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When I was using Windows 7 I used to use Universal Shield to write protect drives in my PC so that my parents or my younger brothers will not accidentally delete or misplace my data.

But now I changed to Windows 8 and then to 8.1 and this Universal Shield is not compatible with Windows 8. I have tried the compatibility options in Windows, but it's not working. I also tried Windows user permission.

So is there any software like Universal Shield which can be used in Windows 8.1?

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I would recommend giving one more try to setting the permissions. It addresses the problem native way instead of various workarounds provided by tools. What you need is actually one of basic functionalities of every operating system, it just has to be configured according to your needs. It is

  • Well-implemented so if set properly, there is minimal chance that users or some malware launched under their account get through it. This cannot be always said of third-party tools.
  • Well-known by advanced users so you can have access to much broader support, tutorials and Q&A base than you would get for independent app. (Example.)

Create a different PC user for you so you will be using different user account than rest of users of the PC. Then modify file permissions of your data folders to be accessible/writable only from your user account. One of many tutorials. Test it on single folder first, it is faster. Later, permission settings can be applied directly to drive (for example E:) so you can control access to drive by one action.

Slightly improved approach is to give/revoke permissions to user groups, not to individual users. Then you assign your users to these groups what has instant effect on what they can do and what cannot. But this is beneficial when you have many users in the system.

This paragraph goes slightly beyond the topic: If other users sometimes do not know 'what they are doing' (e.g. there is possibility they can install something or format your drives) consider making their user account(s) standard ones instead of keeping them with administrator privileges.

I would recommend going way of permissions although it could need some more learning at the beginning. But once you learn it, you can use it to your benefit on many places.

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My mother uses Deep Freeze to protect herself against accidentally changing computer settings. Basically, you can boot your machine in "frozen" mode or "unfrozen" mode. In frozen mode, any changes you make are cleared out after a reboot.

I honestly consider an application like this to be a big hassle to use, since it basically re-images your machine each time you boot it. However, for purposes of allowing someone else to use your computer safely, it might be acceptable.

Of course, using different accounts and native permission stuff (as miroxlav suggests) is cleaner. However, this strategy is a bit more turn-key.

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