Redirect Temporary Work Files

Statistical applications may create temporary data sets during the execution of your programs. The location of these temporary working directories can be specified for each statistical application. You should configure your statistical analysis software to point the temporary work files to an encrypted temporary data directory (i.e., e:\tmpDATA) to ensure portions of your data set are not accessible by unauthorized individuals. You should then run the secure erasure program on this temporary data directory periodically.

Following are some popular statistical applications and directions for redirecting the temporary working directories.



  • Add the following to the end of the "Target/Command" line in the properties of the SAS shortcut: -work "drive_letter:\secure_directory" (i.e.: -work "e:\ahd\tmpSAS").


  • In SPSS you need to manually set the temporary working directory. This is done under Edit, Options, Temporary Directory.


  • Mplus uses intermediate files for controlling outputs. These files are created in the working directory. The working directory is usually the directory with the input file. There is one instance when it is not and that is when Mplus is first opened and the recent file list is used to open a previous input file. To ensure that the working directory is always the directory with the input file, always use the File -> Open/Save options for opening/saving an input file.
  • Alternatively, to set Mplus to use a secured directory for temporary files, create the FORT_TMPDIR environment variable and assign it the name of the secured directory.
  • There is one other temporary file that is created by Mplus but not stored in the working directory. This file does not contain any specific results from the current run. The only information written to the file is the name of the output file. Mplus stores this file in the directory specified by the TEMP environment variable -- a setting on most computers with the Windows operating system. There is no specific setting in Mplus to change the location of this directory. To change the location where Mplus stores this file, the TEMP environment variable must be changed. This will affect other programs that use the TEMP environment variable.

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