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I'm trying to set up a Windows 7 laptop such that you must enter a password to access any flash drive, SD card, or other USB media, no matter its format or encryption (if any). However, I should still be able to access USB devices like a mouse, a digital camera's cable, etc. regardless.

Any tips? Maybe there's software I can use or something?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, "a digital camera's cable" may be interpreted as a USB storage device, and in that case, you would still be allowing the user to mount external storage. So at least in that particular example, you wouldn't be able to reliably deny flash drives but allow cameras. However, if the camera uses a different protocol, such as MTP, that's a different story.

  1. This solution doesn't let you set a password prompt, but it will outright prevent certain users (you can control exactly which users or groups) can mount USB storage.

The general idea is to edit the security ACL on the file %WINDIR%\INF\UsbStor.inf so that certain users do not have "Read" permissions on the ACL (in fact they should have no access to the file at all).

  1. I'm loathe to recommend some random commercial software that I haven't personally tried, but it looks like, at least from the advertisement, that this software may do exactly what you want:
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USB Manager sounds like what you're looking for.

Makesoft's USB Manager is a great idea, a utility that prevents various devices from connecting to your computer via USB ports. It doesn't disable the ports but their drivers. Attached devices show up in Devices & Printers but show trouble icons. USB Manager can disable storage devices like thumbdrives and removable disk drives as well as printers, scanners, and audio devices. The program offers optional password protection, a Hide mode, and configurable hot keys. If you have to leave your PC running at home or at work and want to prevent unauthorized access to your printer, scanner, or (worse) your files via a USB drive, USB Manager can disable those devices, or any device that might be plugged in without your knowledge.

(emphasis mine)

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