It's hard to fit every detail into the title, so here are the rest of said details:
I'm running Linux Mint 10 off an external 360gb USB 2.0 hard drive. I set up the drive with a 1gb FAT32 partition for the CD image, an 8gb ext3 partition (casper-rw) for software install, system changes, etc, and the rest as an ext3 partition for my home directory (home-rw). I then created a "Startup disk" using the MInt utility. The result of this is that I can now boot from any machine that supports USB booting, and have my entire OS and all files there.
All is well except that when I lock the screen it doesn't... er, lock. I have read almost everything there is to read on Google about this issue, and the only thing I know for sure is that screen locking is disabled on purpose so that when people are booting from an actual live CD it won't lock the screen when the user has no password to enter.
That situation doesn't apply to a live USB install meant to be used as a persistent system. I DO have a password and would like to lock the screen when I walk way or when the computer has been idle for a while.
Does anyone have an idea how to re-enable the screen locking functionality on a permanent "live" install? I have spent hours researching this and have tried everything I've found.