Hide Specific Drives

Posted on Updated on

This article describes how a system administrator can restrict use of drives by ‘hiding’ one or more drives on a Windows NT-based computer. There’s a couple way to do this:

1.       Global Policy Objects (GPO’s)

  • Run GPO Editor
  • Go to User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components –  Windows Explorer
  • Enabled “Hide these specified drives in My Computer”
  • Pick one of the following combinations then choose what drive you want to hide or restrict.

2.       System Policies

a.     Obtain the decimal value for the drives you want to restrict.

NOTE: The registry key that this policy affects uses a decimal number that corresponds to a 26-bit binary string, with each bit representing a drive letter:  

11111111111111111111111111

ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA 

This configuration corresponds to 67108863 (in decimal) and hides all drives. If you want to hide drive C, you would make the third lowest bit 0 and then convert the binary string to decimal. The following are sample values that correspond to various drive letters: Hide all drive letters (default): 67108863

Hide all drive letters but C: 67108859

Hide all drive letters but U: 66060287

Hide all drive letters but C: and U: 66060283

Hide all drive letters but C,O, and U: 66043899  

b. Edit the Common.adm file:

  • Open the Common.adm file in a text editor such as Notepad.                                                                 
  • Locate the HideDrives section in the Common.adm file.

That it should look like the following: 

CATEGORY !!Shell

CATEGORY !!Restrictions

POLICY !!HideDrives

VALUENAME ”NoDrives”

VALUEON NUMERIC 67108863; low 26 bits on (1 bit per drive)

END POLICY 

Replace the VALUEON NUMERIC value with your new value.     

Save and then close the file.

c. Edit the system policy:

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools (Common), and then click System Policy Editor.         
  • On the File menu, click Open Registry.      
  • Double-click the Local User policy.               
  • Open the policy to the following location: Local User\Shell\Restrictions
  • Click to select the Hide drives in My Computer check box, and then click OK.

Only the drives that you specified in the VALUEON NUMERIC value in the Common.adm file are hidden.

  • On the File menu, click Save.                                                                    

d. Log off and then log on to the computer for the changes to take effect.             

3.       Windows Registry

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Key: Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Policies\ Explorer

Name: NoDrives

Data Type: REG_DWORD

Value: see below 

To calculate the value, add up the following codes for the drives that you want to hide: A=1B=2C=4D=8E=16F=32 

For instance to hide the E and F drives, the value would be 48.

4.       Third Party Application

Example: HideCalc Application, you can download at http://www.citrix4ge.de/files/utilities/hidecalc.zip

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s