+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
Hardware Thread, Preventing a hard drive from getting formatted in Technical; One of our classrooms is going to have systems with hard drive caddies in them so the students can swap ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    978
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 48 Times in 28 Posts
    Rep Power
    25

    Preventing a hard drive from getting formatted

    One of our classrooms is going to have systems with hard drive caddies in them so the students can swap the caddies out to put in hard drives that can be formatted, install XP on etc

    However, this opens a security hole in meaning we have to allow them to boot from CD in the BIOS. Therefore, are they are utilities etc to prevent a particular hard drive from getting formatted? We do use Deep Freeze but that is useless if they stick in a XP CD and select 'Format'!

  2. #2

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    9,785
    Thank Post
    3,292
    Thanked 1,054 Times in 975 Posts
    Rep Power
    365
    If you do the following ( website background and text are hard to read ) but if you scroll down

    Diskpart command - Hide local or virtual drives

    Tech Hacker: DISKPART Utility

    does that hide it from the displayed list of hard drives to format when you insert an xp disc

  3. #3


    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rural heck
    Posts
    2,662
    Thank Post
    120
    Thanked 434 Times in 353 Posts
    Rep Power
    126
    I think you'd be better off using virtualisation.

    Have you thought about what will happen when the kids start putting the hard drives back in the wrong computers, if they're not all identical (or running OEM XP with activation) it could be a nightmare.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 24th August 2009 at 02:48 PM.

  4. #4

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    The short answer is: no, not on a hardware level like you need.

  5. #5

    Michael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    9,262
    Thank Post
    242
    Thanked 1,572 Times in 1,252 Posts
    Rep Power
    340
    I think the logical approach here would be to keep an available restore image in the event this happens. Secondly, you could label the drives which are not to be formatted 'Do not format' instead of 'Local Disk'. At system level there is no way to stop hard drives being formatted.

    If you set the default boot device as the CD-ROM drive, password the BIOS, then save changes, students should have no reason to go into the BIOS. If a computer fails to boot from the primary device, it will automatically boot from the secondary device.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    294
    Thank Post
    64
    Thanked 21 Times in 20 Posts
    Rep Power
    15
    What about when one of the darlings waltzes off with an XP installation disk and copies it in the library? Couldn't a teacher demonstrate (several times, if necessary) how to get into BIOS, boot from a CD and start the process? When the students come to doing the installation themselves, couldn't it all be in a virtual setup (i386 folder residing somewhere and run winnt32.exe etc.) so they can become familiar with the blue text-based and GUI phases? I know that the key can be incorporated into the installation CD or files so they wouldn't have to know the key (how long before it became public knowledge?) but obviously they would need to know what it is and when it's entered.

  7. #7

    Michael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    9,262
    Thank Post
    242
    Thanked 1,572 Times in 1,252 Posts
    Rep Power
    340
    You can install XP SP3 and later without needing to input a serial at setup.

  8. #8

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    9,785
    Thank Post
    3,292
    Thanked 1,054 Times in 975 Posts
    Rep Power
    365
    Either dig out some older computers that have enough ram and power etc to run xp and let them have full access to a few computers or get some computers that you are going to re image and temporarily un password protect them and let them have access to them for doing the above mentioned and then when you re image them password protect the bios again etc

  9. #9

    tmcd35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    5,693
    Thank Post
    853
    Thanked 899 Times in 744 Posts
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    329
    I think K.C.Leblanc hit the nail on the head on this one. Why not give students access to some virtualisation software like Virtual PC or VirtualBox? They can access the Windows boot CD's from a shared iso's folder so no need to give them any access to a physical CD drive. They can do what they like to the machines and you can delete the virtual hard disks later.

    If these are v.old underpowered machines that you are adding caddies to then I can just about understand what you are doing. If you are buying brand new machines then virtualisation has to be the better answer. Whatever you by new today must surely have enough power to run a virtualised environment.

    And VM software = free. A lot cheaper than an extra 30 hard drives.

  10. #10

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    9,785
    Thank Post
    3,292
    Thanked 1,054 Times in 975 Posts
    Rep Power
    365
    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think K.C.Leblanc hit the nail on the head on this one. Why not give students access to some virtualisation software like Virtual PC or VirtualBox? They can access the Windows boot CD's from a shared iso's folder so no need to give them any access to a physical CD drive. They can do what they like to the machines and you can delete the virtual hard disks later.

    If these are v.old underpowered machines that you are adding caddies to then I can just about understand what you are doing. If you are buying brand new machines then virtualisation has to be the better answer. Whatever you by new today must surely have enough power to run a virtualised environment.

    And VM software = free. A lot cheaper than an extra 30 hard drives.
    Then you need to make sure the computers in question that they are using have

    A - plenty of RAM

    B - persmissions on the ISO on the network drive do not allow them to copy it ( assuming you are using an SP 3 ISO that does not require a serial number )

    C- how do you apply security to the virtual xp machines ie group policy etc so they arent applying dodgy background wallpapers or w/e else

    D - How will this effect licensing as far as xp on virtual machines ?

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    978
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 48 Times in 28 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Thanks for the suggestions, I think they made the decision to get the caddies again 'because the old ones had em!' (These are brand new machines!). I may tempt them to try out virtual machines on at least one machine this year as I had that idea myself.

    They do have several old machines to mess around with but still need to use the main machines too (Don't ask my why, this has been the case since before I started employment at the place!!)

    Think I'll have to ask the tutor how they did it with the old machines. Theoretically the darlings would go to a locked cupboard, get their hard drive out, swap out the caddy, do their work then replace the system drive caddy at the end of the lesson. Theoretically.

    Just thought there would be some sort of utility kicking around somewhere to prevent a 'accidental' format etc. Although we do have an image on the hidden partition I suppose assuming they don't wipe that!

  12. #12
    Crispin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    361
    Thank Post
    76
    Thanked 28 Times in 25 Posts
    Rep Power
    20
    A - plenty of RAM
    We had two suite running at 512MB with VPC 2007 running an XP guest without too many problems. Obviously ram would be maxed out but it worked ok. 1GB would be plenty in most cases.

    B - persmissions on the ISO on the network drive do not allow them to copy it ( assuming you are using an SP 3 ISO that does not require a serial number )
    We only use premade VHDs of fresh XP installs but we created a GPO that would dump the VHD into c:\program files\Virtual XP\. I'm assuming you could do something similar with an ISO, then just give them appropriate security rights to that folder. Although personally I wouldn't like students having any access to XP install media at all.

    C- how do you apply security to the virtual xp machines ie group policy etc so they arent applying dodgy background wallpapers or w/e else
    Our VirtualXPs aren't connected to the network, but any changes made to the VHD during the users session is wiped and it reverts back to its previous state.

    If they just need to learn about how to setup windows, configure etc... then I would strongly advice going the VM route. It's much more secure than allowing them access to the physical hard drives/BIOS and saves money/time.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. USB drive is not formatted!!!!
    By Gambit in forum Windows
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 5th February 2013, 11:05 AM
  2. Hard Drive Recovery
    By ninjabeaver in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 6th March 2011, 09:37 PM
  3. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 18th September 2009, 05:09 PM
  4. Hard Drive
    By Jackd in forum Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20th November 2007, 07:31 PM
  5. Prevent hard drive changes
    By adamyoung in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 70
    Last Post: 20th June 2006, 12:32 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •