fingerprint for added security.

    Figure 10: Add a fingerprint

    Enrolling a second fingerprint for added security
  6. Click Save to complete the registration of your fingerprint enrollments.

  7. Finally, click Password Manager to expand it, click Settings and then select Prompt to add logons for logon screens.

    Figure 11: Complete the registration - Prompt to add logons for logon screens

    Security Manager with Prompt to add logons for logon screens highlighted
  8. You may close the HP ProtectTools program now.

After registering your fingerprint(s), you can log off the user account, and then use your enrolled fingerprints to log on to Windows. HP recommends that you enroll at least two fingerprints.

How do I create a logon account for my favorite Web mail site?

To create a logon account for a Web mail site:

  1. Browse to the Web mail logon page. If the page is recognized as a secure logon page, the account manager widget appears.

    Figure 12: Account manager widget

    Account manager widget
  2. Click the account manager widget, and then select the Add to Password Manager option.

    Figure 13: Open account manager widget

    Password Manager
  3. In the Add Logon to Password Manager window, enter your Username and Password for the site. If you need to add additional fields to the logon, such as Stay logged in or other options, click the More fields... button. Click OK to save the logon and close the window.

    Figure 14: Enter Username and Password

    Add Logon to Password Manager screen showing user name and password
  4. In the next window, verify your identity by selecting the Fingerprints option and then scanning your enrolled finger.

    Figure 15: Fingerprints options

     Verify your identity screen with Fingerprints selected
  5. The access manager uses your newly created logon account to log you into the Web mail site.

From now on, whenever you return to the registered Web mail site, scan your finger on the fingerprint reader to log in automatically.

How do I logon to Windows with the fingerprint reader?

After you have enrolled your fingerprint(s), you can logon to Windows by simply swiping your finger across the fingerprint reader instead of typing your password in the Windows logon screen.

Can I use a different finger to log into my PC after enrolling my fingerprints?

If you want to use a different finger to log into the same account, you can clear your fingerprints, and then set up the fingerprint reader again to read a different fingerprint. This process will not affect your ability to access your Windows Vista account. You will be able to do so by manually inputting your user name and password, as before.

Alternately, you create another account, in addition to the account for which you have already registered a finger, then you can use a different finger to log into the new account. You can register up to five fingers.

How do I clear my fingerprints and start again?

To delete an enrolled fingerprint:

  1. In the HP ProtectTools Security Manager, go to the Fingerprints screen.

  2. Click the enrolled finger that you want to delete.

  3. When the delete confirmation appears, click Yes to delete.

    Figure 16: Clear a fingerprint

    Confirmation screen for delecting a fingerprint

Can multiple people log into the same PC with the fingerprint reader?

Yes, multiple people can log into the same computer with the fingerprint reader if each has their own user account.

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