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Write protect your USB Mass Storage Device

Question asked by PraveenKumar Purushothaman in #Coffee Room on Mar 6, 2011
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
It happens with me many time that I had to copy some files from my pen drive to our college lab and the moment I plugged in my pen drive, it gets infected with dozens of viruses. Yes, its true that our college labs are too infected. Now before I can use the pen drive again, I need to make sure to clean it first so that the virus may not spread on more computers. I scan for my pen drive using NOD32 and no doubt it completely remove all traces of virus but it wastes my time as I always have over 2 GB of files that I carry with me all the time.

So I came to know of this trick of write protecting the drive so that I can safely copy things I want without the worry of virus being copied on my USB drive. Although you won’t be able to write any thing on your pen drive, its still very useful in case you want something to copy from your pen drive and don’t want to get infected. Before proceeding I must tell you that playing with the registry can be harmful for your Operating System (OS) and I advise you to take a backup of your registry in case anything goes wrong.

This trick works only on XP SP2 and you need to have administrator privileges.
  1. Open Registry Editor by Start - Run.
  2. Type in regedit.
  3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \
    [​IMG]
  4. Locate the sub-key StorageDevicePolicies. If it doesn’t exist then create it first. Create a new key under Control by right clicking on it so that you don’t create it elsewhere by mistake (as shown in the above screenshot).
    [​IMG]
  5. Right click in the blank area of the sub key you just created and create a new DWORD value by the name WriteProtect.
    [​IMG]
  6. Double-click it and set the value data as 1 (and 0 for disabling it).
    [​IMG]
  7. Click OK, close the Registry Editor and restart the PC.
The drawback of this trick is that you need to remember this trick by yourself and you need to restart the PC after applying this trick. Killing explorer.exe and restarting it will not do the job everytime. I am still looking for any other ways fo protecting your drives and I will post in on my blog if I found a better trick than this one. Share your thoughts in the reply.

Posted in: #Coffee Room
Deepika Bansal
Deepika Bansal · Mar 6, 2011
Rank B2 - LEADER
The windows xp sp2 system you are talking about is the infected system ie systems of our college labs, isn't it.??
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
Yeah, right!!! 😛
Deepika Bansal
Deepika Bansal · Mar 6, 2011
Rank B2 - LEADER
OH. The problem is that we don't have the access to the administration account there. And we're having vista or windows7 there. Any tips for that.?
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
Deepika Bansal
OH. The problem is that we don't have the access to the administration account there. And we're having vista or windows7 there. Any tips for that.?
For vista there are 3rd party tools, but will go in deep with the registry to find out... Moreover, our college labs are filled with enormous amount of viruses, you will never think about!!! 😛
Deepika Bansal
Deepika Bansal · Mar 6, 2011
Rank B2 - LEADER
Again the installation of any software or 3rd party tools, we need admin password.😔
So left with just one tip:
Try avoiding your pen drives in your college labs until and unless it is highly required and you're left with no option. And then spare an hour or so to scan fix it.😒
PraveenKumar Purushothaman
Rank A1 - PRO
Deepika Bansal
Try avoiding your pen drives in your college labs until and unless it is highly required and you're left with no option. And then spare an hour or so to scan fix it.
Seriously funny! Then what is the use? BTW, have you heard of portable software???

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