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How to prevent user from installing new hardware

Posted on 2003-12-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I am running a native mode W2K environment, with win2k and xp workstations.(unfortunately, still some 9x machines)

I would like to setup group policy (or any other method) to prevent end users from installing new hardware, such as USB flash drive, wireless lan card ....
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Question by:tatw
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by:MikeKane
ID: 9897416
Loading of new drivers would require local admin privileges be assigned to the user.    Just be sure your users are not assigned to the local admin group and you'll be ok.
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by:MobileOakAI
ID: 9897675
Some cases can be locked. Buy that kind and you can keep their fingers off the HW. From Windows, of course, do not assign admin (group) IDs to everyone, that defeats the purpose and facilitates worm/virus intrusion that can inherit those same admin (install) rights and really mess things up. For Win9x you are not so secure, but then, they probably cannot succeed with any USB or Wireless anyway.
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by:tatw
ID: 9897689
Could I restrict domain users (even with local admin rights)?  I have encounter an win98 machine that could stop me from installing new hardware.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:MikeKane
ID: 9897765
Sadly, Win98 and 95 do not offer such protections.   Only NT, 2k and XP.     And anyone with local admin rights would be able to install the drivers for new hardware on nt, 2k and XP.     If the user is a member of a domain group that grants local admin access equates to that user having rights to install if they authenticate to the domain.  

Basicaly, local admin rights = install hardware.
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CrazyOne earned 1000 total points
ID: 9918745
For the Win9x machines this might work.

There is Policy Editor on the Win 98 setup disk I believe you should find it in this Folder that may help

\TOOLS\reskit\netadmin\poledit

for Win95 Policy Editor
ADMIN\APPTOOLS\POLEDIT
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9918755
Even maybe

Lockdown
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by:bbao
ID: 9918930
hmm...maybe it is a silly quesiton. ;-) since no body could use software based policy to prevent a guy to physically plug-in some hardware into computer, so what do you guys want? to prevent the hardware's driver install and work? but, even so, some hardware resources (except the space it allocates ;-)) should still be used by the new-installed apapters, cards or drives... which often causes some problems (for either system software or management).
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by:tatw
ID: 9925177
Thanx CrazyOne. I think I would try poledit. One of my user has give me a notebook computer with nothing else installed but cannot install new hardware. I even cannot open the registry editor of that win98 notebook.

When I plug in a new hardware (e.g. nic), a message said that Your system administrator disabled the hardware installion.
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