TweakUI is only for XP users and hides the drive letter from Windows Explorer but it is still fully accessible by the system. This function in TweakUI is also user account specific and does not work for all users at once.
1. Download TweakUI from the Microsoft website, install and then run it.
2. Expand the My Computer tree and click on Drives.
3. From the list of drives in the right window, untick the drive that you want to hide and click OK when you’re done.
Restoring the drive to Windows Explorer is simply a case of ticking the drive again.
5. The Computer Management Console
This method uses the process of removing the drive letter from the drive or partition completely, thereby rendering it unusable to anyone until the drive letter is restored.
1. Go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management, alternatively right click on (My) Computer in the Start menu or on the desktop and select Manage. Click on Disk Management under Storage.
2. Find the partition you want to hide using the list or graphical layouts, right click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
3. Make sure the drive letter is highlighted in the box and click the Remove button, then click OK.
To add the drive letter back to the partition, follow steps 1 and 2 and then click the Add button. Make sure Assign the following drive letter is selected and there is a letter in the drop down which you can change if you want to, and click OK to finish.
6. Using a Group Policy
The Group Policy editor in windows is able to hide drives from Explorer, but has a couple of drawbacks. Firstly it’s not available in Home versions of Windows (XP Home, Win 7 Home Premium etc), and secondly only drive letters up to D can be hidden unless you use the All Drives option.
1. Press Win key+R to get the Run dialog, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
2. Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components and click on Windows Explorer. Double click on “Hide these specified drives in My Computer” in the right window pane.
3. Click the Enabled radio button and in the drop down box that appears below select the combination that best matches your needs. Click OK when finished.
There is also another option called “Prevent access to drives from My Computer” where users can browse the folder structure of the selected drives in My Computer or Windows Explorer, but they cannot open folders and access the contents. This does again though have the restriction of only going up to drive D.
7. Hide a Drive Letter with Diskpart
Hiding a drive letter in this way is pretty much identical to using the Computer Management Console apart from you’re using the Command Prompt to do it. Maybe a more useful method for keyboard and command line fans.
1. Press Win key+R for the Run dialog, type diskpart and press Enter.
2. Type List Volume to get a list of all available partitions and make a note of the volume number you want to hide.
3. Type Select Volume [number] where the number is the volume number you noted from step 2.
4. Now type Remove to remove the drive letter from the selected volume. If you type list volume again you should see the assigned letter in the Ltr column has now gone from the volume. Type Exit to quit Diskpart.
To get a drive letter back again using Diskpart, repeat steps 1 -3 and then type Assign instead of Remove.
Editor’s Note: Hiding a drive by removing its letter is slightly more secure than hiding the letter from Explorer but does come with a couple of drawbacks; one is that Windows 7 system image and file backup cannot backup or restore involving a drive with no letter. Another is that you, Windows or any other software cannot use the hidden drive for read or write operations. For outright security when hiding your drives, Truecrypt is perhaps something you might look at.