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Prevent use of USB flash drives with WIndows 7

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-04-15
I have a standalone Windows 7 Professional machine and need to prevent users from copying data from it.  

It is used on a Standard user login, and I have an Administrator login for it.

How can I prevent USB flash drives from being used on the machine?

Is it possible to prevent CDs/DVDs from being burned?
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Question by:RedLondon
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9 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 37839847
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555324
this might help.
be careful it's an old article.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Anuroopsundd
ID: 37839861
To block your computer's ability to use USB Removable Disks follow these steps:

1.Open Registry Editor.
2.In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR1.Locate the following value (DWORD):
Start and give it a value of 4. Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you're supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

1.Close Registry Editor. You do not need to reboot the computer for changes to apply


http://www.petri.co.il/disable-usb-storage-devices.htm
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LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 700 total points
ID: 37839889
You can block all access to removable media (CD, USB, etc.) using local policies ...

Start, type in gpedit.msc, then:
Computer Configuration (or Users Configuration), Windows Settings, Administrative Templates, System, Removable Storage Access
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:R. Andrew Koffron
ID: 37839896
here's an article on how to do it in server 2008 I don't have access to a windows 7 machine right now to test if it's compatible but will try it soon.

http://mytricks.in/2012/04/how-to-disable-usb-drivecd-romfloppy-disk-use-in-an-windows-server-8-by-using-group-policy.html
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LVL 28

Accepted Solution

by:
Run5k earned 900 total points
ID: 37839910
You can actually set a local group policy that will configure this a bit more gracefully than a manual registry edit:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access

You can potentially enable All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access, or if you want to retain a bit of flexibility, enable Removable Disks: Deny write access.
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:R. Andrew Koffron
R. Andrew Koffron earned 400 total points
ID: 37839961
just tested Run5k's and it's a much better method than the previous articles.

PowerEdgeTech's tech is the same with a minor mistake in the gp path just remove "(or Users Configuration), Windows Settings"
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LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 700 total points
ID: 37839999
(or Users Configuration) was there on purpose, as an optional course.  If you follow the same path under Users Configuration, you can set the policies per user rather than global per machine.  Probably not helpful on a single machine, but if implementing in a Domain environment, Users Configuration will allow you to block/allow access per user group rather than the entire machine, just in case there are individuals (like administrators) who should retain access.  But yes, I forgot to remove 'Windows Settings'.
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:Run5k
Run5k earned 900 total points
ID: 37840070
To expand upon PowerEdgeTech's good advice, if you want to configure local group policies that only affect non-administrators that is certainly possible, but it requires a few extra configuration steps:

How to Apply Local Group Policies to All Users Except Administrators

Explore the benefits of the Multiple Local Group Policy feature in Windows 7

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766291(WS.10).aspx
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