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Vista: Prevent Users from Writing to USB Drives

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

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers
Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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