I have an external USB hard disk with two NTFS volumes on it. I planned on attaching it to my router so that only one volume is available, but the router automatically mounts and shares both. Is it possible with NTFS to prevent a volume from being mounted or accessed by my router (or other computers in general)?

I tried to set NTFS permissions (attached directly to my computer, Windows 7) for folders on the drive so that only COMPUTER_NAME\\User_Name and SYSTEM have access. When the drive is mounted on the router these permissions don't seem to matter and are not visible. The only visible permissions grant read-write access to generic UNIX root and users group, and everyone; these cannot be changed from my computer while attached to the router (at least not though Windows properties-security tabs). I've also toyed with getting a command prompt (e.g. SSH) on the router (Belkin N750) by putting the IP and standard ports in PuTTY, but have not even got a login. (I don't know if there is special configuration involved, or how to find the configuration if so). Any ideas where I'm going wrong with these ideas may help resolve my problem.

Abridge security log of mount:

Version 2009.4.4 integrated FUSE 27
Mounted /tmp/sda1 (Read-Write, label "Archive", NTFS 3.1)
Cmdline options: force,uid=0,gid=100,fmask=113,dmask=002,streams_interface=xattr
Mount options: force,silent,allow_other,nonempty,default_permissions,relatime,fsname=/tmp/sda1,blkdev,blksize=4096

With the stock firmware, I don't believe there will be a way to do this. A couple of reviews for your router make it sound like that's just the behaviour and there's not much that can be done about it:

You can't control the way the router streams or shares data stored on the connected USB storage device, either. Once plugged in, the entire drive is shared over the network with everybody having full access to it.

The manual does mention an additional utility which may or may not have additional options, although I'm suspicious its entire purposes it to set up drive mappings, not for configuration. I would presume downloaded software would have less settings than the web interface.

USB Print and Storage Manager

The USB Print and Storage Manager helps to manage and monitor the use of your USB printers, scanners, hard drives, and other devices that are connected to your Router’s USB port and shared across your network. USB Print and Storage Manager is found in the Belkin Router Manager icon displayed in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac).

Now, whether there is anything you can do, I can't say for certain as I don't have this particular router to play with. There are alternate firmwares out there, such as DD-WRT.

I can't see that your router is officially supported, but there is a forum thread about one particular revision of this router. I don't know if it's your one or not as your question doesn't contain this information, but it's a line of investigation you could go down. With DD-WRT, you would have a far greater level of control over what your router does, including how it mounts and shares USB devices information here.

Unfortunately, I can't say how viable this is, it may be a complete dead end, depending on the level of support for your device. I am fairly confident that you won't be able to achieve it with just the stock firmware though, I'm afraid.

  • Thanks for your efforts. Storage Manager is as you would expect, automates drive mapping & backup (redundant with Windows features) with a stop-using option (similar to Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media) that removes the whole disk. DD-WRT sounds good, but I'm not comfortable with that as long as this is my only wireless router or it's supported. If I can't find some a way in probably accept this as an answer.
    – Linus
    Jan 14 '16 at 9:11
  • @Linus I did suspect as much - I doubted they'd put such a useful function in an external application but you never know. DD-WRT is an incredible transformation to a consumer level router, but I do agree that without a backup (and especially without official support) it's risky and probably not worth it just for this functionality. I hope you find an answer, but in all honesty I believe it's not possible as is.
    – Jonno
    Jan 14 '16 at 9:14

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