Can You Use Deep Freeze on a Flash Drive?

Deep Freeze works differently with fixed and removable drives.
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Deep Freeze is an application designed to prevent a hard drive from being tampered with in a way that key files are altered or removed. It does not work to protect a removable drive. In fact, using a removable drive can be one way to bypass Deep Freeze's protection.

1 Deep Freeze Concept

Deep Freeze works by keeping a record of all the files on a hard drive, including system files and the operating system, as of a given point in time. Whenever the computer is restarted, Deep Freeze automatically restores these files to their original state and removes any other files. This means that any changes made on the computer since the last restart are undone.

2 Deep Freeze Purpose

The main reason for using Deep Freeze is to make a computer available to multiple users while disallowing the ability to make permanent changes. Examples could include computers in a library, school or Internet cafe. Deep Freeze can also be useful if you want an easy way to test new software or configurations without the risk of making irreversible changes to your computer.

3 Using a Removable Drive

Deep Freeze can protect only a fixed hard drive, not a removable one such as a USB stick. However, you can use a removable drive when using Deep Freeze to save any files or work you created while working on the computer. Although you can save files to the protected hard drive temporarily, these files are removed (or reverted to their original state) upon restarting the computer. Any files saved to a removable drive remain on that removable drive.

4 Removable Drive Workaround

Removable drives can also be used to get around Deep Freeze's protection. If someone can boot the computer from a removable drive before it boots from the hard drive, he may be able to directly access the hard drive's contents before Deep Freeze takes effect and then make permanent changes to key files or the operating system. The person who installed Deep Freeze can prevent this workaround by making sure the boot settings require the computer to boot from the hard drive first and then password-protecting the boot settings themselves to keep a user from changing the boot order.

A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.