How to Prevent Windows XP Users from Writing to USB Drives

USB drives are handy tools. However, in some instances, allowing other users to write onto these devices from your PC might not be a good idea. This is especially true when working with highly confidential data or intellectual property at work. Users of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed can disable writing to USB devices on their PCs.


First, open the Registry Editor by clicking Start on your taskbar and then clicking Run. Type regedit, and click OK to start the regedit utility.

In the regedit utility, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control.

From there, right-click and create a new key. Name it StorageDevicePolicies. In the window on the right, create a new DWORD value and label it WriteProtect. Give it a value of 1. Now, users can no longer write to USB drives. To re-enable this option, change the value to 0, and users will again be allowed to write.

The modifications you made will be in effect after you reboot your PC.

 

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3 Responses to “How to Prevent Windows XP Users from Writing to USB Drives”

  1. November 29, 2008 at 1:52 am, setiyana said:

    maybe you can tray this

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesUSBSTOR]
    “Type”=dword:00000001
    “Start”=dword:00000003

    change the value from : dword:00000003
    become: dword:00000004 to deactivate, meaning

    3 for enable and 4 for disable. without restart the PC

    Reply

  2. February 03, 2009 at 2:49 pm, Sebastian Alduncin Pisanty said:

    The problem with this approach is that you get freezed against viruses and stuff…
    when the antivirus try to erase or remove the virus, malware, the file just can´t because this ReadOnly policy…
    so a better approach would be a selective policy for some programs…
    I give this piece of information to see if someone would have a solution.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • September 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm, Mario said:

      [The problem with this approach is that you get freezed against viruses and stuff...
      when the antivirus try to erase or remove the virus, malware, the file just can´t because this ReadOnly policy... ]

      I know this is an old post, but this is exactly why I have used this reg edit for years. When I’m repairing an infected PC, I know I can safely connect a USB drive to the PC without the virus spreading to the USB drive.

      Mario

      Reply

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