Make USB External Drives Read Only / Writable in Windows 7

Posted In Tutorials - By NitiN Kumar Jain On Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 With 0 Comments






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It is most of the times true when you are working in an organization and using their resources like desktop or laptop then the company would want not to allow you to copy data out of the system via USB external devices.

They most of the times disable USB ports completely (except for needed devices like mouse, keyboard etc) so that user is unable to view the device when they plug-in their storage USB device and thus unable to do anything. We have already provided a solution to make it available by tweaking a registry setting.

But some organizations are generous enough to just write protect the port such that you are able to view the content of your external device but unable to write to them.

You will see following error:

“The disk is write-protected.  Remove the write-protection or use another disk.”

Solution to that is quick too by changing a registry setting in Windows 7. Just follow the following steps:

To make the USB devices writable in Windows7 follow the steps below

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Navigate to following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  4. In the right pane, double-click “WriteProtect”.
  5. In the Value data box, enter 0, click Hexadecimal (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.

To write protect, follow these steps below

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate, and then click the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  4. In the right pane, double-click “WriteProtect”.
  5. In the Value data box, enter 1, click Hexadecimal (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.