I'd like to stop portable USB storage devices from being used on my computer. Its just too easy for someone to copy confidential data from my hard drive to a USB flash drive.

Is there a way to install a program on Windows 7, so that if an unknown USB drive is inserted, it asks for a password before it can be mounted and used?

migrated from serverfault.com Jan 30 '11 at 19:08

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.


you can stop USB from being used by following the steps in this article: How can I prevent users from using USB removable disks (USB flash drives) by using Group Policy (GPO)?

as far as asking for a password otgher than removing admin rights from the users I'm unaware of a way to prompt for access. In a windows environment confidential data should be stored in a format that provides for DRM / IRM of some sort (MS Office has an IRM server that is available)


Anything that's software can be passed, with some effort.

If it's really important, consider using superglue.

  • Huh? And how would you plug the keyboard and mouse in? – Contango Feb 11 '11 at 13:05
  • PS/2 is not that old, or is it? – Paul Feb 11 '11 at 20:55

If someone has physical access to your harddrive, he will have access to your data, so in order to really secure your system you will have to use some form of encryption (Bitlocker, Truecrypt or something like that) in addition to restricting access to USB ports and also make sure the data can't be transmitted via the network.

  • True. I am already using TrueCrypt. – Contango Feb 11 '11 at 13:06

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