Thursday, 24 May 2007

How to disable writing to USB devices in Windows Vista

There is a very simple registry tweak we can implement to prevent users from writing data to a USB devices like flash disks or external hard drives. This sort of thing is usually done at schools and company's that don't want their students or employees to download files off the internet or copy sensitive company information, to take home.

To disable writing to USB devices, follow these simple steps:

- Press Windows key + R (This brings up the Run dialog box)

- Type regedit and press Enter (The open up Registry Editor)

- Navigate to:

- Right-click on Control and goto New -> Key [See pic below]

- Type StorageDevicePolicies as the name for the new Key

- Right-click the newly created StorageDevicePolicies and goto New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value[See pic below]

- Type WriteProtect as the name for the new DWORD value.

- Double-click WriteProtect and set its value to 1 [See pic below]

- You can now close Registry Editor.

From now onward, every time someone tries to write data to a USB drive will be presented with a write-protect message!

NOTE: This works for Windows XP as well.

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