Write-Protect a USB

G

Guest

Guest
Is there anyway to prevent a flash drive from being written to or formatted without some type of password or key file?

The solution I am looking for would most likely be a software program. I want this write-protection to stick no matter what computer it is plugged in to.
 

Jaxem

Honorable
Jul 22, 2013
60
0
10,610
12
You can buy flash drives with codes or biometric write protection, but protection like this varies from OS to OS depending on the file system the drive is formatted with, there isn't a way to make a generic flash drive super secure like this for all computers, maybe for one, but not all.
 

Jaxem

Honorable
Jul 22, 2013
60
0
10,610
12
You can buy flash drives with codes or biometric write protection, but protection like this varies from OS to OS depending on the file system the drive is formatted with, there isn't a way to make a generic flash drive super secure like this for all computers, maybe for one, but not all.
 

Jaxem

Honorable
Jul 22, 2013
60
0
10,610
12


For basic security maybe, but some simple command line work could still format an encrypted drive, correct?
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


Formatted? Sure. Anything short of a physical lock could be formatted around.
But if I have it in my possession, your physical lock means nothing.
 

Jaxem

Honorable
Jul 22, 2013
60
0
10,610
12


Touche, so in short, it sounds like this fellow is out of luck for what he's trying to do
 
G

Guest

Guest
Yeah, I was actually starting to use TrueCrypt and this is why I asked this question. When you put a truecrypt flash drive into a computer, it says it needs to be formatted in order to use it. Most people would automatically format it and then boom, everything is gone.

I want to be able to prevent even formatting the flash drive.

It does sound like I am out of luck, but I am sure there is a way to do this; just may not be easy
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


The only way I can think of is to have it on more than one drive.
If that encrypted drive is lost, and someone finds and formats it...oh well. They cannot read it.

You still have the valuable part, the data. The USB drive is disposable.
 

multiplexed

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2007
1
0
18,510
0
If you want read only, then try using the readonly attribute of the diskpart command. That should prevent deletion or formatting.

It doesn't require a password though, and can be partitioned/formatted by simply removing the readonly attbribute first. But, it should prevent accidental deletion or maybe a virus deleting a partition. Might prevent a general virus infection (not sure). I think it "should" remain readonly/write protected on any machine. Maybe someone else knows those details for sure.

Again, it should prevent "being written to or formatted" at least without removing the readonly attribute first. 99% percent of the general population probably doesn't know how to do that.

You might use diskpart to prevent deletion, and truecrypt to secure/encrypt the information?

An MS article.
MS Article for diskpart syntax
The usual disclaimer. this command can delete disks, partitions, and stuff. Use at your own risk.


Syntax would be something like ...
open an elevated prompt

diskpart
list disk
select disk 1
attributes disk set readonly

To verify readonly attribute ...
select disk 1
attributes disk

to clear readonly ...
select disk 1
attributes disk clear readonly
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks for the response, but the readonly attribute does not stick with the usb flash drive. When you put the flash drive into another computer, the read only attribute is gone.
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


Again, back to the top:
What are you looking to protect? The irreplaceable data? Prevent it from being read? TrueCrypt is the answer.
Prevent a $1 commodity flashdrive from being formatted? You can't.
If your data exists elsewhere...why do you care if someone, in possession of the drive, can format it? It's gone...let it go.

If I have your drive in my possession, either I can read it, or format it and use it, or simply throw it away. 2 of those 3 result in no data loss to you. All 3 result in losing a $1 drive.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I don't want this feature just to prevent someone from formatting the drive, but also form viruses infecting my flash drive. I don't want to put my flash drive into a computer, have it get infected with a virus, and then I spread that virus.

I know that there are flash drives that you can buy that come with software that can password protect the drive. I have a Sandisk and it has software that can do something similar to that. I don't like their software though, because it just creates a file and then password protects that file instead of the whole drive.

Know of any flash drive brands like that?
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


For just write prevention, if you have possession, then yes...a physical lock would work. SD cards routinely have them.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Apps General Discussion 5
M Apps General Discussion 2
H Apps General Discussion 3
A Apps General Discussion 1
Y Apps General Discussion 1
L Apps General Discussion 5
O Apps General Discussion 1
V Apps General Discussion 1
C Apps General Discussion 3
C Apps General Discussion 17
R Apps General Discussion 1
O Apps General Discussion 1
B Apps General Discussion 2
S Apps General Discussion 1
F Apps General Discussion 1
R Apps General Discussion 1
D Apps General Discussion 4
G Apps General Discussion 1
D Apps General Discussion 1
G Apps General Discussion 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY