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I have an external harddisk and my friends asked for it. The point is I don't trust in his anti-virus software.

Is there anyway to allow some folders (I prepare hdd space for him) to write-able and all others is read-only ? or is there a software that can do like this ? And it would be great if I can have full access on my computer ONLY (may be with some specific software on my PC) and without having to modify anything.

I don't ask for hdd-encryption since I only want to limit the area of write-able folder (and allow my friend to read through all my data), later I can scan for virus myself only in that area ... scanning entire hdd with 500gb/friend is not fun at all !

Sorry if this doesn't seems like the programming questions. Any help would be appreciate, Thank you.

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migrated from Feb 4 '11 at 4:21

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

You can set a directory to be encrypted, it works with your user profile, so his user account wont be able to access the file contents. Encrypted files and folders show as green in explorer:

enter image description here

Note that this only works on NTFS type partitions. You may need to reformat the drive to NTFS if it is not

update - the other user can still see the file names, but not access it's contents. the user can also delete the files, and create files within the directory.

It seems like Microsoft encryption functionality is seriously lacking!

Short of creating an encrypted partition, or container, the only thing you can do is to

  • 1) not give your drive out to people you don't trust
  • 2) move all your data off the drive, that you don't want to lose, before handing the driver over
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what happened when the folder is encrypt ? The other user except the encrypt one cannot access the folder ? – dekhadmai Feb 4 '11 at 9:17
The file contents are not accessible by anyone else except for you. It encrypts for your user account. Other user accounts won't be able to view the file contents. Try it out with some tests first and you will see. – invert Feb 4 '11 at 12:34
Note, you cannot encrypt using XP Home, you can mark it as private – Moab Feb 4 '11 at 15:01

If it's staying within one network domain, NTFS permissions might be enough to keep things under control for basic day-to-day use.

But remember, an administrator user on the computer it's plugged into can always change ownership and write privileges on files.

That's why disk encryption exists. :)

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And any known (or hidden) apps and processes running on his PC, in his userspace, will also have the same admin privileges, and could take ownership of said files all the same :) – invert Feb 4 '11 at 8:22
Exactly what I was driving at. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 4 '11 at 17:56

Yes this is difficult; I believe you are looking to move the HDD from comp to comp not just Network sare the disk?

In any case you can get proprietary software that will allow you to password protect and lock data on the Disk as you see fit; he will just have some areas that are unlocked and Gen public so to speak

A quick search on Google should yeild results, I've used stuff in the past but no names come to mind at the moment as I currently have no need.

You could also partition the drive; and encrypt your files although if he has the same encryption software he can uncrypt it, depends if you trust your friend.

It may always be easier to just buy a second HDD; even to just back up yours then if anything goes corrupt or gets a virus you can't get rid of you just wipe it clean and restore the data!

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I trust him to look at my data, but I hate that his PC is full of virus & malware. I only want to block any viruses to write on my disk or at least write themselves on some folder I allow them. – dekhadmai Feb 4 '11 at 9:21
At least I want the destination PC not to install any 3rd party softwares on it. It's so annoying to install the program just to leech some files from your friend anyway :) – dekhadmai Feb 4 '11 at 9:23
In fact, I want him to fully read my drive, but limited area to write back :) – dekhadmai Feb 4 '11 at 9:29

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