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Prevent Writing to USB Storage Devices

By: Arie Slob

Many system administrators have had some sleepless nights over this: it is too easy for users to connect a device (USB-key or MP3 player) to the USB port of a computer, and copy things off the system. This is an obvious security risk. This has been addressed in Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. You have to manually add the following registry key:

  1. Start the Registry Editor
  2. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control key
  3. If there is no key called StorageDevicePolicies, create it. You do this by right-clicking the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control key, and selecting New > Key from the menu.
  4. Select the StorageDevicePolicies key
  5. From the menu select Edit > New > DWORD Value
  6. Name the new value WriteProtect
  7. Right-click the WriteProtect value and choose Modify
  8. In the Value Data: box enter 1
  9. Exit the registry editor, and restart your computer

To reverse, just delete the new WriteProtect value (or set the value to 0) and restart the computer.

Note: works on Windows XP Service Pack 2 & 3 only!

This is one of the functions performed by:

Tweaking Toolbox XP