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I've found out that if I install Windows 7 and use the Snow Leopard Boot Camp drivers (Which I need for the graphics chipset drivers.), the Mac partition appears and is read-only. I'm quite concerned about this, because if my Windows partition is infected with malware, it could be a possibility that the hackers could take data from my Mac partition, even if it was read-only.

Is there any way to turn off Mac partition support while booted in Windows?

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5 Answers 5

I’m sure someone with more Windows experience will provide a better alternative here, because if that is possible, it’s only possible through a Windows setting/hack/etc. I’m sure you can find the HFS+ driver and uninstall it from windows… but I don’t use bootcamp. :(

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I'm not a windows guy, so the steps are probably different but this SuperUser question asks how to disable a partition under Windows XP. The steps may be similar under Windows 7:

You could remove the drive letter assignment for the specific partition(s):

  1. Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management
  2. Expand Computer Management (Local) > Storage > Disk Management
  3. Right click the specific partition you like to hide and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths"
  4. Select the drive letter shown, click "Remove" and click "OK"
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Yes - This "hides" the partition, but it's not hidden to viruses and data-stealers though, wouldn't it? –  JFW Nov 22 '10 at 13:58
    
I think if it has no drive letter viruses and malware can't get to it. But you're asking windows questions on an Apple site. I am an Apple guy first, a Linux guy second, and a Windows guy after all other possible options have been exhausted ;-) -- You should ask on superuser.com –  Josh Nov 22 '10 at 14:55

From a theoretical standpoint, even if you delete the Boot Camp drivers and/or remove the drive letter, a virus could still interface with the disk at very low level and read your data. From a practical standpoint, this is unlikely to happen as there is much more low-hanging fruit for hackers.

Still, if you want to run Windows on your Mac without the possibility, even theoretical, of the compromised Windows system being able to access your Mac data, you have essentially two options:

  • Run Windows in a VM and only allow it access to its virtual disk
  • Turn FileVault on for your user account

For the latter option the theoretical virus could still access your applications and general system settings, but it would not be able to access any user data without the FileVault password.

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2  
I’d like to to point that for the first option, given that the VM is -in essence- a sandbox made of software (although using shortcuts provided by the hardware to reach the processor and avoid emulating it), a super-very-unlikely-low-under-below-level piece of code could find its way though the VM onto the host operating system… but let’s try to get to Mars first ;) –  Martín Marconcini Nov 23 '10 at 9:17
    
@Martín Granted, and there could be a flaw in FileVault that allows for decryption without the key, but either possibility is astronomically unlikely to occur and be exploited via a virus on OP's machine. –  Kyle Cronin Nov 23 '10 at 19:38

In Windows, you can go into Disk Management and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths..." and then Remove the existing drive letter. Then it won't show up in My Computer etc.

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Remove the following keys from the Windows Registry (backup first) to disable the Apple HFS driver:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AppleHFS]
"Type"=dword:00000002
"ErrorControl"=dword:00000001
"Start"=dword:00000000
"Group"="File System"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AppleMNT]
"Type"=dword:00000002
"ErrorControl"=dword:00000001
"Start"=dword:00000000
"Group"="File System"

You can use the same registry fragment above to restore HFS functionality if you forgot to backup your registry before making any changes.

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