It is a very general problem faced by the general mass when our PC, which is supposed to be personal, is used many other people. It happens many a time that neither we can oppose them nor we can accept the scenario. For all those people, we come up with a nice and interesting trick. From now on you can protect your Windows XP by locking it with a USB drive.
Already we’ve written another process of locking PC using USB Flash Drive by Predator. Check it out.
How does this trick work?
Whenever we switch on the Computer, the booting process of our PC gets started. During this process the computer searches for the BOOT DEVICE in the BIOS. Usually the hard disk drive is the default primary boot device. The instant when our computer is successful in its search, it looks for a specific file named boot.ini and this is the file which contains all information regarding booting of the computer. Now the user’s job is to somehow remove or rename this file and copy it into your USB drive. Once the job is done your USB drive is capable to boot your PC.
Starting with the magic.
Part I: Configuring your operating system (Windows XP):
Just go on performing the tasks as mentioned below
1.First of all, open Windows explorer(WIN key+E) and then go to the drive where Windows XP is installed. Then click on Tools>Folder Options.
Then go to the tab View.
2. Mark the option “Show hidden files and folders”, and unmark the options “Hide extensions for known file types” and “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)”, if not done earlier. Once done click Apply>OK.
3. The moment you complete step 2, you will find the files “boot.ini” , “NTDETECT.COM” , “ntldr” in the drive where your operating system is installed.
4. Now copy these files into a recently formatted, clean USB drive and after completion of the process remove the USB drive from your computer.
5. For the time being, jump to Part II and return here after completion of Part II.
6. The next job is to rename the file boot.ini as boot.ini.bak , so as to create an ensured copy of the file boot.ini which may be of some use later on.
7. Your USB drive is ready. Just go for a TEST DRIVE: (i,e PART III)
Part II : Changing the priority of the boot device in the bios.
Restart your computer and the moment your machine starts press the key for BIOS settings , (It may be F8, F10 or F2 according to various PC’s. Users are requested to check up the hardware manual for confirmation)
Keeping the above caution in mind perform the following steps:
1. First of all, got to the BOOT MENU in order to change the priority of the boot device.
2. Change the priority of your boot device so that first boot device is your USB disk and second boot device is your Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
3. Now save the changes in “Boot Menu” by pressing F10 ( in most cases) and exit BIOS settings.
4. Your USB drive is now almost ready for operation and as told earlier return to Part I (step 6).
Part III : The test drive
Now all the hard work has been done and its time to reap results. To get your much desired result here is how you go:
1. Restart your computer without inserting the USB drive. If you have followed the instructions carefully and performed perfectly your PC will give you a boot error. Don’t get tensed, it signifies that the file boot.ini has been properly renamed.
2. Now insert your USB drive and restart your PC again. This time your computer will boot perfectly as usual. This means that the file inside the drive is working perfectly and your first boot device has been selected as the USB disk.
Well, that completes the entire job. Now your computer cannot be started without the USB drive and this drive is only with you. So none other than you can operate your PC.
How to unlock your Windows XP again?
Hope, now you have learnt how to lock your Windows XP by a USB Drive but we also need to unlock it once the requirement is over. For that, boot your PC using the USB drive and then go to windows installation and rename back the file from “boot.ini.bak” to “boot.ini” . Changing the boot priority from BIOS settings is no more required. After completion. take out your USB drive and restart your PC without inserting the USB drive.
BIOS being a very important part of a computer, be very careful during this operation. If required, ask some other person to handle this part whois accustomed with working in BIOS settings. For any query, drop your words in the comment section.