Devices: Restrict CD-ROM access to locally logged-on user only
Updated: November 15, 2012
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8
This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, and security considerations for this policy setting.
This policy setting determines whether a CD is accessible to local and remote users simultaneously. If you enable this policy setting, only the interactively logged-on user is allowed to access removable CDs. If this policy setting is enabled and no one is logged on interactively, the CD can be accessed over the network.
The security benefit of enabling this policy setting is small because it only prevents network users from accessing the drive when someone is logged on to the local console of the system at the same time. Additionally, CD drives are not automatically made available as network shared drives; administrators must deliberately choose to share the drive. This is important when administrators are installing software or copying data from a CD-ROM, and they do not want network users to be able to execute the applications or view the data.
If this policy setting is enabled, users who connect to the server over the network will not be able to use any CD drives that are installed on the server when anyone is logged on to the local console of the server. Enabling this policy setting is not suitable for a system that serves as a CD jukebox for network users.
Best practices are dependent on your security and user accessibility requirements for CD drives.
GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options
The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.
Server type or GPO
Default Domain Policy
Default Domain Controller Policy
Stand-Alone Server Default Settings
DC Effective Default Settings
Member Server Effective Default Settings
Client Computer Effective Default Settings
There are no differences in this policy between operating systems beginning with Windows Server 2003.
This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.
None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.
This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.
A remote user could potentially access a mounted CD that contains sensitive information. This risk is small because CD drives are not automatically made available as shared drives; administrators must deliberately choose to share the drive. However, administrators can deny network users the ability to view data or run applications from removable media on the server.
Enable the Devices: Restrict CD-ROM drive access to locally logged-on user only setting.
Users who connect to the server over the network cannot use any CD drives that are installed on the server when anyone is logged on to the local console of the server. System tools that require access to the CD drive will fail. For example, the Volume Shadow Copy service attempts to access all CD and floppy disk drives that are present on the computer when it initializes, and if the service cannot access one of these drives, it fails. This condition causes the Windows Backup tool to fail if volume shadow copies were specified for the backup job. Any non-Microsoft backup products that use volume shadow copies also fail. This policy setting would not be suitable for a computer that serves as a CD jukebox for network users.