Windows Client OS

Configure USB Disks to be Read-Only in Windows XP SP2

How can I configure USB Disks to be Read-Only in Windows XP SP2?

Since USB Disks-on-key and other external USB storage devices have appeared, the fact that users can transfer sensitive data from their corporate computers to their portable USB devices has caused great security concerns. Some 3rd-party software exists that can effectively block all USB storage devices throughout the corporate network, but sometimes a simpler approach is needed.

This tip only works with Service Pack 2 installed in Windows XP Pro.

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To prevent users from being able to write to USB disks follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor.

  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

Note: This key might not exist. In that case simply create it as a new key under the parent key.

  1. Create the following value (DWORD):

WriteProtect

and give it a value of 1.

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you’re supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

  1. Close Registry Editor.

Done!

Try to write something to any USB Disk and you’ll get the following error:

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