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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Secure your USB drive with write protection

Make USB drives, external hard disk write protected, read onlyMany viruses crept into my PC via the my USB pen drives and external hard disks that I lent to friends for transferring data.

If your motive is to prevent unintentional transfer of malicious and unwanted stuff on to your portable storage devices (that do not have inbuilt write-protection), this little software is just what you want. It makes your USB storage device read only.

The USB WriteProtector will occupy only about 500 KB of space on your USB flash drive and will prevent any unauthorised files from making your pen drive their home.

The good part is that it is portable, it doesn't require any installation and can simply be copied to any portable storage. It not only works on USB flash drives but also on external hard disks (I tested).

All you need to do is download the file from here [RAR 189 KB] (via Google Translate since the original site is in German).

Extract the RAR file (if you do not have an appropriate program on your PC, try 7-Zip). And copy the extracted files to your portable storage device.

Click on the UsbWriteProtect.exe file

USB write protect

The default language is German, choose English from the drop down menu.

USB write protect

Choose the 'USB write protection ON' radio button and click on the close button.

USB write protect

And your USB drive/external hard disk will now be read only when reconnected with any PC (note that the turn on feature gets activated only when you remove and reconnect the USB drive. Logical).

This also prevents accidental cut/paste instead of copy/paste of data, that removes the original data from your storage device.

If you want to write data on the portable drive, reopen the USB WriteProtector and choose the 'USB write protection OFF' radio button and click close (unlike the activation process the deactivating procedure is instantaneous and doesn't require the device to be disconnected and reconnected).

USB write protect

I've tested it only on Windows XP PCs, don't know if it'll work fine on Windows Vista or other Windows OS.

There is a small issue that I faced (don't know if it is only with me): If I have the USB WriteProtector turned on in one USB drive, it doesn't allow me to write data on any other USB storage device connected on the same PC. It's only when I turn it off and disconnect the device with the software on it, that I'm able to resume my copy/pasting activity.

Please suggest other (preferably free) software that can perform the desired task better.

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· Zip it for Faster File Transfers

3 Comments:

Amos G said...

I have to admit that due to my experience, I had to use several flash drives, but now I only stick to one secure USB flash drive that works great .
In the last year there have been a few developments related to antimalware on portable drives (worth another post maybe…).

Amos said...

Great tips! I use SanDisk's secure USB flash drives, and I believe that remote control gives you the bet opportunity to manage sensitive data.

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