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Windows 7: How can I disable access to specific USB drives (but not all)

27 Oct 2016   #1
ddd990

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
How can I disable access to specific USB drives (but not all)

I have 3 USB drives permanently connected to my Win 7 Pro machine. One of which I want access to all of the time, which is why the solution that disables ALL usb drives that I found not applicable. The other two are backup drives that I only want to use once a week during the backups.

It's dangerous to keep my backup drives connected all of the time, were I get to catch some ransomware on my web travels. I want my backups to be offline 99% of the time.

Currently I disconnect them physically, but I'd be just as happy if I could have a few shortcuts on my desktop to some registry settings that would allow me to simply disable access to them. I have looked in the drive properties and see that I can change security permissions but I might end up making the drive inaccessible forever if I get it wrong.

Anyone else had such a minor dilemma as this and found a better way?

edit: I'll be looking for a Win 10 compatible solution as I'm transitioning over to a Win 10 machine and once switchover day happens, these USB drives will be plugged into the new machine instead.


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27 Oct 2016   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

I can't see how that can be done. Is it really too hard to just disconnect the back up drives after doing the back up.

Even if you could do what you want, there is no guarantee that the attached external drives would be insulated from a virus attack & they could also be damaged in the event of a major electrical failure on the computer.

Back up drives should be stored in a safe location & not left attached to the computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2016   #3
ddd990

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ranger4 View Post
I can't see how that can be done. Is it really too hard to just disconnect the back up drives after doing the back up.

Even if you could do what you want, there is no guarantee that the attached external drives would be insulated from a virus attack & they could also be damaged in the event of a major electrical failure on the computer.

Back up drives should be stored in a safe location & not left attached to the computer.
No it's not too difficult disconnecting, it's what I've been doing for a long time. You're right, I shouldn't leave them connected, but I'm a lazy SOAB and quite like the idea of a double-click on an icon to enable or disable a drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Oct 2016   #4
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Thanks for getting back. I do a weekly back up as well via a USB external drive & have to do the same disconnect routine as you do, so it's just one of the annoying computer housekeeping chores that has to be done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2016   #5
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

The idea of isolating USB drives from malware by software methods is flawed in principle. Such methods may well exist but their value as a security measure is virtually nil.

Anything you can do with software - registry settings, security settings, etc, can be reversed by malware. As malware can be assumed to be running with at least elevated admin rights (it is pretty hard to do anything with less) it will have full access to the computer. Few people imagine how sophisticated malware has become in recent years. Malware authors are experts in evading security. If a USB port could be taken offline with software it is almost certain that malware authors would know all about it. Disabling such protection would be done as a matter of routine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2016   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

There is no better way than psychically disconnect it. Not only for security (virus ) but also to save the bearings. Also rotating disks are very sensitive to impacts.
To just disable it, just un mount it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2016   #7
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

If you know the number of your USB ports where the drives are plugged in, you can try to disable the ones you don't need directly in the BIOS. Most motherboards have that feature since few years now. Then re-enable them when you need. It's only a key to pres each time you have use them.

Same manner as unplug the drives manually but with your keyboard and Bios.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2016   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I must be a lucky computer owner.
I have no problem unplugging a external device. The difficulty factor is ZERO. Time consumed is seconds.

I do agree with LMiller7's post #5.
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 How can I disable access to specific USB drives (but not all)




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