Windows 2000 USB Permissions

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

If you plug in a USB device and you are not a member of the Administrators group, Windows 2000 generates the error message: the user is not authorized to install a new device. This issue, among others, is why many organizations make users, particularly laptop users, members of the administrator group. This is simply not acceptable in many other organizations from a security perspective. Other organizations don't allow it for operational issues - to prevent too twiddling with the operating system - because it results in too many calls to the help desk and installers groups.

Windows 2000 has a method to allow members of normal user groups or power users to plug in USB devices and install device drivers:

  • Logon with administrative rights.
  • Double-click on Administrative Tools in Control Panel.
  • Double-click the Local Security Policy object.
  • Double-click the User Rights Assignment.
  • Select Load and unload device drivers from the list. By default, only the Administrators group has this right.
  • Double-click the entry.
  • Click the Add button.
  • Select one or more users (or an appropriate group, such as Power Users) and add those accounts to the list to grant this right.
  • Reboot to make effective.

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