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Friday, January 2, 2009

How to Prevent Users from Writing to USB Drives in Windows Vista

How to Prevent Users from Writing to USB Drives in Windows Vista

Whether you refer to them as flash drives, USB drives, or pen drives, these portable storage devices can be both a blessing and a curse. More and more administrators are being tasked with preventing users from being able to copy important documents onto these drives to prevent loss of important data. To prevent a user from writing to USB drives attached to a computer running Vista, follow these steps:


1. Open Notepad.

2. Copy and paste the following into Notepad:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“EncryptionContextMenu”=dword:00000001
3. Save the text file as Vista_USBNoWrite.reg.

4. Double-click the newly created file.

5. When the UAC prompt appears, click Continue.

6. When the confirmation box appears, click Yes.

7. The file will be merged to the registry. A confirmation box will appear, click OK.

8. Restart the computer for the change to take affect.

Now when a user tries to send files to a USB drive, they will see something like this:

To Restore Write Capability, follow the above steps using:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“EncryptionContextMenu”=dword:00000000

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