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I need to share data on an external drive that will be handed over to someone else, and I would like to achieve the following:

  1. protect all the files and folders from being copied/moved/deleted/cut on windows system
  2. files are browsable and media playable, but it stays inside the drive
  3. the same behavior if drive is plugged on Linux system, or not accessible at all is fine too.

How can I do these without using paid software?

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To configure the drive to read-only you can use Microsoft's Diskpart like this (The "Attributes Readonly" function is available only on Windows 7):

  1. Open a Command line prompt and enter these commands
  2. Diskpart
  3. List Volume
  4. Select Volume <The volume letter of the external HD>
  5. Attributes Volume Set ReadOnly
  6. Attributes Disk Set ReadOnly

This should protect your external HD from any changes. As for coping files from you EHD to a local computer, I don't think you can control it - if he can read it he can copy it.

Another option is to put on your HD a bootable OS (probably Linux would be a good place to look for), that blocks all local HDs and encrypt everything on the EHD, so it can be accessed only through this specific OS.

I've read that this thing can be done with Windows 8, but I've no online sources to give you.

share|improve this answer
it's available only on Windows 7. Huh? Diskpart is one of Microsoft's oldest tools. It was and is included in all versions since Windows 2000 – nixda Dec 25 '13 at 10:54
That is correct, but this specific function is new. – EliadTech Dec 25 '13 at 13:28
I guess you mean the attributes command? Maybe you can clarify this in your answer. At least for me it's unclear – nixda Dec 25 '13 at 14:10
Edited, thanks for the comment. – EliadTech Dec 25 '13 at 14:30

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