Disabling optical disc writes?



Hi, all.

I’m looking for a simple, reversible way to disable disc writes in CD-R and DVD-R drives. I want to leave the drives physically in place and usable as read-only drives, but prohibit any kind of data writes to discs. It needs to be beyond the ken of general office workers, although tricky enough to elude the half-smart tech types would be good, too.

This would be under XPSP2 and Vista.

(Background: small company, about ten workstations, we deal in very sensitive information and it’s a policy not to have any writeable drives accessible to general users. Older CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives are starting to fail, and as I’m sure everyone knows, it is getting harder and harder to find read-only drives… and they are often more expensive than full-featured writeable drives! So I’d like to be able to replace drives with whatever’s cheap that week, but be able to block disc writes. A simple setting somewhere, registry perhaps, that will do it?)



Install all burning applications to one user only…you.


Turn off Windows burning service in services.


Good answer, and one I already use - but I’d like to find a way to disable the disc writing at the hardware, driver or registry level if I can. We have some people who are just clever enough to DL a freeware burn tool and get it running.


Honestly, if you don’t need the writing capability, I’d suggest you just spend a few extra dollars and get read-only devices.

You can buy crates of them from eBay for cheap anyway. I bought a whole case of SCSI CD-ROMs a year or so ago… I’m sure you can do that with IDE too.

Besides, dedicated DVD-ROM drives tend to be much better readers than burners are anyway - so they are worth the investment. And they are cheap, even if they aren’t markedly cheaper than burners are. They tend to last longer, too.


I know that’s the best solution - and what I will probably do anyway. But it looks as if RO drives are out the door and in another year or two they will be unavailable or ridiculously pricey - looking for a good down-the-road solution that will let me leave drives for reading data in systems but plug the writeable hole fairly well.


LOL, most posters around here are trying to fix burners that refuse to burn. :wink:

I think there will always be a market and availability for RO drives, mainly because of OEM and commercial workstation folks just like you. An external burner is certainly easy enough to keep control of, you can lock it in your desk.

Maybe ask yourself if these potential criminals really need to have optical drives in their work stations at all? Consider using a file server in the network that has all the needed drives, maybe it would be simpler to control the use of the drives with access privileges set to read only or some such thing.


This would require the rights and permissions to do that first.
You can easily deny that via admin settings etc…