Tech Tip: Hide drives from users

Preventing accidents can be a key part of administrators' jobs. Given that, you might want to hide certain drives from users if they don't absolutely need access.

NT enables you to hide drives from the obvious access points (Explorer and My Computer), although a motivated user could still access them from Start | Run. But you can change that. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERS\
    Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\
  3. Right-click in the right pane, and choose New | DWORD Value.
  4. Name the new key Hidden, and press [Enter] twice.
  5. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, select Decimal.
  6. Enter the number corresponding to the drive you want to hide. (A: is 1, B: is 2, C: is 4, D: is 8, E: is 16, and so on.) To hide more than one drive, add the numeric values assigned to the drives. For example, to hide drives D: and E:, enter 24.
  7. Exit the registry.

The next time the PC boots up, the computer will hide the drives from casual browsers.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before making any changes.

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