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Disabling USB Ports

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Falcon007, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    Is there a way to disable the usb ports but enable them when I need to? We are trying to make sure people cannot use their own personal usb drives on their computers but we need to be able to use them if there is a problem with their computers. Any suggestions
     
  2. M.Woodhouse

    M.Woodhouse

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    Could always disable them in Device Manager, would stop people using the port. And just enable them in Device Manager when you need them.
     
  3. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    which port is specific to the usb ports?
     
  4. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Under Universal Serial Bus controllers you'll have multiple Hubs and Controllers listed. You'll need to disable all the hubs or all the controllers.

    Might be easier to just deny regular users access to the USB Storage Driver. You have to first make sure that the USB Storage driver has been installed on each PC.
    How to disable the use of USB storage devices
    Remember to change permissions for the registry key so regular users can't change the start value for the UsbStor driver.

    If you are using Active Directory, an even better way is to create a Group Policy to deny access to the driver and to prevent the driver from being installed if it isn't already.

    How to disable USB sticks and limit access to USB storage devices on Windows systems

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  5. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    Is there a way to do it without using active directory? We are not on a domain
     
  6. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Just follow the steps in the first article.
    Using Active Directory just gives the advantage of setting a group policy rather than having to make the settings on each PC individually.

    If a PC has never had a USB storage device installed, all that needs to be done is the first part: If a USB Storage Device Is Not Already Installed on the Computer
    If one has, you need to do both parts.

    Jerry
     
  7. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    so according to that first part of the article, would I be able to re enable it if I needed to use my work flash drive to fix problems?
     
  8. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Disable the USB controller in the BIOS and password protect the BIOS.
     
  9. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    You would only deny permission to the regular users group, and the system. The Administrators group, or any individual user not in a group for which permissions have been denied can be granted full control, so you would just need to log in with the Administrator account or your user name to have access.
    If you grant a specific user permission, that user cannot be a member of the any group that has been denied permission, as deny permissions take precedence.

    If you need access while signed in with the regular user's account, you would have to use the Administrator account (or an Account in the Administrators Group) to enable permissions. You can either switch to that account and change the permissions, or open an Administrative command prompt by right clicking the Command Prompt shortcut and choosing Run As. Then you can use cacls to change permissions.
    You can use Run As to run the registry editor if need be; you would have to create a shortcut, or browse to the file in the Windows Folder.

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  10. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    Im looking for different options too. Are there any name brand software solutions to this issue? Not any kind of freeware.
     
  11. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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  12. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    Can I point out that doing it from windows is not 100% secure, as there are always from bypassing that. It's safest to do it from the BIOS if your BIOS supports that feature to turn off USB ports.
     
  13. Falcon007

    Falcon007 Thread Starter

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    Yeah but the thing with that is, that I need to be able to enable them whenever I need to get on their computer.
     
  14. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Then you make the registry change a part of group policy for their OU, of which administrator is not part of. You just log them off, and log on as administrtor.
     
  15. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    Not on a domain.
     
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