Re: Lock down drive

GKW in GA wrote:
I have 2 drives on my computer. One cloned from the other. One of my kids is coming to live with me and I would like to have my kids use the 'D' drive for storing files, downloading things to, etc. while I use the 'C' drive. That way, if I ever need too I can just clear the 'D" drive if I need to.

Is there a way to do something like this or restirct downloading or creating files. My son's computer runs like a dog because of all the junk on it and I don't want mine to end up the same way.

You will need to create user accounts and assign permissions to your taste. How you do it depends on whether you have XP Pro or Home. I'll give you general steps for both. However, please be aware that just having data on another hard drive will not protect your XP install from infection by viruses and malware. You may wish to take the other posters' advice and either have your son provide his own computer that is not sharing files with yours (depends on if he's old enough to buy his own computer) or buy him a cheapy box.

A. Standard user security blurb (not everything may be applicable to you so just take the bits you need):

Any computer running any operating system can be accessed by someone with 1) physical access; 2) time; 3) skill; 4) tools. There are a few things you can do to make it a bit harder though:

1. Set a password in the BIOS that must be entered before booting the operating system. Also set the Supervisor password in the BIOS so BIOS Setup can't be entered without it.

2. From the BIOS, change the boot order to hard drive first.

3. Set strong passwords on all accounts, including the built-in Administrator account.

4. If you leave your own account logged in, use the Windows Key + L to lock the computer (and/or set the screensaver/power saving) when you step away from the computer and require a password to resume.

5. Make other users Limited accounts in XP Home, regular user accounts in XP Pro.

6. Set user permissions/restrictions:

a. If you have XP Pro, you can set user permissions/restrictions with Group Policy (Start>Run>gpedit.msc [enter]) but be careful. Using the Policy Editor can be tricksy. Questions about Group Policy should be posted in its newsgroup:

b. If you have XP Home, you can use MVP Doug Knox's Security Console or the MS Shared Computer Toolkit. The Toolkit can also be used in XP Pro and may be easier for a newbie than using Group Policies. - Toolkit newsgroup

Please understand that these are technical responses to what is basically a non-technical problem and there are ways around all of these precautions. This is a family/interpersonal issue that can't be solved by technical means.

B. Some useful links related to user management:

HOW TO Create and Configure User Accounts in Windows XP -;en-us;279783
User Management and Security in Windows XP -
User Accounts overview (MS) -
Overview of XP Groups (MVP Kelly Theriot) -

Elephant Boy Computers
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User

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