How-To: Disable and Re-enable USB Storage Devices

The motivation behind writing this post came when over the weekend, i got a chance to meet a few Client who want to disable the USB Storage Devices in their office. After a cup of coffee and usual discussions, I pointed out  an interesting solution for their office, where we can disabled access to the USB Port thereby leaving their iPods, Digi cams, USB Sticks useless in workspace environment.

As per the Microsoft knowledge base article 823732 which contains instructions on how to disable USB storage access for a certain group of users this diabling and re-enablement of USB ports is based on a simple registry entry.

To disable the access to USB port, in windows XP and 2000, follow the steps below
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
3. Locate, and then click the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor
4. In the right pane, double-click Start.
5. In the Value data box, type 4, click Hexadecimal (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.
6. Quit Registry Editor.

To re-enable a disabled port, follow these steps below

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
3. Locate, and then click the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor
4. In the right pane, double-click Start.
5. In the Value data box, type 3, click Hexadecimal (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.
6. Quit Registry Editor.

However, there can be other ways too to bypass this issue, one of the easiest is to invest in a PS2 to USB port convertor.

Enjoy!

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