22 July 2009

You must be a member of the Administrators group on this computer to install this hardware (USB flashdrive)

If anyone else out there has to manage a locked down LAN, you'll know how frustrating it is when a little thing becomes a big problem. A little thing like inserting a USB flash drive and XP says you need to be an administrator to install it. Sigh. This shouldn't be so complicated.

After digging around for a host of options, I've narrowed down my particular solution for my particular problem in our student LABs, and here it is, in all of its documented glory!

Platform: HP DX7400, XP Pro
Event: Plugging in a USB flashdrive to the desktop lockdown image

This occurs on a DX7400 after we’ve done the windows repair of a DX2000 image. The DX2000 image works fine, but USB flashdrives won’t work on the DX7400.

Replace the USBSTOR.* files with older versions (i.e. from the DX2000 image) and it works fine.

As administrator, copy the files below into the appropriate directories. We keep older copies of these files on the NAS (\\nas.cs.ukzn.ac.za\SSCUWVL\Documentation\Sorted (as of May 2009)\SSCU LABs (notes, checklists, etc.)\Windows-related notes (lockdown, tweaks, etc.)\Windows bugs\USB Flashdrive Administrator bug), but otherwise copy them from another machine that works with USB.

Copy USBSTOR.INF (ours is august 23 2001) to C:\WINDOWS\INF

Copy USBSTOR.PNF (ours is july 5 2007) to C:\WINDOWS\INF

Copy USBSTOR.SYS (ours is august 3 2004) to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS

Log off. Unplug USB. Log on. Insert USB. Job done :)

If we want users to be able to eject or unplug the USB with limited rights, then this is a GP edit, which is the subject for another post.

Here is a list of some links that may also prove helpful in troubleshooting the administrators group problem if the solution I've mentioned doesn't work for you...

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