Dec 15, 2008

Hide Drives in Vista and XP

Many a times we have some drives which we never access or some times we want to keep the drives hidden from the prying eyes. If you have a USB drive which you use just for ReadyBoost or a floppy drive which is rarely used these days then you might think of hiding these unused drives to keep down the clutter in your My Computer screen.

This trick will only hide the drives from My Computer and you can access these drives from software or command prompt or you can manually type the drive name in the address bar of explorer to access it.

Okay now to the actual procedure.

--- Go to registry editor by typing regedit in the start menu.

--- Then go to this key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

--- Then in the right pane look for the entry NoDrives. Most of the times it is not present and you have to create it.

--- Right click and create a 32 bit DWORD value and name it NoDrives.

Now you created the NoDrives entry but you need to know decimal or hexadecimal values of the drives to hide them.

As this is a 32 bit number, the values are arranged in binary as below in reverse order. If you want to hide the A drive and D drive then see the values below. A has 1 and D has 1 and all other values are 0. For hiding only a single drive give that drive a value of 1 and others 0.

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Now the would be 1001 in binary format. You need to convert it to Decimal or Hexadecimal. You can use the windows calculator in scientific mode. Select binary format and type the number 1001 and then select decimal or hexadecimal. This will convert that binary number in to decimal or hexadecimal as you selected. In our case the decimal for 1001 is 9.

--- Now you got the value you want to enter. Just go to the entry NoDrives you created in the registry and double click on it and enter the value which you got by converting the binary number and select the appropriate format; decimal or hexadecimal. Here I entered 9 with Decimal option selected.

--- Now close the registry and restart explorer or log off and log back in.

--- The drives will be hidden from My Computer. You can still access them by typing the drive letter in the explorer address bar.

This trick will hide the drives for all the users. For a particular user you are logged in as you need to follow the same procedure but you need to create the NoDrives entry in this key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Here are some other values for the drive letters.

Drive Letter Decimal Hex
A 1 1
B 2 2
C 4 4
D 8 8
E 16 10
F 32 20
G 64 40

Follow the same procedure to Hide Drives in Windows XP. No change is required. If you have any questions or suggestions then shoot them in comments and I will get back to you.

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